Travel

1640 An Okanagan classic

The Okanagan Wine Tour Guide Updated & Expanded by John Schreiner and Luke Whittall Victoria: TouchWood Editions, 2020 (6th edition) $25.00 / 9781771513241 Reviewed by Isabel Nanton * When we last visited Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars on a hot June day in 2021, the owners were protecting from Covid their 17 seasonal workers from…
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1616 Nurse on the front line

A Time of Light and Shadow: To Asia, Africa, and the Long Way Home by Ella Harvey Victoria: Rocky Mountain Books, 2022 $28.00  /  9781771605694 Reviewed by Margot Fedoruk * Come come, whoever you are Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn’t matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. — Rumi Ella Harvey’s life…
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1609 Nuu-chah-nulth high bow canoes

Making a Chaputs: The Teachings and Responsibilities of a Canoe Maker by Joe Martin and Alan Hoover Victoria: Royal British Columbia Museum Press, 2022 $24.95 / 9780772680273 Reviewed by Isabel Nanton * With a Pacific coastline that stretches 25,725 km (15,985 miles), British Columbia has for eons relied on water transport and for centuries First…
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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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1576 South coast cruising

Vancouver, Howe Sound & the Sunshine Coast, Including Princess Louisa Inlet & Jedediah Island. New, Revised Fourth Edition. A Dreamspeaker Cruising Guide No. 3 by Anne Yeadon-Jones and Laurence Yeadon-Jones Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2022 $49.95  /  9781550179859 Reviewed by Kenneth Campbell * To explore British Columbia’s intricate coastal waterways safely and enjoyably by boat…
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1574 From Kelowna to Casablanca

Meet Me in Cairo: Tales of Hitchin’ in the ’60s by Jim Kerr Vancouver: Granville Island Publishing, 2022 $26.95 / 9781989467527 Reviewed by Howard Macdonald Stewart * Jim Kerr’s story of hitch hiking around North America, Europe, North Africa, and the Levant is truly a tale from another age. An era when one could count…
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1558 Animal farms

Animal Traffic: Lively Capital in the Global Exotic Pet Trade by Rosemary-Claire Collard Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press, 2020 $24.95 (U.S.) / 9781478010920 Reviewed by Susan Nance * The traffic in wild and captive-bred exotic animals is estimated to be the world’s fourth largest illegal trade—after drugs, human trafficking, and counterfeit products — in…
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1550 Epic quest, new narrative

An Accidental Odyssey by kc dyer Toronto: Penguin Random House Canada (Berkley), 2021 $22.00 / 9780593102060 Reviewed by Zoe McKenna * Though Homer’s Odyssey is a staple of the literary canon and serves as a foundation for countless interpretations and revisions, kc dyer’s An Accidental Odyssey rejects all the predictability of this territory. Instead, An…
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1535 An English chambermaid

Queasy: a wannabe writer’s bumpy journey through England in the ’70s by Madeline Sonik Vancouver: Anvil Press, 2022 $20.00 / 9781772141894 Reviewed by Theo Dombrowski * “There be dragons,” warn words in the corners of some old maps. The warning is really, of course, an invitation both to the intrepid to investigate remote lands and…
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Notes from a year in Delhi

New Delhi & Lahiri & Strang & Carson by Thomas K. Girard * Ghandi Airport Night was day when I arrived in Delhi, at Ghandi. I packed safely, but quickly found my water bottle missing as I pushed through the crowd and approached a Delhi walla. My eyes adjusted. I tried to get a read…
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1486 Canadian Pacific calling

Canadian Pacific Trackside 1977 to 2012 with Conductor John Cowan by John Cowan Avon-By-The-Sea, New Jersey: Morning Sun Books, 2022 $69.95 (US) / 9781582487854 This book is available from Kelly’s Kaboose, The Railway Store, in Savona, and Central Hobbies in Vancouver —  or order a copy from your local independent bookstore or directly from the…
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1467 Background to Bella Coola

Writing the Empire: The McIlwraiths, 1853-1948 by Eva-Marie Kröller Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2021 $110.00 / 9781487507572 Reviewed by Robert Hogg * In her story of the McIlwraith family, Scottish immigrants to Australia and Canada, Eva-Marie Kröller illuminates the lives of the members of a nineteenth century middle-class family, albeit one with its peculiarities…
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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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