R.I.P. Alice Munro (1931 – 2024)

“Compared to Anton Chekhov for her peerless short stories for which she won a Nobel Prize for Literature in 2013, Alice Munro (left) has died.FULL STORY


B.C. Bestsellers February 25, 2014

February 25th, 2014

Adult Titles:

1. Burgoo: Food for Comfort by Justin Joyce and Stephan MacIntyre   9780991858842  Figure 1 PublishingIn the American South, Burgoo is a thick savoury stew made with local meats and seasonal vegetables. In Vancouver, Burgoo means nourishing comfort food served from lively neighbourhood bistros. When Burgoo Bistro first opened in 2001, the menu featured hearty bowl foods served in a casual, welcoming atmosphere. Today, those original soups and stews share pride of place with signature starters, salads, sandwiches and desserts, many designed for sharing. In this book the authors bring their classic recipes to the page for the first time. From the popular Beef Bourguignon to the addictive Gooey Cheese Grillers, the garlicky Caesar Salad to the traditional French Onion Soup, these dishes span the globe. Whether you’re a long-time guest of one of their bistros or a home cook looking for new, easy-to-make everyday dishes, these delicious family favourites will fit the bill.2. The Girl with No Name: The True Story of a Girl Who Lived with Monkeys by Marina Chapman with Lynne Barrett- Lee  9781771001175 GreystoneBooksIn the early 1950s, in a remote mountain village in South America, a small girl was abducted then abandoned deep in the Colombian jungle. For approximately the next five years she lived with a troop of capuchin monkeys and gradually became feral. Taken from the jungle by a pair of hunters, she was sold as a slave to a couple who beat and tortured her, and then spent several years as a street child before being taken in by a family of criminals. Finally, a sympathetic neighbour arranged for her to go live with her daughter in safety in Bogota. This is a unique and inspiring story of abandonment, despair, and eventual happiness.

3. Cadillac Cathedral by Jack Hodgins  9781553802983  Ronsdale Press

In Jack Hodgins’ new novel, Cadillac Cathedral, he is at his humorous best in describing the eccentric but loveable characters in the little town of Portuguese Creek on Vancouver Island. Arvo is the main figure, a Finn who has worked in logging camps all his life and who now spends his retirement fixing old cars, often ones that he finds discarded in the bush. Along with Arvo there is a collection of friends who meet at Arvo’s garage to discuss the world as it passes by on the highway. When news arrives that one of their oldest friends has died, Arvo and his friends decide to drive down island to pick up the body and give it a decent send-off. A road trip ensues, but this is not just any road trip, for it takes place in a refurbished Cadillac Cathedral, a remarkable hearse built by Cadillac in the 1930s and which has been discovered in the hills where it has been used as a skidder for pulling logs. On the way south, at a slow pace as befits the stately Cadillac Cathedral, the friends encounter adventures that create detours into country life.

4. They Called Me Number One: Secrets and Survival at an Indian Residential School by Bev Sellars  9780889227415  Talonbooks

Xat’sull Chief Bev Sellars spent her childhood in a church-run residential school whose aim it was to “civilize” Native children through Christian teachings, forced separation from family and culture, and discipline. The trauma of these experiences has reverberated throughout her life. The first full-length memoir to be published out of St. Joseph’s Mission at Williams Lake, BC, Sellars tells of three generations of women who attended the school, interweaving the personal histories of her grandmother and her mother with her own.

5. Raven Brings the Light: A Northwest Coast Legend by Robert Budd and Roy Henry Vickers  9781550175936  Harbour Publishing

In a time when darkness covered the land, a boy named Weget is born who is destined to bring the light. With the gift of a raven’s skin that allows him to fly as well as transform, Weget turns into a bird and journeys from Haida Gwaii into the sky. There he finds the Chief of the Heavens who keeps the light in a box. By transforming himself into a pine needle, clever Weget tricks the Chief and escapes with the daylight back down to Earth. Vividly portrayed through the art of Roy Henry Vickers, Weget’s story has been passed down for generations. The tale has been traced back at least 3,000 years by archeologists who have found images of Weget’s journey in petroglyphs on the Nass and Skeena rivers.

6. Somewhere In Between by Donna Milner  9781927575383  Caitlin Press

Following tragic events from which Juliee O’Dale believes she will never recover, she buys into her husband Ian’s dream to give up their comfortable city lives and retreat to the isolated Chilcotin area of British Columbia. Only after purchasing the remote six hundred acre cattle ranch do they realize that, along with the and, they have inherited the reclusive tenant who occupies and old trapper’s cabin on the property. As both Juliee and Ian wrestle with their individual guilt over their deteriorating marriage and their sorrow, they also have to contend with the wilderness at their doorstep and the mysterious tenant, Virgil Blue. Another riveting novel from the author of The Promise of Rain, a Globe and Mail Top 100 title in 2009.

7. The War on Science: Muzzled Scientists and Wilful Blindness in Stephen Harper’s Canada by Chris Turner  9781771004312  Greystone Books

In this arresting and passionately argued indictment, award-winning journalist Chris Turner argues that Stephen Harper’s attack on basic science, science communication, environmental regulations, and the environmental NGO community is the most vicious assault ever waged by a Canadian government on the fundamental principles of the Enlightenment. From the closure of Arctic research stations as oil drilling begins in the High Arctic to slashed research budgets in agriculture, dramatic changes to the nation’s fisheries policy, and the muzzling of government scientists, Harper’s government has effectively dismantled Canada’s long-standing scientific tradition. Drawing on interviews with scientists whose work has been halted by budget cuts and their colleagues in an NGO community increasingly treated as an enemy of the state, The War on Science paints a vivid and damning portrait of a government that has abandoned environmental stewardship and severed a national commitment to the objective truth of basic science as old as Canada itself.

8. Emily Carr Collected Introduction by Ian M. Thom  9781771000802  Douglas & McIntyre

Nearly seventy years after her death, Emily Carr’s works continue to capture the grandeur of British Columbia’s landscape and define our vision of the nation. The approximately one hundred works reproduced in this collection showcase the breadth of Carr’s career, from early watercolours in Skidegate and Alert Bay on the northwest coast to charcoal sketches in mid-career to the stunning oils of trees, ravens, and mountains that characterized her later career. Beautifully designed, its small format and price is ideal for giftbuyers and visitors to the province, this volume is a compendium of some of Carr’s best and most memorable works.

Frank White

9. Milk Spills and One-Log Loads: Memories of a Pioneer Truck Driver by Frank White  9781550176223  Harbour Publishing

Frank White started writing the story of his life as a pioneer BC truck driver in 1974 when he was only sixty. His boisterous yarn in Raincoast Chronicles about wrangling tiny trucks overloaded with huge logs down steep mountains with no brakes won the Canadian Media Club award for Best Magazine Feature and was reprinted so many times everyone urged him to write more. He started in his spare time but kept having so many new adventures he didn’t finish until this year—his hundredth under heaven (which he doesn’t believe in). Although Frank set out to tell the story of his life in transportation, starting in the horse and buggy age and chronicling the growth of trucking in the BC freighting and logging industries, Milk Spills and One-Log Loads is much more than that: this is a vivid account of life as working people lived it on Canada’s west coast during the rough-and-tumble years of the early twentieth century.

10. Sea Salt: Recipes from the West Coast Galley by Alison Malone Eathorne, Lorna Malone, Hilary Malone and Christina Symons  9781550175554  Harbour Publishing

Sea Salt is a gorgeous new collection of over a hundred sea-tested gourmet recipes suitable for meals aboard but equally satisfying for the home dining table. The authors are themselves dedicated sailors and bring readers on a voyage around Vancouver Island aboard their classic wooden sailboat Aeriel, drawing inspiration from the area’s seafood, farmers’ markets and wineries. Whether catering to a hungry crew at sea or at home, any cook will appreciate the benefits of thoughtful preparation, clever shortcuts, local ingredients, a hearty dose of creativity and fast, fresh, delicious meals.

11. Vancouver Was Awesome: A Curious Pictorial History by Lani Russwurm  9781551525259  Arsenal Pulp Press

Vancouver may be a youngster among major cities, but it has a rich and beguiling history. Past Tense Vancouver blogger Lani Russwurm is a regular contributor to the popular website Vancouver Is Awesome; in this fascinating book, produced in conjunction with V.I.A., Russwurm collects stories of the people, places, events, and phenomena that collectively have infused Vancouver with a distinct flavor and flair and which laid the foundation for the eclectic city we know today. Although not without its share of social issues and contradictions, this cosmopolitan port city has long been a magnet for creative and determined types in search of opportunity and willing to rise to the challenges posed by the Terminal City. And at this moment in Vancouver’s history, as it grapples with the divisive issues of rapid gentrification and overpriced real estate, Vancouver Was Awesome offers readers an opportunity to relive the city’s past and to remember what was, and what might have been.

12. And Then There Were Nuns: Adventures in a Cloistered Life by Jane Christmas  9781553657996  Greystone Books

Bestselling author Jane Christmas decides to enter a convent to discern whether she is, as she puts it, “”nun material.”” But just as she convinces herself to take the plunge, her long-term partner, Colin, surprises her with a marriage proposal. Determined not to let her monastic dreams get sidelined, Christmas puts her engagement aside and embarks on an extraordinary year-plus adventure to four convents—one in Canada and three in the U.K. Among these communities of cloistered nuns and monks, she shares—and occasionally rails against—the silent, reverent, pared-down existence she has sought all her life.

Children’s Titles:

1. Which Way Back? Featuring Luna, Chip, and Inkie by Michael Mayes and Rory O’Sullivan  978-0-9918588-3-5  Figure 1 Publishing

In Luna, Chip and Inkie’s first adventure the trio gets lost after following a butterfly into the woods. Stuck in an unfamiliar part of the forest, they all begin to worry. After a bit of squabbling and a bit of creative thinking, they come with a solution, and combine their unique talents to find the way home. A story of friendship, creativity and collaboration, Which Way Back? is an action-packed picture book with vibrant illustrations from front to back. Created in partnership with BC’s public broadcaster, Knowledge Network, for kids, parents and teachers everywhere.

2. A Field Guide to the Identification of Pebbles by Eileen Van der Flier-Keller  9781550173956  Harbour Publishing

The Field Guide to the Identification of Pebbles, a full colour, laminated, accordion folded, easy to use guide with over 80 beautiful photographs of pebbles from beaches and rivers. Use the photos to identify over 28 different types of rocks and minerals. A great resource for Earth Science curriculum units in schools, the short text deals with how rocks form and how to tell if a rock is igneous, sedimentary or metamorphic. It also provides some fun facts about minerals in our daily lives.

3. Sea Otter Pup  by Victoria Miles and Elizabeth Gatt  9781459804678  Orca Book Publishers

Follow along as Pup learns how to eat spiky sea urchins, somersault beneath the waves and groom himself. He still needs lots of help from Mother, but one day Pup will be old enough to dive down below the waves and search for food on his own. Accompanied by beautiful illustrations and set in the North Pacific, this heartwarming tale is perfect for little ones who still have lots to learn themselves.

4. Jessie’s Island by Sheryl McFarlane and Sheena Lott  9780920501764 Orca Book Publishers

Told with lyric simplicity, this story is more than a celebration of West Coast life; it is also a reminder of the joy of childhood and the thrill of discovery. In a time when our children’s entertainment has become increasingly formal and high-tech, Jessie’s Island reminds us of the joy of unstructured play and the pleasures to be found in the natural world around us.

5. Secret of the Dance by Andrea Spalding, Alfred Scow and Darlene Gait  9781551433967  Orca Book Publishers

In 1935, a nine-year-old boy’s family held a forbidden Potlatch in faraway Kingcome Inlet. Watl’kina slipped from his bed to bear witness. In the Big House masked figures danced by firelight to the beat of the drum. And there, he saw a figure he knew. Aboriginal elder Alfred Scow and award-winning author Andrea Spalding collaborate to tell the story, to tell the secret of the dance.

* The BC Bestseller List is compiled using sales data from over 90 independent bookstores in BC, which is provided to the ABPBC by TBM BookManager. The list represents sales of BC published books released within the calendar year.

Kerrie Waddington, Executive Assistant
Association of Book Publishers of BC

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