Healing & self-help

#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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#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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#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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#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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#954 A counsellor’s perilous odyssey

Borderline Shine: A Memoir by Connie Greshner, with a foreword by Theresa Therriault Toronto: Dundurn, 2020 $19.99 / 9781459746121 Reviewed by Phyllis Reeve * Connie Greshner calls her book a “memoir” but it doesn’t feel like a memoir. It feels like those painful slapstick comedies in which the protagonist suffers pratfall after pratfall, supposedly for…
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#911 A space for feminine voices

Radiant Voices: 21 Feminist Essays for Rising Up Inspired by EMMA Talks by carla bergman (compiler and editor) Victoria: TouchWood Editions, 2019 $22.00 / 9781927366844 Reviewed by Natalie Lang * If you’ve ever taken the time to observe birds, you might notice them flying up into the sky and then swooping down in magnificent arcs….
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#896 A Mennonite father and son

Dad, God, & Me: Remembering a Mennonite Pastor and His Wayward Son by Ralph Friesen Victoria: FriesenPress, 2019 $20.49 / 9781525560880 Reviewed by Randy Janzen * After reading Ralph Friesen’s Dad, God and Me, I was struck by the common human urge to understand the past and reconcile ourselves with long-ago events. It is no…
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#894 Varner’s wild foods & cures

Edible and Medicinal Flora of the West Coast: British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest by Collin Varner Victoria: Heritage House, 2020 $22.95 / 9781772033236 Reviewed by Rose Morrison * A book authored by British Columbia horticulturist Collin Varner is always worthwhile. Varner’s latest publication, Edible and Medicinal Flora of the West Coast: British Columbia and…
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#883 Everyone’s Thomas Merton

Superabundantly Alive; Thomas Merton’s Dance with the Feminine by Susan McCaslin and J.S. Porter Kelowna: Wood Lake Books, 2018 $19.96 / 9781773430355 Reviewed by Phyllis Reeve * Does everyone have their own Thomas Merton? The quiet charisma of the mid-20th-century hermit/ Christian apologist / writer / activist speaks directly and personally to each of his…
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#872 Making some good trouble

Disabled Voices Anthology by sb. smith (editor), with a foreword by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha Nanoose Bay: Rebel Mountain Press, 2020 $18.95   /   9781775301950 Reviewed by Margot Fedoruk * I want to see young people in America feel the spirit of the 1960s and find a way to get in the way. To find a way…
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#870 A clear-eyed analysis of fear

Nerve: A Personal Journey Through the Science of Fear by Eva Holland Toronto: Penguin Random House (Allen Lane), 2020 $32.95 / 9780735237339 Reviewed by Theo Dombrowski * Who doesn’t enjoy reading about extraordinary people or extraordinary events? The appeal of reading about the famous or infamous, about divas or dictators is obvious. Equally obvious is…
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#850 Choosing the safest option

Decision Point: An Impossible Choice by Donalda Reid Vancouver: Off the Mountain Publishing, 2019 [price to come] / 9780978472412 Reviewed by Zoe McKenna * We’re often warned that those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it. This sentiment motivates Donalda Reid’s newest novel, Decision Point. Reid is the author of several books,…
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#830 Sweeping rape under the rug

Girls Like Me by Kristin Butcher Victoria: Orca Books, 2019 $9.95  / 9781459820555 Reviewed by Carol Anne Shaw  Trigger warning: rape, sexual coercion, miscarriage * Kristin Butcher of Campbell River has written more than twenty books for young people, and has been shortlisted for a variety of Canadian literary awards during her career. She writes…
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#819 Pandemics past and present

Epidemics and the Modern World by Mitchell L. Hammond Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2020 $54.95 / 9781487593735 Reviewed by Jody Decker * This textbook by a history professor at the University of Victoria, Mitchell Hammond, focuses on epidemics of infectious diseases which, he argues, have left the greatest impact on the modern world, even…
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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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