Book Reviews

#972 Sea wolf of Discovery Island

Takaya: Lone Wolf by Cheryl Alexander, with a foreword by Carl Safina Victoria: Rocky Mountain Books, 2020 $30.00 / 9781771603737 Reviewed by Luanne Armstrong * When I was a child, I lived far more intensely with animals than I did with people. As the somewhat feral daughter of homesteading farmers, I found animals were far…
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#971 Aphorisms from an apiarist

Show Me the Honey: Adventures of an Accidental Apiarist by Dave Doroghy, foreword by Rick Hansen Victoria: TouchWood Editions, 2020 $25.00 / 9781771513227 Reviewed by Natalie Lang * Bees. Those black and yellow winged creatures buzzing about and smelling the roses; perhaps there is more to them than meets the eye. Do they hold the…
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#970 Death on Highway 7

The Weight of Blood by D.B. Carew Edmonton: New West Press, 2020 $18.95 / 9781988732923 Reviewed by Valerie Green * D.B. Carew’s The Weight of Blood, his second Chris Ryder mystery thriller, is a mixture of intriguing thrills and deep psychological insight. The main character, Chris Ryder, is a psychiatric social worker who is once…
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#969 Piquing interest in Purdy

An Echo in the Mountains: Al Purdy after a Century by Nicholas Bradley (editor) Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2020 $34.95 / 9780228003373 Reviewed by Sheldon Goldfarb * “Purdy,” I say. “Al Purdy. Have you heard of him?” “You mean like the chocolates?” She is probably joking. I am asking people I know outside…
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#968 Will you help The Ormsby Review?

Will you help The Ormsby Review? by Richard Mackie * A message from publisher Richard Mackie and the Board of the Ormsby Literary Society. Advisory Board: Jean Barman, Wade Davis, Robin Fisher, Cole Harris, Hugh Johnston, Patricia Roy, David Stouck, Graeme Wynn. Board of Directors: Ron Hatch, Eldon Yellowhorn, Imogene Lim, Byron Sheardown, LiLynn Wan, Trevor…
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#967 A great gathering of empire

Orphans of Empire by Grant Buday Victoria: TouchWood Editions (Brindle & Glass), 2020 $22.00 / 9781927366899 Reviewed by Laurie Ricou * Grant Buday’s exuberant novel contemplates an emerging British Columbia in the second half of the nineteenth century. As his title signals, Buday tests claims of possession and supremacy, in institutions, occupations, and personalities. In…
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#966 A torrent of collective memory

The E.J. Hughes Book of Boats by Robert Amos Victoria: TouchWood Editions, 2020 $22.00 / 9781771513364 Reviewed by Brian Harvey * For the British Columbia painter E.J. Hughes, who died in Duncan in 2007, the sea was never far away. Hughes wasn’t the only famous Canadian artist to include boats in his canvases — we’ll…
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#964 Travelling the higher heights

A Story of Karma: Finding Love and Truth in the Lost Valley of the Himalaya by Michael Schauch Victoria: Rocky Mountain Books, 2020 $25.00 / 9781771604673 A review essay by Trevor Carolan * Adventure travel goes through phases. In the Sixties you went off to Formentera in the Balearics or Corfu to find yourself. India…
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#963 If I came back as a flower

The Essential Derk Wynand by Derk Wynand, selected by John Barton Erin, Ontario: The Porcupine’s Quill, 2020 $14.95 / 9780889844407 Reviewed by Christopher Levenson * To be direct, simple, and yet also powerful in the evoking of strong, intimate emotion is one of the trickiest tasks for any mature poet but Wynand succeeds impressively, even…
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#962 Experimenting in Morse code

Yams Do Not Exist by Garry Thomas Morse Winnipeg: Turnstone Press, 2020 $19.00 / 9780888016775 Reviewed by Candace Fertile * As yams do exist, it’s clear right from the first page that Garry Thomas Morse’s novel falls into the category of experimental. The 33 chapters or short stories linked by the character of poet Farinata…
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#960 West Kootenay baby boomer buba

Tuesdays with Jack: A Grandmother’s Love and a Little Boy’s Brilliance by Pauline Daniel Vancouver: Granville Island Publishing, 2018 $18.95 / 9781926991825 Reviewed by Rose Morrison * Author Pauline Daniel, who likes to be known as the “how to follow your heart” coach, is the owner of Coaching Connections, a coaching service for women. She…
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#959 The anvil of female power

Fight Like a Girl by Sheena Kamal Toronto: Penguin Random House, 2020 $21.00 / 9780735265554 Reviewed by Natalie Lang * What do any of us really know about one another? The reality of someone’s life is likely to be filled with multiple layers of who they’ve been and what they’ve done. Someone living in our…
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#958 Out with vitriol, in with civility

I’m Right and You’re an Idiot: The Toxic State of Public Discourse and How to Clean it Up by James Hoggan with Grania Litwin Gabriola: New Society Publishers, 2019 (second Edition, first published 2016) $19.00 / 9780865719149 Reviewed by Logan Macnair * That the public discourse surrounding certain social and political topics (particularly in online…
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#957 Transmission of the Queer

The Walking Boy by Lydia Kwa Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2019 (first published by Key Porter Books, 2005) $19.95 /  9781551527635 Reviewed by Paul Falardeau * “To transmit the strange” is a fine goal to be set before a writer. One with the talents of Lydia Kwa might find in it the chance to do…
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