#321 West Kootenay memories

First published June 13, 2019. Children of the Kootenays: Memories of Mining Towns by Shirley D. Stainton Victoria: Heritage House, 2018. $19.95  /  9781772031850 Reviewed by Sylvia Crooks * Several books have been written about the Kootenay mines and mining settlements, many of them now ghost towns, abandoned largely during the Great Depression. Now Shirley…
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#320 An East Vancouver childhood

Dear Current Occupant: A Memoir by Chelene Knight Toronto: Book*hug, 2018 $20.00  /  9781771663908 Reviewed by Jennifer Chutter First published June 13, 2018 * Amidst the swirl of media reports of rising housing prices, empty houses, and increased property taxes, Chelene Knight’s Dear Current Occupant: A Memoir offers a rare and nuanced view of what…
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#319 King of the back packers

The World’s Most Travelled Man: A Twenty-Three Year Odyssey to and through Every Country on the Planet by Mike Spencer Bown Madeira Park: Douglas and McIntyre, 2017 $29.95  /  9781771621427 Reviewed by Howard Stewart First published June 9, 2018 * During 1,000 weeks, Mike Spencer Bown backpacked around the world between 1990 and 2013, visiting…
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#318 A witness to persecution in China

First published June 6, 2018. The Unceasing Storm: Memories of the Chinese Cultural Revolution by Katherine Luo, foreword by Madeleine Thien Madeira Park: Douglas & McIntyre, 2018. $22.95  /   9781771621861 Reviewed by Vivienne Poy * Many personal accounts have been written about tumultuous modern China, but there is a difference in Katherine Luo’s book. We…
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#317 Channeling Camus

First published June 6, 2018. The Plague by Kevin Chong Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2018. $19.95 / 9781551527185 Reviewed by Michael Kluckner * A 1947 modernist novel by an existentialist French philosopher set in a dusty Algerian town? This sounds like an improbable inspiration for a story about glittering 21st-century Vancouver, but Kevin Chong manages…
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#316 Nak’adli Nation honours Kw’eh

First published June 3, 2018. Remembering Chief Kw’eh compiled by Lillian Sam and Frieda Klippenstein Fort St. James: Nak’azdli Whut’en Press, 2016. $10  /  9780995286900 Reviewed by Daniel Sims The Nak’azdli Chief ‘Ulh’gweh–aka Chief Kw’eh or Chief Kwah–is mostly widely known as the man who spared the life of (future Sir) James Douglas. Nak’azdli elder…
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#315 From props to hot properties

First published June 2, 2018. Life and Bronze: A Sculptor’s Journal by Ruth Abernethy Vancouver: Granville Island Publishing, 2016. $60  / 9781926991733 Reviewed by Maria Tippett * Born in Lindsay, Ontario, in 1960, Ruth Abernethy started building theatre props at the age of 17. After studying at Malaspina College (now Vancouver Island University) in Nanaimo,…
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#314 E.J. Hughes renewed

First published June 1, 2018. “B.C. is the best place in the world for landscape subject matter.” — E.J. Hughes “One of the main reasons I paint is because I think nature’s so wonderful that I want to try to get my feeling down about that on canvas, if possible. I feel that, when I…
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#313 Doreen Armitage (1931-2018)

First published June 1, 2018. Born in Toronto on August 14, 1931, Doreen Alice Ellen (Hayes) Armitage died at Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver on May 15, 2018. A writer who believed strongly in oral history, Armitage wrote for publications such as Canadian Geographic, Outdoors Canada and Canadian Living before publishing her first book,…
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#312 Voices from a museum

The Language of Family: Stories of Bonds and Belonging by Michelle van der Merwe (editor) Victoria: Royal British Columbia Museum, 2017. $27.95  /  9780772670526 Reviewed by Claire Sicherman First published May 30, 2018 * When I first held The Language of Family in my hands, I could feel the faint stirring of emotion, the way…
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#311 Going to the dogs

First published May 30, 2018. I fought the law, and the dog won The Dog Lover Unit: Lessons in Courage from the World’s K9 Cops By Rachel Rose New York: St. Martin’s Press (Macmillan Publishers), 2017. $28.99  /  9781250110749 Reviewed by Bonnie Reilly Schmidt * Rachel Rose’s The Dog Lover Unit: Lessons in Courage from…
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#310 The Third Solitude

First published May 28, 2018. Indian Horse By Richard Wagamese Madeira Park: Douglas & McIntyre, 2018. $21.95  /  9781771621908 Reviewed by Eldon Yellowhorn * First published by Douglas & McIntyre in 2012, this special edition of Richard Wagamese’s novel Indian Horse has been released to coincide with the appearance of the motion picture Indian Horse…
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#309 Christy Clark’s downfall

First published May 28, 2018. A Matter of Confidence: The Inside Story of the Political Battle for BC by Rob Shaw and Richard Zussman Victoria: Heritage House, 2018. $22.95  /  9781772032543 Reviewed by Hamish Telford * The British Columbia provincial election on May 9, 2017 was one for the history books. After a long night…
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#308 A little revolution, please

First published May 25, 2018. City on Edge: A Rebellious Century of Vancouver Protests, Riots, and Strikes by Kate Bird, foreword by Charles Demers Vancouver: Greystone Books, 2017. $32.95  /  9781771643139 Reviewed by Larry Hannant * We would be remiss if we did not preface this review with a notation that Michael Barnholden has previously…
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#307 Why Liberals dominate federally

First published May 24, 2018. The Canadian Party System: An Analytic History by Richard Johnston Vancouver: UBC Press, 2017. $55  /  9780774836074 Reviewed by Adam Coombs *      Few political parties in countries within the Westminster political system have been as successful over the course of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries as the Liberal Party…
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