Travel

1460 Trainspotting in the Kootenays

When Trains Ruled the Kootenays: A Short History of Railways in Southeastern British Columbia by Terry Gainer Victoria: Rocky Mountain Books, 2022 $25.00  /  9781771604017 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * Trainspotting in the Kootenays: Did we miss the train as a better way to travel in the 21st century? When I was a kid growing…
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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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1424 Till death do us join

Disappearing in Reverse by Allie McFarland Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 2020 $24.99 / 9781773851433 Reviewed by Zoe McKenna * The unnamed protagonist of Allie McFarland’s debut novel, Disappearing in Reverse, is no stranger to death. In fact, as the novel opens on bustling Saanich Road, on the northern edge of Victoria, she is in…
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1393 Yearning for a house in the hills

Return: Why We Go Back to Where We Come From by Kamal Al-Solaylee Toronto: HarperCollins Canada, 2021 $32.99 / 9781443456159 Reviewed by Theo Dombrowski * Some books take their readers across vast distances; some through sweeps of time. One of the most remarkable effects of Return, by journalist and author Kamal Al-Solaylee, currently Director of the School…
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1392 A one-man freedom convoy

man@the_airport: How Social Media Saved My Life. One Syrian’s Story by Hassan Al Kontar New Westminster: Tidewater Press, 2021 $23.95 / 9781777010188 Reviewed by Daniel Gawthrop * Given the staggering human toll of the civil war in Syria since 2011 — half a million dead, more than six and a half million internally displaced, another…
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1349 The very essence of India

The Unsuitable Bride by Pamela McGarry Gibsons: Well Hall Press, 2021 $20.00  /  9781777513405 Available on Amazon or, for $20 plus postage, by contacting mcgarrypamela@gmail.com Reviewed by Valerie Green * Pamela McGarry’s novel The Unsuitable Bride was not quite what I had expected. It tells the story of Nina Tolhurst, born in Calcutta to English…
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1330 Three decades ago in Asia

Under the Bright Sky: A Memoir of Travels through Asia by Andrew Scott Qualicum Beach: Caitlin Press, 2021 $24.95 / 9781773860619 Reviewed by Howard Macdonald Stewart * Andrew Scott has assembled a highly readable, often fascinating collection of stories about three decades of travel around Asia, from Japan to Turkey. I particularly appreciated his observation…
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1326 Witness to Canadian mining

Testimonio: Canadian Mining in the Aftermath of Genocides in Guatemala by Catherine Nolin and Grahame Russell (editors) Toronto: Between the Lines Press, 2021 $29.95  /  9781771135627 Reviewed by Howard Macdonald Stewart * Catherine Nolin and Grahame Russell both teach in the Geography Department at the University of Northern British Columbia in Prince George; she’s department…
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1301 Goosebumps and unbroken ice

Erebus: One Ship, Two Epic Voyages, and the Greatest Naval Mystery of All Time by Michael Palin Toronto: Penguin Random House Canada (Viking; US edition), 2019 $23.00 / 9780735274297 Reviewed by Walter Volovsek * Editor’s note. A vigilant reader of The Ormsby Review might be startled to see Michael Palin’s Erebus: One Ship, Two Epic…
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1278 Across the continent before GPS

The York Factory Express: Fort Vancouver to Hudson Bay, 1826-1849 by Nancy Marguerite Anderson Vancouver: Ronsdale Books, 2021 $24.95 /  9781553805786 Reviewed by Walter Volovsek * The York Factory Express was an enterprise for transporting Hudson’s Bay Company records, correspondence, and external mail along a water-based route that spanned the continent. This aquatic highway linked…
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1276 In any other country

Landings: Poems from Iceland by Harold Rhenisch Regina: Burton House, 2021 $20.00 / 9780994866967 Reviewed by Luanne Armstrong * I love Harold Rhenisch’s writing. I think it deserves far more attention than it gets. Harold and I have a connection, in a sense, because we both write from and about our beloved places in the…
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1244 Golden City to Tobacco Plains

ORMSBY REVIEW PRESS: Frederick Paget Norbury, Chapter Three: Letters, 1887 by Brenda Callaghan  * Editor’s note: we are pleased to present Chapter 3 of Brenda Callaghan’s hitherto unpublished biography, Frederick Paget Norbury, Remittance Man or Gentleman Immigrant? The Story of an Englishman in Canada. Earlier in 2021 we published  the Introduction,  Chapter 1, and Chapter 2….
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1241 Ramblers and tatterdemalions

Rough Road to the North: A Vagabond on the Great Northern Highway by Jim Christy Port Townsend, WA: Feral House, 2019 (first published in Toronto by Doubleday, 1980) $17.95 (U.S.) / 9781627310826 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * There are strange things done in the midnight sun By the men who moil for gold Robert Service…
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1218 Chennai, a place in between

MEMOIR: Chennai, a place in between by Jane Frankish * It was the last week of October 2002 and we were homeless, jobless, and rootless. This is just the way it was when we entered Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu in Southern India. Our home for the previous eight years had been Kuching, the…
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