1604 Plain talk at Tyee Lagoon

The Liquor Vicar: (The Mildly Catastrophic Misadventures of Tony Vicar, Book 1) by Vince R. Ditrich Toronto: Dundurn Press, 2021 $18.99 / 9781459747258 Reviewed by Theo Dombrowski * Vince R. Ditrich’s Liquor Vicar is a great big shambling bear hug and sloppy, bearded kiss of a novel. It is a novel jam-packed with irascible and…
Read more 1604 Plain talk at Tyee Lagoon

1603 Writing to shape one’s future

Standing in a River of Time by Jónína Kirton Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2022 $19.95 / 9781772013795 Reviewed by Cathy Ford * If, when you begin reading, and then rereading, a book by this author, soon after the second anniversary of National Truth and Reconciliation Day in Canada, perhaps you should know already your life will change….
Read more 1603 Writing to shape one’s future

1602 Tabouli, hummus, couscous

Arab Fairy Tale Feasts: A Literary Cookbook Tales by Karim Alrawi, illustrations by Nahid Kazemi, recipes by Sobhi al-Zobaidi and Tamam Qanembou-Zobaidi, and Karim Alrawi; art direction by Carol Frank, book design by Elisa Gutiérrez Vancouver and London: Tradewind Books, 2021 $29.95 / 9781926890272 Reviewed by Harvey De Roo. Recipes tested by Harvey De Roo…
Read more 1602 Tabouli, hummus, couscous

1601 Timely monstrosities

Queer Little Nightmares: An Anthology of Monstrous Fiction and Poetry by David Ly and Daniel Zomparelli (editors) Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2022 $21.95 /  9781551529011 Reviewed by Zoe McKenna * Everybody is afraid of something. David Ly and Daniel Zomparelli’s Queer Little Nightmares: An Antholgy of Monstrous Fiction and Poetry offers a chilling seasonal collection…
Read more 1601 Timely monstrosities

1600 Parents, lock the door

Don’t Call It A Cult: The Shocking Story of Keith Raniere and the Women of NXIVM by Sarah Berman Toronto: Penguin Random House Canada (Viking), 2021 $24.95  /  9780735237896 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * Be Afraid for Your Daughters: Parents lock the door, if you can, on predators bearing false promise of enlightenment What do…
Read more 1600 Parents, lock the door

1599 Pilgrimage to the bust of Nelligan

Séjour Saint-Louis by Reed Stirling Airdrie, Alberta: BWL [Books We Love] Publishing, 2021 $22.00  /  9780228617488 Reviewed by Ginny Ratsoy * Cowichan Bay painter and writer Reed Stirling has published three works in as many years, following up a literary mystery and a “fictional memoir” with an atmospheric novel that is heavily and overtly influenced…
Read more 1599 Pilgrimage to the bust of Nelligan

1598 All together now

Namwayut: We Are All One. A Pathway to Reconciliation by Chief Robert Joseph Vancouver: Page Two Books, 2022 $29.95  /  9781774580059 Reviewed by Linda Rogers * At last, the building, its outline terrorizing The Bay or Yalis, the community framed by open legs, both sides of the water which feeds the people, has come down….
Read more 1598 All together now

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…
Read more 1597 Get lost, young man

1596 A many-coloured coat

Two Pieces of Cloth: One Family’s Story of the Holocaust by Joe Gold Vancouver: Page Two Books, 2021 $21.95 / 9781989603826 Reviewed by Peter Hay * The vast literature of the Holocaust occupies various and distinct chambers in our latter-day imagination. First there are the historical documents which recorded or later reconstructed the names and…
Read more 1596 A many-coloured coat

1595 Beware of Ketopram

The Darkness in the Light by Daniel Kalla Toronto: Simon & Schuster Canada, 2022 $24.99 / 9781982191399 Reviewed by Valerie Green * If you enjoy gripping, psychological thrillers, Daniel Kalla’s book The Darkness in The Light will hold your attention to the very end. The story takes place in Anchorage, Alaska, and in the remote…
Read more 1595 Beware of Ketopram

1594 The celebrated camera obscura

Art, Research, Play: The Midnight Sun Camera Obscura Project by Donald Lawrence, Josephine Mills, and Emily Dundas Oke (editors), foreword by W.F. (Will) Garrett-Petts Lethbridge: University of Lethbridge Art Gallery, 2021 $39.95 / 9781927770115 Reviewed by Phyllis Reeve  * “This is a book that arrests attention but won’t stand still.” Thanks to W.F. Garrett-Petts for this assertion…
Read more 1594 The celebrated camera obscura

1593 Practice makes pretext

Subject to Change: Writings and Interviews by Liz Magor, with an introduction by Phillip Monk Montreal: Concordia University Press, 2022 $59.95 / 9781988111339 Reviewed by Michael Turner * As a writer of art criticism I have come to appreciate the writings of visual artists. Not just those who use text in their work, but who…
Read more 1593 Practice makes pretext

1592 Five novellas

The Scent of Light by Kristjana Gunnars Toronto: Coach House Books, 2022 $25.95  /  9781552454381 Reviewed by Carol Matthews * In his introduction to The Scent of Light, Kazim Ali describes the five novellas that make up Kristjana Gunnars’ s collection as “transgeneric books comprised of a dynamic blend of fiction, autobiography, literary theory and…
Read more 1592 Five novellas

1591 Short poems, deep pauses

Small Talk by Christopher Levenson New Westminster: Silver Bow Publishing, 2022 $23.95  /  9781774032152 Reviewed by Al Rempel * Christopher Levenson’s latest book, Small Talk, is a collection of short poems that is poignant, insightful, or humorous, and filled with observations that resonate with lived experience. Levenson has decided to showcase his small poems —…
Read more 1591 Short poems, deep pauses

1590 The art of looking

Hesitating Once to Feel Glory by Maleea Acker Gibsons: Nightwood Editions, 2022 $19.95 / 9780889714144 Reviewed by Theresa Kishkan * This is how the title poem in Maleea Acker’s new poetry collection, Hesitating Once To Feel Glory, begins: Sometimes I think we can see the world before it began, and that’s what makes us so…
Read more 1590 The art of looking