Religion & spirituality

#936 Crow mythology and archetype

Dead Crow & the Spirit Engine by Art (Sean Arthur) Joyce New Denver: Chameleonfire Editions, 2020 $20.00 / 9780995240148 Reviewed by Roger C. Lewis * This poem is a fascinating exercise in the bending, blending, and merging of genres while at the same time assaulting the empty pretensions of narcissistic nihilism in today’s grossly politicized…
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#906 East Kootenay to Himalaya

Blue Sky Kingdom: An Epic Family Journey to the Heart of the Himalaya by Bruce Kirkby Madeira Park: Douglas & McIntyre, 2020 $34.95 / 9781771622691 Reviewed by Éric Spalding * In Blue Sky Kingdom, Bruce Kirkby goes to a Buddhist monastery high up in the Himalayas. Accompanying the author on the trip are his wife…
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#896 A Mennonite father and son

Dad, God, & Me: Remembering a Mennonite Pastor and His Wayward Son by Ralph Friesen Victoria: FriesenPress, 2019 $20.49 / 9781525560880 Reviewed by Randy Janzen * After reading Ralph Friesen’s Dad, God and Me, I was struck by the common human urge to understand the past and reconcile ourselves with long-ago events. It is no…
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#883 Everyone’s Thomas Merton

Superabundantly Alive; Thomas Merton’s Dance with the Feminine by Susan McCaslin and J.S. Porter Kelowna: Wood Lake Books, 2018 $19.96 / 9781773430355 Reviewed by Phyllis Reeve * Does everyone have their own Thomas Merton? The quiet charisma of the mid-20th-century hermit/ Christian apologist / writer / activist speaks directly and personally to each of his…
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#868 Hazelton mission and medic

Service on the Skeena: Horace Wrinch, Frontier Physician by Geoff Mynett Vancouver: Ronsdale Books, 2020 $21.95 / 9781553805755 Reviewed by Tyler McCreary * Service on the Skeena, Geoff Mynett’s first book, presents the story of the northern medical missionary, public healthcare advocate, and later provincial politician, Horace Wrinch. The first doctor to serve Gitxsan and…
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#704 The humility to heal

One Drum: Stories and Ceremonies for a Planet by Richard Wagamese Madeira Park: Douglas & McIntyre, 2019 $18.95 / 9781771622295 Reviewed by Brian Fraser * My journey of communal and personal healing is very different from that of Richard Wagamese. We find our wisdom from different spiritual traditions, with different mentors, in different languages. But…
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#681 Haida matrilineal magic

Magical Beings of Haida Gwaii by Gid7ahl-Gudsllaay Lalaxaaygans (Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson) and SGaan Jaadgu San Glans (Sara Florence Davidson), illustrated by Judy Hilgemann and Alyssa Koski Victoria: Heritage House, 2019 $22.95 / 9781772032963 Reviewed by Molly Clarkson * This review contains words in the Haida Language. Both Gaw Tlagee Xaad Kil (Haida Northern Dialect, which brings…
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#653 Sinners, seekers, and sceptics

Body & Soul: Stories for Skeptics and Seekers by Susan Scott (editor), with a foreword by Alison Pick Halfmoon Bay: Caitlin Press, 2019 $24.95 / 9781987915938 Reviewed by Caileigh Broatch * Susan Scott skillfully curates and edits experiences across many cultures and faiths for Body & Soul: Stories for Skeptics and Seekers. This collection of personal…
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#590 Mission to skid row

In His Steps: The Life and Times of Wilberforce Cooper, Vancouver’s Skid Road Priest by Peter J. Cooper Victoria: FriesenPress Publishers, 2019 $27.68 / 9781525544545 Reviewed by Phyllis Reeve * St. James’s Anglican Church presides over Vancouver’s Downtown East Side — presides over but does not loom over. Described as simultaneously Byzantine, Gothic Revival, and…
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#548 On a wing & a telepathic prayer

The Story of Radio Mind: A Missionary’s Journey on Indigenous Land by Pamela Klassen London and Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2018 $27.50 (U.S.) / 9780226552736 Reviewed by Susan Neylan * Colonialism has spiritual dimensions; the process of creating a country like Canada transcends physical space and expands into metaphysical realms to permeate the…
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#487 Welcome to the new Cann lit

The Little Book of Cannabis: How Marijuana Can Improve Your Life by Amanda Siebert, foreword by Rav Ivker Vancouver: Greystone Books: 2018 $14.95 / 9781771644044 Reviewed by Derek von Essen First published Feb. 14, 2019 * The dialogue surrounding cannabis cultivation and usage in Canada has changed recently with the legalization and the impending corporatization…
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#479 On the wings of forever

ESSAY: Universal Technologies and Traditional Innovations: A Comprehensive Perspective for Museums by Yosef Wosk An Ormsby Exclusive, in collaboration with the The Canadian Academy of Independent Scholars First published Feb. 5, 2019 * We are pleased to present an essay by Yosef Wosk about nothing less than mankind’s accumulation and appreciation of shared knowledge and wisdom. This extraordinarily…
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#464 A turbulent, alluring place

The Splendour & The Suffering/El Esplendor y el Sufrimiento: Poems and Travels in Mexico by Doug Beardsley, translated by Celso Cambiazo Victoria: Island Blue Book Printing, Arcos Spanish Translations, 2018. Available from Amazon.ca $19.95  / 9781999442200 Reviewed by Ron Dart First published Jan. 13, 2019 * A turbulent yet alluring place, Mexico has a long…
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#402 Roma and other Gypsies

Gypsy Fugue: An Archetypal Memoir by Marlene Schiwy Halfmoon Bay: Caitlin Press, 2018 $24.95 / 9781987915594 Reviewed by Phyllis Reeve First published October 18, 2018 * Readers might recall The Manticore (1972), the second in Robertson Davies’ Deptford Trilogy, in which David Staunton dreams of a gypsy the night before starting Jungian therapy in Zurich….
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#394 Supernatural Haida Columbia

Out of Concealment: Female Supernatural Beings of Haida Gwaii by gid7ahl-gudsllaay lalaxaaygans (Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson), with forewords by Wade Davis and gwaaganad (Diane Brown) Victoria: Heritage House, 2017 $29.95 / 9781772031607 Reviewed by Gillian Crowther * In Out of Concealment: Female Supernatural Beings of Haida Gwaii, Haida artist and activist Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson encounters 33 supernatural beings of Haida mythology….
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#380 Road trip with Gilgamesh

Provoked by Gilgamesh: The Search for a Way Around Death by Gilmour Walker Vancouver: Ronsdale Press, 2018 $18.95 / 9781553805205 Reviewed by Peter Babiak First published Sept. 21, 2018 * Inspired by the Epic of Gilgamesh, Victoria’s Gilmour Walker (a pseudonym) tells how, in his forties, he left his seaside home in Nova Scotia on…
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#230 A good year and a good man

Green Mackinaw in Europe, 1954-55 by Alfred H. Siemens Victoria: FriesenPress Publishers, 2017 $25.99  /  9781460295342 Reviewed by Graeme Wynn * Green Mackinaw recalls the “brief shining time” that its author spent in Europe in the 1950s. Alfred Siemens, a UBC student in his early twenties, crossed the Atlantic in the fall of 1954 to…
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#210 Of strawberries & graves

First published Nov. 24, 2017. REVIEW: 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 If time machines ever become a reality, I’ll be first in line to travel…
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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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#158 A province of non-believers

First Published August 19, 2017 REVIEW: Infidels and the Damn Churches: Irreligion and Religion in Settler British Columbia by Lynne Marks Vancouver: UBC Press, 2017.  $34.95  /  9780774833462 Reviewed by Chelsea Horton *   More British Columbians self-identify as secular than do the populations of any other province in Canada today. And, historian Lynne Marks illustrates…
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