Religion & spirituality

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 / 9781989467312 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…
Read more 1088 Music, extinction, and stardust

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…
Read more 1060 Watercolours & wooden churches

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…
Read more 1036 Kootenay Doukhobor family saga

#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…
Read more #964 Travelling the higher heights

#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…
Read more #958 Out with vitriol, in with civility

#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…
Read more #936 Crow mythology and archetype

#906 East Kootenay to Himalaya

Blue Sky Kingdom: An Epic Family Journey to the Heart of the Himalaya by Bruce Kirkby Madeira Park: Douglas & McIntyre, 2020 $34.95 / 9781771622691 Reviewed by Éric Spalding * In Blue Sky Kingdom, Bruce Kirkby goes to a Buddhist monastery high up in the Himalayas. Accompanying the author on the trip are his wife…
Read more #906 East Kootenay to Himalaya

#896 A Mennonite father and son

Dad, God, & Me: Remembering a Mennonite Pastor and His Wayward Son by Ralph Friesen Victoria: FriesenPress, 2019 $20.49 / 9781525560880 Reviewed by Randy Janzen * After reading Ralph Friesen’s Dad, God and Me, I was struck by the common human urge to understand the past and reconcile ourselves with long-ago events. It is no…
Read more #896 A Mennonite father and son

#883 Everyone’s Thomas Merton

Superabundantly Alive; Thomas Merton’s Dance with the Feminine by Susan McCaslin and J.S. Porter Kelowna: Wood Lake Books, 2018 $19.96 / 9781773430355 Reviewed by Phyllis Reeve * Does everyone have their own Thomas Merton? The quiet charisma of the mid-20th-century hermit/ Christian apologist / writer / activist speaks directly and personally to each of his…
Read more #883 Everyone’s Thomas Merton

#868 Hazelton mission and medic

Service on the Skeena: Horace Wrinch, Frontier Physician by Geoff Mynett Vancouver: Ronsdale Books, 2020 $21.95 / 9781553805755 Reviewed by Tyler McCreary * Service on the Skeena, Geoff Mynett’s first book, presents the story of the northern medical missionary, public healthcare advocate, and later provincial politician, Horace Wrinch. The first doctor to serve Gitxsan and…
Read more #868 Hazelton mission and medic

#704 The humility to heal

One Drum: Stories and Ceremonies for a Planet by Richard Wagamese Madeira Park: Douglas & McIntyre, 2019 $18.95 / 9781771622295 Reviewed by Brian Fraser * My journey of communal and personal healing is very different from that of Richard Wagamese. We find our wisdom from different spiritual traditions, with different mentors, in different languages. But…
Read more #704 The humility to heal

#681 Haida matrilineal magic

Magical Beings of Haida Gwaii by Gid7ahl-Gudsllaay Lalaxaaygans (Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson) and SGaan Jaadgu San Glans (Sara Florence Davidson), illustrated by Judy Hilgemann and Alyssa Koski Victoria: Heritage House, 2019 $22.95 / 9781772032963 Reviewed by Molly Clarkson * This review contains words in the Haida Language. Both Gaw Tlagee Xaad Kil (Haida Northern Dialect, which brings…
Read more #681 Haida matrilineal magic

#653 Sinners, seekers, and sceptics

Body & Soul: Stories for Skeptics and Seekers by Susan Scott (editor), with a foreword by Alison Pick Halfmoon Bay: Caitlin Press, 2019 $24.95 / 9781987915938 Reviewed by Caileigh Broatch * Susan Scott skillfully curates and edits experiences across many cultures and faiths for Body & Soul: Stories for Skeptics and Seekers. This collection of personal…
Read more #653 Sinners, seekers, and sceptics

#590 Mission to skid row

In His Steps: The Life and Times of Wilberforce Cooper, Vancouver’s Skid Road Priest by Peter J. Cooper Victoria: FriesenPress Publishers, 2019 $27.68 / 9781525544545 Reviewed by Phyllis Reeve * St. James’s Anglican Church presides over Vancouver’s Downtown East Side — presides over but does not loom over. Described as simultaneously Byzantine, Gothic Revival, and…
Read more #590 Mission to skid row