Vancouver

1206 Interview with Dustin Cole

INTERVIEW: Dustin Cole with The British Columbia Review. We caught up with Dustin Cole at his brother’s house in Slave Lake, Alberta, to learn the circumstances and inspiration for Notice (Nightwood Editions, 2020), the story of Dylan Levett, a dishwasher from Alberta caught in the gears of renoviction from his apartment on Main Street. “It’s summer 2017…
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1194 Return of The Fire-Dwellers

The Fire-Dwellers by Margaret Laurence Toronto: Penguin Random House (Penguin Modern Classics, Emblem Editions), 2017 $19.95 / 9780735252837 First published by McClelland & Stewart, 1969 Reviewed by Harper Campbell * To read Margaret Laurence’s The Fire-Dwellers (1969) is to see a very different Vancouver from the one that exists today. Well, “see” isn’t really the right…
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1190 Resilient Vancouver Chinatown

Chinatown Stories, Volume 3 by Brooke Xiang and Tyler Mark (editors) Vancouver: Chinatown Today, 2020 $25.00 / 25611607 (ISSN) Note: a digital version of this book can be seen here; hard copies may be purchased at  Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden and at About Boutique Reviewed by LiLynn Wan * In this third volume of…
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1188 Facing the fentanyl crisis

The Age of Fentanyl: Ending the Opioid Epidemic by Brodie Ramin Toronto: Dundurn Press, 2020 $22.99 / 9781459746701 Reviewed by Jeffrey Stychin * This book is not for the faint of heart, despite its clinical examination of the devastating world of opiate addiction. Brodie Ramin’s heartfelt compassion extends through every chapter. The Age of Fentanyl…
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1181 Getting & spending in Lotusland

A Brief View from the Coastal Suite by Karen Hofmann Edmonton: NeWest Press, 2021 $21.95 / 9781774390177 Reviewed by Theo Dombrowski * If, come the apocalypse, some powers wanted to recreate the style and design of white, urban life in Canada in general and Vancouver in particular, they would find material aplenty in Karen Hofmann’s…
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1160 Canadian arctic guardians

Sisters of the Ice: The True Story of How St. Roch and North Star of Herschel Island Protected Canadian Arctic Sovereignty by R. Bruce Macdonald Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2021 $19.95 / 9781550179286 Reviewed by Hector Williams * Nearly six decades ago I worked in Canada’s North with various government agencies like the CBC Northern…
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1154 The elusive shape of life

All That Monk Business by Barry Kennedy Surrey: Now Or Never Publishing, 2021 $19.95 / 9781989689202 Reviewed by Theo Dombrowski * A novel can’t be everything to everyone, but some novels can be many things to many people. All That Monk Business, by actor, comedian, and writer Barry Kennedy, is one of these. It’s not…
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1152 A career in postwar medicine

Improbable Journeys: From Crossing the Himalayas on Horseback to a Career in Obstetrics and Gynaecology by Dr. Bernard A.O. Binns and Ron Smith Oakville, ON: Rock’s Mills Press, 2020 $29.95 / 9781772441932 Reviewed by John Kenwright * Editor’s note: Occasionally we run two reviews of the same book at The British Columbia Review. May Q….
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1146 Mission to Quetzaltenango

Leading at the Edge: True Tales From Canadian Police in Peacebuilding and Peacekeeping Missions Around the World by Ben J.S. Maure Vancouver: Ben Maure, 2020 $29.95 / 9780995034303 Reviewed by May Q. Wong * The Canadian military has, since 1954, participated in missions that support peace and stability around the world. In fact, it has…
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1136 Dollar 49 day, Woodward’s

Food Floor: My Woodward’s Days by Margaret Cadwaladr Langley: Madrona Books & Publishing, 2020 $15.95 / 9871999546519 Reviewed by Mary Gale Smith * Margaret Cadwaladr has created a little book of stories that will be of interest to anyone who worked at Woodward’s or in a grocery store, or who buys groceries. It is a…
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1132 Vancouver for professionals

Vancouver for Beginners by Alex Leslie Toronto: Book*hug Press, 2019 $18.00 / 9781771665346 Reviewed by Jessica Poon * It’s easier to think of Vancouver as paradise when you don’t live there. I spoke to a Californian today on the phone who positively rhapsodized about Vancouver being a world-class city. “I’ve visited nineteen times,” he said,…
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1128 Stanley Park reflections

ESSAY: Stanley Park: The Mirror and the Mask by Jordan Johnston * Stanley Park is a mirror that reflects the desires of those who look in it. On a map, this bright green peninsula stands apart from the city centre, as if held at arm’s length. Vancouver, like any other city, has poverty, and crime,…
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1101 Through Vancouver by scooter

Beep Beep Bubbie by Bonnie Sherr Klein (text) and Élisabeth Eudes-Pascal (illustrations) Vancouver: Tradewind Books, 2020 $19.95 / 9781926890234 Reviewed by Elizabeth Bassett Editor’s note: The West Coast Book Prize Society announced on April 8, 2021, that Beep Beep Bubbie by Bonnie Sherr Klein (text) and Élisabeth Eudes-Pascal (Tradewind Books) has been shortlisted for the Christie…
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1096 A master of urban politics

Outside In: A Political Memoir by Libby Davies Toronto: Between The Lines, 2019 $26.95 / 9781771134453 Reviewed by Alex Netherton * Libby Davies’ Outside In is an extraordinary political memoir that chronicles and reflects upon her life and political career first as an urban activist and then eventually as the Deputy Leader of the NDP…
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1093 The militant mothers of Raymur

ESSAY: The Militant Mothers: Civil Disobedience in Raymur Housing Project by Meg Stainsby * The 1971 actions of the “Militant Mothers of Raymur” was one of the first direct action campaigns in Vancouver history. The successful, swift campaign ran from early January through late March. It has been documented and celebrated in newspaper and radio…
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1091 In praise of city neighbourhoods

Battleground Grandview: An Activist’s Memoir of the Grandview Community Plan, 2011-2016 by Jak King Vancouver, The Drive Press, 2020 $25.00 / 9780986778209 Reviewed by Jennifer Chutter * Planning for housing in Vancouver is a contentious issue due to conflicting ideas of where increased density should take place, what styles of housing are needed, and who…
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1081 A pre-pandemic Lonely Planet

Lonely Planet Vancouver and Victoria (8th edition) by John Lee & Brendan Sainsbury London: Carlton, 2020 $21.99 (US) / 9781787013612 Reviewed by Lauren Harding * Every time I open the familiar blue cover of a Lonely Planet book, I feel a wave of warm nostalgia. I came of age at the time nearly twenty years…
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1066 The Sonics at the Grooveyard

MEMOIR: The Sonics at The Grooveyard: My Loud Baptism of Fire by Grahame Ware * On reviewing Aaron Chapman’s Vancouver After Dark (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2019), I was flooded with memories of my youth and the venues where I first learned the power and pull of nightclubs. My realization of this, my baptism of fire moment,…
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