Healing & self-help

#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….
Read more #911 A space for feminine voices

#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…
Read more #896 A Mennonite father and son

#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…
Read more #894 Varner’s wild foods & cures

#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…
Read more #883 Everyone’s Thomas Merton

#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…
Read more #872 Making some good trouble

#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…
Read more #870 A clear-eyed analysis of fear

#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,…
Read more #850 Choosing the safest option

#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…
Read more #830 Sweeping rape under the rug

#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…
Read more #819 Pandemics past and present

#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…
Read more #793 Sons, fathers, and fatherhood

#779 The building goddess of Lund

The Way Home: How a Naïve Single Mom Built her House in the Forest by Terry Faubert Powell River: Steller Books, 2019 $15.00  /  9781096448211 The Way Home is available online through Amazon and Indigo, plus in Powell River at Coles and Ecoessentials, and in Lund at Pollen Sweaters. Terry Faubert can be contacted at…
Read more #779 The building goddess of Lund

#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

#743 The umbrella of comedy

So You’re A Little Sad, So What? Nice Things to Say to Yourself on Bad Days and Other Essays by Alicia Tobin Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2019 $17.95 / 9781551527871 Reviewed by Natalie Lang * A delicate manner must be found in comedy to deal with the sad and unfortunate events in our lives. Every…
Read more #743 The umbrella of comedy

#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