History (B.C.)

#876 Stainsby’s carbons and files

MEMOIR: Writing My Father by Meg Stainsby * After twenty years of carting it around unopened, I unpacked a stale cardboard box stuffed with crackly, yellowed sheets of typescript — some still clinging to their carbons, all faint and fusty — and began a solitary trek across a forty-year expanse of written terrain that my…
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#875 Chinese but not Chinese

Paper Shadows: A Chinatown Childhood: A Memoir of a Past Lost and Found by Wayson Choy Toronto: Penguin Random House, 2018; first published by Viking Penguin, 1999 $21.00 / 9780735234666 Reviewed by Jessica Poon * When I was six years old, ostensibly as a non sequitur, I announced, “I’m English!” to every family member circling…
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#874 Keeping company at Fort Hope

Potlatch Blanket for a China Man by Mei-Li Lee Victoria: Printorium Bookworks, 2019 $19.95  /  9780991808410 Reviewed by May Q. Wong For a complete list of BC booksellers that stock this book see here. It is also available from Amazon. * Mei-Li Lee draws the reader into her novel through a potlatch ceremony, where a…
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#873 A castle for all Victorians

Craigdarroch: The Story of Dunsmuir Castle by Terry Reksten Victoria: Orca Books, 2019 (first published by Orca Books, 1987; reprinted 1994, 1997, and 2000) $16.95 / 9781459823846 Reviewed by Matthew Downey * This new printing of the late Terry Reksten’s Craigdarroch: The Story of Dunsmuir Castle provides to a new generation of readers a short…
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#868 Hazelton mission and medic

Service on the Skeena: Horace Wrinch, Frontier Physician by Geoff Mynett Vancouver: Ronsdale Books, 2020 $21.95 / 9781553805755 Reviewed by Tyler McCreary * Service on the Skeena, Geoff Mynett’s first book, presents the story of the northern medical missionary, public healthcare advocate, and later provincial politician, Horace Wrinch. The first doctor to serve Gitxsan and…
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#862 The remarkable Victoria Chung

A Woman in Between: Searching for Dr. Victoria Chung by John Price with Ningping Yu Vancouver: Canadian Chinese Historical Society of British Columbia and UBC Initiative for Student Teaching and Research in Chinese Canadian Studies, 2019 $30.00  /  9780993659324 Reviewed by May Q. Wong * An immigrant girl, born in Victoria in 1897 and a…
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#859 Celebrating Indigenous jewellery

Understanding Northwest Coast Indigenous Jewelry: The Art, the Artists, the History by Alexander Dawkins, with a foreword by Corrine Hunt Vancouver: Greystone Books, 2019 $24.95 / 9781771642972 Reviewed by Victoria Wyatt * Northwest Coast Indigenous artists working in jewellery have long deserved more attention on these arts. Understanding Northwest Coast Indigenous Jewelry: The Art, the…
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#858 Enter the one-man power saw

Chainsaws: A History by David Lee, in conjunction with Mike Acres Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2020 (updated 2nd edition; first published 2006) $34.95 / 9781550179118 Reviewed by Robert Allen * This book captured my interest right from the beginning with its retro cover showing a 1951 IEL Super Pioneer “one-man power chainsaw,” a 1950s style…
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#857 Oceans as sustainable commons

Vanishing Fish: Shifting Baselines and the Future of Global Fisheries by Daniel Pauly, with a foreword by Jennifer Jacquet Vancouver: Greystone, 2019 $34.95 / 9781771643986 Reviewed by Loys Maingon * …fish are in dire peril, and, if they are, then so are we. — Daniel Pauly (p. 24) In a remarkable collection of essays drawn…
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#856 Alas, poor British Columbia

The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology and Anthropology of Rock Art by Bruno David and Ian J. McNiven (editors) Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019 $175.00 (U.S.) / 9780190607357 Reviewed by Chris Arnett * “Rock art,” for those who don’t know, is a general term for Indigenous paintings or carvings found on rock surfaces inside caves,…
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#854 A real book about real music

Jan in 35 Pieces: A Memoir in Music by Ian Hampton Erin, Ontario: Porcupine’s Quill, 2018 $24.95 / 9780889844131 Reviewed by Phyllis Reeve All line drawings below by Ian Hampton * Cellist Ian Hampton is known in British Columbia and elsewhere as a distinguished musician and music educator, but his influence goes deeper and further…
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#849 The BC coast by wooden boat

Becoming Coastal: 25 Years of Exploration and Discovery of the British Columbia Coast by Paddle, Oar and Sail by Alex Zimmerman Cocoa Beach, Florida: Seaworthy Publications, 2020 $34.95  / 9781948494274 Distributed by Red Toque Books and available at independent bookstores Reviewed by Brian Harvey * Coastlines are elemental. They offer both access and exit, entry…
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#848 The ballad of Ginger Goodwin

Ginger: The Life and Death of Albert Goodwin by Susan Mayse Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2020; first published by Harbour, 1990 $28.95 / 9781550170184 Reviewed by Dan Hinman-Smith * We’re all working men here, And we drink Lucky Beer, Do we hold a grudge? You bet. — Gordon Carter, “The Day They Shot Ginger Down”…
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#845 BC portion Trans Canada Trail

The Best of the Great Trail, Volume 2: Northern Ontario to British Columbia on the Trans Canada Trail by Michael Haynes Fredericton: Goose Lane Editions, 2019 $29.95  /  9781773100326 Reviewed by Walter Volovsek * As a trail builder and avid hiker, I was very impressed by Michael Haynes’s Volume 2 of The Best of the…
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