1632 Expecting full envelopes

Dear Peter, Dear Ulla by Barbara Nickel Saskatoon: Thistledown Press, 2021 $16.95 / 9781771872232 Reviewed by Alison Acheson * Barbara Nickel’s Dear Peter, Dear Ulla is a gift. While written for tweens to young teens, many adult readers would enjoy it too. The full cast of characters of all ages are well-developed for their roles,…
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1631 Small mammal wisdom

The Little Brudders of Miséricorde by David M. Wallace New Westminster: Tidewater Press, 2022 $21.95 / 9781990160080 Reviewed by Zoe McKenna * In the final months of 2022, the initial COVID-19 lockdowns of 2020 have transitioned from reality into memory. While that era of the pandemic fades away, what remains is the widespread experience of…
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1630 Riding a complex grief

The Tattoo Widow by Becky Parisotto Victoria: FriesenPress, 2021 $21.99 / 9781039112308 Reviewed by Myshara Herbert-McMyn * The Tattoo Widow by Becky Parisotto captures the beautiful and enrapturing journey of Annalise as she grieves for the loss of her husband, a tattoo artist named Dylan. The nature of Annalise and Dylan’s relationship is shown before…
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1629 Return to Victory Gardens

Mobilize Food! Wartime Inspiration for Environmental Victory Today by Eleanor Boyle, with a foreword by Tim Lang Victoria: FriesenPress, 2022 $19.99  /  9781039123663 Reviewed by Mary Gale Smith * Almost daily, news headlines – heat waves, drought, hurricanes, land slides, floods, fires, and so on – remind us that climate change is real. The pandemic…
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1628 Temperature rising

A Brief History of the Earth’s Climate: Everyone’s Guide to the Science of Climate Change by Steven Earle Gabriola Island: New Society Publishers, 2021 $19.99 / 9780865719590 Reviewed by Tom Koppel * “Our sun is anything but constant; it is slowly getting hotter,” writes Steven Earle in A Brief History of the Earth’s Climate. But that has…
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1627 Enterprise on Malcolm Island

We Work Together for the Benefit of All: The Story of Malcolm Island’s Socialist Collective, 1901-1905, A Translation of Matti Halminen’s Sointula by Matti Halminen, edited by Heather Graham and Merja Tammi Sointula: Sointula Museum and Historical Society, 2021 $35.00 /  9780994926913 Please note: this book can be obtained from Sointula Museum by visiting in…
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1626 The justice imagination

Heart Work by Susan McCaslin Victoria: Ekstasis Editions, 2021 $24.95 / 9781771714020 Reviewed by gillian harding-russell * In Heart Work, Susan McCaslin embraces a way of seeing that centres on the heart, both as an image and an idea, and as it shapes consciousness. Just as the cover artist, Betty Spackman, divides her art installation…
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1625 Fraser River waterways

The Call of the Red-Winged Blackbird: Essays on the Common and Extraordinary by Tim Bowling Hamilton, ON: Wolsak & Wynn, 2022 $22.00 / 9781989496428 Reviewed by Valerie Green * It is always a delightful surprise to discover a book you would not normally read, only to find it extremely enjoyable. Such was the case for…
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1624 Schools of thought

Lessons in Legitimacy: Colonialism, Capitalism, and the Rise of State Schooling in British Columbia by Sean Carleton Vancouver: UBC Press, 2022 $89.95   / 9780774868075 Reviewed by Patrick A. Dunae * With its sardonic title, Lessons in Legitimacy exemplifies an activist genre of history that has emerged in Canada following the revelations and recommendations of the…
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1622 Out of memory’s  pocket

Here at the Crux by Leanne Boschman New Westminster: Silver Bow Publishing, 2022 $23.95 / 9781774032312 Reviewed by Christopher Levenson * Though only her second book of poetry, Boschman’s work is by now well known, especially in BC, and deservedly so. The persona that emerges from these poems is an attractive one, low-key, and without…
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1621 Noise, heat, smoke, & smell

Out of the Fire: Metalworkers along the Salish Sea by Pirjo Raits. Photographs by Dale Roth and Michele Ramberg Victoria: Heritage House, 2022 $39.95 / 9781772033434 Reviewed by Theo Dombrowski * The cover image of a book entitled Out of the Fire might be expected to be aflame with oranges and red. Not this one: even…
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1620 Enter Sloan Donovan

To Those Who Killed Me by J.T. Siemens Edmonton: NeWest Press, 2022 $21.95 / 9781774390436 Reviewed by Candace Fertile * Out for a run in West Vancouver, Sloan Donovan finds her friend Geri dead in her Audi convertible, an apparent suicide. That’s page one, and the running never stops as Sloane tries to discover the…
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1619 The thing about snow

You Might Be Sorry You Read This by Michelle Poirier Brown Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 2022 $19.99 / 9781772126037 Reviewed by Mary Ann Moore * In many cases, the titles for books of poetry come from the poems themselves, whether a title of one or a line from within one. In Michelle Poirier Brown’s…
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1618 Goaltender, heal thyself

The Save of My Life: My Journey Out of the Dark by Corey Hirsch, with Sean Patrick Conboy Toronto: HarperCollins Canada, 2022 $32.99 / 9781443461092 Reviewed by Daniel Gawthrop * It must be hard to write a good topical hockey book these days. The goalposts, as it were, keep shifting on the zeitgeist as Canada’s…
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Jo-Anne Fiske

1617 Love in vile places

Love in Vile Places: Military Hospitals as the Site of Care and Nurture by Jo-Anne Fiske * For Remembrance Day 2022 we present a memoir by Jo-Anne Fiske of Fraser Lake, in BC’s north-central interior, of her father Humphrey William Fiske (1886-1959). At the time of his enlistment in Kelowna in 1916, the Norfolk-born Fiske…
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1616 Nurse on the front line

A Time of Light and Shadow: To Asia, Africa, and the Long Way Home by Ella Harvey Victoria: Rocky Mountain Books, 2022 $28.00  /  9781771605694 Reviewed by Margot Fedoruk * Come come, whoever you are Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn’t matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. — Rumi Ella Harvey’s life…
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1615 Laying down a trickster beat

Bent Back Tongue by Garry Gottfriedson Qualicum Beach: Caitlin Press, 2022 20.00  /  9781773860961 Reviewed by Harold Rhenisch * Garry Gottfriedson is a Secwépemc rancher and teacher. He got started in poetry by performing at pow-wows many decades ago. In Bent Back Tongue, he moves in a space that is anger and love joined in…
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1614 The hand reaches out

Art of the Northwest Coast: Second Edition by Aldona Jonaitis Madeira Park: Douglas & McIntyre, 2021 (first published by Douglas & McIntyre, 2006). Also published by University of Washington Press, 2021 $38.95 / 9781771623063 Reviewed by Liz Hammond-Kaarremaa * We entered the digital age 30 years ago this year when the Internet became a public…
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1613 A forest with a mission

The Tree Farm: The Evolution of Canada’s First Community Forest by Michelle Rhodes Vancouver: Page Two Books, 2021 $35.00 / 9781989025680 Reviewed by David Brownstein * Michelle Rhodes’s The Tree Farm celebrates what was once an anomaly. Whereas local community-directed forest management used to be rare in British Columbia, with each passing day, this model…
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