Some fine summer reading: Books of and about the characters and history in B.C.

Book reviews on a notable historical figure, trees in the pacific northwest, and superfood Kale

Learn how to prepare Kale

The Legendary Betty Frank the Cariboo’s Alpine Queen

Author: Betty Frank and Sage Birchwater

Caitlin Press

236 pages, soft cover

 

Every community has its legendary characters and the Cariboo is no exception. Betty Frank lived and loved in the mountains around the Williams Lake area for many years running a trap line and guide business. She was as tough as any man, but they always knew she was a woman.

From her isolated childhood in the Peace River country to the coastal communities where she skipped and played among the log booms in Owen Bay. She was strong willed and fiercely independent, the perfect combination for her future as a teacher in northern B.C. She put herself through school in Victoria and acquired a teaching certificate, which proved to be her passport to northern British Columbia. She did teach but her dream had always been to be a game guide and a trapper. She raised dogs and kids and married a time or two. She was a free spirit when women were expected to tow a more conventional line. She is a true adventurer and  one-of-a-kind. Characters such as Betty Frank are disappearing as the years roll by and unfortunately they are now most often captured on the pages of books rather than in the back country.

This book offers just a glimpse into this woman’s life and leaves you nostalgic for characters such as she. She is now 80 years old, and her feisty spirit is still going strong. She even dressed up as Lady Gaga for Halloween last year.

 

 

A Field Guide to Trees of the Pacific Northwest

Author: Phillipa Hudson

Foldout pamphlet

Harbour Publishing

 

 

The perfect companion reference for those who wander through the forests wondering, what kind of tree is that? This rainproof foldout provides all the details of the trees one might come across in the pacific Northwest.

Information on the  range, seeds and cones, heights and bark of 26 different trees is included.

Trees are grouped into evergreen and deciduous tree categories. A handy reference with a small price tag and a small size, perfect for one’s jacket pocket.

 

The Book of Kale

The Easy-To-Grow Superfood

Author: Sharon Hanna

192 pages, softcover

Colour photos

Harbour Publishing

 

 

It’s called a superfood, an anti-oxidant rich in phytonutrients and a dream food — it’s the humble, often discarded kale.

Sharon Hanna, in The Book of Kale, leads you down the garden path to better health through instructions on how to grow and cook kale. She gives you 80 recipes for kale including the most requested — kale chips. There are also recipes for salads, breakfast smoothies, starters and light meals as well as vegetables, side dishes and mains. The colour photographs are inspirational and actually make you feel like cooking with kale.

The Book of Kale would be a great addition to anyone’s cook book library.