Memoir

#716 Your daughter should know

Fatherless: A Memoir by Keith Maillard Morgantown, VA: West Virginia University Press, 2019; distributed in Canada by UBC Press $27.95 Cdn  /  9781949199130 Reviewed by Sheldon Goldfarb * The first half of this book is magical. Not magical like a Disney movie, full of charm and delight. Much darker than that, a story of Jungian…
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#706 Hitting life’s reset button

Scarred: The True Story of How I Escaped NXIVM, the Cult that Bound My Life by Sarah Edmondson with Kristine Gasbarre San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2019; Vancouver: Raincoast Books, 2019 $24.99 (Canada); $27.95 (U.S.)  / 9781797202396 Reviewed by Nathaniel G. Moore * When I was in my undergrad, I took a course on new religious…
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#701 Nine years of northern nursing

When Days are Long: Nurse in the North by Amy Wilson, with an introduction by Laurel Deedrick-Mayne Halfmoon Bay: Caitlin Press, 2019. First published in Sidney by Gray’s Publishing, 1965 $24.95 / 9781773860084 Reviewed by Heather Longworth Sjoblom * “Such a challenge! And I couldn’t resist it,” wrote Amy Wilson about her acceptance as field…
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#687 Less shopping, more clarity

The Year of Less: How I Stopped Shopping, Gave Away My Belongings, and Discovered Life is Worth More Than Anything You Can Buy in a Store by Cait Flanders Carlsbad, CA: Hay House, 2018 $25.99 (U.S.) / 9781401954871 Reviewed by Natalie Lang * We live in a world where the culture of buying cheap and…
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#680 All hat and no soapbox

Mad Hatter by Amanda Hale Montreal: Guernica Editions, 2019 $29.95 / 9781771833905 See here for the audiobook Reviewed by Linda Rogers * Don’t judge a book by its cover … at your peril. That’s a song worth listening to but sometimes, and in this case, it is all there, the rabbit’s final bone crushing scream….
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#671 Connecting the dots

The Great Happiness: Stories and Comics by M.A.C. Farrant Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2019 $14.95 / 9781772012217 Reviewed by Valerie Green * I’ve learned through the years that book covers can be deceiving. Such was the case with M.A.C. Farrant’s book The Great Happiness, which shows a young girl, some flowers, and a small bird. It enticed…
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#669 A Mennonite memoryfest

Every Little Scrap and Wonder: A Small-Town Childhood by Carla Funk Vancouver: Greystone Books, 2019 $29.95 / 9781771644662 Reviewed by Candace Fertile * With exquisite detail, Carla Funk brings alive her childhood in Vanderhoof, BC, and by doing so sets off in me a memoryfest of my own, an experience that is likely to happen…
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#646 An abiding hunger for art

Double Melancholy: Art, Beauty, and the Making of a Brown Queer Man by C.E. Gatchalian Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2019 $18.95 / 9781551527536 Reviewed by Vincent Ternida * “I live for art.” This is how C.E. Gatchalian commences his brief but dense collection of interconnected personal essays in Double Melancholy: Art, Beauty, and the Making…
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#643 Father, daughter, and Tarot

My Father, Fortune-tellers & Me: A Memoir by Eufemia Fantetti Salt Spring Island: Mother Tongue Publishing, 2019 $21.95 / 9781896949758 Reviewed by Linda Rogers * “Children are resilient,” they say. “What doesn’t kill them makes them stronger” is another variation. It seems that religion, proverbs, and shibboleths were invented to justify the traumatic malformation of…
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#641 Big Bay fishing stories

The Codfish Dream: Chronicles of a West Coast Fishing Guide by David Giblin Victoria: Heritage House, 2018 $19.95 / 9781772032420 Reviewed by Kenneth Campbell * In The Codfish Dream: Chronicles of a West Coast Fishing Guide, David Giblin compresses fifteen years of experience as a sports fishing guide into one remarkable summer, resulting in an…
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#640 Heartbreak in the Okanagan

11 Weeks: The Real-Time Chronicling of a Breakup. A True Story by Roo Phelps Independently Published (Amazon Digital Services), 2018 $23.15 / 9781791550363 Reviewed by Myshara Herbert-McMyn with Ginny Ratsoy * A fourth-generation Canadian broadcaster with family roots in Winnipeg, Vancouver, and Courtenay, Roo Phelps has self-published her memoir 11 Weeks: The Real-Time Chronicling of a…
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#635 Go east, young man

A Voluntary Crucifixion by David J. MacKinnon Montréal: Guernica Editions, 2019 $25.00 / 9781771832724 Reviewed by Jim Christy * If you’ve ever heard of David MacKinnon, where have you been? Certainly not around the literary scene anywhere in Canada, including his native British Columbia, even though he is arguably one of the best writers in the…
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#630 Breaking with the Tribe

Mad Hatter by Amanda Hale Montreal: Guernica Editions, 2019 $29.95 / 9781771833905 See here for the audiobook Reviewed by Sally Campbell * Some books are simply better than others. This fictionalized memoir, set in Britain during the Second World War, takes on big questions — mental fragility, emotional resilience, demonization of dissenters, tribalism, family secrets…
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#626 Fire on the Chilcotin Plateau

Captured by Fire: Surviving British Columbia’s New Wildfire Reality by Chris Czajkowski and Fred Reid Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2019 $24.95 / 9781550178852 Reviewed by Sage Birchwater * The wildfires of 2017 are still fresh in the minds of the people who experienced them in the Central Interior of British Columbia. Across the broad landscape…
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