featured book:
Vancouver Noir
by Diane Purvey & John Belshaw

Vancouver Noir provides fascinating insight into the tension between Terminal City’s shady dealings and its yearning for social conformity between 1930 and 1960.

More about Vancouver Noir

(Coming Soon) Book Passage

Take a trip on a BC Ferry this summer and discover a bounty of reading riches to while the time away. En route to Nanaimo, Prince Rupert, Haida Gwaii, or Vancouver, all 21 of the following BC books can be found aboard any ship with a Passages Gift Shop.

Book Passage with BC Books on BC Ferries

Regional Interest

Discovery Passages

by Garry Thomas Morse, Talon Books, $17.95 PA

Discovery PassagesRetracing Captain George Vancouver’s original sailing route, Garry Thomas Morse sets out to recover the appropriated, stolen and scattered world of his ancestral people from Alert Bay to Quadra Island to Vancouver. These poems draw upon both written history and Kwakwaka’wakw First Nations tradition to reflect many respective stories of these communities.

Whoever Gives Us Bread: the Story of Italians in British Columbia

by Lynne Bowen, Douglas & McIntyre, $32.95 HC

WhoeverGivesUsBreadWhoever Gives Us Bread is a lively people’s history from the 1860s to the 1960s, as told by an award-winning historian who spent ten years conducting interviews and combing through newspapers, government records and letters to write this definitive history.

Working with Wool: A Coast Salish Legacy and the Cowichan Sweater

by Sylvia Olsen, Sono Nis Press, $38.95 PA

WorkingwithWool_frontCowichan sweaters, with their distinctive bands of design and untreated, handspun wool, have been a British Columbia icon since the early 20th century, but few people know the full story behind the garment. Sylvia Olsen tells the tale, drawing on her own experience, academic research, and her four-decade friendship with some of the Coast Salish women who have each knitted hundreds of sweaters.

Guide Books

Backyard Bounty: The Complete Guide to Year-Round Organic Gardening in the Pacific Northwest

by Linda Gilkeson, New Society Publishers, $24.95 PA

BackyardBounty~Cat4inMENThis practical guide is packed with simple, low-maintenance methods to produce the most organically grown food all year round from any home garden. With advice on soil preparation, composting, seeding, watering, mulching, pruning, winter crop planting schedules, greenhouses and more, Backyard Bounty will get you growing.

Country Roads of Western BC: From the Islands to Fraser Valley

by Liz Bryan, Heritage House Publishing, $24.95

CountryRoadsIn her third book of off-the-beaten-track explorations of western Canada, Liz Bryan travels the scenic roads of BC’s Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island. From country routes in the Fraser Valley to forest roads leading to coastal settlements such as Zeballos and Telegraph Cove, these journeys celebrate the landscape and trace the early human history of these regions.

Secret Beaches of Central Vancouver Island: Campbell River to Qualicum

by Theo Dombrowski, Heritage House Publishing, $26.95 PA

SecretBeachesThe third book in the bestselling Secret Beaches series leads the explorer to a treasure trove of hidden beaches. Some are well known to locals, some are tucked just off the highway, and others can be found at the end of a labyrinth of roads, obscured by ancient forests. Whether you seek solitude, want to launch a kayak or simply to walk along acres of soft sand, this guide is for you.


Following the Last Wild Wolves

by Ian McAllister, Greystone Books, $19.95 PA

FollowingLastWildWolvesThis is a textual edition of the bestselling photographic book is updated with the author’s recent observations of the wolves of the Great Bear Rainforest. It contains a sixteen-page photographic insert that includes spectacular new photographs.

The Life and Art of Mildred Valley Thornton: #4 in the Unheralded Artists of BC Series

by Sheryl Salloum, Mother Tongue Publishing, $35.95 PA

Unherald#4_OFC_Hi-ResMildred Valley Thornton (1890-1967) was a highly spirited artist who
travelled throughout Western Canada painting landscapes and over 300 portraits of aboriginal peoples. This well researched and beautifully illustrated book celebrates her life as a journalist, poet, mother, art critic and advocate for First Nations and her art.

The Sea Wolves: Living Wild in the Great Bear Rainforest

by Ian McAllister & Nicholas Read, Orca Book Publishers, $19.95 PA

SeaWolvesLiving in the isolated wilderness of the Great Bear Rainforest, coastal wolves have also enjoyed a unique relationship with man. Illustrated with almost one hundred of Ian McAllister’s magnificent photographs, The Sea Wolves presents a strong case for the importance of preserving the Great Bear Rainforest for the wolves, the bears and the other unique creatures that live there.


No Time to Say Goodbye: Children’s Stories of Kuper Island Residential School

by Sylvia Olsen, Sono Nis Press, $9.95

NoTime_front300Taken by government agents to live at Kuper Island Residential School, five children from the Tsartlip First Nation are isolated on the small island. They experience homesickness and confusion while trying to adjust to a completely different world. Despite the strict school routine, the children find adventure in escape, challenge in competition, and camaraderie with their fellow students.

The Secret Keepers

by Paul Yee, Tradewind Books, $12.95 PA

Secret.coverSet in San Francisco’s Chinatown before and after 1906, this novel portrays a young Jackson Leong coping with the ghost of his brother who died in the earthquake, as well as the mysterious ghost of a young woman. Jackson must find out the reasons why the ghosts are haunting the world of the living. If he fails his family will face ruin and disgrace.

Sound of the Ferry

by Sara Leach, Poppy Productions, $9.95 PA

Sounds-of-the-Ferry-CoverFollowing up on their adventures in their bestseller Mountain Machines, author Sara Leach and illustrator Steven Corvelo board a ferry to explore the sounds and sights of a sea voyage. Full of detail, recurring characters and colourful marine life, this rhyming picture book takes children on an entertaining ferry ride.

Creative Non-Fiction

Afflictions & Departures: Essays

by Madeline Sonik, Anvil Press, $20.00 PA

Afflictions_Cov_CatAfflictions & Departures begins by considering the turbulent and changing nature of the world in the late 1950s and ealry 1960s —the world in which the author was conceived and born. Like many couples of that era, Sonik’s parents focused on shared social and economic ambitions at the expense of authentic personal feeling. These ambitions would erode and, by the 1970s, completely collapse

The House with the Broken Two: A Birthmother Remembers

by Myrl Coulter, Anvil Press, $18.00 PA

BirthmotherHiResColIn The House with the Broken Two Dr. Myrl Coulter reflects on the family politics and social mores that surrounded closed adoption in the 1960s. She also examines the changing attitudes that resulted in the current open adoption system and her own eventual reunion with her firstborn son.

Subject to Change

by Renee Rodin, Talon Books, $18.95 PA

Subject_to_ChangeComposed of stories that sketch the resonant heights and depths of an autobiography, Subject to Change is a series of self-portraits along the road of a life well-lived. Each story is an articulate, intelligent, passionate record of how an encounter with a significant “other” has changed and shaped the humanity, character and community —the “subject”— of the writer.


The Edward Curtis Project: A Modern Picture Story

by Marie Clements & Rita Leistner, Talon Books, $24.95 PA

Edward-CurtisMarie Clements’s play dramatizes the creation of Edward Curtis’s twenty-volume photographic and ethnographic record of the “vanishing” North American Indian. It is presented here alongside Rita Leistner’s parallel investigation of Curtis’s work, which questions the practice of documentary photography with the very medium under scrutiny with over 100 colour photographs.

Everything Was Good-Bye

by Gurjinder Basran, Mother Tongue Publishing, $21.95 PA

Basran-front-large+BCBPawardEverything Was Good-Bye is a vibrant and courageous story about a young Indo-Canadian woman growing up in the lower mainland of BC and her struggles as she asserts her independence in a Punjabi community. It is a modern story of love, loss and self-acceptance amidst shifting cultural ideals. Winner: Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize and the Search for the Great BC Novel Contest.

The Gate

by Michael Elcock, Oolichan Books, $18.95 PA

ELCOCK-The-Gate---Cover-2x3-300dpiThe Gate, a novel of simple but stunning beauty, takes the reader on a journey of love, terrible loss and survival. Amidst the horrors of war, two young lovers, one Canadian, one French, test their passion and will against the might of the German army.

Made That Way

by Susan Ketchen, Oolichan Books, $12.95 PA

KETCHEN-Made-That-Way---Cover---300dpiIn this young adult novel, a stand-alone sequel to Born That Way, Sylvia explores herd dynamics, whether in family life, schoolyard politics, or in the stable. Sylvia’s misadventures are told with humour and compassion. When finally she gets her horse, he is as unique and spirited as she is.

Spit Delaney’s Island

by Jack Hodgins, Ronsdale Press, $18.95 PA

Spit-DelaneyJack Hodgins’ first book, published originally in 1976, is back in print! Spit Delaney’s Island, a collection of short stories, set Hodgins off on his award-winning career and put Vancouver Island on the Canadian literary map. Hodgins brings Vancouver Island to life —touch, taste, and sound— in this acclaimed collection.

This Innocent Corner

by Peggy Herring, Oolichan Books, $19.95 PA

HERRING-This-Innocent-Corner-Cover-2x3-300dpiThis Innocent Corner takes the reader from Bangladesh on the brink of war in the early 1970s to the shores of Salt Spring Island thirty years later. The story follows Robin who, as an exchange student visiting what was then East Pakistan, committed a well intentioned act that had devastating consequences.

Summer Reading Suggestions

Coastal Beauty: Wildflowers and Flowering Shrubs of Coastal British Columbia and Vancouver Island by Neil L. Jennings

Darwin’s Bastards: Astounding Tales from Tomorrow edited by Zsuzsi Gartner

Delivery: A Novel by Betty Jane Hegerat

Edward S. Curtis Above the Medicine Line: Portraits of Aboriginal Life in the Canadian West by Rodger D. Touchie

Flights of Imagination: Extraordinary Writing about Birds edited by Richard Cannings

Hiking Trails 2: South-Central Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands by Richard Blier

Island Kids by Tara Saracuse

Parks and Nature Places Around Vancouver by Nature Vancouver

Plants of Haida Gwaii by Nancy Turner

The Salmon Bears: Giants of the Great Bear Rainforest by Ian McAllister & Nicholas Read

The Secret Beaches of Greater Victoria: View Royal to Sidney by Theo Dombrowski

Visions of British Columbia: A Landscape Manual edited by Bruce Grenville & Scott Steedman

Waterfalls of British Columbia: A Guide to BC’s 100 Best Falls by Tony Greenfield

Waterfront: The Illustrated Maritime History of Greater Vancouver by James P. Delgado

The Way of a Gardener: A Life’s Journey by Des Kennedy