1189 The special in the ordinary

Strangers by Rob Taylor Windsor, ON: Biblioasis, 2021 $19.95 / 9781771964197 Reviewed by Christopher Levenson  * Decades ago I came across the statement that “a poet is someone to whom significant things happen.” At the time this seemed to me the height of neo-Romantic pretension, elevating poets as sensitive souls set apart from the rest…
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1188 Facing the fentanyl crisis

The Age of Fentanyl: Ending the Opioid Epidemic by Brodie Ramin Toronto: Dundurn Press, 2020 $22.99 / 9781459746701 Reviewed by Jeffrey Stychin * This book is not for the faint of heart, despite its clinical examination of the devastating world of opiate addiction. Brodie Ramin’s heartfelt compassion extends through every chapter. The Age of Fentanyl…
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1187 Renaissance art and misogyny

Abject Eroticism in Northern Renaissance Art: The Witches and Femmes Fatales of Hans Baldung Grien by Yvonne Owens London: Bloomsbury Visual Arts, 2020 $108.00 (U.S.)  /  9781784537296 Reviewed by Linda Rogers * Art scholar and feminist Yvonne Owens has turned her gaze to the Northern Renaissance artist, Hans Baldung Grien, who adopted the orthodoxies of…
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1186 Excuses: a preemptive review

The New Race: Selected Writings, 1901-1904 by William H.H. Johnson, afterword by Jade Ferguson Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, forthcoming November 2022 $19.99 / 9781771124140 Reviewed by Frank Mackey * My only excuse for writing this account of a book yet unpublished is that I grew tired of waiting for it. The request had…
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1185 Mountain colony of polygamy

Balancing Bountiful: What I Learned about Feminism from my Polygamist Grandmothers by Mary Jane Blackmore Halfmoon Bay: Caitlin Press, 2020 $24.95 / 978177386-0046 Reviewed by Lynne Bowen  * People who live in British Columbia have become familiar with the names Blackmore and Bountiful over the past three decades. And so my motivation for choosing to…
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1184 Veterinary suite and grace

Night Watch: The Vet Suite by Gillian Wigmore Picton, ON: Invisible Publishing, 2021 $19.95 / 9781988784588 Reviewed by Jessica Poon * Veterinarians are absurdly villainized, unsung heroes. After my Australian Shepherd suffered THC poisoning, my respect and appreciation for veterinarians has only grown. Mercifully, Gillian Wigmore, daughter of a veterinarian, has written three novellas combined…
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1183 Why I love Lucy Maud

ESSAY: Why I love Lucy Maud by Carol Volkart * When I first met Lucy Maud Montgomery in her journals a few months ago, she was a sparkling flirt of 14 tumbling off sleds in winter snowbanks, losing her hat and laughing, laughing, laughing. When I said goodbye to her recently, she was an anguished…
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1182 Death on Elephant Mountain

Lucky Jack Road: A Stella Mosconi Mystery by J.G. Toews Oakville, ON: Mosaic Press, 2020 $19.99 /  9781771615082 Reviewed by Ginny Ratsoy * This, the second in the Stella Mosconi Mystery series, invites delving into mystery subgenres. Lucky Jack Road has the hallmarks of a cozy mystery: the amateur detective, typically female, practises her sleuthing…
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1180 Ormsby’s summer fundraiser

Ormsby’s summer fundraiser by Richard Mackie * Dear Friends, Colleagues, and Readers of The Ormsby Review, On behalf of The Ormsby Literary Society, its Board of Directors, and our Advisory Board (listed below), we must appeal to our readership for financial assistance. We are most grateful to the 96 donors who contributed to our 2020…
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1179 History galleries & robber barons

The Object’s the Thing: The Writings of Yorke Edwards, A Pioneer of Heritage Interpretation in Canada by Richard Kool and Robert A. Cannings (editors) Victoria: Royal British Columbia Museum Press, 2021 $24.95 / 9780772678515 * Craigdarroch Castle in 21 Treasures by Moira Dann, with an afterword by Bruce Davies  Victoria: TouchWood Editions, 2021 $20.00 /…
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1178 The intelligence of deer trails

Waymaking by Moonlight: New and Selected Poems by Bill Yake Anacortes, WA: Empty Bowl Press, 2020 $20.00 (U.S.) / 9781734187342 Reviewed by Ron Smith * I’ve just finished reading Bill Yake’s Waymaking by Moonlight: New and Selected Poems. As I reflect on the complexity and insight of his vision, I’m left wondering why I’ve never…
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1177 Paint those final portraits

obittersweet: Life Lessons from Obituaries by Tamara Macpherson Vukusic Oakville, ON: Mosaic Press, 2020 $24.95 / 9781771615280 Reviewed by Carol Matthews * As a long-time reader of obituaries, I was delighted to receive a copy of Tamara Macpherson Vukusic’s collection of essays which is aptly titled obittersweet. Describing her Sunday morning ritual “with coffee in…
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1176 Road trip of change and chance

The List of Last Chances by Christina Myers Halfmoon Bay: Caitlin Press, 2021 $22.95 / 9781773860596 Reviewed by Myshara Herbert-McMyn * The List of Last Chances by Christina Myers is a wild adventure across the endless and fascinating country of Canada. Our two protagonists—Ruthie and Kay—are hilarious in their encounters and differing experiences. While Ruthie…
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1175 Communication not competition

Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest by Suzanne Simard Toronto: Penguin Random House (Allen Lane), 2021 $34.95 / 9780735237759 Reviewed by Luanne Armstrong * What a truly brilliant book. What a gift to the world both the book and its writer are. I came out of this book so happy it…
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