Perkins, John 4

Hit Man on Salt Spring Island

An outspoken critic of “predatory capitalism,” economist John Perkins spoke at the most recent ArtSpring festival on Salt Spring Island.  FULL STORY

Who’s Who

A is for Adderson
Caroline Adderson’s series about a spirited only child named Jasper John Dooley dotingly echo her experiences of observing childhood as a parent. Written for ages 7 to 10, her Jasper series describes the emotional adventures of a perfectly normal boy who experiences girl-it-is and copes with a sudden, guilty need to imbibe overly-sugared soft drinks. The author tagline for the fourth installment, Jasper John Dooley: You’re in Trouble (Kids Can $16.95), describes Adderson as someone who lives with her husband, her dog “and the son who lied to them when he said he would always be seven.” She simultaneously published a story for children aged 3 to 7, Eat, Leo! Eat! (Kids Can $18.95), about a boy who is enticed to eat homemade pasta by the cook’s stories about a different-shaped pasta every week. As the only author to have won both of B.C.’s top fiction prizes–the Ethel Wilson Prize for adult fiction (in 1994 and 2005), and the Sheila Egoff Prize for children’s literature (in 2013)–Caroline Adderson has continued to make progress with her split writing personality by releasing A Simple Case of Angels (Groundwood $9.95) for children aged 8 to 11. Hoping to rehabilitate the reputation of her adorable but overly-mischievous dog June Bug, Nicola decides to take her pet to visit the shut-ins at the new Shady Oaks nursing home, but Nicola’s mother won’t allow her to go alone. She is forced to accept the company of a new girl she doesn’t like in order to discover that more than a few of the elderly patients are being kept against their will. June Bug and Nicola become involved in an escape plan. Jasper 978-1-55453-808-9; Leo 978-1-77138-013-3; Angels 978-1-55498-430-5

Baron, Ethan formal

Ethan Baron

B is for Baron
The big day need not cost big bucks. Yes, Virginia, a sensible, affordable, quickly-planned wedding is possible. In his Wedding Bliss on a Budget (Self-Counsel $14.95), journalist Ethan Baron guides couples on how to create a great event without a great budget. Baron spent four years as a general-assignment reporter at The Province before taking on the job of columnist in 2009. After receiving a Master’s degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley, he has worked at a variety of journalism gigs for fifteen years prior to landing a job as an instructor at Langara University in Vancouver. His work has taken him to crime scenes, courtrooms, carnivals and war zones–all ideal training grounds for writing a book about weddings. 9781770402225

C is for Clément
Easily one of the most unjustly overlooked B.C. books of the year for 2014 was Dominique Clément’s fascinating Equality Deferred: Sex Discrimination and British Columbia’s Human Rights State, 1953-84 (UBC Press $45 pb). Written by an Assistant Professor at the University of Alberta in the Department of Sociology, this overview of social change pertaining to human rights reveals the extent to which British Columbia broke new ground for the rest of the country, particularly in the 1970s and early 1980s. Clément recounts how and why British Columbia became the first province to enact laws prohibiting discrimination based on sex. Whether it was feminists protesting the annual Lady Godiva ride promoted by the UBC Engineers or stewardesses challenging the right of airlines to dismiss them when they became married or pregnant, the women of B.C., encouraged by the likes of Rosemary Brown, Shelagh Day, Kathleen Ruff, Ellen Woodsworth and the Vancouver Status of Women, were at the forefront of change in the wake of counter-culturalism that arose in the Sixties. The case histories that Clément has recounted show how British Columbia–the province that gave the world Greenpeace and Terry Fox–was once at the forefront of idealism in Canada. Clément’s most recent project includes an historical review of Canadian human rights laws and their evolution to the present. His website details a timeline and storyline of Canadian human rights, including law and state policy and key events and figures in history.

Deverell, William reading at microphone

William Deverell

D is for Deverell
In the sixth crime novel in William Deverell’s series featuring defence lawyer Arthur Beauchamp, Sing a Worried Song (ECW Press $24.95), we revisit the one time in Beauchamp’s career when he restlessly decided to switch sides and serve as a prosecutor. When a young man was charged with murdering a clown, Beauchamp was confident he could prove Randolph Skyler was guilty. Meanwhile his own personal life was coming apart… Beauchamp cannot forget this case, not even years later when he’s happily remarried and retired to Garibaldi Island on the West Coast. The past comes back to bite him, with a vengeance.  Born in Regina in 1937, Bill Deverell is a criminal lawyer and former president of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association. He started practicing law in B.C. in 1964. Deverell is now most widely known for writing the pilot episode for, and also co-creating, the CBC-TV series Street Legal that was based on his novel, Street Legal: The Betrayal (1995), featuring young Toronto lawyers in the offices of Robinovitch, Barr, Barr, Tchobanian. The syndicated series ran in Canada from 1986 to 1994. It has aired in more than 50 countries. 978-1-77041-245-3

E is for Elk
Watson Mylar was the pen name for Jim Millar when he self-published Hunting Elk in Kitsilano (A Canadian Romance) in 1978 under the imprint of Vanity Press. “I had just completed a graduate fellowship at the San Francisco Art Institute,” Millar has recalled in an email, “but chose to go into law, so Hunting Elk was only intended to be an adventure; an unedited rough sketch. I pursued a career as trial and appellate counsel on freedom of expression cases, as well as contempt, environmental, and many murder cases; basically everything from white collar to black leather. But I hit a tipping point, quit, and now live above a Teddy Bear Museum in Thailand where I have no wife, TV or dog, so I’m writing.” According to Millar, Hunting Elk in Kitsilano sold 1500 copies in a month “because booksellers like Duthie’s, Blackberry, and the UBC Bookstore actually promoted it. Wouldn’t happen now.” A copy of Hunting Elk in Kitsilano is in the Special Collections library at UBC and it was made into an audio book by the Crane Library. Three copies were available worldwide via Abebooks in January of 2015; a signed copy was priced at $12.50 U.S.

Fawcett, Katherine

Katherine Fawcett

F is for Fawcett
Katherine Fawcett started her career as a sports reporter before venturing into freelance journalism and commercial writing. After becoming a mother and turning forty, Fawcett turned her hand to fiction with her first collection of dark and comical stories, The Little Washer of Sorrows (Thistledown $18.95), in which bizarre or rare occurrences upset the status quo. Margo, the protagonist of the opening story “Captcha,” is a perfect wife—both a mathematical genius and Kokanee beer model. After dutifully sending her husband Pete off to work, she finds Pete’s filing cabinet unlocked. She cannot resist her curiousity and makes a life-changing discovery. The title story, “The Little Washer of Sorrows,” evokes a world of freaks, fables, and folklore. Greg, the protagonist, is convinced that the assistant estate manager at a bankruptcy office, green-eyed Fiona, is an Irish banshee–a mythological fairy who has appeared as a prophet of doom, washing the dirty laundry of a person whose demise is approaching. In a less audacious story, “Johnny Longsword’s Third Option,” we meet a male stripper who sits impatiently in a mysterious waiting room, reflecting on his past. The threat of something sinister lingers beneath the surface in many of Fawcett’s stories. Fawcett was longlisted for the 2011 CBC Short Story Prize and the 2014 Carter V. Cooper/Exile Short Fiction Competition. She has published in Wordworks, Event, Freefall, subTerrain and Other Voices. Born in Montreal, raised in Calgary, she lives in Pemberton and teaches music in Whistler. She plays violin with the Sea to Sky Orchestra and also the fiddle. Katherine Fawcett lived in Japan before coming to B.C. 978-1-77187-049-8

G is for Goldman
Rene Goldman, who taught at UBC and retired to Summerland, is a childhood survivor of the Holocaust. His self-published memoir is Childhood on the Move: Memoirs of a child-survivor of the Holocaust (2014). He writes: “This book is more than a narration of my life during the sadly unforgettable years of the Shoah, when death lay in wait for me at every turn of a winding road for no cause other than my Jewish birth. I deem it nothing short of miraculous that I survived that time of anguish and pain “I survived in the shadow of terror across three countries in succession: Luxembourg, where I was born, Belgium, where my parents thought we had found refuge in 1940, and France, where I suffered the most tragic moments of my life, notably the successive loss of my mother and my father. It was in France, where the government and its police collaborated so zealously with the “Final Solution”, that I experienced my own closest brush with death. More than half of my book is devoted to the years in which I grew up in France: from 1942 to 1950. From my recollections of the years when the necessity to evade the ubiquitous threat required that I be moved “from pillar to post”, I proceed to an account of the years that followed the Second World War, when I was raised in a succession of children’s homes (orphanages) in France, then lived for three years in Poland, where I completed my secondary education and next, began my university studies in China. All told, this memoir encompasses the first twenty years of my life. This book is, however, no bare chronological narrative; woven into the tapestry of my recollections are observations on the historical events and Zeitgeist that impacted my destiny, besides passing reflections concerning politics, culture, and life in general. I bear witness to a tragedy unprecedented in history, during which six million Jews, including my entire family in Poland, with the single exception of one uncle, were murdered in cold blood. I seek here to offer my modest contribution to the perpetuation of the memory of that tragedy in the fervent hope that it will neither be forgotten, nor denied. May present and future readers find in these memoirs matter for reflection and, perhaps will some discover in them an avenue of research. I belong to the generation of survivors, who in the 1980s received recognition as a class different from that of adult survivors of the Shoah. We are known as the “child-survivors”, who were too young to comprehend why the Nazis and their collaborators across Europe waged a war of extermination against us. We are also known as the “hidden children”, since we survived in hiding in various ways, mainly under the protection of caring Gentiles.” Printed by Island Blue in Victoria. Available from author. $20 ISBN 978-0-9876780-7-2

H is for Hoyt
Author of sixteen books, mostly pertaining to whales, starting with Orca: The Whale Called Killer (Dutton, New York, 1981) based on seven years of research in B.C., Erich Hoyt has written for The Guardian, Sunday (London) Times, New York Times, Equinox, National Geographic and Canadian Geographic based on various expeditions. largely in British Columbia, including main or cover stories on South Moresby Island and Ninstints in the Queen Charlotte Islands; Steller sea lions; Nimpkish Island (“In search of Canada’s tallest trees”) and others. Awarded a Vannevar Bush Fellowship to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University in 1985-86, he spent several years in Cambridge, Massachusetts before moving to Scotland in 1989, followed by Dorset, England in 2013. His work and interests have been based mainly around the Pacific Rim, including work in the Russian Far East, Japan and B.C. Three of his adult nonfiction books, The Earth Dwellers, Insect Lives, and Orca: The Whale Called Killer have been optioned for films. He was associate producer on the feature documentary The Last Ocean, produced and directed by Peter Young in 2013. Currently he is writing the script for Silent Paddles.

I is for Inuit
As a professor of Aboriginal Studies at Langara College, Shelley Wright, having spent many years in the Arctic, has combined scientific and legal information with political and individual perspectives for an unprecedented overview of the Canadian Arctic and its people, Our Ice Is Vanishing / Sikuvut Nunguliqtuq: A History of Inuit, Newcomers, and Climate Change (McGill-Queens $39.95). Focussing on Inuit history and culture, Ice Is Vanishing describes the legacies of exploration, intervention, and resilience alongside Wright’s own recollections and photos–revealing how the Inuit have become the witnesses and messengers for climate change. Shelley Wright has lived and travelled in the Arctic for more than ten years beginning with her experiences as the Northern Director of the Akitsiraq Law School based in Iqaluit. 978-0-7735-4462-8

J is for Jane Mundy
Jane Mundy is a Vancouver freelance writer and editor who also has twenty years of experience as a professional cook. She will follow The Ocean Wise Cookbook by editing The Ocean Wise Cookbook 2: More Seafood Recipes that are Good for the Planet (Whitecap $29.95), due in April, 2015, in conjunction with Ocean Wise, a national conservation program created by the Vancouver Aquarium to educate restaurants and consumers about the issues surrounding sustainable seafood. It contains more than 100 recipes from Canadian chefs and restaurants, as well as advice about cooking techniques and sustainability concerns. Some of the “ocean friendly” recipies include Hot Smoked Sockeye Salmon with Charred Orange and Maple Syrup, Rainbow Trout Ceviche, Savory Anchovy Eclairs, Grilled Guajillo Spot Prawns with Gazpacho and Seaweed Salad 978-1-77050-238-3

Komar, Debra

Debra Komar

K is for Komar
As a forensic anthropologist in the US, UK, and Canada for over twenty years, Debra Komar investigated human-rights violations resulting in violent deaths for the United Nations and Physicians for Human Rights. She also testified as an expert witness in The Hague and across North America, and authored Forensic Anthropology: Contemporary Theory and Practice for Oxford University Press. Living on the east coast of Canada, she turned to fiction and first wrote The Ballad of Jacob Peck and The Lynching of Peter Wheeler. In 2015, she turned her fictional sights to the West Coast for a historical novel that investigates the shooting death of Hudson’s Bay Company employee John McLoughlin Jr. just after midnight on April 21, 1842. As the chief trader at remote Fort Stikine, on the Stikine River in present-day northern B.C., McLoughlin Jr. was known for his violent rampages. The HBC’s governor George Simpson accepted the fort’s employees’ version of events–that their commander was drunken and abusive, and the killing had occurred in self-defence. It was a difficult decision because McLoughlin was the illegimate son of the venerable John McLoughlin who managed HBC affairs in the Columbia district. In her novel The Bastard of Fort Stikine: The Hudson’s Bay Company and the Murder of John McLoughlin, Jr. (Goose Lane $19.95), Komar retells history, mostly assuming the worst in terms of interpreting the morals and behaviour of the fur traders, in her efforts to reconstruct the crime scene and solve the mystery of the death using archival research and modern forensic science. Publicity materials assert, “The threat from outside the fort’s stockades, however, paled in comparison to the menace lurking within. Hostile as they were, the aboriginals were no match for the worthless band of miscreants, malcontents and lost boys that made up the fort’s complement.” 9780864927217

Lester, David Ballantyne 1 WEB small versionL is for Lester
David Lester, author of the graphic novel, The Listener, now into its second printing, will have his graphic short story “Battle of Ballantyne Pier,” about locked-out waterfront workers in Vancouver in 1935, published as part of an anthology of comics on Canadian labour history that is being produced for the Graphic History Project.”Drawn to Change: Graphic Histories of Working-Class Struggle” (Between the Lines, 2016) . The anthology is being gathered primarily by historian Paul Buhle for The Graphic History Project, based in Vancouver. Buhle is a retired professor from Brown University in Rhode Island. His anthology will also feature the work of Althea Balmes, Sam Bradd, Nicole Marie Burton, Sean Carleton, Robin Folvik, Ethan Heitner, Orion Keresztesi, Doug Nesbitt, Kara Sievewright, Jo SiMalaya Alcampo, Julia Smith and Tania Willard. David Lester’s 300-page graphic novel “The Listener” was published by Arbeiter Ring Publishers of Winnipeg in 2011. Seven years in the making, it quickly went into a second printing and was a finalist for a Book of the Year Award sponsored by the US magazine ForeWord Reviews in the graphic novel category. ForeWord primarily caters to librarians and booksellers and focuses on small and independent publishers. Born in Vancouver in 1958, David Lester is a professional graphic designer and a musician whose band, Mecca Normal, a venerable guitar and voice duo with Jean Smith, has garnered international acclaim, including a four-star CD review in Rolling Stone, and fans throughout Europe and North America. The duo has been featured at the ‘Experience Music Project’ Museum in Seattle. Lester’s drawings have been reproduced in publications in Canada, the U.S. and England.

M is for Mercer
E. George Mercer of North Saanich was born on May 1, 1957 at Gander, Newfoundland. He came to B.C. in 2004. For more than three decades he worked as a national park warden in Canada, including work in six national parks on both east and west coasts, the North and the Rocky Mountains. His passionate interest in parks and protected areas fuels his writing. He has a website for non-fiction writing and another for fiction. His first self-published novel, Dyed in the Green (2014), is part of a planned five-book series about Canadian national park wardens and their exploits with poachers, developers and bureaucrats. Initially set in Cape Breton Highlands National Park, this “Dyed In The Green” series will follow a main character across Canada. The sequel is slated to be set in Wood Buffalo National Park (northern Alberta and the NWT) and the third and fourth books will alternate between Jasper National Park and an African national park. He envisions his series will conclude in British Columbia’s Southern Gulf Islands.

Newland, Trevor headshot 2

Trevor Newland

N is for Newland
A former songwriter who performed in Los Angeles, Toronto and Vancouver, Trevor Newland now teaches literature and creative writing at Langara College. He is also a writer/illustrator. His fiction/criticism has been published in journals such as WestWord Journal and The Vancouver Review. As a young boy, Newland was influenced by Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham, and Alice through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll. As an adult, his graduate thesis focused on the writing of Cormac McCarthy and war atrocities during the war between America and Mexico in the mid nineteenth century. In 2014, Newland had the first of three picture books released in Canada and the U.S., The Scallywag Solution (Mosaic Press $15.95). The scallywags of the title are four misfits who must outsmart bad guys known as Beards (Blackbeard, Greybeard, Redbeard, and their little sister Goldiebeard). The Beards are pirates who eat scallywags. In addition to entertaining children, Newland aims to make history interesting for young readers. For example, the second installment of the series will feature a royal balloon race and in the process explain why the Tower of Pisa leans. The third installment will provide some answers as to why the famous Sphinx in Egypt has no nose. 978-0-88962-990-5

O is for Olesko
Portland Oregon native Darlene K. Olesko gravitated to Lasqueti Island during the “back to the land” movement in 1971. She co-authored and illustrated the first Lasqueti Island cookbook and contributed an article and map to Islands in the Salish Sea: A Community Atlas coordinated by Sheila Harrington and Judi Stevenson. Lasqueti Island, home to poets, artists, physicists, fishermen, loggers and professional consultants in engineering, alternative energy and education. Statistics Canada calls it one of the most highly educated communities in BC. The “back to the land” movement of the ’70s and early ’80s brought a flood of exotic characters to the island’s rural communes — hippies, revolutionaries, utopians — all hoping to build a simpler, better life away from mainstream society. Lasqueti Island, the least known and populated of the Gulf Islands, was the place to be. In Accidental Eden: Hippie Days on Lasqueti Island with Douglas L. Hamilton (Caitlin $24.95) Olesko and Hamilton explore Lasqueti’s rowdy, divided reputation, its eccentric days and political accomplishments — like convincing BC Hydro to re-route a power line around, rather than over the island. Today some perceive the island as a romantic fantasy of a great place to raise children and grow old, others see it as a community of “inbred hermits,” wanting to dodge the authorities and grow their own drugs. Accidental Eden is a collection of tales representing an irreplaceable era BC history. 978-1-927575-52-9

Penner, Derek

Derek Penner

P is for Penner
No other generation has accrued the wealth of the Baby Boomers, but how will their children face the challenges of buying a home, and investing and saving money? How can parents help their children financially and still protect themselves and their assets? Derrick Penner’s Bank of Mom and Dad (Self-Counsel $14.95) offers clear advice to parents who are looking to assist their children financially without sacrificing their own security. Penner is a senior business reporter with The Vancouver Sun where he writes about personal finance, banking and wealth management. Subtitled, Money, Parents and Grown Children, the guide discusses legal, financial and emotional pitfalls awaiting the uninformed and unprepared parental investor and supporter.9781770402133

Q is for Quiver
A dwarf mistletoe can shoot its seeds up to 50 feet away. The Arctic heather plant can create subtropical conditions within its leaves. Often exposed to bitter cold, relentless winds, intense heat, drought, fire, pollution and other adverse conditions, such plants demonstrate remarkable strategies for surviving their environment. Jesse Vernon Trail’s first book, Quiver Trees, Phantom Orchids and Rock Splitters (ECW Press $24.95), highlights the world’s most unusual plants for a general audience of plant and nature enthusiasts. Quiver Trees is also a fact-filled reference source on some of the lesser-known plants that populate landscapes around the world. Jesse Vernon Trail is an instructor and curriculum developer in environment, ecology, sustainability issues, horticulture and the natural history of plants. His articles have been published in The Ecologist, Garden Making, Canadian Gardening, Plant and Garden, Fine Gardening, Gardenwise, Harrowsmith Country Life, Alive, and Outdoor Canada. He lives in Vernon, B.C. “Gardening will never go out of fashion,” Trail told the Vernon Morning Star newspaper. “People will always buy plants even when they don’t have very much money. There is something in the greenery and beauty of plants that gives us a feeling of comfort and joy.” 978-1-77041-208-8

R is for Rogers
The release of Janet Rogers’ latest collection of poetry, Peace in Duress (Talonbooks $16.95), occurs at the conclusion of her three-year tenure as Poet Laureate of Victoria. Promotional material says, “Rogers’ newest collection pulses with the rhythms of the drum and the beat of the heart.” A Mohawk/Tuscarora writer from the Six Nations territory in southern Ontario, Janet Marie Rogers was born in Vancouver, on January 29, 1963. She has been living in the traditional lands of the Coast Salish people, in Victoria, since 1994. She began her creative career as a visual artist, and began writing in 1996. Her previous books are Splitting the Heart (Ekstasis Editions, 2007), Red Erotic (Ojistah, 2010) and Unearthed (Leaf Press, 2011) . 978-0-88922-911-2

S is for Seagrave
Whereas Jayne Seagrave’s Camping with Kids: The Best Family Campgrounds in British Columbia and Alberta, published back in 2005, had only three campgrounds from Alberta and about twenty from B.C., and it was geared towards family with children under age ten, her follow-up, Camping with Kids in the West (Heritage $19.95) ten years later, features 12 Alberta campgrounds and new information pertaining to camping with older children–plus new website info. Born in England in 1961, Seagrave lives in Vancouver with her husband Andrew Dewberry and sons Jack and Sam. She holds a Ph.D. in criminology. Consequently she first wrote Introduction to Policing in Canada (Prentice Hall, 1997).

Teuwen Thomas & Laura bulldozer 2

His and Hers bulldozers

T is for Teuwen
It must be something in the air here… Thomas Teuwen spent 25 in the manufacturing, mining, energy and technology sectors in Nova Scotia before he came west to Sidney, B.C. in 2000 and became a vegetarian, went car-free and began a new adventure building The Biggest Little House in Sidney. His ‘eco-building project soon morphed into a lifestyle project in which he was dedicated to reducing his carbon footprint. With Laura Lynn Parker he has subsequently written a guide to conserving energy and reducing waste, Greening Your Home (Self-Counsel $12.95). They discuss green materials and appliances, maintenance and design issues, and how to decide whether to go “DIY” or hire a professional to eco-renovate your home. Whether you’re looking at minor changes or major renovations, Greening Your Home is intended to provide practical, economical advice that will help make your home more efficient. 9781770402072

U is for Uganda
Ainslie Manson’s thirteenth children’s book, A Giraffe Called Geranium (Red Diamond / Sandhill $19.95) was inspired by her trip to Uganda where her niece manages safari camps. Manson learned about poaching problems and the need to protect giraffes, prompting her to create a whimsical story about a giraffe that makes an inexplicable appearance in a West Coast garden. A girl named Susanna comforts and names the giraffe, but it’s homesick for the African savannah—so they set sail for Africa.  Manson gave the story to West Vancouver artist Mary Baker as a 60th birthday present. Baker previously illustrated a 2010 book by Grace Chen, a young woman with Down’s syndrome. Baker’s art has most been sold and displayed in West Vancouver. 978-0-9937341-0-6


Ben van Drimmelen

V is for van Drimmelen
Having worked as a wildlife biologist for about 40 years and an environmental lawyer for almost 20 years, Ben van Drimmelen of Victoria has written Greening your Boat (Self-Counsel $12.95) in which he outlines how boats can be maintained to minimize negative impacts on the environment. Safe and affordable practices include finding alternatives for the many chemicals and solvents required for upkeep. Ben van Drimmelen co-owns a small but very robust sailboat (a Nonsuch, originally designed for Great Lakes sailing) as well as an inflatable Zodiac and both a single and a collapsible double kayak. He frequently undertakes eight- to ten-day kayak trips along the BC coast and has done a two-week trip down the South Saskatchewan River (Alberta portion) during which he was somewhat deterred by the persistent impact of cattle; feces and hooves plowing up the muddy shores. His sailing trips have generally been shorter, although he did once spend three months exploring the waters along the northeast side of Vancouver Island and the San Juans. Other than a few days of dingy sailing in southern Saskatchewan, he has had little boating experience beyond Canada except kayaking down two rivers in Laos. Ben van Drimmelen has also been a director/board member of environmental non-government organizations, including the Canadian Land Trust Alliance, the Land Trust Alliance of BC, the Habitat Acquisition Trust and the SeaChange Conservation Society.  978-1-77040-206-5

W is for Wang
Jack and Holman Wang, as twin brothers growing up in Vancouver, were big Stars Wars fans when they were little. Jack Wang became a professor at Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York, and Holman Wang, a former lawyer, was a middle school teacher in Vancouver before becoming a ‘full-time felter.’ As co-creators of the Cozy Classics board books, they subsequently teamed up for a re-telling of the Star Wars story for pre-school children. Starting with Star Wars Epic Yarns: A New Hope (Chronicle $11.95 U.S.), their series will reduce the saga into board books. Their first volume features twelve iconic scenes: Princess Leia sends a hologram message via R2-D2; Luke Skywalker learns how to use a lightsabre, etc. Jack Wang provides the pithy narration–as pithy as one-word per page–and Holman Wang has handcrafted the felt action figures. George Lucas has given his permission/blessing for the project. 9781452133935

X is for Xwemelch’stn
The texts in Colin Browne’s The Properties (Talon $19.95) range from a twenty-first-century visitation by Herman Melville at a diner in New York City to an unknown history of the Lions Gate Bridge that begins in the Coast Salish village of Xwemelch’stn and ends with an assassination in Egypt. Igor Stravinsky, Sigmund Freud, Duke Ellington, Jeanne d’Arc, Walter Guinness, George Bowering, André Breton and more appear. 9780889226852

Y is for Yam
Yam Cooper of Penticton has written, illustrated and self-published The Story of Bill and His House of the Hill (Yam Cooper $19.95), described as a humourous and refreshing tale for all ages about diversity, leadership and xenophobia. Bill has grass hair. As an outcast, he forms a friendship with a deaf-blind critter and reinvents a language that bypasses discrimination and connects people through the heart. According to promotional literature, “this adult-book-in-disguise” seeks to encourage better understanding and avoidance of bullying with a discussion guide called Beyond the Green Noggin. “This story has many layers,” says Cooper. “With each reading, depending on their age, life skills and experience, the reader can discover the one that opens their mind or sparks an important lesson for life. The book touches on many topics in a fun and engaging way, like creativity, racism, discrimination, sustainability, language, openness, taking action, staying positive, and many essential skills for life. I hope to reach children before they become bullied or bullies, as Bill’s story can positively influence their direction in life.” Educator and humourist Yam Cooper is a member of the non-profit family band Vivibe, “playing world music for peace and deepening the human to human and human to planet connection,” when he produced his first book. Cooper is also on the board of directors of Happy Hive Creative Learning Society, “a fresh new organization of awesome visionaries creating innovative creativity, life skills, and teamwork programs for children.” 9780993813115


Lillooet Nördlinger McDonnell

Z is for Zelikovitz
Lillooet Nördlinger McDonnell, Ph.D, is a scholar of modern Jewish and Israeli history. Originally from British Columbia, she is currently a research fellow at the Zelikovitz Centre for Jewish Studies in Ottawa. Her book Raincoast Jews: Integration in British Columbia (Midtown Press $22.95) recounts the lives and accomplishments of five important Jews in B.C. between 1860 and 1970. Cecelia Davies is remembered for her charity work in Victoria; Hannah Director became head of the school board in Prince George; as a refugee from Czechoslovakia, Leon Koerner was a progressive figure from the B.C. lumber industry; founder of UBC’s school of music, Harry Adaskin is revered as an outstanding musician; Nathan Nemetz was an outstanding lawyer who became the first Jewish Chief Justice of British Columbia. 978-0-9881101-2-0

  • About Us

    BC BookLook is an independent website dedicated to continuously promoting the literary culture of British Columbia.