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#218 One dammed river before another

People, Power, and Progress: The Story of John Hart Dam and the Campbell River Power Projects by Daniel Stoffman Vancouver: Figure 1 Publishing, 2017 $24.95  /  9781927958384 Reviewed by James Hull Co-published with the BC Hydro Power Pioneers. First published Dec. 11, 2017 * The John Hart Dam and generating station opened in December of…
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#217 Batter matters

First published Dec. 10, 2017. From Scratch by Gail Anderson-Dargatz Victoria: Orca Books, 2017. $9.95.  /  9781459815025 Reviewed by Carol Anne Shaw   * Gail Anderson-Dargatz’s From Scratch is a recent release from Orca Books’ Rapid Reads Program — a genre of short, high-interest novels penned by bestselling authors with the aim of helping adults…
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#216 Ignorance is not bliss

British Columbia: A Natural History of Its Origins, Ecology, and Diversity With a New Look at Climate Change (revised and expanded third edition; first published by Douglas & McIntyre, 1996) by Richard Cannings and Sydney Cannings Vancouver: Greystone Books, 2015. $34.95  /  9781771640732 Reviewed by Loys Maingon First published Dec. 10, 2017 * Richard and…
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#215 Island of Blue Foxes

First published Dec. 7, 2017. Island of the Blue Foxes: Disaster and Triumph on Bering’s Great Voyage to Alaska by Stephen R. Bown (D&M $34.95) tells the story of The Great Northern Expedition which resulted in the mapping of the Arctic Coast of Siberia and large parts of the North American coastline, and the discovery…
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#214 At home on the road

Dirty Windshields: The Best and the Worst of the Smugglers Tour Diaries by Grant Lawrence Madeira Park: Douglas & McIntyre, 2017 $26.95  /  9781771621489 Reviewed by Dustin Cole First published Dec. 6, 2017 * Grant Lawrence’s memoir Dirty Windshields recalls his days and nights as lead singer in the garage rock band Smugglers, Canada’s self-proclaimed…
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#213 The forest smokeaters

First published Dec. 4, 2017. Chasing Smoke. A Wildfire Memoir by Aaron Williams Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2017. $22.95  /  9781550178050 Reviewed by Dan Gallacher     The threat of terrorism is over-rated. ‘First responders’ were everywhere in 2017 dealing with hurricanes, earthquakes and forest fires. Aaron Williams’ Chasing Smoke: A Wildfire Memoir (Harbour $22.95)…
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#212 Our vanishing glaciers

First published Nov. 29, 2017. Our Vanishing Glaciers: The Snows of Yesteryear and the Future Climate of the Mountain West by Robert William Sandford Victoria: Rocky Mountain Books 2017. $40   /  9781771602020 Reviewed by Clayton Whitt     Melting glaciers and climate change may initially seem like odd topics for a coffee table book. But…
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#211 From Prussia to Victoria

Essay: The Mysterious and Difficult Hermann Otto Tiedemann by Robert Ratcliffe Taylor First published November 26, 2017 * In this essay written specially for The Ormsby Review, Robert (Rob) Ratcliffe Taylor provides biography of Hermann Otto Tiedemann (1821-1891), the German-born surveyor, engineer, architect, and artist. He was one of thousands attracted to Victoria by the…
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#210 Of strawberries & cemeteries

Hallowed Ground: Stories of the Yale Pioneer Cemetery by Ian Brown Victoria: FriesenPress, 2017 $23.95  /  9781525508646 [Available at the Hope Visitor Centre and at Barry’s Trading Post in Yale.] Reviewed by Yvonne Van Ruskenveld First published Nov. 24, 2017 * If time machines ever become a reality, I’ll be first in line to travel…
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#209 Gary Cristall’s ball

First published Nov. 24, 2017. Jeannie Kamins has written and published a VFMF history with a memoir by Gary Cristall who says, “I guess I booked pretty close to 1,000 artists.” For $25 plus shipping costs, 40 Years and Counting: A Visual History of Forty Years of the Vancouver Folk Music Festival (Jeannie Kamins, 2017)…
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#208 Autobiography of a WASP

Edges of Empire: A Documentary by Rhodri Jones (Rhodri Windsor-Liscombe) Vancouver: Rarebit Press, 2017 $20.00  /  9780994941237 Reviewed by Julian Wake First published Nov. 23, 2017 * Born in 1946, Rhodri Windsor-Liscombe studied at the Courtauld Institute of Art at the University of London and came to Canada to teach art history at McGill in…
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#207 From the HBC to UBC

Royal Blood: A Memoir by Laurenda Daniells Vancouver: Paper Trail Publishing, 2016 $22.95  /   9780994930309 Reviewed by Nancy Marguerite Anderson First published Nov. 22, 2017 * Royal Blood, by Laurenda Daniells, is a memoir in the form of a collection of short stories written by a woman who has clearly led a long, interesting, and…
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#206 Robbie Burns remembered

First published No. 22, 2017. Ask someone to name B.C.’s most popular poet and you might hear names such as Earle Birney, bill bissett, Patrick Lane, Susan Musgrave, Dorothy Livesay… None match the fervour of adoration this province felt for Robbie Burns–as Fred Braches recalls upon rediscovering a little-known book about the Burns statue in…
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#205 125,000 reluctant patriots

First published Nov. 24 REVIEW: Reluctant Warriors: Canadian Conscripts and the Great War by Patrick M. Dennis Vancouver: UBC Press, 2017. $39.95 9780774835978 Reviewed by Jim Kempling The ongoing centennial review of Canada’s involvement in the First World War continues with Reluctant Warriors: Canadian Conscripts and the Great War, by Patrick Dennis. After three years…
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#203 Mack, the life

The Transcontinentalist: Or, The Joys of the Road Manuscript in the Laing Papers at the B.C. Archives, written in 1915 by Hamilton Mack Laing Reviewed by Trevor Marc Hughes First published Nov. 17, 2017 * Editor’s note: We are delighted that Trevor Marc Hughes has ventured into the voluminous Laing Papers at the British Columbia…
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#202 Al Neil (1924-2017)

First published November 17th, 2017. “Whatever I’m doing belongs right here in Vancouver.” — Al Neil, author/pianist (The Cellar 1959) “New York has William Burroughs, Los Angeles has Charles Bukowski and Vancouver has Al Neil,” — local author John Armstrong “Al Neil gets more pleasure out of walking down the road than other people get…
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#201 Peter Trower (1930-2017)

A GATHERING TO REMEMBER AND HONOUR PETER TROWER WILL BE HELD FROM 3 – 6 PM AT THE FORMER LOCATION OF THE RAILWAY CLUB IN VANCOUVER ON SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 25. THE VENUE IS NOW CALLED THE RAILWAY STAGE AND BEER CAFE. IT’S AT 579 DUNSMUIR. Peter Trower, one B.C.’s most beloved poets, has died at…
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#200 Emily’s compartmentalized friend

First published November 10, 2017 Emily Carr As I Knew Her by Carol Pearson, with a foreword by Robert Amos. Victoria: Touchwood Editions, 2016. $19.95  /  9781771511742 Reviewed by Kerry Mason *   Our understanding of the internationally significant artist and author, Emily Carr, is enriched by this overdue reprint of Carol Pearson’s Emily Carr…
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#199 What the Heckman

Heckman’s Canadian Pacific: A Photographic Journey by Ralph Beaumont, foreword by John Geiger Mississauga, ON: The Credit Valley Railway Company, 2015 $60.00  /  9780978440619 Reviewed by Walter Volovsek First published November 9, 2017 * The Canadian Pacific Railway’s in-house photographer Joseph William Heckman (1854-1937) worked between Nova Scotia and Vancouver Island for three decades, photographing…
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