A Chinese age of steam

“Bob’s perseverance and skill are reflected in dramatic scenes of hard-working locomotives trailing plumes of steam as they charged across stark landscapes.” Bob Whetham reviews The Last Steam Railways
Volume 1: The People’s Republic of China by Robert D. Turner (Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2022) $79.95 ISBN 9781550179910

Afloat – an essay

“Yet there are very few communities like mine, where people choose to drop anchor or tie up rather than mow the lawn.” Meg Stainsby’s essay Afloat will take you into the liminal world of the water dweller.

A studio by the lake

“Hughes’ love of nature and the communities of the island shine as a record of twentieth century settlers in this lushly illustrated book.” Christina Johnson-Dean reviews E.J. Hughes: Life at the Lake by Robert Amos (Victoria: Touchwood, 2023) $25.00 ISBN 9781771514194

Thank you, donors!

Happy new year! I’m pleased to report that, so far, 113 donors have responded to the annual fundraiser we kicked off in November 2023.

Broadening our thinking on grizzlies

“With the research aspects of this book the specialist in bear scholarship will feel right at home but there’s plenty of interest here for the general reader with a desire to know more about these great hairy creatures.” Steven Brown reviews Grizzly Bear Science and the Art of Wilderness Life: Forty Years of Research in the Flathead Valley by Bruce McLellan (Victoria: Rocky Mountain Books, 2023) $32.00 / 9781771605656

We needed a bigger ballroom

“…if you didn’t catch it the first time around, there’s no reason not to own this sweet slice of BC music history now.” Catherine Owen reviews Live at the Commodore: The Story of Vancouver’s Historic Commodore Ballroom (New Updated Edition) by Aaron Chapman (Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2023) $32.95 / 9781551529370

Imperfection still tastes good

“…just don’t expect that your food will look like the photos in the book. And that’s okay.” Rebecca Coleman reviews Fraiche Food, Fuller Hearts: Wholesome Everyday Recipes Made With Love (Toronto: Penguin Canada, 2023) $45.00 / 9780735240780

Travel, history on the rails

“In Train Beyond the Mountains: Journeys on the Rocky Mountaineer, Rick Antonson takes us on a trip through time as he recounts a multi-day excursion on historic train, the Rocky Mountaineer.” Natalie Virginia Lang reviews Train Beyond the Mountains: Journeys on the Rocky Mountaineer (Vancouver: Greystone Books, April 2023) $34.95 / 9781771644860

Flying Binky Home

“In [Duthie Books’] paperback cellar Binky Marks was both a lovable eccentric and the possessor of the most prodigious knowledge of books accumulated over the last quarter century…” * Flying Binky Home, an essay by Mark Stanton

No. 2000 for the BC Review!

When we launched The British Columbia Review — then The Ormsby Review — in September 2016, little did we expect that seven years later we’d post our 2000th review. I’m grateful to everyone — reviewers, publishers, authors, booksellers, and readers — for making it such a success and promoting BC writers, writing, and culture. It…
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Elite art collecting demystified

Pictures on the Wall: Building a Canadian Art Collection by Michael Audain Madeira Park: Douglas & McIntyre, 2023 $60.00  /  9781771623742 Reviewed by Trevor Marc Hughes * On the evening of November 14, 2002, I walked through a chilly downtown Vancouver, MiniDisc recorder and microphone safely tucked away in a shoulder bag, toward my destination:…
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BC Review Annual Fundraiser

BC Review Annual Fundraiser A note from Richard Mackie *  Dear friends, supporters, and readers of The British Columbia Review: On behalf of the Board of Directors and Advisory Board of The British Columbia Review, I must remind readers of our continuing need for financial support. This request for private donations is done annually to keep…
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‘Trek by father and son’

The Boy and the Mountain: A Father, His Son, and a Journey of Discovery  By Torbjørn Ekelund (Translated by Becky L. Crook) Vancouver: Greystone Books, 2023 $27.95  /  9781771645096 Reviewed by Ron Dart * The Boy and the Mountain was originally published in Norwegian in 2017 and translated into English in 2023. Ekelund has, thus…
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1974 Marathon man like no other

Outsider: An Old Man, a Mountain and the Search for a Hidden Past by Brett Popplewell  Toronto: Harper Collins, 2023 $25.99 / 9781443457859 Reviewed by Daniel Gawthrop * British Columbia has long been a magnet for eccentric new settlers with mysterious backgrounds who come here seeking to reinvent themselves. Thanks to an investigative journalist from Ontario,…
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1965 The shame of 1907

White Riot: The 1907 Anti-Asian Riots in Vancouver by Henry Tsang Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2023 $32.95  /  9781551529196 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * Many British Columbians will have heard of the Vancouver anti-Asian riots of 1907. It was a brutal historic event that revealed deep-seated public prejudices fueled by paranoia about the province being…
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1935 United through art

Bloom Where You Are Planted: 50 Conversations with Inspiring British Columbians by Beka Shane Denter Victoria: Heritage House Publishing, 2022 $39.95  /  9781772034295 Reviewed by Valerie Green * This book by Beka Shane Denter is an inspirational collection of interviews in the form of Q&As with photographs, of a group of fifty (forty-nine women and…
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1930 From one generation to another

The Matryoshka Memoirs: A Story of Ukrainian Forced Labour, the Leica Camera Factory, and Nazi Resistance by Sasha Colby Toronto: ECW Press, 2023 $24.95  /  9781770417359 Reviewed by Theresa Kishkan * More than 3 decades ago, on a family camping trip, I bought a set of matryoshka dolls in an art gallery in Wells, BC….
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1922 Irresistible Stikine

Stikine Odyssey: From Adventure to Activism with The Great River by Peter Rowlands Victoria: FriesenPress, 2023 $24.49  /  9781775238348 Reviewed by Trevor Marc Hughes * What is it that draws adventurers to the Stikine River? For me, in 2012, it was a desire to see this beautiful, and integral, landscape in northern British Columbia before…
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1921 Treasures from the past

Time to Wonder – Volume 2. A Kid’s Guide to BC’s Regional Museums: Vancouver Island, Salt Spring, Alert Bay, and Haida Gwaii by S. Lesley Buxton and Sue Harper Victoria: Rocky Mountain Books, 2022 $22.00  /  9781771605069 Reviewed by Valerie Green * In view of the recent closure of Point Ellice House and Gardens in…
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1880 Small place, big story

Sheltering in the Backrush: A History of Twin Islands by Jeanette Taylor Madeira Park, BC: Harbour Publishing, 2023 $24.95  /  9781990776113 Reviewed by Valerie Green * Jeanette Taylor begins her book with the words: “Twin Islands, a private retreat just off the entrance to Desolation Sound Marine Park, is a small place with a big…
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