Vancouver

1058 Cheesecake and Castro’s confidant

In Search of a Happy Ending by Rosa Jordan Martinsville, VA: Propertius Press, 2020 $18.95 (U.S.) / 9781716707919 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * Cheesecake and Castro’s Confidant: Rossland novelist offers musings on relationships, the environment, and social justice issues “People love happy endings,” says a character in Rosa Jordan’s third novel. But “they will gladly…
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1051 The enigmatic Joachim Foikis

Fool’s Gold: The Life and Legacy of Vancouver’s Official Town Fool by Jesse Donaldson Vancouver: Anvil Press, 2020 $18.00 / 9781772141467 Reviewed by Sheldon Goldfarb * In the spring of 1967, if you went to the courthouse in downtown Vancouver between 2 and 3 p.m., you might have encountered a strange sight: a thirty-something man…
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1047 Vignettes from the front line

A Paramedic’s Tales: Hilarious, Horrible and Heartwarming True Stories by Graeme Taylor Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2020 $24.95 / 9781550179026 Reviewed by May Q Wong * I can almost hear him say “Have I told you about the time…?” These are the kind of adventure stories one might hear around a campfire, a family dinner…
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1043 In the mood for purple

The Plant-based Foodie Vancouver by Brad Hill and Chris Dagenais; foreword by Erin Ireland and Anna Pippus Vancouver: Brad Hill Imaging Ltd., 2018. Available here, here, and here $28.95  /  9780994919540 Reviewed by Jessica Poon * There are two kinds of recipes: aspirational and accessible; they are not mutually exclusive, although they can be. The…
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1039 Outward from Musqueam

People Among the People: The Public Art of Susan Point by Robert D. Watt Vancouver: Vancouver: Figure 1 Publishing in collaboration with UBC Museum of Anthropology, 2019 $50.00 / 9781773270425 * Susan Point: Spindle Whorl by Grant Arnold and Ian Thom (editors), with a foreword by Kathleen Bartels Vancouver: Vancouver Art Gallery and London: Black Dog Press,…
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1019 Prisoners of hope & memory

Two books reviewed by Sheldon Goldfarb: The Girl Who Stole Everything: A Novel by Norman Ravvin Montreal: Linda Leith Éditions, 2019 $21.95 / 9781773900278 * Prisoners of Hope: Rising from the Ashes of the Holocaust: An Eyewitness Account of Life in the Auschwitz Extermination Camp and Two Slave Labour Camps (1944-1945) by George L. Pal…
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#985 Open scenery, hidden history

Vancouver Exposed: Searching for the City’s Hidden History by Eve Lazarus Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2020 $32.95 / 9781551528298 Reviewed by Jessica Poon * As a lifelong Vancouverite, arguably the Canadian equivalent of a native New Yorker, I’m habituated to the abundant charms of Vancouver, which doubtless prevents me from noticing a veritable panoply of…
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#949 Haggis and Scotch pies

The Larder of the Wise: The Story of Vancouver’s James Inglis Reid Limited by M. Anne Wyness, with a foreword by Michael Kluckner Vancouver: Figure 1 Publishing, 2019 $32.99 / 9781773271187 Reviewed by Mary Leah de Zwart * In The Larder of the Wise: The Story of James Inglis Reid Limited, M. Anne Wyness promises…
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#948 Down and out at Main & 6th

Notice by Dustin Cole Gibsons: Nightwood Editions, 2020 $21.95  /  9780889713840 Reviewed by Brett Josef Grubisic * Early in Dustin Cole’s audacious and emphatically atmospheric debut novel, Levett, Cole’s furious flaneur of an anti-hero, catches a glimpse of himself: he takes in his pouched eyes and frazzled hair. Minor indignities, they’re practically the least of…
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#942 West Coast Organic

House Shumiatcher by Leslie Van Duzer, photography by Michael Perlmutter Novato, California: ORO Editions, and Vancouver: UBC School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture [SALA] / West Coast Modern House Series, 2014 $24.94 (U.S.) / 9781941806616 * Friedman House by Richard Cavell, photography by Michael Perlmutter Novato, California: ORO Editions, and Vancouver: UBC School of Architecture…
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#933 Stanley Park trees

Legacy of Trees: Purposeful Wandering in Vancouver’s Stanley Park by Nina Shoroplova Victoria: Heritage House, 2020 $29.95 / 9781772033038 Reviewed by David Tracey * Consider the following thought experiment: the first alien space crew has just landed on Earth (mark your 2020 bingo card). They must quickly discover what our planet is all about. So…
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#932 Ableman’s urban agriculture

Farm the City: A Toolkit for Setting up a Successful Urban Farm by Michael Ableman Gabriola: New Society, 2020 $19.95 / 9780865719392 Reviewed by Rose Morrison * While Michael Ableman’s Farm the City: A Toolkit for Setting up a Successful Urban Farm is written as a primer for those wishing to start an in-town farm,…
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#926 Crisis on the front line

The Last High by Daniel Kalla Toronto: Simon & Schuster Canada, 2020 $22.00 / 9781501196980 Reviewed by Benjamin Matthews * Daniel Kalla’s The Last High begins with a murder, or rather a bunch of murders. We get a firsthand view of the murders through the eyes of Alexa, a 16-year-old girl who watches in bliss…
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#917 McIntyre’s West Coast Modern

McIntyre House by Sherry McKay, with a preface by Douglas Coupland and photography by Michael Perlmutter Novato, California: ORO Editions, 2020, and Vancouver: UBC School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture [SALA] / West Coast Modern House Series $24.95 (US) / 9781943532940 Reviewed by Martin Segger * As Leslie Van Duzer — series editor of UBC…
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#915 Shutting down parliament, 1970

The Abortion Caravan by Karin Wells Toronto: Second Story Press, 2020 $24.95 / 9781772601251 Reviewed by Donalda Reid * Karin Wells has written an engaging book, The Abortion Caravan, about the 1970 national women’s march on Parliament aimed at forcing changes to Canada’s abortion laws. Her book takes us back fifty years into a period…
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#909 Twilight of the club scene

Vancouver After Dark: The Wild History of a City’s Nightlife by Aaron Chapman Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2019 $32.95 / 9781551527833 Reviewed by Grahame Ware * On March 12, 2020, Aaron Chapman’s Vancouver After Dark was one of five books shortlisted for the 2020 Bill Duthie Booksellers’ Choice Award of the BC and Yukon Book…
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