#728 West coast natural history guide

The Flora and Fauna of Coastal British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest by Collin Varner Victoria: Heritage House Publishing, 2018 $39.95 / 9781772030914 Reviewed by Loys Maingon * As many professional biologists involved in communicating the urgency of our environmental crisis are in the habit of pointing out, possibly the best thing that one can…
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#727 Death by a thousand words

Against Death: 35 Essays on Living by Elee Kraljii Gardiner (editor) Vancouver: Anvil Press, 2019 $22.00 / 9781772141276 Reviewed by Sally Campbell * This book intrigued me with its title. What does it mean, “Against Death?” I am not against death, it’s the one event post-birth that all creatures share. Then I got the double…
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#726 Beware the Shakespeare seminar

Jacintha by Lorraine Davies Toronto: Dundurn, 2019 $21.99 /  9781459744554 Reviewed by Moira Laidlaw with Ginny Ratsoy * Lorraine Davies’ Jacintha is a novel of secrets, mistakes, and forgiveness. It tells the story of Richard Wilson, a professor of English Literature at the University of British Columbia. After a traumatic landslide destroys his house and…
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#725 Tenebrous and illuminating

Every Shameless Ray by Leslie Timmins Toronto: Inanna Publications, 2018 $18.95 / 9781771335775 Reviewed by P.W. Bridgman * As can be gathered from its enigmatic title, Vancouver poet Leslie Timmins’ first collection, Every Shameless Ray, is much concerned with matters of darkness, shadows and light. Oftentimes these conceits are introduced metaphorically in her poetry; at…
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#724 Postwar gardening therapy

The Vegetable Museum by Michelle Mulder Victoria: Orca Books, 2019 $10.95 /  9781459816794 Reviewed by George M. Johnson * Michelle Mulder cultivates rich soil (sorry I couldn’t resist that) in her middle-grade novel about 13 year-old Chloë Becher, forced to move from Montreal to Victoria with her Dad when her parents separate. Initially she finds…
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#723 Appraising the Anthropocene

The Anthropocene Disruption by Robert William Sandford Victoria: Rocky Mountain Books, 2019 $20.00 / 9781771603195 Anthropocene by Edward Burtynsky, Jennifer Baichwal, and Nicholas de Pencier; and co-edited by Sophie Hackett, Andrea Kunard, and Urs Stahel Fredericton and Toronto: Goose Lane and Art Gallery of Ontario, 2018 $35.00 / 9781773100975 Changing Tides: An Ecologist’s Journey to Make…
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#722 Becoming Congolese-Canadian

Shut Up You’re Pretty by Téa Mutonji Vancouver: VS. Books, an imprint of Arsenal Pulp Press, 2019 $17.95 / 9781551527550 Reviewed by Jenna Butler * Téa Mutonji’s 2019 short story collection Shut Up You’re Pretty is the first book to be released under Arsenal Pulp Press’s VS. Books, a new imprint publishing work by young…
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#721 Five British Columbia battalions

The Empire on the Western Front: The British 62nd and Canadian 4th Divisions in Battle by Geoffrey Jackson Vancouver: UBC Press, 2019 $34.95 / 9780774860154 Reviewed by James D. Barrett * Geoffrey Jackson’s readable study of the performance of the 62nd Division British Expeditionary Force (BEF) and the 4th Canadian Division (CEF) hits the mark…
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#720 Masks, midgets, and junk culture

The Ventriloquist’s Dummy Tells All: A Politically Incorrect Novel by Ernest Hekkanen Nelson: New Orphic Publishers, 2019 $20 / 9781894842273 Reviewed by Sean Arthur (Art) Joyce The Ventriloquist’s Dummy can be purchased directly from New Orphic Publishers at 706 Mill Street, Nelson, B.C. V1L 4S5. The cost is $25, which includes postage — Ed. *…
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#719 A perpetual real estate fizz

Land of Destiny: A History of Vancouver Real Estate by Jesse Donaldson Vancouver: Anvil Press, 2019 $20.00 / 9781772141443 Reviewed by Patricia A. Roy * Donaldson’s thesis is simple: “The history of Vancouver is the history of real estate” (p. 5). He persuasively argues that Vancouver has had housing crises almost continuously since its founding…
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#718 Bare-knuckle boxing on ice

Major Misconduct: The Human Cost of Fighting in Hockey by Jeremy Allingham, with a foreword by Daniel Carcillo Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2019 $22.95 /  9781551527710 Reviewed by Timothy Lewis * If you’re an ardent supporter of Canada’s recently deposed elder statesman of hockey commentary — Don Cherry — and his championing of fighting in…
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#717 A celebration of friendships

Pensive & beyond by Joanne Arnott Vancouver: Nomados, 2019 $10.00 / 9781927751107 Reviewed by Paul Falardeau * Joanne Arnott’s voice is, figuratively and literally, one of Canadian poetry’s strongest. A captivating and intimate writer since her first book of poetry, Wiles of Girlhood (1991), Arnott is also a consummate performer. Yet her influence on Canadian…
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#716 Your daughter should know

Fatherless: A Memoir by Keith Maillard Morgantown, VA: West Virginia University Press, 2019; distributed in Canada by UBC Press $27.95 Cdn  /  9781949199130 Reviewed by Sheldon Goldfarb * The first half of this book is magical. Not magical like a Disney movie, full of charm and delight. Much darker than that, a story of Jungian…
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#714 A naturalist on the North Pacific

John Scouler (c. 1804-1871) Scottish Naturalist: A Life, with Two Voyages by E. Charles Nelson Glasgow: Glasgow Natural History Society, 2014 £11.00 (U.K.) / 9780956529510 Reviewed by Robert M. Galois * Naturalists’ Networks and the Northwest Coast in the Early Nineteenth Century On 25 July, 1824, John Scouler, a young Scottish naturalist, boarded the Hudson’s…
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