Thompson Rivers University collaboration

#939 The path to regeneration

Seven Sacred Truths by Wanda John-Kehewin Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2018 $18.95 / 9781772012132 Reviewed by Savana Alphonse with Rebecca Fredrickson * Seven Sacred Truths offers an unfettering of writing styles, including prayer, poetry, prose, and letters, that reflect Wanda John-Kehewin’s personal exploration of self through a healing journey. The title relates to what Indigenous people know…
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#927 A runecaster’s apprenticeship

Runecaster Book 1: The Stone of Sorrow by Brooke Carter Victoria: Orca Book Publishers $14.95 /  9781459824393 Reviewed by Myshara Herbert-McMyn * The Stone of Sorrow concerns magic, myth, and adventure. Each page I turned of this YA (young adult) novel meant more mystery and surprise. I wasn’t sure how much Icelandic and Norse mythology…
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#926 Crisis on the front line

The Last High by Daniel Kalla Toronto: Simon & Schuster Canada, 2020 $22.00 / 9781501196980 Reviewed by Benjamin Matthews * Daniel Kalla’s The Last High begins with a murder, or rather a bunch of murders. We get a firsthand view of the murders through the eyes of Alexa, a 16-year-old girl who watches in bliss…
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#923 Return to the Book of Small

When Emily was Small by Lauren Soloy Toronto: Penguin Random House, 2020 (Tundra Books) $21.99 / 9780735266063 Reviewed by Ginny Ratsoy * Lauren Soloy is both author and illustrator of this lovely adaptation of Emily Carr’s “White Currants” from The Book of Small (1942), which Doris Shadbolt, in the introduction to The Emily Carr Omnibus,…
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#879 Murder on the Sun Tower

Death of a Doppelganger by Rod Deakin-Drown New Westminster: Silverbow Publishing, 2019 $23.95 / 9781774030714 Reviewed by Ben Matthews * Rod Deakin-Drown’s Death of a Doppelganger is a classic noir mystery set in modern-day Vancouver. It begins with a murder that happens just before we meet the protagonist, Count Jason Kereso. Kereso is a private…
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#877 A primer for modern teachers

You Suck, Sir: Chronicles of a High School English Teacher and the Students who Schooled Him by Paul Bae Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press (Robin’s Egg Books), 2020 $19.95 / 9781551528076 Reviewed by Myshara Herbert-McMyn * A comedian, podcaster, writer, and actor, Paul Bae also taught English at Vancouver’s largest public school. He co-created and co-wrote…
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#866 Beware rainbow-filled Oreos

Rebent Sinner by Ivan Coyote Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2019 $19.75 / 9781551527734 Reviewed by Anna Spencer with Heather Simeney MacLeod * On March 12, 2020, Ivan Coyote’s Rebent Sinner was shortlisted for the 2020 Jim Deva Prize (for “writing that provokes”) and was also shortlisted for the Hubert Evans Non-fiction Prize, both of the BC…
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#865 Channelling Oscar Wilde

Beautiful Untrue Things: Forging Oscar Wilde’s Extraordinary Afterlife by Gregory Mackie Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2019 $60.00 / 9781487502904 Reviewed by Brittany Reid * There has long been a fascination with the unusual lives of authors, leading to the proliferation of a popular and academic genre known as literary biography. Literary biographies are intended…
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#846 Ashcroft drought and hunger

The Ballad of Samuel Hewitt by Nick Tooke Erin, ON: Porcupine’s Quill, 2020 $19.95 / 9780889844278 Reviewed by Ginny Ratsoy * Add Nick Tooke’s The Ballad of Samuel Hewitt to what I am calling the  BC Interior anti-Western (as in Old Hollywood Western movie) novel with roaming “heroes” emanating from the hardscrabble and hostile interior…
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#800 Prisms of sisterhood

Dual Citizens by Alix Ohlin Toronto: House of Anansi Press, 2019 $22.95 / 9781487004866 Reviewed by Ginny Ratsoy * Sororal bonds are complex: a pair of sisters may know each other better than anyone else does; they may see themselves reflected in the other to the extent that they expect the sister to think and…
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#797 Secwépemc land and language

Clinging to Bone by Garry Gottfriedson Vancouver: Ronsdale Press, 2019 $17.95 / 9781553805625 Reviewed by Heather Simeney MacLeod * Garry Gottfriedson is from the Secwépemc (previously Shuswap) Nation. He was born, raised and continues to reside in Kamloops. He studied under Allen Ginsberg, Anne Waldman, and Marianne Faithful at the distinguished Naropa Institute in Boulder,…
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#787 The everlasting Bram Stoker

Drafts of Dracula by Bram Stoker, edited and annotated by Robert Eighteen-Bisang and Elizabeth Miller, with a foreword by Dacre Stoker Victoria: Tellwell Talent, 2019 Order from your local indie bookstore or: $30.95  /  9780228814306 hardbound @ Chapters/Indigo $20.91  /  9780228814290 paperbound @ Chapters/Indigo $9.95  /  9780228814313 ebook @ www.amazon.ca Reviewed by Heather Simeney MacLeod…
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#784 Buying time at Annika’s Café

Viaticum by Natelle Fitzgerald Surrey: Now Or Never Publishing, 2019 $19.95 / 9781988098876 Reviewed by Cassidy Jean with Ginny Ratsoy * Natelle Fitzgerald’s Viaticum has been seven years in the making, according to her acknowledgments page, and from this reader’s perspective, this debut work of literary fiction does not disappoint. “Viaticum,” of Latin etymology, can…
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#773 Past imperfect

Agency by William Gibson Toronto: Penguin Random House Canada (Berkley Books), 2020 $37.00 / 9781101986936 Reviewed by John Belshaw * Fully articulated alternative histories have been around for at least a century. In addition to attempts on the part of scholarly historians to change up the past, there are plenty of storylines in fiction that…
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#772 Echoes of spirits dreaming

Bawaajigan: Stories of Power by Nathan Niigan Noodin Adler and Christine Miskonoodinkwe Smith (editors) Toronto: Exile Editions, 2019 $21.95 / 9781550968415 Reviewed by Savana Alphonse with Rebecca Fredrickson * Bawaajigan: Stories of Power is a collection of short stories written by seventeen Indigenous authors from Turtle Island, today known as Canada. The stories here serve…
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