Natural history & science

1012 Behold the Broughton Archipelago

Converging Waters: The Beauty and Challenges of the Broughton Archipelago by Daniel Hillert (photos) and Gwen Curry (text) Victoria: Rocky Mountain Books, 2020 $40.00 / 9781771601658 Reviewed by Alex Zimmerman * There’s something attractive about archipelagos. They are, by definition, surrounded by water and therefore have no hard boundaries. Nonetheless, islands grouped into an archipelago…
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#977 Tips for the Anthropocene

A Book of Ecological Virtues: Living Well in the Anthropocene by Heesoon Bai, David Chang, and Charles Scott (editors) Regina: University of Regina Press, 2020 $39.95 / 9780889777569 Reviewed by Rose Morrison * Seldom has this reviewer encountered an essay collection that is so topical and as important as A Book of Ecological Virtues: Living…
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#972 Sea wolf of Discovery Island

Takaya: Lone Wolf by Cheryl Alexander, with a foreword by Carl Safina Victoria: Rocky Mountain Books, 2020 $30.00 / 9781771603737 Reviewed by Luanne Armstrong * When I was a child, I lived far more intensely with animals than I did with people. As the somewhat feral daughter of homesteading farmers, I found animals were far…
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#953 Gentle paths through the Rockies

Family Walks and Hikes in the Canadian Rockies, Volume 1: Bragg Creek, Kananaskis, Bow Valley, Banff National Park by Andrew Nugara Victoria: Rocky Mountain Books, 2019 $20.00 / 9781771602242 * Family Walks and Hikes in the Canadian Rockies, Volume 2: Bragg Creek, Kananaskis, Moraine Lake, Yoho, Icefields Parkway, Jasper by Andrew Nugara Victoria: Rocky Mountain…
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#933 Affinity for Stanley Park trees

Legacy of Trees: Purposeful Wandering in Vancouver’s Stanley Park by Nina Shoroplova Victoria: Heritage House, 2020 $29.95 / 9781772033038 Reviewed by David Tracey * Consider the following thought experiment: the first alien space crew has just landed on Earth (mark your 2020 bingo card). They must quickly discover what our planet is all about. So…
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#895 Eulogy for vanished creatures

Endlings: A Collection of Poems about Extinct Animals by Joanna Lilley Winnipeg: Turnstone Press, 2020 $18.00 / 9780888016898 Reviewed by Heidi Greco * Mary Anning is a name we should recognize, though I’m sure most people don’t. She was the first person (often not credited) to discover ichthyosaur fossils, and did so when she was…
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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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#880 In celebration of the orca

Spirits of the Coast: Orcas in Science, Art and History by Martha Black, Lorne Hammond, and Gavin Hanke (editors), with Nikki Sanchez Victoria: Royal BC Museum, 2020 $29.95 / 9780772677686 Reviewed by Daniel Francis * During the summer of 2018 an orca named Tahlequah, a member of J pod of the southern resident orcas which…
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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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#857 Oceans as sustainable commons

Vanishing Fish: Shifting Baselines and the Future of Global Fisheries by Daniel Pauly, with a foreword by Jennifer Jacquet Vancouver: Greystone, 2019 $34.95 / 9781771643986 Reviewed by Loys Maingon * …fish are in dire peril, and, if they are, then so are we. — Daniel Pauly (p. 24) In a remarkable collection of essays drawn…
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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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#816 Walking through the pandemic

Treed: Walking in Canada’s Urban Forests by Ariel Gordon Hamilton, ON: Wolsak & Wynn, 2019 $20.00 / 9781928088752 Reviewed by Jaime Yard * It took me an inordinately long time to read Ariel Gordon’s Treed. This does not mean that it isn’t a good book. In truth, I think the pace may have been set…
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#790 Enter Douglas, Garry & Menzies

In Nature’s Realm: Early Naturalists Explore Vancouver Island by Michael Layland Victoria: Touchwood Editions, 2019 $40.00 / 9781771513067 * On March 2, 2020, it was announced that Michael Layland’s book, In Nature’s Realm: Early Naturalists Explore Vancouver Island (Victoria: Touchwood Editions, 2019) had won the 2020 Basil Stuart-Stubbs Prize for outstanding scholarly book on British…
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#757 Carry on, Sasquatch

The Making of Hominology: A Science Whose Time has Come by Dmitri Bayanov in association with Christopher Murphy, with a foreword by David Hancock and Jeff Meldrum Surrey: Hancock House Publishing, 2019 $19.95 / 9780888390110 Reviewed by John Gellard * Have you ever seen a Sasquatch? Have you heard one, or smelled one? Have you ever seen…
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