#951 New wine in new bottles

Valleys of Wine: A Taste of British Columbia’s Wine History by Luke Whittall Vancouver: Whitecap Books, 2019 $29.95 / 9781770503168 Reviewed by Bill Engleson * I cook with wine. Sometimes I even add it to the food. — W.C Fields What wine goes with Captain Crunch? — George Carlin I like the wine and not…
Read more #951 New wine in new bottles

#950 L.A. Woman, Billy, and Jim

Love her Madly: Jim Morrison, Mary, and Me. A Memoir by Bill Cosgrave Dundurn Press, 2020 $18.99 / 9781459746602 Reviewed by Randolph Eustace-Walden * Christmas 1986. I’m spending the month in Thailand. The island of Phuket hasn’t been gentrified yet. The streets are still dirt, the food and accommodation choices are still varied and cheap,…
Read more #950 L.A. Woman, Billy, and Jim

#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…
Read more #949 Haggis and Scotch pies

#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…
Read more #948 Down and out at Main & 6th

#947 The subtleties of love

The Crooked Thing by Mary MacDonald Halfmoon Bay: Caitlin Press, 2020 $22.95 / 9781773860312 Reviewed by Ginny Ratsoy * The title of Mary MacDonald’s debut short story collection alludes to W.B. Yeats’ “The Young Man’s Song”: “O love is the crooked thing,/ There is nobody wise enough,/ To find out all that is in it.”…
Read more #947 The subtleties of love

#946 Inside the Iranian Revolution

Aria by Nazanine Hozar Toronto: Penguin Random House (Knopf Canada) $24.95 / 9780345811820 Reviewed by Candace Fertile * On March 12, 2020, Hozar’s Aria was one of five books shortlisted for the 2020 Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize of the BC and Yukon Book Prizes — Ed. * Nazanine Hozar’s debut novel tackles the chaos of Iran…
Read more #946 Inside the Iranian Revolution

#945 When horse sense is required

Coming Back by K.L. Denman Victoria: Orca Books, 2019 $9.95 / 9781459822665 Reviewed by Carol Anne Shaw * Coming Back, by K.L. Denman, is part of the Orca Books’ Rapid Reads series. These short novels and non-fiction books are high-interest, quick reads, primarily targeted at readers who struggle with literacy. Denman introduces us to Julie,…
Read more #945 When horse sense is required

#944 Food, flowers, and aspiration

Gather at Home: Over 100 Simple Recipes, DIYs, and Inspiration for a Year of Occasions by Monika Hibbs Toronto: Penguin Random House, 2020 $35.00 / 9780735236288 Reviewed by Jessica Poon * Gather at Home by Monika Hibbs is undeniably picturesque in the most conventional way possible. Hibbs is a lifestyle influencer, a daring career choice…
Read more #944 Food, flowers, and aspiration

#943 Investigating Sherlock Holmes

Sherlockian Musings: Thoughts on the Sherlock Holmes Stories by Sheldon Goldfarb London: MX Publishing, 2019 $16.95 / 9781787054813 Reviewed by Patrick McDonagh * Sheldon Goldfarb’s Sherlockian Musings live up to their title. They are very much musings, open-ended and accessible, and they are quite often amusing as well. The book’s structure is immediately accessible —…
Read more #943 Investigating Sherlock Holmes

#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…
Read more #942 West Coast Organic

#941 Remembering World War Two

Midnight Train to Prague by Carol Windley Toronto: HarperCollins Canada, 2020 $24.99 / 9781443461023 Reviewed by Sherrill Grace * Midnight Train to Prague is a complex narrative set during and immediately after the war with important messages for the present. It is also a compelling historical novel that is well worth reading. Against the background…
Read more #941 Remembering World War Two

#940 Mack the transcontinentalist

Riding the Continent by Hamilton Mack Laing, edited by Trevor Marc Hughes, foreword by Richard Mackie Vancouver: Ronsdale Press, 2019 $19.95 / 9781553805564 Reviewed by Steve Koerner All B&W photos courtesy of H.M. Laing Collection, Comox Archives and Museum Society * The hit 1969 movie Easy Rider featured two hippies, the self-styled “Captain America” and…
Read more #940 Mack the transcontinentalist

#939 The path to regeneration

Seven Sacred Truths by Wanda John-Kehewin Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2018 $18.95 / 9781772012132 Reviewed by Savana Alphonse with Rebecca Fredrickson * Seven Sacred Truths offers an unfettering of writing styles, including prayer, poetry, prose, and letters, that reflect Wanda John-Kehewin’s personal exploration of self through a healing journey. The title relates to what Indigenous people know…
Read more #939 The path to regeneration

#938 A small town with a secret

Songs from a Small Town (In a Minor Key) by Penny Chamberlain Surrey: Now or Never Publishing, 2020 $19.95 / 9781989689097 Reviewed by Zoe McKenna * Like many harmful and insidious things, the strange disease that haunts the girls in Songs From a Small Town (In a Minor Key) begins almost imperceptibly. Based on the…
Read more #938 A small town with a secret

#937 Radishes and Gooseberries

Masters and Servants: The Hudson’s Bay Company and its North American Workforce, 1668-1786 by Scott P. Stephen Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 2019 $44.99 / 9781772123371 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * Radishes and Gooseberries: Meet some of the people who are missing from your high school history textbook… “Radishes and Gooseberries!” Our high school social…
Read more #937 Radishes and Gooseberries