Book Reviews

#657 Government House calling

The Lieutenant Governors of British Columbia by Jenny Clayton, with a foreword by Janet Austin Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2019 $26.95 / 9781550178647 Reviewed by Patrick A. Dunae * The Office of the Lieutenant Governor is perhaps best known to the public for its pageantry. But it has an important constitutional function. It was created…
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#656 Facing all the ghosts

The Forbidden Purple City: Stories by Philip Huynh Fredericton: Goose Lane Editions 2019 $22.95 / 9781773100784 Reviewed by William New * Philip Huynh’s first book is an engaging, disturbing, wonderful collection of nine short stories. Each story’s intriguing characters are living lives worth thinking about and caring about, each character compromised by choice and circumstance, each…
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#655 The Gladue rights revolution

Implicating the System: Judicial Discourses in the Sentencing of Indigenous Women by Elspeth Kaiser-Derrick Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 2019 $34.95 / 9780887558283 Reviewed by David Milward * The crisis of Indigenous over-incarceration in Canada remains an ongoing issue of national importance. Statistical estimates as of 2016 are that Indigenous inmates amount to 27% of…
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#654 The creative meets the untamed

The House the Spirit Builds by Lorna Crozier, with Peter Coffman and Diane Landy (photography) and Rena Upitis (introduction) Madeira Park: Douglas & McIntyre, 2019 $22.95 / 9781771622417 Reviewed by Paul Falardeau * The natural world has long been de rigueur to the life of poets and artists, the Chinese poet Han Shan (寒山, literally…
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#653 Sinners, seekers, and sceptics

Body & Soul: Stories for Skeptics and Seekers by Susan Scott (editor), with a foreword by Alison Pick Halfmoon Bay: Caitlin Press, 2019 $24.95 / 9781987915938 Reviewed by Caileigh Broatch * Susan Scott skillfully curates and edits experiences across many cultures and faiths for Body & Soul: Stories for Skeptics and Seekers. This collection of personal…
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#652 Mather’s ranch tales

Ranch Tales: Stories from the Frontier by Ken Mather Victoria: Heritage House, 2019 $19.95 / 9781772031881 Reviewed by Warren Elofson * Ken Mather’s Ranch Tales is a readable and interesting account of ranching in what is now British Columbia from the establishment of the Alkali Lake Ranch in 1861 to the twentieth century. Mather provides…
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#651 Goodbye ladies and escorts

Island Craft: Your Guide to the Breweries of Vancouver Island by Jon C. Stott Victoria: Touchwood Editions, 2019 $25.00 / 9781771512923 Reviewed by Ian J.M. Kennedy * Jon C. Stott knows and likes his beer. This comes out loud and clear in his twentieth book, Island Craft: Your Guide to the Breweries of Vancouver Island….
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#650 Love in vile places

Love in Vile Places: Military Hospitals as the Site of Care and Nurture by Jo-Anne Fiske * For Remembrance Day 2019 we present a memoir by Jo-Anne Fiske of François 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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#649 Pirates of the Gulf

Scallywag on the Salish Sea by Sara Cassidy, with illustrations by Mike Deas Victoria: Heritage House, 2019 $9.95 / 9781772032789 Reviewed by Valerie Green * This delightful little book, written by Sara Cassidy with illustrations by Mike Deas, is aimed specifically at a six to nine year-old demographic who love pirate stories and somewhat gruesome,…
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#648 A glance of a thousand years

Paradise, Later Years by Marion Quednau Halfmoon Bay: Caitlin Press, 2018 $18.00 / 9781987915839 Reviewed by Renée Sarojini Saklikar * Marion Quednau, from Gibsons, has won awards for both poetry and prose, including a Smithbooks-Books in Canada First Novel Award for The Butterfly Chair (1987). With Paradise, Later Years, she now debuts her first full-length…
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#647 Finding Anna Wong

Anna Wong: Traveller on Two Roads by Ellen van Eijnsbergen and Jennifer Cane (introduction) and Zoë Chan and Keith Wallace (essays), with a foreword by Maurice Wong Burnaby: Burnaby Art Gallery, 2018 $40.00 / 9781927364314 Reviewed by Michael Kluckner * Visit the Burnaby Art Gallery’s touring exhibition, Anna Wong: Traveller on Two Roads, at the …
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#646 An abiding hunger for art

Double Melancholy: Art, Beauty, and the Making of a Brown Queer Man by C.E. Gatchalian Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2019 $18.95 / 9781551527536 Reviewed by Vincent Ternida * “I live for art.” This is how C.E. Gatchalian commences his brief but dense collection of interconnected personal essays in Double Melancholy: Art, Beauty, and the Making…
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