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#330 Rachel’s food for thought

Sustenance: Writers from BC and Beyond on the Subject of Food by Rachel Rose (editor) Vancouver: Anvil Press, 2017 $25.00  /  9781772141016 Reviewed by Alan Belk First published June 26, 2018 * It would be easy to review Sustenance as a representative of the literary genre Coffee Table: a beautifully illustrated collection of short pieces…
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#329 From inuksuit to cyberspace

Sculpture in Canada: A History by Maria Tippett Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 2017 $39.95  /  9781771620932 Reviewed by Catherine Nutting First published June 26, 2018 * Maria Tippett’s Sculpture in Canada is, she writes, not an encyclopedia, but an introduction; an eye-opener to some of the greatest Canadian sculpture. The book is an ambitious project….
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#327 Site C boondoggle unravelled

Breaching the Peace: The Site C Dam and a Valley’s Stand against Big Hydro by Sarah Cox Vancouver: UBC Press (On Point Press), 2018. $24.95  /  9780774890267 * Damming the Peace: The Hidden Costs of the Site C Dam by Wendy Holm (editor) Toronto: James Lorimer and Company, 2018 $22.95 / 9781459413160 Both books reviewed…
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#326 Up-Island with E.J. Hughes

E.J. Hughes Paints Vancouver Island by Robert Amos, with the participation of the estate of E.J. Hughes Victoria: TouchWood Editions, 2018 $35  /  9781771512558 Reviewed by Phyllis Reeve * It’s not easy to paint an arbutus tree, although many artists try. Know in Washington State as Pacific madrone, the arbutus (Arbutus menzeisii) above the 49th…
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#325 Valgardson’s Gothic Valhalla

First published June 20, 2018. In Valhalla’s Shadow by W.D. Valgardson (Douglas & McIntyre, $32) In Norse mythology, Asgard was the dwelling place of the gods, located in another dimension, possibly the sky or a different planet. It was divided into at least twelve realms; Valhalla being one. Valhalla was the home of Odin and…
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#324 Orcas through history

Orca: How We Came to Know and Love the Ocean’s Greatest Predator by Jason M. Colby Toronto: Oxford University Press, 2018 $32.95  /  9780190673093 Reviewed by Anna Hall First published June 18, 2018 * It was a quiet day in the summer … when the shots rang out … the injured mother [killer whale] pushed…
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#323 Beau Dick’s revolutionary art

Beau Dick: Revolutionary Spirit by Darren J. Martens, in collaboration with the Audain Art Museum Vancouver: Figure 1 Publishing, 2018 $40.00 / 9781773270401 Reviewed by Alan L. Hoover First published June 15, 2018 * Chief Beau Dick (Walas Gwa’yam) (1955-2017) was a much-honoured artist and activist in the Kwakwaka’wakw community, the wider Indigenous and non-Indigenous…
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#322 Stephen Reid (1950-2018)

First published June 14, 2018. Stephen Reid has died at age 68 of pulmonary edema and third-degree heart block in the hospital at Masset, B.C., on June 12, 2018. Following Reid’s death, Masset Mayor Andrew Merilees commented, “He was always friendly and pleasant. He was enjoyed by most of the community despite his past failings.”…
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#321 West Kootenay memories

First published June 13, 2019. Children of the Kootenays: Memories of Mining Towns by Shirley D. Stainton Victoria: Heritage House, 2018. $19.95  /  9781772031850 Reviewed by Sylvia Crooks * Several books have been written about the Kootenay mines and mining settlements, many of them now ghost towns, abandoned largely during the Great Depression. Now Shirley…
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#320 An East Vancouver childhood

Dear Current Occupant: A Memoir by Chelene Knight Toronto: Book*hug, 2018 $20.00  /  9781771663908 Reviewed by Jennifer Chutter First published June 13, 2018 * Amidst the swirl of media reports of rising housing prices, empty houses, and increased property taxes, Chelene Knight’s Dear Current Occupant: A Memoir offers a rare and nuanced view of what…
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#319 King of the back packers

The World’s Most Travelled Man: A Twenty-Three Year Odyssey to and through Every Country on the Planet by Mike Spencer Bown Madeira Park: Douglas and McIntyre, 2017 $29.95  /  9781771621427 Reviewed by Howard Macdonald Stewart First published June 9, 2018 * During 1,000 weeks, Mike Spencer Bown backpacked around the world between 1990 and 2013,…
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#318 A witness to persecution in China

First published June 6, 2018. The Unceasing Storm: Memories of the Chinese Cultural Revolution by Katherine Luo, foreword by Madeleine Thien Madeira Park: Douglas & McIntyre, 2018. $22.95  /   9781771621861 Reviewed by Vivienne Poy * Many personal accounts have been written about tumultuous modern China, but there is a difference in Katherine Luo’s book. We…
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#317 Channeling Camus

The Plague by Kevin Chong Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2018 $19.95 / 9781551527185 Reviewed by Michael Kluckner First published June 6, 2018 * A 1947 modernist novel by an existentialist French philosopher set in a dusty Algerian town? This sounds like an improbable inspiration for a story about glittering 21st-century Vancouver, but Kevin Chong manages…
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#316 Nak’adli Nation honours Kw’eh

Remembering Chief Kw’eh compiled by Lillian Sam and Frieda Klippenstein Fort St. James: Nak’azdli Whut’en Press, 2016 $10 / 9780995286900 Reviewed by Daniel Sims First published June 3, 2018 * The Nak’azdli Chief ‘Ulh’gweh–aka Chief Kw’eh or Chief Kwah–is mostly widely known as the man who spared the life of (future Sir) James Douglas. Nak’azdli…
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#315 From props to hot properties

Life and Bronze: A Sculptor’s Journal by Ruth Abernethy Vancouver: Granville Island Publishing, 2016 $60  / 9781926991733 Reviewed by Maria Tippett First published June 2, 2018 * Born in Lindsay, Ontario, in 1960, Ruth Abernethy started building theatre props at the age of 17. After studying at Malaspina College (now Vancouver Island University) in Nanaimo,…
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#314 E.J. Hughes renewed

E.J. Hughes Paints Vancouver Island by Robert Amos, with the participation of the estate of E.J. Hughes Victoria: TouchWood Editions, 2018 $35.00  /  9781771512558 Reviewed by Alan Twigg First published June 1, 2018 * “B.C. is the best place in the world for landscape subject matter.” — E.J. Hughes “One of the main reasons I…
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#313 Doreen Armitage (1931-2018)

First published June 1, 2018. Born in Toronto on August 14, 1931, Doreen Alice Ellen (Hayes) Armitage died at Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver on May 15, 2018. A writer who believed strongly in oral history, Armitage wrote for publications such as Canadian Geographic, Outdoors Canada and Canadian Living before publishing her first book,…
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#312 A sesquicentennial smorgasbord

The Language of Family: Stories of Bonds and Belonging by Michelle van der Merwe (editor) Victoria: Royal British Columbia Museum Press, 2017 $27.95  /  9780772670526 Reviewed by Claire Sicherman First published May 30, 2018 * When I first held The Language of Family in my hands, I could feel the faint stirring of emotion, the…
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#311 I fought the law, and the dog won

The Dog Lover Unit: Lessons in Courage from the World’s K9 Cops by Rachel Rose New York: St. Martin’s Press (Macmillan Publishers), 2017 $28.99  /  9781250110749 Reviewed by Bonnie Reilly Schmidt First published May 30, 2018 * Rachel Rose’s The Dog Lover Unit: Lessons in Courage from the World’s K9 Cops is a surprising departure…
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#310 The Third Solitude

Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese Madeira Park: Douglas & McIntyre, 2018 $21.95  /  9781771621908 Reviewed by Eldon Yellowhorn First published May 28, 2018 * First published by Douglas & McIntyre in 2012, this special edition of Richard Wagamese’s novel Indian Horse has been released to coincide with the appearance of the motion picture Indian Horse…
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