Thompson Rivers University collaboration

1112 Mulling on memoir & motherhood

This One Wild Life: A Mother-Daughter Wilderness Memoir by Angie Abdou Toronto: ECW Press, 2021 $21.95 / 9781770416000 Reviewed by Ginny Ratsoy * Having recently experienced a large number of contemporary memoirs, I have found myself researching and mulling over the characteristics of the genre. How does a memoir differ from an autobiography? The memoir…
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1061 Mystery & folk music nostalgia

Lost Time by Winona Kent St Ives, Cambs, UK: Blue Devil Books, 2020 $19.99 / 9781777329419 Reviewed by Miranda Marini * Mistaken identity, car chases, and thunderstorms run rampant in this thrilling continuation in the Jason Davey mysteries. As the third instalment in this collection, Winona Kent’s Lost Time follows Jason Davey, an amateur investigator…
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1053 An Adderson quartet

Paul & Pierre: Dragon! by Caroline Adderson, with illustrations by Alice Carter Toronto: Owlkids Books, 2021 $18.95 / 9781771473286 * Pierre & Paul: Avalanche! by Caroline Adderson, illustrations by Alice Carter Toronto: Owlkids Books, 2020 $18.95 / 9781771473279 * It Happened on Sweet Street by Caroline Adderson, illustrations by Stéphane Jorisch Toronto: Penguin Random House…
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1026 A bevy of Beethovens

The Fifth Beethoven by Melanie Jackson Vancouver: Crwth Press, 2020 $10.95 / 9781989724057 Reviewed by Ginny Ratsoy * Scottish-born Vancouverite Melanie Jackson is a veteran writer of mysteries for young people, and it shows: she hits the right notes with this mystery for tweens and early teens. Not only does the mystery thread keep you…
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1020 Dishing the dirt on soap

The Clean Body: A Modern History by Peter Ward Montréal & Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2019 $37.95 / 9780773559387 Reviewed by John Douglas Belshaw * This review is late. Very late. It took McGill-Queen’s a staggeringly long time to get the book into my sanitized hands — due in part to pandemic understaffing at a…
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1014 Cariboo teacher & the cowboy

Finding the Daydreamer by Estella Kuchta Laramie, Wyoming: Elm Books, 2020 $14.95 (U.S.) / 9781941614327 Reviewed by Ginny Ratsoy * Vancouverite Estella Kuchta’s debut novel incorporates her academic interests in ecocriticism and the Canadian literary love story. Her American publishers call it “A tale of survival, set in the Canadian wilderness” (back cover) thereby placing…
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1003 Windsor’s grit and magic

Fontainebleau by Madeline Sonik Vancouver: Anvil Press, 2020 $20.00 / 9781772141481 Reviewed by Ginny Ratsoy * University of Victoria professor Madeline Sonik’s second collection of stories springs from the gritty suburban projects and amorphous rural settings in and around Windsor, Ontario in, roughly, the third quarter of the 20th Century. Linked short stories (think James…
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#947 The subtleties of love

The Crooked Thing by Mary MacDonald Halfmoon Bay: Caitlin Press, 2020 $22.95 / 9781773860312 Reviewed by Ginny Ratsoy * The title of Mary MacDonald’s debut short story collection alludes to W.B. Yeats’ “The Young Man’s Song”: “O love is the crooked thing,/ There is nobody wise enough,/ To find out all that is in it.”…
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#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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