Religion & spirituality

1597 Get lost, young man

Lost in the Valley of Death: A Story of Obsession and Danger in the Himalayas by Harley Rustad Toronto: Penguin Random House Canada (Knopf Canada), 2022 $34.00 / 9780735279469 Reviewed by Daniel Gawthrop * For some readers, stories like this one are a tempting invitation to satire. There is, after all, much fodder for lampoonery…
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1544 A fascinating dance of ideas

Jonas and the Mountain: A Metaphysical Love Story by Janis Harper Fort Lauderdale, FL: Sacred Stories Publishing, 2021. For more information about purchasing the book in Canada, contact Janis Harper $20.99 CDN / 9781945026805 Reviewed by Margaret Miller * An eastern mystic and western psychic walk into a bar… Not too much surprises me these…
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1543 Photos & letters of Tim Gidal

Two books reviewed by Sheldon Goldfarb: Gidal: The Unusual Friendship of Yosef Wosk and Tim Gidal, Letters and Photos by Alan Twigg (editor) Madeira Park: Douglas & McIntyre, 2022 $39.95 / 9781771623025 * Memories of Jewish Poland: The 1932 Photographs of Nachum Tim Gidal by Yosef Wosk and Nachum Tim Gidal Jerusalem: Gefen Books, 2020…
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1524 LSD & Hollywood North

The Acid Room: The Psychedelic Trials and Tribulations of Hollywood Hospital by Jesse Donaldson and Erika Dyck Vancouver: Anvil Press, 2022 $18.00 / 9781772141863 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh  * Acid Test in New West: LSD entered the world through the doors of a BC Hospital Before LSD guru Timothy Leary (“tune in, turn on and…
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1519 Reading the Covid landscape

Words from the Dead: Relevant Readings in the Covid Age by Sean Arthur (Art) Joyce Victoria: Ekstasis Editions, 2022 $25.95 / 9781771714587 Reviewed by Christopher A. Shaw * Capturing the “Landscape of the Imagination” in the Age of Covid No matter where one stands on the Covid-19 pandemic, vaccines, and who’s responsible, the events of…
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1497 Tribute to Julian Wake

A tribute to Julian Wake by Richard Mackie and others * It’s a pleasure to provide this tribute to Julian Wake, a friend to me and many others between his arrival in BC in 1966 and his death on January 16, 2022. In recent years Julian embarked on a late career as a book reviewer…
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1470 Piecework and peace work

Mother, the Verb, Swan Sister Treasure Book by Linda Rogers and friends Victoria: FriesenPress, 2022 $25.00 / 9781039124530 Reviewed Cathy Ford * Upon a time (note dear reader, not “once”), there arrived a beautifully dense green book on my desk. For me, it arrived just in time. As said more often than anyone ever wanted…
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1450 A true believer

Paradise Road: A Memoir by Marilyn Kriete Atlanta, GA: Lucid House Publishing, 2021 $22.95  /  9781950495115 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * A True Believer: A young woman’s troubled bicycle odyssey ends with a religious tract Remember your reaction when there was a knock at your door and you answered it only to find two nicely…
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1447 Memoirs, scripts, subtexts

The Colour of God by Ayesha S. Chaudhry Toronto: Simon and Schuster Canada (Oneworld Publications), 2021 $30.00 / 9781786079251 Reviewed by Jessica Poon Note: Ayesha Chaudhry’s The Colour of God was previously reviewed by Phyllis Reeve * I know a journalist who balks at the word memoir. Though it would be easy to cynically quip about the…
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1444 Terminal City spooks

Vancouver’s Most Haunted: Supernatural Encounters in BC’s Terminal City by Ian Gibbs Victoria: TouchWood Editions, 2021 $20.00 / 9781771513180 Reviewed by Valerie Green * Ian Gibbs, who has spent years collecting and sharing ghost stories as a Ghostly Walk tour guide in Victoria, British Columbia, has done another impressive job in his second book Vancouver’s…
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1394 A great wee book, so it is

An Irish Country Yuletide by Patrick Taylor New York: Macmillan (Forge Books), 2021 $17.99 (US) / 9781250780904 Reviewed by Ian J.M. Kennedy * With the recent release of Kenneth Branagh’s film Belfast, set during the Troubles in 1969, it’s timely that The British Columbia Review should ask for a review of Salt Spring Island resident…
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Mourning rites in Ancient China

ESSAY: Mourning and Burial Rites in Ancient China: A Grief Process by Dorothy Dittrich * Death is part of life, as are the feelings of grief, sorrow and anxiety that follow the loss of a loved one. While coming to terms with death and coping with loss may be part of living, the feelings that…
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1331 Reverend Wright & the wrongdoers

All Is Well by Katherine Walker Saskatoon: Thistledown Press, 2021 $24.95  /  9781771872157 Reviewed by Heather Graham * Christine Wright, the protagonist of Katherine Walker’s novel All Is Well, is a recently ordained priest in the Anglican Church of Canada with fifteen years of military service to her credit, some of it in Special Forces….
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1319 Heiltsuk ceremonial songs

To Impersonate the Supernatural: Music, Ceremony and Culture of the Bella Bella by Anton Frederik Kolstee Vancouver: Granville Island Publishing, 2020 $24.95 / 9781926991146 Reviewed by Mark Turin * To Impersonate the Supernatural draws heavily from the author’s 1988 doctoral dissertation from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Ethnomusicologist, educator, and musician, Anton Frederik Kolstee…
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1317 Survival of the kindest

Happy is the New Healthy by Joan Neehall Toronto: Simon & Schuster Canada (Forefront Books), 2021 $36.00 / 9781948677707 Reviewed by Lee Reid * “Keep your heart open in hell,” is a piercing term from the 1980s that has stayed with me for the past forty years. Nowadays, hell seems poignantly applicable to the losses and…
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1284 A voice for the mute swan

Mute Swan: Poems for Maria Queen of the World by Lesley-Anne Evans Toronto: The St. Thomas Poetry Series, 2021 $20.00 / 9781928095071 Reviewed by Cole Klassen * Mary and the swan: feminine symbols too often detached from reality 34 years ago, Lesley-Anne Evans was excommunicated from her fundamentalist evangelical church for being engaged to a…
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1255 Victoria’s religion of the heart

Queen Victoria: This Thorny Crown by Michael Ledger-Lomas Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2021. (Spiritual Lives Series). $40.00 (U.S.) / 9780198753551 Reviewed by Simon Devereaux * This compact, densely written volume fills a surprisingly large gap in the vast biographical literature on Queen Victoria. The Victorian age is well-known for its public religiosity. It was manifest…
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