Thompson Rivers University collaboration

#784 Buying time at Annika’s Café

Viaticum by Natelle Fitzgerald Vancouver: 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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#768 A tale of a winter’s day

The Wild Heavens by Sarah Louise Butler Madeira Park: Douglas & McIntyre, 2020 $22.95 / 9781771622585 Reviewed by Ginny Ratsoy * From chickadees to lynxes, cedars to lichen, rubber boas to salmon, the other-than human world permeates Sarah Louise Butler’s The Wild Heavens. In this stimulating debut, the natural world is more than a backdrop;…
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#753 Pungency and plate glass

Gatecrasher by Susan Buis Picton, Ontario: Invisible Publishing, 2019 $17.95 / 9781988784267 Reviewed by Christopher Levenson * We do not have to wait long with Susan Buis’s first volume, Gatecrasher, to realize that we are in the presence of a formidably original poetic talent. Take the first four lines of the first poem, “Arrowslit:” Quarry…
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#732 Race, rails, and Hogan’s Alley

They Call Me George: The Untold Story of Black Train Porters and the Birth of Modern Canada by Cecil Foster Windsor, ON: Biblioasis, 2019 $22.95 / 9781771962612 Reviewed by John Douglas Belshaw * For Black History Month Canada (February 1- 20, 2020) we present John Belshaw’s review of Cecil Foster’s They Call Me George: The…
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#729 When an inlet is an island

Return to Spinners Inlet by Don Hunter Victoria: TouchWood Editions, 2019 $22.00 / 9781771513081 Reviewed by Ginny Ratsoy * Although this collection of linked short stories is set in 2019, it evoked nostalgia in this reader. I was not surprised that its prequel, Spinner’s Inlet, was published in 1989 — which at once seems like…
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#726 Beware the Shakespeare seminar

Jacintha by Lorraine Davies Toronto: Dundurn, 2019 $21.99 /  9781459744554 Reviewed by Moira Laidlaw with Ginny Ratsoy * Lorraine Davies’ Jacintha is a novel of secrets, mistakes, and forgiveness. It tells the story of Richard Wilson, a professor of English Literature at the University of British Columbia. After a traumatic landslide destroys his house and…
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#724 Postwar gardening therapy

The Vegetable Museum by Michelle Mulder Victoria: Orca Books, 2019 $10.95 /  9781459816794 Reviewed by George M. Johnson * Michelle Mulder cultivates rich soil (sorry I couldn’t resist that) in her middle-grade novel about 13 year-old Chloë Becher, forced to move from Montreal to Victoria with her Dad when her parents separate. Initially she finds…
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#694 My name is Lane Winslow

A Deceptive Devotion: A Lane Winslow Mystery by Iona Whishaw Victoria: Touchwood Editions, 2019 $16.95 / 9781771513005 Reviewed by Kim Naqvi * “He doesn’t seem like the romantic type. I mean, he’s kind of old.” “The world is full of mysteries, Constable.” Clever dialogue, and an ear for human flight and fumbles, places Iona Whishaw’s…
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#662 A young woman’s journey

The Brightest Thing by Ruth Daniell Halfmoon Bay: Caitlin Press, 2019 $18.00 / 9781987915907 Reviewed by Myshara Herbert-McMyn * New from Ruth Daniell of Kelowna is The Brightest Thing, a book that tells the journey of a nameless young woman through four sections of beautifully written poetry structured around fairy tales. Fairy tales, of course,…
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#640 Heartbreak in the Okanagan

11 Weeks: The Real-Time Chronicling of a Breakup. A True Story by Roo Phelps Independently Published (Amazon Digital Services), 2018 $23.15 / 9781791550363 Reviewed by Myshara Herbert-McMyn with Ginny Ratsoy * A fourth-generation Canadian broadcaster with family roots in Winnipeg, Vancouver, and Courtenay, Roo Phelps has self-published her memoir 11 Weeks: The Real-Time Chronicling of a…
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#606 Whatever gets you through

Whatever Gets You Through: Twelve Survivors on Life after Sexual Assault by Stacey May Fowles and Jen Sookfong Lee (editors), with a foreword by Jessica Valenti Vancouver: Greystone Books, 2019 $22.95 /  9781771643733 Reviewed by Kimberly Webster and Chris Montoya * This book will piss you off. Who wants to be the perfect — or…
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