A good book is always a welcome holiday gift…

Book reviews on some books by British Columbia authors

Book reviews of new publications.

Put some fine British Columbia books under the tree for the readers in the house.

In this selection there are books  on cooking, publishing, a child’s book and  a historical work. These book are all by British Columbia authors and they all relate in some way to our West Coast lifestyle.

In a world where the Internet is becoming the communication method of choice and even the tool for reading, there is comfort in old-fashioned well written books and turning the pages one-by-one.

 

 

How to publish a book for  less than $100

Author: Mary Howard

30 pages, softcover

www.my-book-published.com

 

This small booklet will give you all of the information you need to publish your own book. It  guides you through the process from planning to selling your novel, short story, family history, what have you. You would require a computer and some technical savvy, but the author’s instructions are very clear and easy to follow. Howard offers information on how to sell your published work, information that is not always readily available.

Mary Howard is an author/publisher from the Duncan area and she also provides workshops on self-publishing. Workshop dates are in January 2013.

For more information go to: www.howard-designs-publications.com

 

 

Home Truths: Highlights from BC History

Edited by: Richard Macke and Graeme Wynn

416 pages, softcover

Harbour Publishing

 

If you are interested in regional history, Home Truths will quell your thirst for informative and interesting stories of British Columbia vast and varied history.

Based on the essays featured in BC Studies from 1968 to 2012, the editors compiled 11 fascinating articles from prominent historical authors.

The editors saw a recurring theme in many of the submissions in BC Studies and what came into focus was “home” in all of its interpretations.

The theme concerns the search for a home on the West Coast — a new one for settlers and an old one for indigenous peoples. There are tales of the promised land and the settlers’ privation and eventual abandonment of their ideal utopian communities.

Stories surface in the book from such diverse places like the Fraser Canyon, Kitsilano, Chinatown in Vancouver, Sointula, the Walhachin and the Lower Skeena.

Each author is meticulous in their research and foot notes and acknowledgements fill many pages. Black and white photographs add to the essays giving them another dimension in understanding.

 

 

O Canada Crosswords Book 13

Author: Gwen Sjorgren

232 pages, softcover

Nightwood Editions

 

Crossword puzzle fans will welcome this latest edition of a Canadian crossword book. It’s for the Canadian in all of us and O Canada provides 33 themed puzzles with enough mental challenges to enrich your brain workout.

The spellings are distinctly Canadian and full of trivia only a Canuck would know.

So, as they say, put on your toque and wager a Loonie that you’ll out perform any of your southern neighbours.

Available through Harbour Publishing.

 

Seasonings: Flavours of the Southern Gulf Islands

Authors: Andrea and David Spalding

240 pages, softcover

Harbour Publishing

 

There isn’t a foodie alive who doesn’t salivate at the prospect of a new cookbook, especially one that features recipes from the Southern Gulf Islands.

The Gulf Islands of Saltspring, Pender, Galiano, Mayne and Saturna are resplendent in scenery, fresh food, and talented cooks.

Veteran writers and long-time island residents Andrea and David Spalding have sought out those favourite island recipes. Organic food is a preference with many island residents and Seasonings provides some amazing recipes using specialty ingredients found and grown on the island. The recipes are arranged by season and product availability and the photographs only add to the lushness of this book.

Seasonings is a wonderful way to remember and recreate some of those delectables found in the small inns and restaurant scattered throughout the Southern Gulf Islands.

Don’t know what to do with B.C. spot prawns, blackberries, chanterelle mushrooms and crab? This book will give you both the inspiration and passion for using sustainable, B.C. products. Add some wine from the island vineyards and you have the makings of the perfect West Coast meal.

Seasongings: Flavours of the South Gulf Island is a Canadian and B.C. bestseller.

 

Gubby Builds A Boat

Author: Gary Kent

Illustrator: Kim La feve

31 pages, hardcover

Harbour Publishing

 

This children’s book is reminiscent of an earlier time. A time when a hands-on approach meant all hands on deck. This latest book follows the best selling book, Fishing with Gubby, the adventures of a commercial salmon fisherman.

It takes place in an age where boat building was a coastal enterprise and life along the docks encompassed the whole family. The story documents the rich traditions of the Nikkei fishing community and wooden boat building on the West Coast.

Author Gary Kent was a commercial fisherman and salmon troller and now lives in Roberts Creek.

Kim Le Feve is a Governor General’s Award winning artist and illustrator for many children’s books.

Gubby Builds a Boat will be appreciated by readers of all ages.

 

 

 

Contigency Plan

Author: Lou Allin

130 pages, softcover

Orca Book Publishers

 

Sooke author Lou Allin loves writing mysteries. People love reading mysteries and Allin has found a way to give them the thrill in a one-sitting reading session. Contigency Plan is about control, relationships and revenge. The premise of this novella is that if it’s too good to be true, it usually is. A young widow meets a wealthy man who appears to be perfect, until their idyllic life starts to show signs of something evil.

It’s a quick read, which it is meant to be.

The author wrote this for Rapid Reads, a line of short novels and non-fiction books for adult readers. The publisher said, “In our increasingly fast-paced world we believe there is a need for well-written, well-told books that can be read in one sitting. Rapid Reads are intended for a diverse audience, including ESL students, reluctant readers, adults who struggle with literacy and anyone who wants an high-interest quick read.”

 

The Zero-Mile Diet Cookbook

Author: Carolyn Herriot

255 pages, softcover

Colour photographs

Harbour Publishing

 

Author and organic gardener Carolyn Herriot cooks up a very informative and inspiring collection of 160 recipes in her latest book, The Zero-Mile Diet Cookbook.

The cookbook is a veritable feast for the eyes, with photographs of the foods, easy to read and understand recipes and chapters on nutrition, health, culinary herbs, outfitting a kitchen and other very useful information.

The idea is to use what grows in your backyard or from a local farm. The recipes are sorted by season and what might be growing in your garden at the time.

She talks of preserving and storing foods and the benefits of having a backyard garden, even a small one. It’s a nice addition to anyone’s kitchen. If you have just started to go vegetarian, this would make a good start to learning to live healthier.

A winter recipe for those who have fresh apples:

Baked Apple Dessert

This dessert is positively yummy served warm or cold, with or without Greek Yogourt, ice cream or whipped cream.

4 large cooking apples, peeled, cored, cut into 1/2-inch slices’1.2cup (125 mL) water

Filling:

1/2 cup (125mL) dried fruit – currants, raisins, cherries

1 tbsp. (15 mL) hazelbuts, almonds or walnuts, chopped

1/4 cup (60 mL) raw cane sugar

1 tsp. (5 mL) cinnamon powder

2 tbsp (30 mL) butter, cut into chunks

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190C).

Put the slicesback together to make the whole apple, and stand it upright in a buttered 8-inch (20-cm) square baking dish.

Blend the filling ingredients together into a smooth paste, and stuff the paste into the core of each apple from top to bottom.

Pout 1/4 cup (125mL) water into the dish.

Reduce oven heat to 350F and bake for 30 minutes until the apples are soft.

Makes 4 servings.

 

 

 

The Beachcombers at 40: Bruno and the Beach

Authors: Marc Strange and Jackson Davies

197 pages, softcover

Harbour Publishing

 

It was one of the most loved television shows and the Beachcombers became a Canadian icon. Families would gather around the television to watch the show on Sunday nights. Everyone knew all of the characters and they became familiar and loved household names.

The show was filmed along the Sunshine Coast and the show did more to alert Canadians to the beauty of British Columbia than any other show, now or then. The show shaped Gibsons and and helped bring Hollywood North to the West Coast.

Jackson Davies played the Constable John for 19 seasons and is co-author of the book. He was made an honourary sergeant in the RCMP.

A lot of questions are answered in the book, like “what was Bruno Gerussi really like? And why the creators of The Beachcombers jumped ship.

Marc Strange was a writer, actor and co-creator of The Beachcombers.

 

Other books which may interest the readers among your family and friends are:

Unlikely Love Stories

by Mike McCardell

 

The Art of the Impossible: Dave Barrett and the NDP in Power 1972-1975

By Geoff Meggs and Road Mickleburgh.

 

Happy reading.