Thompson Rivers University collaboration

1813 Welcome Trevor and Brett

Welcome Trevor and Brett by Richard Mackie * On behalf of the Board of the Ormsby Literary Society and our Advisory Board I’d like to welcome Trevor Marc Hughes and Brett Josef Grubisic as interim editors of The British Columbia Review for the year May 1, 2023 to May 1, 2024. The position was made possible…
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1802 Return of the matriarchs

Kamloopa: An Indigenous Matriarch Story by Kim Senklip Harvey with the Fire Company Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2020 $16.95 /  9781772012422 Reviewed by Amanda Wandler * This story, this ceremony is for our Indigenous Peoples, it is to give voice and illuminate the power of Indigenous womxn. It is about our unwielded power and unsuppressed Settler supremacy…
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1795 Move over, Miss Marple

Crime Wave: Women of a Certain Age. A Canada West Anthology by Elizabeth Bass, Karen L. Abrahamson, and J.E. Barnard (editors), with a foreword by Gail Bowen Vancouver: Sisters in Crime (Canada West Chapter), 2022 $24.27 / 9781777246655 Reviewed by Ginny Ratsoy * Stories are not chapters of novels. They should not be read one…
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1783 Hooked from the start

Blood Atonement by S.M. Freedman Toronto: Dundurn Press, 2022 $22.95 / 9781459750241 Reviewed by Myshara Herbert-McMyn * S.M. Freedman‘s Blood Atonement is shocking and thrilling, terrifying from the moment you realize the broad accuracy of the events it describes the aftermath of. And of course, this is a situation where it pays to pay attention….
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1775 The hockey talisman

Elliot Jelly-Legs and the Bobblehead Miracle by Yolanda Ridge (text) and Sydney Barnes (illustrations) Victoria: Orca Book Publishers, 2023 $12.95 / 9781459833791 Reviewed by Cassidy Lea * In Canada, hockey is kind of our thing. A lot of us have played it, a bunch of us watch it, and if most of us were asked…
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1757 Announcing interview series

Announcing the BC Review interview series by Richard Mackie * In November 2022, at the most recent board meeting of the Ormsby Literary Society, the chair, Byron Sheardown, suggested that we open a YouTube channel and start an interview series. Board member Trevor Marc Hughes jumped at the suggestion. “I’ve got filmmaking experience,” he said,…
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1750 Out of the woods

Forest Walking: Discovering the Trees and Woodlands of North America by Peter Wohlleben and Jane Billinghurst Vancouver: Greystone Books, 2022 $24.95 / 9781771643313 Reviewed by Jodi Lundgren * Immerse yourself in a forest and use all of your senses to pay attention, advises Peter Wohlleben in this information-packed guidebook, a follow-up to his best-selling The…
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1737 The sky’s the limit

Why Humans Build Up: The Rise of Towers, Temples and Skyscrapers by Gregor Craigie, illustrated by Kathleen Fu Victoria: Orca Book Publishers, 2022 $29.95  /  9781459821880 Reviewed by Ginny Ratsoy * Was the Tower of Jericho built as a defensive watchtower or a mechanism to help farmers calculate the summer solstice? What are the advantages…
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1736 Weird rules we all follow

Weird Rules to Follow by Kim Spencer Victoria: Orca Book Publishers, 2022 $12.95 / 9781459835580 Reviewed by Cassidy Jean * Growing up is tough. Crushes, hormones, and the expectations that come with going from child to “preteen” are difficult to navigate. Add to that racial tensions, and growing up as an Indigenous girl in the…
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1719 Don’t close your eyes

When Stars Arise by E.G. Alaraj (text) and Martyna Czub (illustrations) Victoria: Orca Book Publishers, 2023 $10.95 / 9781459835665 Reviewed by Cassidy Lea * A sweet story to send little ones to sleep, When Stars Arise is the perfect addition to a bedtime routine. The author, E.G. Alaraj, crafts a poetic account of the close…
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1716 Paired with a wingless horse

The Valkyrie’s Daughter by Tiana Warner Fort Collins, Colorado: Entangled Publishing, 2022. Distributed in Canada by Raincoast Books $14.99 /  9781649373984 Reviewed by Myshara Herbert-McMyn * The Valkyrie’s Daughter is the uplifting story of three underdogs in the Nine Realms. Sigrid is a sixteen-year-old woman who has dreamed her entire life of becoming a Valkyrie….
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1672 A noir novel for teens

Sulfur Heart by Brooke Carter Victoria: Orca Book Publishers, 2022 $10.95 / 9781459831605 Reviewed by Myshara Herbert-McMyn * Sulfur Heart is a wonderfully dark and gritty story with all the elements readers crave in a noir novel: crime, murder, tragedy, whodunnit, revenge. It took me less than ninety minutes to read, and it will no…
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1634 Shades of empire and activism

You Are Here: Selected Stories by Cynthia Flood, with an introduction by Rebecca Rosenblum Windsor, ON: Biblioasis, 2022 $26.95 / 9781771963411 Reviewed by Ginny Ratsoy * Emma Donoghue has observed, “The great thing about a short story is that it doesn’t have to trawl through someone’s whole life; it can come in glancingly from the side.”…
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1630 Riding a complex grief

The Tattoo Widow by Becky Parisotto Victoria: FriesenPress, 2021 $21.99 / 9781039112308 Reviewed by Myshara Herbert-McMyn * The Tattoo Widow by Becky Parisotto captures the beautiful and enrapturing journey of Annalise as she grieves for the loss of her husband, a tattoo artist named Dylan. The nature of Annalise and Dylan’s relationship is shown before…
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1628 Temperature rising

A Brief History of the Earth’s Climate: Everyone’s Guide to the Science of Climate Change by Steven Earle Gabriola Island: New Society Publishers, 2021 $19.99 / 9780865719590 Reviewed by Tom Koppel * “Our sun is anything but constant; it is slowly getting hotter,” writes Steven Earle in A Brief History of the Earth’s Climate. But that has…
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1599 Pilgrimage to the bust of Nelligan

Séjour Saint-Louis by Reed Stirling Airdrie, Alberta: BWL [Books We Love] Publishing, 2021 $22.00  /  9780228617488 Reviewed by Ginny Ratsoy * Cowichan Bay painter and writer Reed Stirling has published three works in as many years, following up a literary mystery and a “fictional memoir” with an atmospheric novel that is heavily and overtly influenced…
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1594 The celebrated camera obscura

Art, Research, Play: The Midnight Sun Camera Obscura Project by Donald Lawrence, Josephine Mills, and Emily Dundas Oke (editors), foreword by W.F. (Will) Garrett-Petts Lethbridge: University of Lethbridge Art Gallery, 2021 $39.95 / 9781927770115 Reviewed by Phyllis Reeve  * “This is a book that arrests attention but won’t stand still.” Thanks to W.F. Garrett-Petts for this assertion…
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1579 Swindles, scandal, affluence

Art for Art’s Sake by Maria Tippett Cambridge, UK: Pegasus Publishers (Vanguard Press), 2022 $16.99   / 9781800164130 Reviewed by Ginny Ratsoy * This nonet of stories is unified, as the title suggests, by a focus on visual art — unsurprising given that Tippett is a renowned art historian. The book’s title is sometimes straight up…
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1573 A pick-me-up romance

The Dating Plan by Sara Desai Toronto: Penguin Random House Canada (Berkley), 2021 $22.00 / 9780593100585 Reviewed by Myshara Herbert-McMyn * A software engineer and her brother’s childhood best friend, Daisy and Liam, have a complex history of attraction and heartbreak. When they run into each other after years spent pursuing their own lives and…
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1567 A Kenyan interlude

What’s in it for Me? by LS Stone Nanoose Bay: Rebel Mountain Press, 2021 $13.95 / 9781999241681 Reviewed by Cassidy Lea * How many teens would like to spend their summer shovelling never-ending piles of elephant manure for free? What, no takers? Not even in a third world country? LS Stone’s main character, fifteen-year-old Nick…
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