Natural history & science

#268 How rivers can remember

Where The River Flows: Scientific Reflections on Earth’s Waterways by Sean W. Fleming Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2017 $26.95 (U.S.).  /  9781400885022 Reviewed by Colin Levings First published March 19, 2018 * Sean Fleming, who received his B.Sc. and Ph.D. from UBC in 1994 and 2004 and is now a member of UBC’s Department…
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#266 Pioneering stargazer J.S. Plaskett

Northern Star: J.S. Plaskett by R. Peter Broughton, with a foreword by James E. Hesser Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2018. $67.50  / 9781442630178 Reviewed by John Hutchings First published Mar. 17, 2018 * John Stanley Plaskett (1865-1941) was the founder and first director of the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory in Victoria. This biography is well-timed, published…
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#244 Downtown Eastside influencers

Fighting for Space: How a Group of Drug Users Transformed One City’s Struggle with Addiction by Travis Lupick Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2017 $24.95  /  9781551527123 Reviewed by Danya Fast First published Feb. 4, 2018 * Locally and globally, Vancouver is celebrated for its world-class harm reduction and social housing programs, and regarded as a…
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#223 Starvation Cove & Terror Bay

Frozen in Time: The Fate of the Franklin Expedition by Owen Beattie and John Geiger, with a foreword by Wade Davis and an introduction by Margaret Atwood. First published by Western Producer Prairie Books, 1988; subsequent editions by Douglas & McIntyre, 1998, and Greystone, 2004 and 2014 Vancouver: Greystone Books, 2017 $24.95  /  9781771641739 Reviewed…
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#219 Early Haig-Brown revitalized

First published Dec. 12, 2017. Alison’s Fishing Birds by Roderick Haig-Brown Illustrated by Sheryl McDougald Halfmoon Bay: Caitlin Press, 2017. $21.95  /  9781987915198 (First published by Colophon Books, 1980). Reviewed by Caroline Fox * Roderick Langmere Haig-Brown (1908-1976) gained an international reputation for his meditative books on fly fishing on Vancouver Island’s Nimpkish and Campbell…
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#216 Ignorance is not bliss

First published Dec. 10, 2017 REVIEW: British Columbia: A Natural History of Its Origins, Ecology, and Diversity With a New Look at Climate Change (revised and expanded third edition; first published by Douglas & McIntyre, 1996). by Richard Cannings and Sydney Cannings Vancouver: Greystone Books, 2015. $34.95  /  9781771640732 Reviewed by Loys Maingon INTRO: Richard…
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#215 Island of Blue Foxes

First published Dec. 7, 2017. Island of the Blue Foxes: Disaster and Triumph on Bering’s Great Voyage to Alaska by Stephen R. Bown (D&M $34.95) tells the story of The Great Northern Expedition which resulted in the mapping of the Arctic Coast of Siberia and large parts of the North American coastline, and the discovery…
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#213 The forest smokeaters

First published Dec. 4, 2017. Chasing Smoke. A Wildfire Memoir by Aaron Williams Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2017. $22.95  /  9781550178050 Reviewed by Dan Gallacher     The threat of terrorism is over-rated. ‘First responders’ were everywhere in 2017 dealing with hurricanes, earthquakes and forest fires. Aaron Williams’ Chasing Smoke: A Wildfire Memoir (Harbour $22.95)…
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#212 Our vanishing glaciers

First published Nov. 29, 2017. Our Vanishing Glaciers: The Snows of Yesteryear and the Future Climate of the Mountain West by Robert William Sandford Victoria: Rocky Mountain Books 2017. $40   /  9781771602020 Reviewed by Clayton Whitt     Melting glaciers and climate change may initially seem like odd topics for a coffee table book. But…
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#203 Mack, the life

First published Nov. 17, 2017. REVIEW: The Transcontinentalist: Or, The Joys of the Road Manuscript in the Laing Papers at the B.C. Archives, written in 1915 by Hamilton Mack Laing Reviewed by Trevor Marc Hughes * We are delighted that Trevor Marc Hughes has ventured into the voluminous Laing Papers at the British Columbia Archives…
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#173 Always cry wolf

First published Sept. 29, 2017 REVIEW: Wolf Island by Ian McAllister (photographs) and Nicholas Read (text) Victoria: Orca Book Publishers, 2017. $19.95 9781459812642  Reviewed by Carol Anne Shaw   * Wolf Island is a picture book co-created by photographer, author, and Pacific Wild founder Ian McAllister and author and former journalist Nicholas Read. It is…
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#169 A hero in the garden

Some Useful Wild Plants: A Foraging Guide to Food and Medicine from Nature by Dan Jason Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2017 $16.95  /  9781550177916 Reviewed by Natasha Lyons First published Sept. 13, 2017 * Reviewing a book published before you were born is an interesting historical exercise. Dan Jason’s Some Useful Wild Plants: A Foraging…
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#146 Poignant ruminations of summer

First published July 1, 2017 REVIEW: The Summer Book: A Treasury of Warm Tales, Timeless Memories and Meditations on Nature by 24 BC writers by Mona Fertig (editor) Salt Spring Island: Mother Tongue Publishing, 2017. $24.95  /  978-1-896949-61-1 Reviewed by Howard Stewart * Mona Fertig of Mother Tongue Publishing has gathered 24 warm and poignant summer…
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#126 Marine birds

At Sea with the Marine Birds of the Raincoast by Caroline Fox Victoria: Rocky Mountain books, 2016 $25.00  /  9781771601627 Reviewed by Sean MacPherson First published April 28, 2017 * In At Sea with the Marine Birds of the Raincoast, conservation biologist Caroline Fox crosses thousands of kilometres of open ocean to chart the distribution…
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