#82 Jane’s ruling aphorisms

A Queer Love Story: The Letters of Jane Rule and Rick Bebout by Marilyn R. Schuster (editor) Vancouver: UBC Press, 2017 $50  /  9780774835435 Reviewed by Alan Twigg First published Feb. 7, 2017 * “I hope I’m remembered for being lusty, feisty and full of life.” — Jane Rule People who knew Jane Rule are…
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#81 Portraits of Fenwick Lansdowne

J. Fenwick Lansdowne by Tristram Lansdowne (editor) Portland, OR: Pomegranate Communications, 2014 US $65.00 / 9780764966705 Reviewed by Briony Penn First published Feb. 7, 2017 * A fixture of Victoria’s artistic, cultural, and natural communities for five decades, James Fenwick Lansdowne (1937-2008) is now the subject of a book edited by his son Tristram, featuring…
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#80 The photography of Wade Davis

Wade Davis: Photographs by Wade Davis Madeira Park: Douglas & McIntyre, 2016 $14.99  /  9781771621243 Reviewed by David Mattison First published Feb. 4, 2017 * To say that Wade Davis has had an extraordinary, brilliant, and in the end very lucky career would be a great understatement. Originally from West Vancouver, he returned to his…
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#79 Emptying the grasslands

Crossing Home Ground: A Grassland Odyssey through Southern Interior British Columbia by David Pitt-Brooke Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2016 $32.95  /  9781550177749 First published Jan. 25, 2017 * David Pitt-Brooke — naturalist, veterinarian, and writer — walked a thousand kilometres through the grasslands of the southern interior of British Columbia, from the American border to…
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#78 Godiva, Zulu, and Nanaimo bars

Hard Knox: Musings from the Edge of Canada by Jack Knox, foreword by Ian Ferguson Victoria: Heritage House, 2016 $19.95  /  9781772031508 Reviewed by Bill Engleson First published Jan. 25th, 2017 * I cracked open Jack Knox’s Hard Knox: Musings from the Edge of Canada on the coldest day of 2016 on Denman Island, alarmed…
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#77 Rubber chicken & pot shops

Surviving City Hall by Donna Macdonald Gibsons: Nightwood Editions, 2016 $22.95  /  9780889713208 Reviewed by Ginny Ratsoy First published in Jan. 22, 2017 * In 2010, the small city of Nelson, B.C., attracted the attention of The Guardian for weathering the most recent economic downturn — a feat the esteemed newspaper attributed partly to dollars…
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#76 Trump’s wall foretold

The Mercy Journals by Claudia Casper Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2017 $17.99  /  9781551526331 Reviewed by Joan Givner First published Jan. 20, 2017 * Claudia Casper’s new novel adds to a growing body of work designated as “cli-fi,” a genre distinct from sci-fi and fantasy, because the horrors described are not futuristic fantasies but predictions of…
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#75 Nechako before the flood

Ootsa Lake Odyssey: George and Else Seel — A Pioneer Life on the Headwaters of the Nechako Watershed by Jay Sherwood Halfmoon Bay: Caitlin Press, 2016 $24.95 /  9781987915211 Reviewed by Sage Birchwater First published Jan. 18, 2017 * Ootsa Lake Odyssey follows the lives of George and Else Seel, who worked in the Nechako…
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#74 Street views before Google

Glorious Victorian Homes: 150 Years of Architectural History in British Columbia’s Capital by Nick Russell Victoria: TouchWood Editions, 2016 $29.95 /  9781771511865 Reviewed by Larry McCann First published Jan. 16, 2017 * Glorious Victorian Homes is vintage Nick Russell, written with verve, wit, and deep insights about Victoria’s architectural heritage. Well-known and highly regarded for…
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#73 North West Company on the Pacific

The Fur Trade Gamble: North West Company on the Pacific Slope, 1800-1820 by Lloyd Keith and John C. Jackson Pullman, WA: Washington State University Press, 2016 US $27.95 / 9780874223408 Reviewed by Jamie Morton First published Jan. 15, 2017 * Although often addressed over the last two centuries, the story of the early expansion of…
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#72 Squamish matriarch and firebrand

The Amazing Mazie Baker: the Squamish Nation’s Warrior Elder by Kay Johnston Halfmoon Bay: Caitlin Press, 2016 $24.95 / 9781987915068 Reviewed by Dorothy Kennedy First published Jan. 14, 2017 * In The Amazing Mazie Baker, Kay Johnston exposes the life and work of Mazie Baker (born 1931), the Squamish gadfly and firebrand who exposed irregularities…
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#71 Around the world with Jon Turk

Crocodiles and Ice by Jon Turk Fernie: Oolichan Books, 2016 $23.95  / 9780889823235 Reviewed by Jeremy Twigg First published Jan. 12, 2017 * If you’ve ever wondered how to survive a crocodile attack, Jon Turk’s Crocodiles and Ice (Oolichan $23.95) is for you. As described in the recounting of his solo kayak trip in the Solomon…
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#70 Getting tipsy in Victoria

Aqua Vitae: A History of the Saloons and Hotel Bars of Victoria, 1851-1917 Glen A. Mofford Victoria: TouchWood Editions, 2016 $19.95  /  9781771511896 Reviewed by Martin Segger First published Jan. 10, 2017 * For a community that has been known to present its history as a Edenesque garden-city on the fringes of the British Empire,…
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#69 BC forestry politics and policy

The Sustainability Dilemma: Essays on British Columbia Forest and Environmental History by Robert Griffin and Richard A. Rajala Victoria: Royal British Columbia Museum, 2016 $34.95  /  9780772669742 Reviewed by Graeme Wynn First published Dec. 28, 2016 * In The Sustainability Dilemma, Robert Griffin and Richard Rajala explore contested issues, policies, and campaigns concerning the management…
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#68 Won Alexander Cumyow

ESSAY: Canadian First:  The Life of Won Alexander Cumyow (1861-1955) by Janet Mary Nicol First published Dec. 28, 2016 * Canada’s west coast accommodated “two solitudes”—people of the dominant English-speaking community and those of Asian heritage.  One man who tried to bridge these separate, often hostile worlds was Vancouver pioneer, Won Alexander Cumyow.  He was…
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