Religion & spirituality

1300 Thanks for your support

Thank you, everyone, for your generous support of The Ormsby Review. We launched our 2021 fundraiser on July 15th. Between then and October we sent out batches of emails to supporters and friends of The Ormsby Review. I am delighted to report that exactly 100 donors contributed a grand total of $18,700. In our 2020…
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1284 Giving voice to the mute swan

Mute Swan: Poems for Maria Queen of the World by Lesley-Anne Evans Toronto: The St. Thomas Poetry Series, 2021 $20.00 / 9781928095071 Reviewed by Cole Klassen * Mary and the swan: feminine symbols too often detached from reality 34 years ago, Lesley-Anne Evans was excommunicated from her fundamentalist evangelical church for being engaged to a…
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1255 Victoria’s religion of the heart

Queen Victoria: This Thorny Crown by Michael Ledger-Lomas Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2021. (Spiritual Lives Series). $40.00 (U.S.) / 9780198753551 Reviewed by Simon Devereaux * This compact, densely written volume fills a surprisingly large gap in the vast biographical literature on Queen Victoria. The Victorian age is well-known for its public religiosity. It was manifest…
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1161 If poetry could save the planet

Heart Work by Susan McCaslin Victoria: Ekstasis Editions, 2021 $24.95 / 9781771714020 Reviewed by Jessica Walters * While standing in an eco-forest located just outside of Fort Langley, I read one of McCaslin’s poems. Even on a hot day, the Blaauw Eco Forest was cool under a layered canopy of hemlock, western red cedars and…
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1135 An Islamic-Canadian journey

The Colour of God by Ayesha S. Chaudhry Toronto: Simon and Schuster Canada (Oneworld Publications), 2021 $30.00 / 9781786079251 Reviewed by Phyllis Reeve * Sibghatullah, “the colour of God” in Qur’anic Arabic, is the name of the author’s little nephew, whose sudden death at the age of 4 provides a frame for Ayesha Chaudhry’s narrative….
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1125 Greek myths for the age of anime

Greek Mythology: The Gods, Goddesses, and Heroes Handbook, From Aphrodite to Zeus, a Profile of Who’s Who in Greek Mythology by Liv Albert, illustrated by Sara Richard Toronto: Simon & Schuster (Adams Media), 2021 $22.99 / 9781507215494 Reviewed Linda Rogers * “He said, she said.” Oral storytelling is like court evidence without benefit of cell…
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1088 Music, extinction, and stardust

Stardust: memoir and essays by an astronomer who became a psychiatrist by Jaime Smith Vancouver: Granville Island Publishing, 2021 $19.95 /  9781989467305 Reviewed by Sheldon Goldfarb * Editor’s note: Jaime Smith’s new book Stardust, reviewed here by Sheldon Goldfarb, contains Smith’s essays and his previously-published memoir Foxtrot: Notes from the Bear Cave, reviewed here by Peter Ward in…
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1060 Watercolours & wooden churches

Pioneer Churches of Vancouver Island and the Salish Sea: An Explorer’s Guide by Liz Bryan Victoria: Heritage House, 2020 $24.95 / 9781772033052 * Here & Gone: Artwork of Vancouver & Beyond by Michael Kluckner Vancouver: Midtown Press, 2020 $19.95 / 9781988242385 Both books reviewed by Martin Segger *   Gazing out from our COVID-induced shut-ins…
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1036 Kootenay Doukhobor family saga

Our Backs Warmed By the Sun: Memories of a Doukhobor Life by Vera Maloff Halfmoon Bay, Caitlin Press, 2020 $24.95 / 9781773860398 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * Doukhobor Diaspora: A family oral history offers an antidote to past misunderstandings about the Russian sect When I was in my teens, a terrible explosion rocked my West…
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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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#958 In with civility, out with vitriol

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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#936 Crow mythology and archetype

Dead Crow & the Spirit Engine by Art (Sean Arthur) Joyce New Denver: Chameleonfire Editions, 2020 $20.00 / 9780995240148 Reviewed by Roger C. Lewis * This poem is a fascinating exercise in the bending, blending, and merging of genres while at the same time assaulting the empty pretensions of narcissistic nihilism in today’s grossly politicized…
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