Environment

1161 If poetry could save the planet

Heart Work by Susan McCaslin Victoria: Ekstasis Editions, 2021 $24.95 / 9781771714020 Reviewed by Jessica Walters * While standing in an eco-forest located just outside of Fort Langley, I read one of McCaslin’s poems. Even on a hot day, the Blaauw Eco Forest was cool under a layered canopy of hemlock, western red cedars and…
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1145 Great Bear diversity & antiquity

Heart of the Coast: Biodiversity and Resilience on the Pacific Edge by Tyee Bridge, with a foreword by Nancy Knowlton Vancouver: Figure 1 Publishing, 2020 $37.99 / 9781773271156 Reviewed by John Gellard * Tyee Bridge’s Heart of the Coast, Biodiversity and Resilience on the Pacific Edge is a magnificent book — robust hard cover, excellent…
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1128 Stanley Park reflections

ESSAY: Stanley Park: The Mirror and the Mask by Jordan Johnston * Stanley Park is a mirror that reflects the desires of those who look in it. On a map, this bright green peninsula stands apart from the city centre, as if held at arm’s length. Vancouver, like any other city, has poverty, and crime,…
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1112 Mulling on memoir & motherhood

This One Wild Life: A Mother-Daughter Wilderness Memoir by Angie Abdou Toronto: ECW Press, 2021 $21.95 / 9781770416000 Reviewed by Ginny Ratsoy * Having recently experienced a large number of contemporary memoirs, I have found myself researching and mulling over the characteristics of the genre. How does a memoir differ from an autobiography? The memoir…
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1099 A measure of change

Earth 2020: An Insider’s Guide to a Rapidly Changing Planet by Philippe D. Tortell (editor) Cambridge, UK: Open Books Publishers, 2020 £23.95 (U.K.)  /  9781783748457 Reviewed by Loys Maingon * I have felt for some time that the universities are getting dangerously like the early church — James Lovelock.[1] As the well-known photography of Edward…
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1098 The ABC to the birds of BC

Birds of British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest: A Complete Guide, Second Edition by Richard Cannings, Tom Aversa, and Hal Opperman Victoria: Heritage House, 2020 (first published 2018) $29.95 / 9781772033274 Reviewed by Trevor Carolan * April is upon us and spring birding season is in full readiness position. The next two months promise a…
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1087 The soul & graveyard of Colombia

Magdalena, River of Dreams: A Story of Colombia by Wade Davis Toronto: Penguin Random House (Knopf Canada), 2020 $24.95 / 9780735278943 Reviewed by Howard Macdonald Stewart * Another river. I was bowled over years ago by Wade Davis’s One River: Explorations and Discoveries in the Amazon Rain Forest (1997), a remarkable book about his youthful…
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1076 Reflections on an Arctic voyage

Watermelon Snow: Science, Art, and a Lone Polar Bear by Lynne Quarmby Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queens University Press, 2020 $24.95 / 9780228003595 Reviewed by Theo Dombrowski * Books about climate change are prolific—and for all the alarming reasons that most of us accept. Watermelon Snow, by Lynne Quarmby, is essentially a book about climate change,…
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1074 Elizabeth May & Gwaii Haanas

Paradise Won: The Struggle to Create Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve by Elizabeth May Victoria: Rocky Mountain Books, 2020 (second edition; first published by McClelland & Stewart, 1990) $25.00 / 9781771604581 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * Anyone who has visited Haida Gwaii will instantly relate to Elizabeth May’s remembrance of one of the most significant…
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1071 Remnants of Sumas Mountain

ESSAY: Remnants of Sumas Mountain by Natalie Lang For those who came before and those not yet arrived. * And forever before me gleams, The shining city of song, In the beautiful land of dreams. But when I would enter the gate Of that golden atmosphere, It is gone, and I wonder and wait For…
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1038 Welcome to the sacrifice zone

All Fracked Up! The costs of LNG to British Columbia by Alice de Wolff and Delores Broten (editors) Comox: Watershed Sentinel Books, 2020 $30.00 / 9780995328655 Reviewed by John Gellard * “What are you reading?” asked a highly educated neighbour. “A book about fracking,” “What’s fracking?” “How do you heat your house?” “With natural gas.”…
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1027 Tribute to the Fraser River

The Fraser: River of Life and Legend by Carol Blacklaws and Rick Blacklaws White Rock: Image West Productions, 2020 $39.95 / 9780994817518 Reviewed by Peter Grant * Of those who raft (and swim) the Mighty Fraser In this album, appealingly balanced between text and pictures, Rick Blacklaws’ photos capture the Fraser River’s fabulous landscapes, especially…
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1012 Behold the Broughton Archipelago

Converging Waters: The Beauty and Challenges of the Broughton Archipelago by Daniel Hillert (photos) and Gwen Curry (text) Victoria: Rocky Mountain Books, 2020 $40.00 / 9781771601658 Reviewed by Alex Zimmerman * There’s something attractive about archipelagos. They are, by definition, surrounded by water and therefore have no hard boundaries. Nonetheless, islands grouped into an archipelago…
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#977 Tips for the Anthropocene

A Book of Ecological Virtues: Living Well in the Anthropocene by Heesoon Bai, David Chang, and Charles Scott (editors) Regina: University of Regina Press, 2020 $39.95 / 9780889777569 Reviewed by Rose Morrison * Seldom has this reviewer encountered an essay collection that is so topical and as important as A Book of Ecological Virtues: Living…
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