1674 A literary kingdom

Try Not to Be Strange: The Curious History of the Kingdom of Redonda by Michael Hingston Windsor, ON: Biblioasis, 2022 $24.95  /  9781771964159 Reviewed by Michael Hayward * 1100 km beyond Haiti in the western Caribbean, west of the British Virgin Islands and just visible from the tiny island of Monserrat, lies an even smaller, uninhabited…
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1673 Hazel Wilson’s Haida robes

Glory and Exile: Haida History Robes of Jut-ke-Nay Hazel Wilson by Robert Kardosh, Robin Laurence, Kūn Jaad Dana Simeon Vancouver: Figure 1 Publishing, 2022 $50.00 / 9781773271170 Reviewed by Liz Hammond-Kaarremaa * It is always fruitful to go on a journey with a quest and a good book about the destination. The book should tell…
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1672 A noir novel for teens

Sulfur Heart by Brooke Carter Victoria: Orca Book Publishers, 2022 $10.95 / 9781459831605 Reviewed by Myshara Herbert-McMyn * Sulfur Heart is a wonderfully dark and gritty story with all the elements readers crave in a noir novel: crime, murder, tragedy, whodunnit, revenge. It took me less than ninety minutes to read, and it will no…
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1671 The Grass Man Cometh

The Sky and the Patio: An Ecology of Home by Don Gayton Vancouver: New Star Books, 2022 $18.00 / 9781554201945 Reviewed by Harold Rhenisch * Two hundred years ago, the Earth was one-fifth prairie, including much of the Okanagan Valley. Now most of earth’s temperate grasslands are gone. In the Okanagan, there are only tiny…
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1670 An Italian childhood

Mea Culpa: A Plea of Innocence. A Memoir by Bruno Cocorocchio Victoria: FriesenPress, 2022 $24.49 / 9781039137462 Reviewed by Jane Frankish * The title of Bruno Cocorocchio’s memoir, Mea Culpa: A Plea of Innocence, has an immediate and jarring effect. It sets up a seemingly impossible concurrence of two states of being – “I am…
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1669 An essential need

Wired for Music: A Search for Health and Joy Through the Science of Sound by Adriana Barton Vancouver: Greystone Books, 2022 $32.95 / 9781771645546 Reviewed by Derek von Essen * The afternoon Wired for Music arrived in the post was the same day I tested positive for Covid-19. I wasn’t surprised by the result. While…
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1668 Long-distance romance, 1891

Until We Meet Again: Scouting for the CPR’s Crowsnest Line, 1891 by Jan Krijff (translator) and Karen Green (research) Vancouver: Granville Island Publishing, 2023 $24.95  /  9781989467466 Reviewed by Walter Volovsek * I was quite delighted to receive this book to review, as it connects by various tangents to my previous work in constructing walking…
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1667 The mixture we all need

Fortune Knox Once: More Musings from the Edge by Jack Knox Victoria: Heritage House, 2022 $22.95 / 9781772034172 Reviewed by Valerie Green * We all need a little Knox humour in our lives these days and Jack Knox has delivered just that once again in his latest book Fortune Knox Once: More Musings from The…
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1666 A gesture to Fletcher

Of Sunken Islands and Pestilence: Restoring the Voice of Edward Taylor Fletcher to Nineteenth-Century Canadian Literature by James Gifford (editor) Athabasca, Alberta: Athabasca University Press, 2022. $34.99 / 9781771993449 Reviewed by Sheldon Goldfarb * Here’s a forgotten Canadian poet. Edward Taylor Fletcher. Also a surveyor, an immigrant from England, a cholera survivor, and a onetime volunteer…
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1665 Reckoning with Robert Davidson

Echoes of the Supernatural: The Graphic Art of Robert Davidson by Gary Wyatt with Robert Davidson. Foreword by Karen Duffek Vancouver: Figure 1 Publishing, 2022, in collaboration with the Vancouver Art Gallery $60.00 / 9781773271903 Reviewed by Mark Turin * This singularly gorgeous book showcases the extraordinary work of Guud San Glans Robert Davidson, one…
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1664 The seaweed book

The Science and Spirit of Seaweed: Discovering Food, Medicine and Purpose in the Kelp Forests of the Pacific Northwest by Amanda Swinimer Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2022 $28.95 / 9781550179613 Reviewed by Howard Stewart * I feel guilty for having sat so long on Amanda Swinimer’s book about seaweed. Sure, our island has suffered a…
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1663 BC Review 2022 fundraiser

A note from Richard Mackie: Dear Friends, Colleagues, and Readers of The British Columbia Review, In February 2022 we changed our name from The Ormsby Review to The British Columbia Review — we are one and the same, though our registered name under the BC Societies Act continues to be The Ormsby Literary Society. The change…
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1662 Missed opportunities

Her Courage Rises: 50 Trailblazing Women of British Columbia & the Yukon by Haley Healey (text) and Kimiko Fraser (illustrations) Victoria: Heritage House, 2022 $22.95 / 9781772034257 Reviewed by Veronica Strong-Boag * In the last half century, women’s history has been a success story in Canada, as in other lands. Whether judged in terms of…
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1661 Poets for the planet

Worth More Growing: Youth Poets Pay Homage to Trees by Christine Lowther (editor) Qualicum Beach: Caitlin Press, 2022 $22.00 /  9781773860978 Reviewed by Heidi Greco * In the spring of 2022 Caitlin Press released their amazing themed anthology, Worth More Standing: Poets and Activists Pay Homage to Trees. Edited by Christine Lowther, that book was…
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SS Pacific sinking, November 1875, from D.W. Higgins, The Mystic Spring and Other Tales of Western Life (1908). Image courtesy garemaritime.com

1660 SS Pacific found!

SS Pacific found! by Richard Mackie In April 2017 we posted a story by historian Greg Stott about the short life and BC career of George Skippon (ca. 1833-1875), a farmer, labourer, and worker on CPR surveys who was one of about 275 people to perish in the wreck of the American steamer Pacific, outbound…
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1659 Into the hoard of life

We Have Never Lived On Earth by Kasia Van Schaik Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 2022 (Robert Kroetsch Series) $24.99 / 9781772126280 Reviewed by Carol Matthews * In response to a CBC question about the inspiration for her short story “An Ounce of Care,” which was shortlisted for the CBC Short Story Prize in 2017,…
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1658 Wheel out the big guns

Cannon in Canada, Province by Province. Volume 5: British Columbia by Harold Skaarup Fredericton: Global Summit House/ Silverhawk, 2021 $29.99  /  9781956515657 Reviewed by David Morgan * The number and variety of vintage cannon preserved in British Columbia is surprising. Harold Skaarup of Fredericton has documented some 58 in his recent book, Cannon in Canada,…
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1657 Unresolved in Weyburn

Darkness at the Edge of Town by Stan Rogal Montreal: Guernica Editions, 2022 $20.00 / 9781771836975 Reviewed by Bill Paul * Taking place in the town of Weyburn, Saskatchewan, Stan Rogal’s Darkness at the Edge of Town follows the psycho-sexual odyssey of young man in his late twenties, a misfit and hell-raiser named Ray. The…
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1656 On the road with Liz Bryan

Two books reviewed by Ken Favrholdt: Adventure Roads of BC’s Northwest Heartland by Liz Bryan Victoria: Heritage House, 2022 $24.95 / 9781772034035 * Pioneer Churches along the Gold Rush Trail: An Explorer’s Guide by Liz Bryan Victoria: Heritage House, 2022 $24.95 / 9781772034011 * Liz Bryan, photographer and popular writer, has published two books this…
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1655 Assignment on the Pacific

Keepers of the Garden by A.S. (Lana) Rodlie Independently published, 2018 Price on Amazon, $22.93  / 9781730700200 To obtain a copy of the book, contact lana_rodlie@telus.net or write to 367 McAnally Street, Trail, BC V1R 3R3 (phone 250 368-9227) Reviewed by Vanessa Winn * Viewing the past from the perspective of lesser-known historical figures is…
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