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#178 Kipling on Vancouver Island

ESSAY: Kipling on Vancouver Island by John F. Bosher First published October 11, 2017 * Rudyard Kipling’s first visit to the Pacific coast of British Columbia was in 1889 in the course of his journey from India via Japan and the U.S.A. to London with every intention of making a literary name for himself. He…
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#177 Monumental tasks

Commemorating Canada: History, Heritage, and Memory, 1850s-1990s by Cecilia Morgan Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2016 $26.95  /  9781442610613 Reviewed by Mike Starr First published October 4, 2017 * Cecilia Morgan’s Commemorating Canada is a good place to start when examining the role of historical commemoration in Canada. The book is part of the Themes in…
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#176 Sexual treachery vs. friendship

Useless Things: Redacted A novella. By Charles Tidler Victoria: Ekstasis Editions $19.95  /  9781771712002 Reviewed by John Moore First published October 4, 2017 * Jazz riffs from a leaky lifeboat. Last seen nine years ago in Charles Tidler’s novel, Going to New Orleans (Anvil Press 2004), the itinerant, deranged horn-player named Lewis King is now pursuing…
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#175 Artist among the Songhees

Wanderings of an Artist Among the Indians of North America by Paul Kane, edited and with an introduction by Kenneth Lister Toronto: Royal Ontario Museum Press, 2016 $39.99  /  9780888545077 Reviewed by Grant Keddie First published October 3, 2017 * Between November 1846 and November 1847, the Irish-Canadian artist Paul Kane (1810-1871) visited the Columbia…
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#174 Lights, camera, action, debate

Tar Wars: Oil, Environment and Alberta’s Image by Geo Takach Edmonton: The University of Alberta Press, 2017 $34.95  /  9781772121407 Reviewed by Nichole Dusyk First published Sept. 29, 2017 * In the first pages of Tar Wars, Geo Takach of Royal Roads University repudiates his own title and coins the term “bit-sands” to refer to the…
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#173 Always cry wolf

First published Sept. 29, 2017 REVIEW: Wolf Island by Ian McAllister (photographs) and Nicholas Read (text) Victoria: Orca Book Publishers, 2017. $19.95 9781459812642  Reviewed by Carol Anne Shaw   * Wolf Island is a picture book co-created by photographer, author, and Pacific Wild founder Ian McAllister and author and former journalist Nicholas Read. It is…
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#172 Highland Clearances to BC

First published September 18, 2017 REVIEW: The Nor’ Wester by David Starr Vancouver: Ronsdale Press, 2017. $11.95 978-1-55380-493-2 Reviewed by Steve Pocock David Starr’s The Nor’Wester, for young readers, introduces us to fifteen-year-old Duncan Scott, a young highlander evicted with his sister and parents from their rural cottage during the Highland Clearances in the early nineteenth…
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#171 Florence, Dante and Me

REVIEW: Florence, Dante and Me by Robert Stuart Thomson Godwin Books 2017 9780995876002 Reviewed by Beverly Cramp First published September 18, 2017 * It’s the summer of 1960 and a young UBC student is about to leave Vancouver, then still very much a White-Anglo-Saxon-Protestant city. Twenty-year old Robert Thomson had won a scholarship to spend…
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#170 Midwifery, bongos & blue boxes

Canadian Countercultures and the Environment Colin M. Coates (editor) Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 2016 $34.95  /  9781552388143 Reviewed by Lauren Harding First published September 17, 2017 * I read the last pages of Colin Coates’s edited collection while lying on Vancouver’s infamous Wreck Beach. Around me fresh University of British Columbia undergraduates gawked at…
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#169 A hero in the garden

Some Useful Wild Plants: A Foraging Guide to Food and Medicine from Nature by Dan Jason Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2017 $16.95  /  9781550177916 Reviewed by Natasha Lyons First published Sept. 13, 2017 * Reviewing a book published before you were born is an interesting historical exercise. Dan Jason’s Some Useful Wild Plants: A Foraging…
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#168 Forty years of making room

Making Room: Forty Years of Room Magazine by Meghan Bell (editor) and curated by the Growing Room Collective: Meghan Bell, Terri Brandmueller, Candace Fertile, Taryn Hubbard, Chelene Knight, Lindsay Glauser Kwan, Cara Lang, Alissa McArthur, Navneet Nagra, Bonnie Nish, Rachel Thompson, Kayi Wong, and Lisa Xing Halfmoon Bay: Caitlin Press, 2017 $24.95  /  9781987915402 Reviewed…
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#167 Janet Smith & Wong Foon Sing

The White Angel by John MacLachlan Gray Madeira Park: Douglas & McIntyre, 2017 $29.95 / 9781771621465 Reviewed by Ginny Ratsoy First published Sept. 8, 2017 * The challenges of writing historical fiction are manifold. Writers must capture both the exterior (surface and sociological details of a time they know only through research) and the interior…
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#166 Three platters of Charles Edenshaw

Entering Time: The Fungus Man Platters of Charles Edenshaw by Colin Browne Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2016 $19.95 / 9781772010398 Reviewed by Alan L. Hoover First published September 8, 2017 * Charles Edenshaw (c. 1867-1920) is perhaps the most recognized and acclaimed Northwest Coast Indigenous artist of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. An outstanding feature…
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#165 Alaska Highway before GPS

Beyond Mile Zero: The Vanishing Alaska Highway Lodge Community by Lily Gontard (text) and Mark Kelly (photographs) Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2017 $24.95  /  9781550177978 Reviewed by Heather Longworth Sjoblom First published September 6, 2017 * 2017 marks the seventy-fifth anniversary of the construction of the Alaska Highway through British Columbia, the Yukon, and Alaska. Throughout…
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#164 Cuba from the inside

Cuba from the Inside by Alan Twigg First published September 5, 2017 * For anyone with an abiding love or interest in Cuba, there are many books about the place–more than ten of which are by British Columbians. For instance, when an American professor named Maurice Halperin met Che Guevara in Mexico, prior to Fidel…
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#163 When the rubber hit the road

British Columbia by the Road: Car Culture and the Making of a Modern Landscape by Ben Bradley Vancouver: UBC Press, 2017 $34.95  /  9780774834193 Reviewed by Daniel Francis * In 2013 a septet of Canadian historians calling themselves The Past Collective published a study which contradicted the hoary old cliche that Canadians do not know…
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#162 The sisters of war

First published August 30, 2017 REVIEW: War Torn Exchanges: The Lives and Letters of Nursing Sisters Laura Holland and Mildred Forbes by Andrea McKenzie (editor). Vancouver: UBC Press, 2016. $32.95  /  9780774832540 * REVIEW: Sister Soldiers of the Great War: The Nurses of the Canadian Army Medical Corps by Cynthia Toman Vancouver: UBC Press 2016. $34.95  / …
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#161 Loving in a fog

First published August 30, 2017 REVIEW: The Most Dangerous Thing by Leanne Lieberman Victoria: Orca Book Publishers, 2017 $14.95 9781459811843  Reviewed by Carol Anne Shaw Sixteen-year-old Sydney lives in and out of the Fog — a word she uses to describe the smothering depression and anxiety that so often takes hold of her. But she’s trying;…
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#160 Keeping parliament current

First published August 28, 2017 REVIEW: Turning Parliament Inside Out: Practical Ideas for Reforming Canada’s Democracy by Michael Chong, Scott Simms, and Kennedy Stewart (editors) Madeira Park: Douglas & McIntyre, 2017. $22.95  / 978-1-77162-137-3 Reviewed by Hamish Telford * By comparison, the current political climate in the United States makes Canada look like Nirvana, but…
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#159 Joan Skogan was one of a kind

Joan Skogan was one of a kind An obituary by Alan Twigg First published August 20, 2017 * Born in Comox on September 29, 1945, Joan Skogan knew joy and sorrow. An intrepid researcher and a conscientious writer, she will be much missed by those who knew her fascinating, passionate nature. Joan Skogan could be…
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