Essays in non-fiction

#759 Rewilding the human mind

Learning to Die: Wisdom in the Age of Climate Crisis by Robert Bringhurst and Jan Zwicky Regina: University of Regina Press, 2018 $19.95 / 9780889775633 Reviewed by Luanne Armstrong * I am always a little leery about academics and philosophers writing about humans grappling with ideas about the non-human world. There’s always a distance there…
Read more #759 Rewilding the human mind

#742 Beyond the Great Western Peninsula

ESSAY: Beyond the Great Western Peninsula by Richard Mackie * I received a doctorate in Canadian history at UBC in 1993 and taught as a sessional lecturer at three colleges or universities on Vancouver Island between 1994 and 2002.[1] To the uninitiated, Canadian history is divided in half, into “pre-Confederation” and “post-Confederation,” shortened to “pre-confed”…
Read more #742 Beyond the Great Western Peninsula

#736 Bowering’s ashes and sparks

Taking Measures: Selected Serial Poems by George Bowering, edited by Stephen Collis Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2019 $49.95 (hardcover) / 9781772012378 (softcover $29.95 due Fall 2020) * Ten Women: Stories by George Bowering Vancouver: Anvil Press, 2015 $20.00 / 9781772140316 * Writing and Reading: Essays by George Bowering Vancouver: New Star Books, 2019 $18.00 / 9781554201549 Three…
Read more #736 Bowering’s ashes and sparks

#727 Death by a thousand words

Against Death: 35 Essays on Living by Elee Kraljii Gardiner (editor) Vancouver: Anvil Press, 2019 $22.00 / 9781772141276 Reviewed by Sally Campbell * This book intrigued me with its title. What does it mean, “Against Death?” I am not against death, it’s the one event post-birth that all creatures share. Then I got the double…
Read more #727 Death by a thousand words

#676 A trip down memory lane

Memory by Philippe Tortell, Mark Turin, and Margot Young (editors) Vancouver: UBC Press (Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies), 2018 $24.95 / 9781775276609 Reviewed by Forrest Pass * Historians think we know memory. “Social memory” — how communities, governments, and private interests understand and give the past meaning — is a well-established focus in my…
Read more #676 A trip down memory lane

#611 A baby boomer’s songbook

Song Book: 21 Songs From 10 Years (1964-74) by Fiona McQuarrie Walthamstow, UK: New Haven Publishing, 2018 $24.00  /  9781912587155 Reviewed by Randolph Eustace-Walden * It’s been said that if you remember the 1960s you weren’t there. Well, I do, and I was. And like many others of my generation, the music of that time…
Read more #611 A baby boomer’s songbook

#594 Talking feet & werewolf expertise

Collapsible by Tim Conley Vancouver: New Star Books 2019 $18.00 / 9781554201518 Reviewed by Myshara Herbert-McMyn with Ginny Ratsoy * The author of several previous books of poetry, Tim Conley teaches twentieth-century literature at Brock University, specializing in modernists such as Joyce and Beckett, as well as “experimental novelists and avant-garde poets,” according to his…
Read more #594 Talking feet & werewolf expertise

#587 Islands and ingenuity

Complicated Simplicity: Island Life in the Pacific Northwest by Joy Davis Victoria: Heritage House, 2019 $22.95 / 9781772032703 Reviewed by Howard Stewart * Joy Davis’s book, she writes, “…focuses on the perspectives and experiences of people who live on Pacific Northwest islands, particularly those not served by ferries…” Life on these islands, she tells us…
Read more #587 Islands and ingenuity

#351 Essays from the north

First published Aug. 24, 2018. Where it Hurts: Essays by Sarah de Leeuw Edmonton: NeWest Press, 2017 $19.95 / 9781926455846 Reviewed by Heidi Greco * Heidi Greco reviews Sarah de Leeuw’s Where it Hurts: Essays, a collection that has been much-praised and shortlisted for national and regional non-fiction prizes. “These aren’t the essays your high…
Read more #351 Essays from the north

#320 An East Vancouver childhood

Dear Current Occupant: A Memoir by Chelene Knight Toronto: Book*hug, 2018 $20.00  /  9781771663908 Reviewed by Jennifer Chutter First published June 13, 2018 * Amidst the swirl of media reports of rising housing prices, empty houses, and increased property taxes, Chelene Knight’s Dear Current Occupant: A Memoir offers a rare and nuanced view of what…
Read more #320 An East Vancouver childhood

#189 Skimming is for milk, not reading

First published October 24, 2017 REVIEW: Garage Criticism: Cultural Missives in an Age of Distraction by Peter Babiak Vancouver: Anvil Press 2016. $20.00 /  978-1-77214-050-7 Reviewed by Ginny Ratsoy Ginny Ratsoy praises the jaw-dropping candour of Peter Babiak as he surveys popular culture in our dumbed-down digital world, still attached to his pre-internet brain, in…
Read more #189 Skimming is for milk, not reading