Since mid-September of 2016 to the end of that year, working with editor and historian Richard Mackie, on a volunteer basis, Alan Twigg of BC BookWorld facilitated a pilot project version of The Ormsby Review to show how the credibility and audience and electronic platforms of BC BookWorld and BCBookLook, along with Richard Mackie's respected experience as an historian with the B.C. academic community, could facilitate a resurgence in serious book reviewing--taking advantage of the digital age to rejuvenate the viability of the 'old school' serious book review.
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand why academics were thrilled to witness the rise of The Ormsby Review.
Instead of waiting months or even years, hoping their review or essay might be approved and finally see the light of day in a publication that is completed ignored by the general public, now serious commentators on B.C. culture can respond quickly to the zeitgeist of times, with fully-illustrated, smartly-packaged content generated almost immediately, including their own photo and bio info, remunerated, for now, by a $75 three-year subscription to B.C. BookWorld (instead of the standard zero remuneration).
Here are some comments to date from authors and academics.
Graeme Wynn (previous editor of BC Studies): “I am MIGHTILY impressed by the speed range and quality of TOR. I was stunned when Alan Twigg sent back the link for the draft layout of my review. And this within hours of my deciding the thing was done thousands of miles away in New Zealand. Boggles the mind to be published so quickly. And the format (illustrations etc) is inviting.”
Bonnie Campbell: “I have been receiving very positive feedback on the Oppenheim article. Jean Barman forwarded it to her publisher and they have sent a note, expressing interest in talking to me about the manuscript. I am over the moon, as they say.”
Mark Leiren-Young: “Wow. The review of my book is lovely and The Ormsby Review looks like a brilliant idea. I am honoured to be kicking it off!”
Janet Nicol: “My article on Bob Bouchette looks great. Thank you for your efforts on this.”
Fred Braches: “It is a privilege to contribute. And I like the way all the Ormsby Review contributions are now listed, easily accessible.”
Jennifer Iredale: “Hooray. Today The Ormsby Review has posted my research paper on the 1891 Canadian watercolor journal Across the Bright Continent that I discovered in the archives of All Hallows in Ditchingham, England over a decade ago. I'm thrilled the story is finally published!”
Bonnie Reilly Schmidt: “The review looks great online – and you chose some of the best photos!”
Glinda Sutherland: “Thank you so much. It is an honour to be published in your Ormsby Review. You are a true gift to British Columbia.”
Rod Szasz: “Looks pretty bloody good to me… you helped me with a few transitions more smooth than I had… I was aware of them but was too close to the writing to come up with a plan to smoothen and simplify some of the transitions.”
Mary Leah de Zwart: “I am really, really pleased that The Ormsby Review has offered me this opportunity to let my research on Alice Ravenhill see the light of day.”
Joe Simpson: “Rather a nice email back just now from Jim Herlihy in Dublin who has shared the online link that I sent him last night for Ormsby Review #63 with James (Jimmy) Taylor the author. Also the Sheehy-Skeffington family are happy. They both said it was the best review to date. So the Ormsby will now be on the Irish literary radar screen as well. Well done also the editing - publishing dynamic duo for a terrific job. Onward & upward!”
Peter O’Neil: “Thanks for this fantastic review from Jean Barman, who I have always greatly admired.”
Maria Tippett: “Bravo.”
Cole Harris: "Of course I will be a willing reviewer for The Ormsby Review.”
David Stouck: "I think it is a good idea and I will be happy to write for The Ormsby Review. ‘More in tune with the times’ is a good rationale for this new venture."
Graeme Wynn: I have just whiled away a fascinating evening with TOR. It is going GREAT guns and provides lots of valuable stuff as well as reviews…. I just want to say a rousing WELL DONE.”
Robin Fisher: "Thanks for thinking of me with regard to your new venture. I would be happy to review when the opportunity arises."
Hugh Johnston: “My warm congratulations on the launch of the Ormsby Review. A worthy undertaking, with a most worthy editor. I would much appreciate the opportunity to review.”
Hal Kalman: "Congratulations on the launch of your new journal / review. I immediately checked out the BCBookLook web site. I wish you all success. I presume you're solely an online publication, yes? Smart, because it's cheap and easy to reach people.”
Bill Engleson: “I keep on saying I am thrilled about my connection to BCBookLook and The Ormsby Review.”
Liz Vibert: The Ormsby Review sounds very promising indeed. I particularly appreciate the effort to reach beyond the university."
Graham Brazier: "I can’t tell you how much I’m enjoying The Ormsby Review. Both the subject matter and the voices are so wonderfully varied. From rather long-winded but informative to razor sharp and to-the-point, and from punchy and clever to, dare I say, even quirky."
Nancy Janovicek "Happy to be part of this new initiative. Thanks for the opportunity. I did not meet Dr. Ormsby, but always tell my women's history classes that her first office was a desk in the women's washroom."
Louise Mandell: Congratulations on The Ormsby Review—a great addition.
Ginny Ratsoy: "I wish you every success in this exciting enterprise and will certainly considering doing reviews. Congratulations on this noble endeavour.”
Ron Dart: The Ormsby Review is desperately needed to fill an immense chasm in literate B.C. history.
Harold Rhenisch: "Thanks for starting this much-needed publication."
Ron Verzuh: "This is exciting. I'd be pleased to submit reviews for your consideration. Congratulations and good luck with TOR."
Sarah Nickel: "Thanks for the email and congrats on your new adventure! I'd be happy to review for this new site. It sounds like an excellent and much-needed forum."
Barry Gough: “I have pleasant memories of this famed historian, Margaret Ormsby, especially from being in her History 426 Modern Canada class, arguably the finest undergraduate course on the History syllabus at UBC. A festschrift was published for her, a testament to the esteem held by her many fellow historians. I was pleased to be included. The Ormsby Review will continue the legacy, and thank you for launching it.”
Richard Chamberlin: "That’s a splendid move for readers and writers everywhere. Good on you....and thanks for all you do for all of us."
John Bosher: "Congratulations on your initiative in launching the Ormsby Review! As Margaret Ormsby was a colleague of mine, and head of the department of history at UBC when I was teaching there many years ago, I find this project very interesting. Margaret would no doubt be delighted to be remembered. I will be glad to assist in any way I can."
Jim Miller: "Best wishes for your new enterprise with the BCBookLook, site. I will be happy to continue with you at The Ormsby Review."
LiLyn Wan: "How exciting. Yes, I am happy to continue reviewing books for you for the site. Let me know how things progress."
Ken Campbell: "Wow! a new venture! I love it. Of course I would be honoured to keep reviewing books for you!"
Jack Little: "If the right B.C. book comes along I'd be happy to review it for your new enterprise. Best of luck with it."
Robin Ridington: "Congratulations. It sounds like a wonderful new review and I look forward to continuing to work with you. Jillian [Ridington) would, too."
Michael Kluckner: "Very interesting. Your email arrives just at the point when I'm feeling guilty about my lack of blog postings for BC Studies. Sure, sounds like we could have a chat about it. Good luck with the new venture."
Dan Francis: "Congratulations on the new initiative. Sure, I'd be happy to contribute (always given issues of time constraints). Especially interested in books on Vancouver history, my current focus."
Heather Longworth (Sjoblom): "Sure, I'll keep writing reviews for you. The Ormsby Review sounds quite interesting. I hadn't heard of it before. Keep me posted when something comes along. The headshot and bio are not a problem. [Museum Manager/Curator, Fort St. John North Peace Museum.]
Larry Hannant: "Congratulations on the new initiative. My best wishes for it. Yes, I'll be happy to write for The Ormsby Review. When the occasion comes up, I'll submit a headshot and brief bio."
Carolyn MacHardy: "Good luck, Richard! I'm sure there's a story here- to be told over a beer in the Sylvia pub or here when you get a chance to stop by on your way through. Yes, will definitely write for you if you wish."
Eryk Martin: "Congrats on your new project! It sounds like a great opportunity, and please know that you can count me in as a reviewer. How about a review of Ian Milligan's Rebel Youth?"
Loraine Littlefield: "Congratulations on your new venture and what a great name, too. By all means I will be pleased to contribute a review to your new enterprise when needed."
Howard Stewart: "Thank you for this. It looks like an exciting new departure to me. I’m sure it’s going to be big. BCS's loss is BCBookLook's gain. I'll be happy to contribute to Ormsby Review and look forward to watching it emerge.”
John McLaren: "I would be happy to submit the occasional book review to the Ormsby Review when that is mutually agreeable. I wish you all the best with this timely project."
John Thistle: "This sounds interesting and thanks for the offer. Keep me in mind and good luck with the new endeavor."
David Mattison: "Wow, this is surprising news. Congratulations. I'm happy to assist you as a reviewer in your new venture and thank you for thinking of me. I first started reviewing books in 1976, so it’s an auspicious year to start reviewing for a new publication.
David Rossiter: "This sounds like an interesting new venture! Best of luck! Of course, I'd be honoured to contribute reviews when asked..."
Jonathan Peyton: "I would be delighted to contribute to your new venture - which sounds very exciting. I should be ready to take on more assignments in the new year."
Ian MacLaren: “I wish you the best with this initiative. The Royal Ontario is bringing out an edition of Kane’s Wanderings with all the studio oils reproduced in it. That one I'd review."
Iain McKechnie: "Wow, good luck with this new venture. I’ll keep this in mind for sure and circulate to key possible people perhaps."
Douglas Ross: "I would be happy to review books for your new venture, associated with any of my interests in archaeology and history."
Lani Russwurm: "Congratulations on your new endeavour. Let me know when you have something for me to review. I wouldn't mind taking a crack at Aaron Chapman's new book on the Clark Park Gang."
Sean MacPherson: "The Ormsby Review sounds great. Would love to help/contribute in any way I can."
Patrick Dunae: "Of course, I'd be delighted to review books for your new enterprise, The Ormsby Review. I'm intrigued by your new venture and look forward to hearing more about it. In any event, all the best with the new review. I love its title!"
Jan Drent: "Just got around to looking at website for The Ormsby Review. Congratulations and best of luck!!!”
Loys Maingon: “This is a welcome addition to BC’s literary world. There is a great need to renew the conversation about BC’s history and cultures.”
Alan Hoover: "Thanks for the invite. Being an old retired guy, reviewing is a good way for me to stay somewhat current. Look forward to developments."
Hamar Foster: “I am happy to review books for your new enterprise. I like the title. I had to deal with Ormsby in 1967 when I was Prof. George Shelton’s research assistant for a book he was editing, B.C. and Confederation. She was quite formidable.”
Kelly Black: "Yes, I would be happy to write reviews for The Ormsby Review."
Ian Kennedy: I am also delighted to hopefully gain a place in the Ormsby Review. I was a student of Margaret Ormsby while at UBC and visited her and drank sherry in her home in Vernon with my editor and friend Gordon Elliott when we were touring BC "researching" our Pub Book. Gordon worked on her History of BC and on the Anthology in the years leading up to 1958 when they were published.
Graham Brazier: "Thanks so much for your invitation to submit a book review to TOR, which seems like such a fresh injection of energy into the BC history scene."
Bonnie Reilly Schmidt: "I am very excited about The Ormsby Review."
Peter Grant: "The Ormsby Review has nice ring to it -- count me in."
Colin Coates: "I saw the news on Twitter the other day. I'm very pleased to learn about The Ormsby Review. It sounds like a great initiative!"
Larry McCann: "It’s obvious you’re going about this with a vision and with passion. Wonderful."
Gillian Crowther: "It looks as if The Ormsby Review is an exciting new venture. I would be honoured to write reviews for it."
Stephanie Rutherford: "Exciting times! Happy to hear about The Ormsby Review.”
Chris Herbert: "Congratulations! Of course I would be happy to review books for The Ormsby Review."
John Belshaw: "Sounds like an exciting new challenge and I'd be happy to help out with a few reviews
Nikki Strong-Boag: "Wow!"
Hadley Friedland: "Congratulations. That's exciting news. Of course I am happy to keep reviewing books for you."
Margaret Horsfield: "Thanks for thinking of me, and I wish you well in this exciting new horizon. Serious congratulations. "
Chris Arnett: “Sounds great! Please send me a list of books. I'd love to review. Best wishes in your new endeavour.”
Nancy Marguerite Anderson: “Excellent. This will be good for all BC historians, whether academics or trade book writers.”
Mary Leah de Zwart: “It’s great to see this publication. I think it fills a much-needed niche.”
Janet Nicol: “Congratulations. This looks like an exciting new addition to the BC history scene.”
Trevor Carolan: “Glad to join in the fray as you embark on this worthy venture.”
Chelsea Horton: "Great to see such reviews coming to the pages of a more accessible platform."
Ken Mather: "I look forward to an ongoing relationship with The Ormsby Review and wish you all the best in your new endeavour."
Jon Bartlett: “Best wishes to all associated with this new project."
Frances Roback: “The Ormsby Review is truly universally accessible.”
Daniel Hinman-Smith: “May the Ormsby Review thrive. I'd be happy to do my best to make modest contributions to the publication."
Susan Neylan: "Best wishes on this new endeavour. The Ormsby Review sounds like a promising venue for circulating BC-centred non-fiction. I like the academic and non-academic focus. Good luck with it."
Theresa Kishkan: “This is a wonderful project.”
Christine Dickinson: “The Ormsby Review is an exciting venture.”
Lynne Bowen: "I’d be glad to review the book for The Ormsby Review. Trust Alan Twigg to be involved in this exciting new venture. He has done so much for literature in this province. This news is very exciting. I look forward to years of rich reading opportunities in The Ormsby Review.”
Jacqueline Gresko: "Congratulations on the Ormsby Review. As a BCBookLook subscriber I have enjoyed some of the Ormsby Review articles - on Dr. Ormsby and Jennifer Iredale’s on Miss Moody, the teacher at All Hallows."
Scott Stephen: "I would love to contribute to The Ormsby Review -- thank you very much for asking me."
Michael Clague: "Thanks and every good wish for this important venture.”
Barry Cottam: “I’ve been browsing around The Ormsby Review. It’s an amazing resource, what I call "human scale," something in short supply these days. The literary map is brilliant, a very engaging way to get drawn into BC stories and the people behind them. It would be great if more journals adopted this idea. I’ll be visiting TOR regularly.”
Margaret Reynolds, outgoing executive director of the Association of Book Publishers of British Columbia:
“With discoverability issues at the forefront of publishers’ mind, we can only laud Mr. Twigg for providing yet another opportunity to help us get our books in the hands of readers.”
Kerry Kilmartin, marketing director, UBC Press:
“This is great news! We need more publications that publish academic reviews or articles about academic books that cross nicely over into the trade. And, on the West Coast!”
In the first three months of its existence, during its pilot project stage, The Orsmby Review. supported by BC BookWorld and BCBookLook, attracted the following contributors, including three recent editors of BC Studies--Cole Harris, Graeme Wynn and Jean Barman.
THE ORMSBY REVIEW
An inaugural list of reviewers
1. Cole Harris
2. Graeme Wynn
3. Jean Barman
4. Wade Davis
5. Tzu-I Chung
6. Dan Francis
7. Maria Tippett
8. Sage Birchwater
9. Hugh Johnston
10. Colin M Coates
11. John Belshaw
12. Chris Arnett
13. Patricia Roy
14. Hal Kalman
15. Lani Russwurm
16. Vanessa Tara
17. Philip Van Huizen
18. Ian Kennedy
19. Larry McCann
20. Bonnie Reilly Schmidt
21. Peter Grant
22. Robin Ridington
23. Robert McCandless
24. Loys Maingon
25. Harold Rhenisch
26. Dorothy Kennedy
26. Robin Fisher
27. Margaret Horsfield
28. Howard Stewart
29. Jennifer Iredale
30. Glinda Sutherland
31. Joe Simpson
32. Janet Nicol
33. Trevor Carolan
34. Cate Sandilands
35. Martin Segger
36. Max Ritts
37. Jim Miller
38. Larry Hannant
39. Alan Hoover
40. Ken Mather
41. Bob Muckle
42. Chelsea Horton
43. Susan Safyan
44. Gregory Evans
45. Ginny Ratsoy
46. Takaia Larsen
47. Undine Celeste
48. Eldon Yellowhorn
49. Jan Drent
50. Bruce McDougall
51. Joy Parr
52. Bill Engleson
53. Briony Penn
54. Dennis Bolen
55. Michael Kennedy
56. Michel Bouchard
57. Jacqueline Holler
58. David N. Wright"
59. LiLynn Wan
60. Rod Szasz
61. Margaret Horsfield
62. Jamie Morton
63. John McLaren
64. Émilie Pigeon
65. Ben Bradley
66. Jacqueline Gresko
67. Victoria Wyatt
68. Kenneth Campbell
69. Bob Coutts
70. James Woods
71. Emma Battell-Lowman
72. Lisa Pasolli
73. John-Henry Harter
74. Joe Wiebe
75. Ken Mather
76. Sean Cadigan
77. Alice Fleerackers
78. Adam Barker
79. Ron Dart
80. Kathryn Bridge
81. Mark Forsythe
82. Fred Braches
83. Marina Sonkina
84. Lynne Bowen
85. Elisabeth Otto
86. David Mattison
87. Bill Engleson
88. Christian Fink-Jensen
89. Jody Decker
90. Warren M. Elofson
91. Gillian Crowther
92. Helen Hok-Sze Leung
93. Lorraine Weir
94. Molly Clarkson
95. Norman Girardot
96. Nancy Janovicek
97. Courtney Kirk
98. Mary Leah de Swart.
99. Richard Mackie
100. Alan Twigg
101. Howard Stewart
102. Sabina Trimble
103. Mary-Ellen Kelm
104 Steven Ferguson
105. Mark Stanton
106. Glinda Sutherland
107. Janet Mary Nicol
108. K. Jane Watt
109. Scott Stephen
110. Deidre Roberts
111. Lisa Murphy
112. Patricia Demers
113. Heather Sjoblom
114. James Wood
115. Solen Roth
116. Roger Robinson
117. John Hinde
118. Dan Gallacher
“Only connect.” – E.M. Forster
Here is a partial list of the 69 fully illustrated contributions far published from mid-September, 2016 to January 1, 2017, chiefly solicited for former BC Studies book reviews editor Richard Mackie.
ESSAYS POSTED [partial list]
Richard Mackie on visiting Margaret Ormsby & Welcome to the Ormsby Review
Jennifer Iredale on Althea Moody, missionary and artist at Yale, B.C., and B.C.’s first female author.
Robin Ridington on Master Orator Charlie Yahey and Dane-zaa literature
Marina Sonkina on Putin’s Potemkin Village. With all its glamour, Moscow, of course, is no more Russia than New York is America.
Fred Braches on Bill Miner. Eyewitness to the Gentleman Bandit. New information about his successful 1904 train robbery.
Mark Stanton on Bill Duthie, B.C.’s most significant bookseller.
Glinda Sutherland on Mike Agostini, the other hero of the British Empire Games in Vancouver.
Janet Mary Nicol on Bob Bouchette, Vancouver’s most popular columnist in the 1930s.
Alan Twigg on W.P. Kinsella (1935-2016)
Ron Dart on Roderick Haig-Brown and Al Purdy.
Howard Stewart’s memoir on his travels Cornelius “Corny” Burke, 1916-1990
Ron Verzuh on communist trade unionist Harvey Murphy
K. Jane Watt on Sylvia L. Thrupp, UBC historian from 1925 to 1944
Ron Dart on H.R. MacMillan & Mazo de la Roche
Bill Engleson on Drinkwater Library
BOOK REVIEWS PUBLISHED [a partial list]:
Dan Francis has reviewed Mark Leiren-Young, The Killer Whale who Changed the World (Greystone Books 2016)
Jean Barman has reviewed Peter O’Neil’s I Am a Metis: The Story of Gerry St. Germain (Harbour: 2016)
Graeme Wynn has reviewed Robert Griffin and Richard A. Rajala, The Sustainability Dilemma: Essays on British Columbia Forest and Environmental History (Victoria: RBCM Press, 2016)
Hugh Johnston has reviewed Ujjal Dosanjh’s Journey after Midnight: India, Canada and the Road Beyond (Figure 1: 2016)
Mark Forsythe has reviewed B. Brett Finlay and Marie-Claire Arrieta, Let Them Eat Dirt: Saving Our Children from an Oversanitized World (Greystone 2016)
Lynne Bowen has reviewed Adriana A. Davies, The Rise and Fall of Emilio Picariello (Oolichan Books: 2016)
Ken Mather has reviewed Luis Fabini and Wade Davis, Cowboys of the Americas (Greystone Books, August 2016
Ron Dart has reviewed Rafe Mair’s I Remember Horsebuns (Promontory Press: 2015)
Bonnie Reilly Schmidt has reviewed Christian Fink-Jensen and Randolph Eustace-Walden’s Aloha Wanderwell: The Border-Smashing, Record-Setting Life of the World’s Youngest Explorer (Fredericton NB: Goose Lane Editions, 2016):
Howard Stewart has reviewed Amber McMillan, The Woods: A Year on Protection Island (Harbour: 2016)
Jim Miller reviewed Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail’s In This Together: Fifteen Stories of Truth and Reconciliation (Victoria: Brindle & Glass, 2016)
Peter Grant has reviewed Gwen Curry, Tod Inlet: A Healing Place (Victoria: Rocky Mountain Books, 2015)
Robert McCandless has reviewed Catherine Holder Spude, editor, All for the Greed of Gold: Will Woodin’s Klondike Adventure (Washington State University Press, 2016
Eldon Yellowhorn has reviewed Bev Sellars, Price Paid: The Fight for First Nations Survival (Talonbooks, 2016
Bruce McDougall has reviewed George Bowering, The Hockey Scribbler (Toronto: ECW Press, 2016)
Bill Engleson has reviewed Mike McCardell, None of This Was Planned: The Stories Behind the Stories (Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2016)
Steven Ferguson has reviewed Red Robinson: The Last Deejay (Harbour: 2016)
Ian Kennedy has reviewed Peter McMullan’s Casting Back: Sixty Years of Fishing and Writing (Victoria: Rocky Mountain Books, 2016)
Mark Forsythe has reviewed Ron Smith’s The Defiant Mind: Living Inside A Stroke (Ronsdale Press 2016)
Larry Hannant has reviewed Serge Alternês & Alec Wainman’s Live Souls: Citizens and Volunteers of Civil War Spain (Ronsdale Books, 2015)
Janet Nicol has reviewed Christina Johnson-Dean’s The Life and Art of Mary Filer: The Unheralded Artists of BC No. 9 (Mother Tongue Publishing, September 2016):
Chris Arnett has reviewed Genevieve Von Petzinger’s First Signs: Unlocking the Mysteries of the World’s Oldest Symbols (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2016)
Rod Szasz has reviewed Brandon Pullan’s The Bold and Cold: A History of 25 Classic Climbs in the Canadian Rockies (Victoria: RMB Books, 2016).
George Szasz has reviewed Dr. Anthony Kenyon’s The Recorded history of the Liard Basin 1790-1910: Where British Columbia joins the Yukon and N.W.T. (Published by Fort Nelson News)
Lani Russwurm has reviewed Aaron Chapman’s The Last Gang in Town: The Epic Story of the Vancouver Police vs. the Clark Park Gang (Arsenal Pulp Press)
Joe Simpson reviewed James W. Taylor’s GUILTY BUT INSANE: J. C. BOWEN-COLTHURST – VILLAIN OR VICTIM? (Cork, Ireland: Mercier Press, 2016)
Larry McCann has reviewed Nick Russell’s GLORIOUS VICTORIAN HOMES: 150 Years of Architectural History in British Columbia’s Capital (TouchWood Editions, 2016)
Dorothy Kennedy has reviewed Kay Johnston’s The Amazing Mazie Baker: The Squamish Nation’s Warrior Elder (Caitlin 2016).
Hal Kalman has reviewed Larry McCann, Imagining Uplands: John Olmsted’s Masterpiece of Residential Design (Victoria: Brighton Press, 2016).
John Belshaw has reviewed Judi Tyabji, Christy Clark: Behind the Smile (Heritage House, 2016)
David Wright has reviewed Ian Gill’s No News is Bad News: Canada’s Media Collapse -- and What Comes Next (Greystone Books, 2016)
There is such a dearth of places for scholars to publish that already Richard Mackie and Alan Twigg were soon overwhelmed by the gratitude of academics who want their deserving work to be accessible to an unlimited reading public.
Anyone familiar with the importance of Alice Ravenhill and her role in supporting the viability of First Nations art in B.C. might assume it would be easy for someone to publish a fully-researched, in-depth biography of her in B.C., but that's not at all the case.
Consequently--again to show what can be accomplished--they undertook the e-publication of the first fully-illustrated Ormsby Press book, using the services of BC BookWorld designer David Lester.
To read Alice Ravenhill: Never Say Die (Ormsby Press 2016), visit
Here is a checklist of reviews in-progress at the commencement of 2017. Upon publication all material is archived on a site hosted by Simon Fraser University and made instantly available, freely, worldwide.
Cole Harris will review Kenton Storey, Settler Anxiety at the Outposts of Empire (UBC Press, 2016).
Maria Tippett will review Anne Whitelaw, Spaces and Places for Art: Making Art Institutions in Western Canada, 1912-1990 (MQUP, forthcoming April 2017).
Patricia Roy will review Joy Kogawa, Gently to Nagasaki (Caitlin, 2016).
Kate Bird, Vancouver in the Seventies: Photos from a Decade That Changed the City (Greystone, 2016): [Susan Safyan]
Robin Brunet, Red Robinson: The Last Deejay (Harbour: 2016): [Vanessa Colantonio]:
Richard & Sydney Cannings, British Columbia: A Natural History of its Origins, Ecology, and Diversity with a New Look at Climate Change (Greystone Books 2015): [Loys Maingon]
Christine Dickinson, Deborah Griffiths, Judy Hagen, and Catherine Siba, Watershed Moments: A Pictorial History of Courtenay and District (Harbour: 2015): [Howard Stewart]
Daniel Francis, Where Mountains Meet the Sea: An Illustrated History of the District of North Vancouver (Harbour: 2016): [Trevor Carolan]
Colin Coates, editor, Canadian Countercultures and the Environment (U of Calgary Press, 2016): [Phil van Huizen]:
Douglas E. Delaney and Serge Marc Durflinger, Capturing Hill 70: Canada's Forgotten Battle of the First World War (UBC Press, 2016): [Chris Arnett]
Michael Gates, From the Klondike to Berlin: The Yukon in World War I (Harbour: forthcoming March 2017): [Jim Wood]
Lily Gontard & Mark Kelly, Beyond Mile Zero: The Vanishing Alaska Highway Lodge Community (Harbour: forthcoming March 2017) [Heather Sjoblom]
Colin Henthorne, The Queen of the North Disaster: The Captain's Story (Harbour: forthcoming November 2016): [Jan Drent ]
Paul Kane, Wanderings of an Artist (Royal Ontario Museum forthcoming Nov. 2016) [Ian MacLaren]
Robin Fisher will review Michael Layland’s A PERFECT EDEN: Encounters by Early Explorers of Vancouver Island (TouchWood Editions, 2016)
Martin Segger will review Glen A. Mofford’s AQUA VITAE: A History of the Saloons and Hotel Bars of Victoria, 1851–1917 (TouchWood Editions, 2016)
David Pitt-Brooke, Crossing Home Ground: A Grassland Odyssey through Southern Interior British Columbia (Harbour: 2016): [Harold Rhenisch]
Andrew Scott, The Promise of Paradise: Utopian Communities in British Columbia (Harbour: forthcoming February 2017): [Colin Coates]
Neil Sterritt, Mapping My Way Home: A Gitxsan History (Smithers: Creekstone Press, 2016): [Dorothy Kennedy]
Betsy Warland, Oscar of Between: A Memoir of Identity and Ideas (Caitlin: 2016): [Catriona Sandilands]
Alan Hoover will review Colin Browne, Entering Time: The Fungus Man Platters of Charles Edenshaw (Talonbooks, 2016)
Bob Muckle will review Charles Menzies, People of the Saltwater: An Ethnography of the Git lax m'oon (Lincoln, NE: Univ of Nebraska, 2016)
Chelsea Horton will review Tina Block, The Secular Northwest: Religion and Irreligion in Everyday Postwar Life (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2016):
Greg Evans will review Lawrence C. Sherk, 150 Years of Canadian Beer Labels (TouchWood Editions, October 2016)
Ginny Ratsoy will review Donna Macdonald, Surviving City Hall (Nightwood Editions/ Harbour, 2016)
Takaia Larsen will do a joint review of Tom Lymbery's two books: Tom Lymbery with Frances Roback, Tom’s Gray Creek: A Kootenay Lake Memoir. Part II: Years of Change, 1946 to 1980 (Gray Creek, B.C.: Gray Creek Publishing, 2016) & Tom Lymbery with Frances Roback, Tom’s Gray Creek: A Kootenay Lake Memoir. Part I: Early Years to 1945 (Gray Creek, B.C.: Gray Creek Publishing, 2013).
Undiné Thompson will review Christopher Pollon, photos by Ben Nelms, The Peace in Peril: The Real Cost of the Site C Dam (Harbour: forthcoming November 2016)
Tzu-I Chung will review David Chuenyan Lai and Ding Guo, Great Fortune Dream: The Struggles and Triumphs of Chinese Settlers in Canada, 1858-1966 (Caitlin: 2016)
Joy Parr will review Eileen Delehanty Pearkes, A River Captured: The Columbia River Treaty and Catastrophic Change (Victoria: RMB Books, 2016)
Kathryn Bridge will review Carol Pearson’s Emily Carr As I Knew Her  (Victoria: TouchWood Editions, 2016)
Chelsea Horton will review Lynne Marks’s Infidels and the Damn Churches: Irreligion and Religion in Settler British Columbia (Vancouver: UBC Press, February 2017)
Briony Penn will review Tristram Lansdowne et al’s J. Fenwick Lansdowne (Portland, OR: Pomegranate, 2014)
Dennis Bolen will review Patricia Sandberg’s Sun Dogs and Yellowcake: Gunnar Mines -- A Canadian Story (Crackingstone Press: 2016)
Michel Bouchard will review Jean Barman’s Abenaki Daring: The Life and Writings of Noel Annance, 1792-1869 (Montreal and Kingston: MQUP, 2016):
Jacqueline Holler will review Ray Michalko’s Obstruction of Justice: The Search for Truth on Canada's Highway of Tears (Markham, ON: Red Deer Press, 2016):
LiLynn Wan will review Paul Yee’s A Superior Man (Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2015):
Margaret Horsfield will review two books: Andrea McKenzie, War-Torn Exchanges: The Lives and Letters of Nursing Sisters Laura Holland and Mildred Forbes (UBC Press 2016).
Cynthia Toman, Sister Soldiers of the Great War: The Nurses of the Canadian Army Medical Corps (UBC Press, 2016).
Jamie Morton will review Lloyd Keith and John C. Jackson’s The Fur Trade Gamble: North West Company on the Pacific Slope, 1800-1820 (Pullman, WA: Washington State University Press, 2016):
John McLaren will review W. Wesley Pue’s Lawyers’ Empire: Legal Professionals and Cultural Authority, 1780–1950 (UBC Press, 2016):
Émilie Pigeon will review Catherine Richardson (Kinewesquao), Belonging Metis (Vernon, BC: J. Charlton Publishing, 2016):
Ben Bradley will review Joseph William Heckman and Ralph Beaumont, Heckman's Canadian Pacific: A Photographic Journey (Paris, Ontario: Ralph Beaumont and Rod Clarke, 2015):
Jacqueline Gresko will review Helen Raptis with members of the Tsimshian Nation, What We Learned: Two Generations Reflect on Tsimshian Education and the Day Schools (UBC Press, 2016):
Victoria Wyatt will review Martine J. Reid, Bill Reid Collected (Douglas & McIntyre, 2016):
Ken Campbell will review Barrie Farrell, Boats in My Blood: A Life in Boatbuilding (Harbour: 2016):
Bob Coutts will review Jay Sherwood, The Landscape of Ernest Lamarque: Artist, Surveyor and Renaissance Man, 1879-1970 (Caitlin: 2016):
Sage Birchwater will review Jay Sherwood, Ootsa Lake Odyssey: George and Else Seel — A Pioneer Life on the Headwaters of the Nechako Watershed (Caitlin 2016)
Jim Wood will review Michael Gates, From the Klondike to Berlin: The Yukon in World War I (Harbour: forthcoming March 2017):
Emma Battell-Lowman and Adam Barker will review Ryan Eyford, White Settler Reserve: New Iceland and the Colonization of the Canadian West (UBC Press, 2016):
Lisa Pasolli will review Brian T. Thorn, From Left to Right: Maternalism and Women’s Political Activism in Postwar Canada (UBC Press, 2016):
John-Henry Harter will review Derek Hayes’s Canada; An Illustrated History, Revised Edition (Douglas & McIntyre, 2016):
Sean Cadigan will review Chris Madsen, Michelle La, and Liam O'Flaherty, Longshoring on the Fraser: Stories and History of ILWU Local 502 (Vancouver: Granville Island Publishing, 2016):
Eldon Yellowhorn has agreed to review Nicola Levell’s The Seriousness of Play: The Art of Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas (London: Black Dog, 2016):
Wade Davis will review Jonathan Peyton, Unbuilt Environments: Tracing Postwar Development in Northwest British Columbia (UBC Press, 2016)
Elisabeth Otto will review Colin Browne, “I had an interesting French Artist to see me this summer:” Emily Carr and Wolfgang Paalen in British Columbia (Vancouver: Figure 1, 2016):
David Mattison will review Wade Davis, Wade Davis: Photographs (Madeira Park: Douglas & McIntyre, 2016):
Bill Engleson will review Jack Knox, Hard Knox: Musings from the Edge of Canada (Victoria: Heritage House, 2016):
Chris Fink-Jensen will review George Bowering and Charles Demers, The Dad Dialogues: A Correspondence on Fatherhood (and the Universe) (Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2016):
Jody Decker will review Cameron, Kelton, Swedlund, eds., Beyond Germs: Native Depopulation in North America (University of Arizona Press, 2015)
Warren Elofson will review Ken Mather, Ranch Tales: Stories from the Frontier (Victoria: Heritage House, forthcoming April 2017)
Gillian Crowther will review Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson, with contribution by Wade Davis and Foreword by Gwaaganad (Diane Brown), Out of Concealment: Female Supernatural Beings of Haida Gwaii (Victoria: Heritage House, forthcoming June 2017).
Helen Leung will review Christine Kim, The Minor Intimacies of Race: Asian Publics in North America (U. of Illinois Press, 2016).
Lorraine Weir will review Sage Birchwater, Chilcotin Chronicles: Stories of Adventure and Intrigue from British Columbia's Central Interior (Caitlin: forthcoming March 2017).
Molly Clarkson will review Sylvia Taylor, foreword by Renée Saklikar, Beckoned by the Sea: Women at Work on the Cascadia Coast (Victoria: Heritage House, forthcoming May 2017).
Norman Girardot will review Marilyn Laura Bowman, James Legge and the Chinese Classics: A Brilliant Scot in the Turmoil of Colonial Hong Kong (Winnipeg: FriesenPress Editions, 2016)
Nancy Janovicek will review Judith Plant, Culture Gap and Beyond: Real Life in a New World (New Star Books, forthcoming May 2017).
Courtney Kirk will review Tom Swanky, The Smallpox War in Nuxalk Territory (Shawn Swanky, 2016).
Sabina Trimble will review Shelley O'Callaghan, How Deep is the Lake: A Century on Chilliwack Lake (Caitlin: forthcoming March 2017).
Mary-Ellen Kelm will review Gary Geddes, Medicine Unbundled: A Journey through the Minefields of Indigenous Health Care (Victoria: Heritage House, 2017, forthcoming February 2017)
Scott Stephen will review Alan Gordon, Time Travel Tourism and the Rise of the Living History Museum in Mid-Twentieth-Century Canada (UBC Press, 2016).
Dan Francis will review Ben Bradley, British Columbia by the Road: Car Culture and the Making of a Modern Landscape (UBC Press, forthcoming May 2017)
Hugh Johnston will review Peter Babiak, Garage Criticism: Cultural Missives in an Age of Distraction (Anvil Press, 2016)
Patricia Demers will review Marilyn R. Schuster, with a foreword by Margaret Atwood, A Queer Love Story: The Letters of Jane Rule and Rick Bébout (UBC Press, forthcoming May 2017).
Chris Arnett will review Lawrence L. Loendorf, Christopher Chippindale, and David S. Whitley, Discovering North American Rock Art (University of Arizona Press, 2016).
Solen Roth will review Sonny Assu, Candice Hopkins, Marianne Nicolson, Richard Van Camp, Ellyn Walker, Sonny Assu: A Selective History (Victoria: Heritage House, forthcoming May 2017).
Roger Robinson will review Jason Beck, The Miracle Mile: Stories of the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games (Caitlin: 2016).
Joe Simpson will review Douglas E. Delaney and Nikolas Gardner, editors, Turning Point 1917: The British Empire at War (UBC Press, forthcoming March 2017).
Howard Stewart will review Barry Gough, Britannia's Navy on the West Coast of North America, 1812-1914 (Heritage House, 2016).
John Hinde will review Jan Peterson, Mark Bate: Nanaimo's First Mayor (Victoria: Heritage House, forthcoming May 2017).
Dan Gallacher will review R.W. Sandwell, editor, Powering Up Canada: The History of Power, Fuel, and Energy from 1600 (MQUP, 2016).
RICHARD SOMERSET MACKIE – REVIEWS EDITOR, ORMSBY REVIEW
Richard Somerset Mackie has twice won the province's top honour for historical writing about British Columbia, once for his book on early fur trading and again for his study of logging on Vancouver Island. His classic Vancouver Island study Island Timber went through five printings and has sold 10,000 copies. From 2011 to 2016, Mackie was associate editor and book reviews editor at the UBC-based academic journal BC Studies, greatly enhancing its vitality and appeal. In September of 2016, he accepted a new position as editor for The Ormsby Review, a new, online journal with similar content but much broader reach. Via the BC BookLook daily news site (associated with the periodical B.C. BookWorld, a newspaper about books and authors that has been popular since 1987), The Ormsby Review reaches far more readers, more often, with more reviews.
Also an adjunct professor in the Geography Department at UBC, Mackie has recalled, “As a kid in North Saanich I collected old bottles. My moment of triumph was digging Judge Begbie’s dump at his summer house at Elk Lake. It contained rare Scotch whisky bottles as well as Chinese pottery. I did incalculable damage to many old sites. My only consolation is that most sites have now been entirely obliterated by dredging or development. Historical archaeology is still almost non-existent in this province anyway. I also collected First Nations basalt arrowheads, scrapers, and bone needles, which could still be picked up on local beaches. I was blissfully unaware that such collecting is prohibited by the Archaeological and Historic Sites Protection Act. Eventually I put my experience as a "pot hunter" to good use by working in BC archaeology between 1976 and 1984. I also studied mediaeval history at the University of St Andrews and history and historical geography at the universities of Victoria and British Columbia, where I obtained a PhD in 1993.”
Richard Mackie's Mountain Timber: The Comox Logging Company in the Vancouver Island Mountains (Sono Nis 2009) is the sequel to Mackie's best-selling Island Timber: A Social History of the Comox Logging Company, Vancouver Island. Whereas Island Timber was set on the low-lying coastal flats adjacent to the Strait of Georgia, Mountain Timber is concerned with Comox Logging’s later and higher fortunes in the densely-forested valleys and lakes of the Vancouver Island mountains. As the company depleted its supply of coastal Douglas fir in the 1920s, it moved inland to log the Bevan sidehill, the shores of Comox Lake, and the valleys and tributaries of the Puntledge and Cruickshank Rivers. But wherever it moved, the company had the same purpose: to find and cut mature Douglas fir forests. The action in Mountain Timber takes place between 1925 and 1945 -- the two critical decades when most of the available lowland timber was cut. This book also revisits Comox Logging's railway logging shows out of Headquarters and Camps 1, 2, and 3, around Oyster River and Black Creek. For Home Truths: Highlights from BC History, a surprise B.C. bestseller, Richard Mackie and Graeme Wynn, the BC Studies editor, assembled an anthology of representative articles drawn from the first forty-four years of BC Studies (1968 -2012). "Somehow we narrowed 600 articles down to ten works arranged on the theme of "finding home" as outlined in George Bowering's landmark article ‘Home Away’ in BC Studies in 1984," Mackie writes. For more, see www.rsmackie.com
DATE OF BIRTH: December 8, 1957 (Edmonton)
AWARDS: Lieutenant-Governor's Medal (British Columbia Historical Federation) 2001 and 1999 (and runner-up in 1986); Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize (short-listed 2001)
Home Truths: Highlights from BC History (Harbour, 2012) Co-edited with Graeme Wynn. $26.95 978-1-55017-577-6
Mountain Timber (Sono Nis, 2009)
Island Timber (Sono Nis, 2000)
Trading Beyond the Mountains (UBC Press, 1997)
The Wilderness Profound: Victorian Life in the Gulf of Georgia (Sono Nis Press 1995).
Hamilton Mack Laing: Hunter, Naturalist (Sono Nis, 1985)
For information about Alan Twigg, visit: