#633 Uneasy stories, imperfect lives

Meteorites: Stories by Julie Paul Victoria: Brindle & Glass, an imprint of TouchWood Editions, 2019 $22.00 / 9781927366820 Reviewed by William New * In a much quoted phrase, the Nigerian writer Ben Okri observes that the “fact of storytelling hints at a fundamental human unease, hints at human imperfection. Where there is perfection, there is…
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#632 Living small on a tired planet

Tiny House, Big Fix Victoria: Orca Books, 2019 $9.95 / 9781459821200 by Gail Anderson-Dargatz Reviewed by Valerie Green * This small book by novelist Gail Anderson-Dargatz is a delightfully quick read for young adults. The story is told in just 136 pages. In the book, the author describes many aspects of rural life while at…
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#631 Vassilopoulos goes west

Adventures on the West Coast of Vancouver Island by Peter Vassilopoulos Delta: Pacific Marine Publishing, 2018 $39.95 / 9780919317512 Reviewed by John Hutchings * In this new book by Peter Vassilopoulos — the well-known, prolific, South African-born author of numerous books on boating in the coastal waters of British Columbia – we are taken to…
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#630 Breaking with the Tribe

Mad Hatter by Amanda Hale Montreal: Guernica Editions, 2019 $29.95 / 9781771833905 Reviewed by Sally Campbell * Some books are simply better than others. This fictionalized memoir, set in Britain during the Second World War, takes on big questions — mental fragility, emotional resilience, demonization of dissenters, tribalism, family secrets and family legacy, sex, love,…
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#629 Wet’suwet’en land & revival

Ross Hoffman with Alfred Joseph Song of the Earth: The Life of Alfred Joseph Smithers: Creekstone Press, 2019 $21.95 / 9781928195054 Reviewed by Diana French * Song of the Earth is the story of Alfred Joseph, a long time Wet’suwet’en hereditary chief, a respected “knowledge holder” of the Nation’s history, an artist, teacher, and a…
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#628 Myths, Mounties, and Métis

Sam Steele: A Biography by Rod Macleod Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 2018 $35.99 / 9781772123791 Reviewed by Sheldon Goldfarb * There’s a CBC Heritage Minute about Sam Steele. You may have seen it. A stern, moustachioed Mountie sits at his rough wooden desk, staring down an excitable American prospector who wants to wear pistols…
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#627 Out of a Danish orphanage

Feast of Fields by Sean Karemaker Wolfville, NS: Conundrum Press, 2018 $18.00 / 9781772620252 Reviewed by Chris Fink-Jensen * Feast of Fields, by Vancouver artist Sean Karemaker, is a graphic biography that tells the story of his mother’s childhood experiences living in an orphanage in Denmark. The book begins from Karemaker’s own perspective, recounting a…
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#626 Fire on the Chilcotin Plateau

Captured by Fire: Surviving British Columbia’s New Wildfire Reality by Chris Czajkowski and Fred Reid Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2019 $24.95 / 9781550178852 Reviewed by Sage Birchwater * The wildfires of 2017 are still fresh in the minds of the people who experienced them in the Central Interior of British Columbia. Across the broad landscape…
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#625 To Italy with Stendhal

A Promise on the Horizon by Ann Pearson Vancouver: Granville Island Publishing, 2019 $24.95 / 9781989467022 Reviewed by Valerie Green * Ann Pearson’s work of biographical fiction, A Promise on the Horizon, will be greatly esteemed by historians, academic researchers, and lovers of the Napoleonic era. Pearson takes the reader on a delightful journey of…
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#624 Fishing the Kamloops trout

Trout School: Lessons from a Fly-Fishing Master by Mark Hume with Mo Bradley, illustrated by Nana Cook and with a foreword by Claire Hume Vancouver: Greystone Books, 2019 $22.95 / 9781771644167 Reviewed by Myles Armstead * Most fly-fishing books fall into two categories: those that speak of the natural beauty and the philosophical ponderings of…
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#623 Leave the man in the ditch

Bina: A Novel in Warnings by Anakana Schofield Toronto: Knopf Canada (Penguin Random House), 2019 $29.95 / 9780735273214 Reviewed by Paul Headrick * The narrator of Anakana Schofield’s Bina, a Novel in Warnings is an elderly woman, more-or-less trapped in her house near Castlebar, Ireland. While awaiting possible trial on an unspecified criminal charge, she…
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#622 The secrets of Okanagan Lake

Okanagan Lake: An Illustrated Exploration Above and Below the Waters by Raphael Nowak Kelowna: Institute for Underwater Research, 2018 Distributed by Sandhill Marketing $32.95 / 9781775240501 Reviewed by Harold Rhenisch * Okanagan Lake fills the bottom of the Okanagan Valley between Penticton and Spallumcheen. It is 135 kilometres long and varies in width from one…
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