Essays in non-fiction

#837 The global frame of Deni Béchard

My Favourite Crime: Essays and Journalism from Around the World by Deni Ellis Béchard Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2019 $24.95 / 9781772012323 Reviewed by Howard Stewart * Deni Béchard’s My Favourite Crime is a powerful collection of writing. The book’s cover blurb, not something I usually put much faith in, contains much truth: this really is an…
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#822 Home is where the memory is

ESSAY: There’s no place like home: our connection to meaningful places by Joanne Crozier * We are pleased to present an essay by Joanne Crozier, There’s no place like home, as part of an ongoing collaboration between The Ormsby Review and Graduate Liberal Studies at Simon Fraser University, an interdisciplinary program that leads to the…
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#821 The hidden pulse of Vancouver

Rain City: Vancouver Reflections by John Moore Vancouver: Anvil Press, 2020 $20.00 / 9781772141399 Reviewed by Grahame Ware * On the inside front pages of Rain City: Vancouver Reflections, John Moore brandishes a quote from Paul St. Pierre: “A journalist is a reporter who can’t hold a steady job.” The instability of journalism and feature…
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#793 Sons, fathers, and fatherhood

Forty Fathers: Men Talk About Parenting by Tessa Lloyd, with a foreword by Peter Mansbridge Madeira Park: Douglas & McIntyre, 2019 $34.95 /  9781771622431 Reviewed by Trevor Marc Hughes * From Peter Mansbridge’s foreword to Tessa Lloyd’s Forty Fathers: Men Talk About Parenting, it’s clear that this iconic CBC figure regretted not having spent more…
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#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…
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#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”…
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#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…
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#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…
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#713 Writing tips from Cowichan

10 Sure-fire Ways to NAIL Your First Draft by Carol Anne Shaw * After several years of reading, scribbling, blogging, Facebooking, and trying to look serious on LinkedIn, I’ve come to realize that this writing-a-novel thing is actually a no-brainer. Because there are only ten necessary rules for success. I’m not lying. (I’ll get to…
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#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…
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#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…
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#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…
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#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…
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