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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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#963 If I came back as a flower

The Essential Derk Wynand by Derk Wynand, selected by John Barton Erin, Ontario: The Porcupine’s Quill, 2020 $14.95 / 9780889844407 Reviewed by Christopher Levenson * To be direct, simple, and yet also powerful in the evoking of strong, intimate emotion is one of the trickiest tasks for any mature poet but Wynand succeeds impressively, even…
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#962 Experiments in Morse code

Yams Do Not Exist by Garry Thomas Morse Winnipeg: Turnstone Press, 2020 $19.00 / 9780888016775 Reviewed by Candace Fertile * As yams do exist, it’s clear right from the first page that Garry Thomas Morse’s novel falls into the category of experimental. The 33 chapters or short stories linked by the character of poet Farinata…
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#961 From Quilchena to Flanders

ESSAY: Remembering John Foster Paton Nash by Michael Sasges For Remembrance Day 2020, Michael Sasges presents the life of Nicola Valley rancher John Foster Paton Nash (1866-1916). John Nash’s name is on three Great War memorials.  The first is at his school in England, King William’s College on the Isle of Man; the second is…
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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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#959 The anvil of female power

Fight Like a Girl by Sheena Kamal Toronto: Penguin Random House, 2020 $21.00 / 9780735265554 Reviewed by Natalie Lang * What do any of us really know about one another? The reality of someone’s life is likely to be filled with multiple layers of who they’ve been and what they’ve done. Someone living in our…
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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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#957 Transmission of the Queer

The Walking Boy by Lydia Kwa Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2019 (first published by Key Porter Books, 2005) $19.95 /  9781551527635 Reviewed by Paul Falardeau * “To transmit the strange” is a fine goal to be set before a writer. One with the talents of Lydia Kwa might find in it the chance to do…
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#956 Meet the Chekovs

A Russian Sister by Caroline Adderson Toronto: HarperCollins, 2020 $24.99 / 9781443426817 Reviewed by Valerie Green * If you are a fan of Russian playwright Anton Chekov (1860-1904) you will most certainly enjoy A Russian Sister by Caroline Adderson. If not, you might find the book somewhat perplexing and strange. Adderson’s book is based on…
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#955 A glance across the border

Contested Boundaries: A New Pacific Northwest History by David J. Jepsen and David J. Norberg Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley-Blackwell, 2017 $34.95 (US) / 9781119065487 Reviewed by Jamie Morton * Editor’s note: when The Ormsby Review moved to its own website in May 2019, a few reviews fell between the cracks. We noticed the absence of…
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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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#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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#952 The Iroquois diaspora

Iroquois in the West by Jean Barman Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2019 $29.95 /  9780773556256 Reviewed by Jamie Morton * Nineteenth century records and travellers’ narratives that document the fur trade and colonial era in western Canada often note as a curiosity the presence of groups of people identified as “Iroquois” in unexpected…
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#951 New wine in new bottles

Valleys of Wine: A Taste of British Columbia’s Wine History by Luke Whittall Vancouver: Whitecap Books, 2019 $29.95 / 9781770503168 Reviewed by Bill Engleson * I cook with wine. Sometimes I even add it to the food. — W.C Fields What wine goes with Captain Crunch? — George Carlin I like the wine and not…
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