Salt Spring Reads: Salt Spring Island Memento by Michael Levy

Salt Spring Reads is an online book club/review. For this column I try to find books that you might love to discover, books with a Salt Spring connection. Reviewed books are available at the Salt Spring Library and in local bookstores. Feel free to share your comments to discuss this book online with others. If you are a local author, you can submit your book for review. Salt Spring Island Memento by Michael Levy This book is perhaps our island’s best kept secret. I had heard about the book from friends who had seen it but I found it hard to find a copy. Most people I show this book to, have not seen it before. But it is a book that should be on every coffee table on Salt Spring Island. Gorgeous photos showcase the island as the unique, special place in the world it is. I own photo books about Oregon, Alaska, Mongolia, Malaysia. This book is every bit as impressive and attractive.The photos focus on natural beauty and people. You will spot familiar faces as well as …
Read more

International Cookbook Deal for Local Bakery!

International Cookbook Deal for Local Bakery. Local residents and savvy visitors flock to Jana’s Bake Shop to covet fresh-baked goods that are distinctly Salt Spring Island. Jana’s bakery on Upper Ganges Road, is a perennial hive of activity and her special-order cakes and desserts are the highlight of many family dinners on Salt Spring. Soon, those delectable sweets can be re-created in the comforts of their own homes. Her upcoming cookbook will feature more than 80 delicious, easy-to-make recipes from beautiful cakes, pies, and cookies to savouries and condiments. “Jana’s Bake Shop has been churning out ridiculously delicious desserts for decades. From espresso cookies and pecan caramels to a chocolate truffle cake and strawberry rhubarb pie, there is something for everyone,” says Figure 1’s Acquisitions Editor Michelle Meade. “Salt Spring Island boasts an incredibly creative community, as well as a bounty of home-grown produce. We are absolutely thrilled to publ…
Read more

Salt Spring Reads: The Apple House by Gillian Campbell

Salt Spring Reads is an online book club/review. For this column I try to find books that you might love to discover, books with a Salt Spring connection. Reviewed books are available at the Salt Spring Library and in local bookstores. Feel free to share your comments to discuss this book online with others. The Apple House by Gillian Campbell An old house, childhood memories and the people of two Quebec villages combine in this well written novel to bring an engaging story to life. Imogene is an anglophone girl living in a francophone area. The apple house is bought by a newly wed couple, Imogene and Thomas whose roots also lie in the village. But when Thomas unexpectedly dies, Imogene is forced to face her past as well as her future, having to make decisions that effect not only her immediate family but also the extended circle of people around her. The Apple House has realistic characters that take the reader into a world that seems very real. As the intriguing s…
Read more

Salt Spring Reads: Owl's Dream

Salt Spring Reads is an online book club/review. For this column I try to find books that you might love to discover, books with a Salt Spring connection. Reviewed books are available at the Salt Spring Library and in local bookstores. Feel free to share your comments to discuss this book online with others. Owl’s Dream, by Valentina Atton and Sophia Johnson. Written and produced on neighbouring Pender Island, Owl’s Dream is a book of poetry written by Valentina Atton and illustrated by Sophia Johnson. Introduced by Owl, each poem represents a different animal that meets a child. Together, text and illustrations take a young child on a journey through nature. The child meets a fawn, a dragonfly, a lamb and many other animals, both local and foreign, wild and domestic. They all talk to the child, expressing love and encouragement. The poems will be fun to read aloud with a toddler and a parent or educator can use the illustrations for more discussion on how we treat animal…
Read more

Salt Spring Reads: The Performance by Ann Eriksson

Salt Spring Reads is an online book club/review. For this column I try to find books that you might love to discover, books with a Salt Spring connection. Reviewed books are available at the Salt Spring Library and in local bookstores. Feel free to share your comments to discuss this book online with others. Ann Eriksson’s latest title, The Performance, was launched at the Salt Spring Public Library. I wasn’t able to attend the launch but the cover looked intriguing. Indeed, once I started to read this novel, I couldn’t put it down. The fictional story is spellbinding and very well written. Placed mostly in Manhattan, the main character is Hana Knight, a young and brilliant pianist. The story of her success and blossoming career in New York is pleasant enough. But new layers of intriguing are added when a homeless woman enters Hana’s life. Fascinated by the seemingly worthless lives of those who have lost homes and family, the author takes us into the world of the homeless,…
Read more

Local Author Wins 10th Annual Bolen Books Children’s Book Prize

Tonight, two Victoria authors were recognized for their literary talent at the 2017 Victoria Book Prize Society Awards Gala. Yasuko Thanh was named the winner of the 14th annual City of Victoria Butler Book Prize for Mysterious Fragrance of the Yellow Mountains (Hamish Hamilton). Margriet Ruurs was named the winner of the 10th annual Bolen Books Children’s Book Prize for Stepping Stones: A Refugee Family’s Journey (Orca Book Publishers). Mayor Lisa Helps and event sponsor Brian Butler presented Yasuko Thanh with the $5,000 City of Victoria Butler Book Prize, and Samantha Holmes from Bolen Books presented Margriet Ruurs with the $5,000 Bolen Books Children’s Book Prize. In Mysterious Fragrance of the Yellow Mountains Previous to winning the Journey Prize for her short story “Floating Like the Dead” in 2009, Thanh earned her living as a busker, an opium dealer, a cleaner of goat pens, a bed & breakfast operator, a housekeeper, and a panhandler. In 2013 she wa…
Read more

Salt Spring Reads: BC’s Butterflies of Concern by Robin Fitzgerald

Salt Spring Reads is an online book club/review. For this column I try to find books that you might love to discover, books with a Salt Spring connection. Reviewed books are available at the Salt Spring Library and in local bookstores. Feel free to share your comments to discuss this book online with others. Robin Fitzgerald has authored some interesting books. My favourite one is BC’s Butterflies of Concern. This is a guide chockful of beautiful photos and interesting information on everything butterfly. The book is not just intended for identification purposes but has information on life span, habits, food and more of butterflies in several of BC’s regions. Robin’s other self published book is called The Dawning. According to a synopsis provided, this book is for “those who believe in the power of thought.” The book’s short content explains that “This is the story of an incursion that took place in 1996 between Draconians and our own Light Forces.” Both books are …
Read more

Salt Spring Reads: The Consequence of Memory by Anthony Bruce

Salt Spring Reads is an online book club/review. For this column I try to find books that you might love to discover, books with a Salt Spring connection. Reviewed books are available at the Salt Spring Library and in local bookstores. Feel free to share your comments to discuss this book online with others. The Consequence of Memory, Anthony Bruce  If you have been to the Saturday Market, you have likely met Anthony Bruce and his books. After spending parts of his life in South Africa, several other African countries, Columbia, Ecuador, England and Indonesia, Bruce now calls Salt Spring Island home. He uses his experiences working as a surveyor, a pilot, soldier and more to create stories that he publishes to share with a wide audience. The Consequence of Memory is a fictional novel set in Canada and Kenya. The story is that of a Kenyan detective. It involves corruption and greed, a funeral and memories of events long ago. The story switches back and forth as it unra…
Read more

Salt Spring Reads: Boundary Layer by Kem Luther

Salt Spring Reads is an online book club/review. For this column I try to find books that you might love to discover, books with a Salt Spring connection. Reviewed books are available at the Salt Spring Library and in local bookstores. Feel free to share your comments to discuss this book online with others. Boundary Layer, Exploring the Genius Between Worlds, by Kem Luther Oregon State University Press ISBN 978-0-87071-844-1 Boundary Layer, Exploring the Genius Between Worlds will be a fascinating read for anyone intrigued by and interested in a relatively unexplored niche in the ecosystem occupied by fungus, mosses, lichen and more.Luther’s book was published by Oregon State University Press, a leader in the field of natural sciences. In this book, Luther discusses the layer of air closest to the ground, which teems with organisms that are vital to our planet. This layer of life thrives between soil and the upper layers of trees and plants. The author takes the r…
Read more

Salt Spring Reads: Child Honouring edited by Raffi Cavourkian and Sharna Olfman

Salt Spring Reads is an online book club/review. For this column I try to find books that you might love to discover, books with a Salt Spring connection. Reviewed books are available at the Salt Spring Library and in local bookstores. To have your book included, please submit a copy to Margriet Ruurs: margrietruurs@hotmail.com Child Honouring, How to Turn This World Around, edited by Raffi Cavourkian and Sharna Olfman For much of his life, Raffi (Cavourkian) has been writing and singing songs for children. As an author, award-winning recording artist and ecology advocate, he joined forces with a professor of psychology and author of many books about child development. Together, they collected essays by well known advocates of both children and the environment, fusing and promoting the philosophy of child honouring. Combined, the different chapters act as an informed force that puts children at the centre of our being. If our world centres on its future - the next gen…
Read more

Salt Spring Reads - A Disappearance in Damascus

Salt Spring Reads is an online book club/review. For this column I try to find books that you might love to discover, books with a Salt Spring connection. Reviewed books are available at the Salt Spring Library and in local bookstores. Feel free to share your comments to discuss this book online with others. The variety of books written on Salt Spring Island is amazing. This month I am sharing with you a sci-fi novel for readers (ages 12 and up) who enjoy fantastical tales of dragon like creatures and other planets. A Disappearance in Damascus, A Story of Friendship and Survival in the Shadow of War by Deborah Campbell Author Deborah Campbell may currently call Salt Spring home, but she has lived in many much more turbulent, less peaceful places. As a journalist writing for Harper's, The Economist, The Guardian and others, she has reported from, and lived in such places as Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, the UAE, Israel, Palestine, Mexico, Cuba …
Read more

Salt Spring reads: Raptor Night by W. James Dickinson

Salt Spring Reads is an online book club/review. For this column I try to find books that you might love to discover, books with a Salt Spring connection. Reviewed books are available at the Salt Spring Library and in local bookstores. Feel free to share your comments to discuss this book online with others. The variety of books written on Salt Spring Island is amazing. This month I am sharing with you a sci-fi novel for readers (ages 12 and up) who enjoy fantastical tales of dragon like creatures and other planets. Raptor Night by W. James Dickinson Every fifteen years on Mandeler’s planet there are great black winged creatures, the Raptors, which come in the night to kill and take people away to their distant lair. On his sixteenth birthday, Mandeler is gifted with a remarkable red stone, but it also coincides with the return of the Great Raptors. Driven by his tormented dreams of flying with the Raptors, he sets out on a quest to warn others of the advanci…
Read more

Salt Spring Reads: Victoria, A Harbour Town History

Salt Spring Reads is an online book club/review. For this column I try to find books that you might love to discover, books with a Salt Spring connection. Reviewed books are available at the Salt Spring Library and in local bookstores. Feel free to share your comments to discuss this book online with others. Victoria, A Harbour Town History by Gayle Baker An attractive new book is on the market explaining Victoria’s history. This one is not an impressive 2” thick tome. It is not a boring summation of dates and facts. Victoria, A Harbour Town History by Salt Spring Island author Gayle Baker is a lighthearted look at the fascinating evolution of the city. Gayle Baker uses a pleasant, conversational tone to share personal stories of people whose names sound familiar to us because their names are now tied to the streets we know: Douglas, Blanshard, Dunsmuir and so many other men and women who were instrumental in forming the city of know today. How the first European ar…
Read more

Salt Spring Reads: Kanaka, The Untold Story of Hawaiian Pioneers by Tom Koppel

Salt Spring Reads is an online book club/review. For this column I try to find books that you might love to discover, books with a Salt Spring connection. Reviewed books are available at the Salt Spring Library and in local bookstores. Feel free to share your comments to discuss this book online with others. Many books have been written about Salt Spring’s human history, including that of First Nations and white explorers. In Kanaka Salt Spring author Ted Koppel focuses on the unique history of people coming to the Pacific Northwest from Hawaii. Mention Hawaii and most North Americans picture palm trees and beaches. It is difficult to imagine that people would willingly leave the sunny islands of Polynesia to live in British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest. Yet during the nineteenth century, hundreds of Hawaiians did just that, mainly to serve the Hudson's Bay Company at fur trading posts from Oregon to Alaska. By the 1880's Kanakas (the Hawaiian word for "human beings…
Read more

Salt Spring Reads: Finding Lien by Bruce Logan

Salt Spring Reads is an online book club/review. For this column I try to find books that you might love to discover, books with a Salt Spring connection. Reviewed books are available at the Salt Spring Library and in local bookstores. Feel free to share your comments to discuss this book online with others. Book Review: Finding Lien by Bruce Logan is one of the most powerful books I have read in a long time. This exciting novel reads like fiction but, unfortunately, is very much based on true events in Vietnam. The story features a Vietnam War veteran who returns to his old battlefields to try to save the life of a granddaughter he didn’t know he had. It all begins when Peter Trutch receives a letter from a 40-something man in Vietnam named Nguyen Le Ngoc, who claims to be Trutch’s biological son. Trutch is taken aback but recognizes that it’s plausible: in 1971 he was on leave in Nha Trang and met woman named Dream. Now Lien—Trutch’s apparent granddaughter—has vanished,…
Read more

Salt Spring Reads: Writing Alone Together

Salt Spring Reads is an online book club/review. For this column I try to find books that you might love to discover, books with a Salt Spring connection. Reviewed books are available at the Salt Spring Library and in local bookstores. Feel free to share your comments to discuss this book online with others. Book Review: Writing Alone Together, Journalling in a Circle of Women for Creativity, Compassion and Connection by Wendy Cutler, Lynda Monk and Ahaha Shira. If you have ever considered journalling but never taken the plunge, you might find this book helpful and supportive. Even if you are an avid journal writer, you will find much information to support you in the habit of daily or regular writing. This book is an invitation, by three Salt Spring women, to connect with others in a quest for creativity and friendship. This is not a book that teaches writing structure or how to critique. Rather, through example, the book is a dialogue to engage others in a communal writ…
Read more

Salt Spring Reads: Hiking the Gulf Island - Salt Spring, The Story of An Island

Salt Spring Reads is an online book club/review. For this column I try to find books that you might love to discover, books with a Salt Spring connection. Reviewed books are available at the Salt Spring Library and in local bookstores. Feel free to share your comments to discuss this book online with others. Perhaps no one knows Salt Spring Island as intimately as Charles Kahn. He might well have covered more of the island on foot than any other person. As the author of Hiking the Gulf Island, Charles is well acquainted with the Gulf Islands' roads, trails, hills and fields. If you are interested in following in Charles’ many footsteps across our island, his book is the undisputed ‘bible’ for both experienced and novice hikers. The book covers hiking trails on all Gulf Islands, including Salt Spring. And Charles Kahn's book Salt Spring, The Story of An Island should be on every book shelf in every house on Salt Spring. Starting with the earliest history of First Natio…
Read more

Salt Spring Reads: The Salt Spring Chronicles

Salt Spring Reads is an online book club/review. For this column I try to find books that you might love to discover, books with a Salt Spring connection. Reviewed books are available at the Salt Spring Library and/or in local bookstores. Feel free to share your comments. The Salt Spring Chronicles by Roger M. Brunt, Illustrated by Margaret Threlfall Much has been written about Salt Spring’s features and history. So it’s fun to get to know Salt Springers themselves by reading Roger M. Brunt’s - him of faerie fame - book. Originally published as columns in The Driftwood, each chapter features a local islander. It is interesting to read about what brought each of them to the island and how they have established a home, and often work, for themselves. Take Bob and Judy Weeden, for instance, who came from interesting locations, each with a doctorate degree, and put their hearts in farming, pottery and apple growing. Thus significantly contributing to Salt Spring’s fame and…
Read more

Salt Spring Reads: Holy Cow!, Hilarious Misadventures in India

Salt Spring Reads is an online book club/review. For this column I try to find books that you might love to discover, books with a Salt Spring connection. Reviewed books are available at the Salt Spring Library and/or in local bookstores. Feel free to share your comments. Holy Cow!, Hilarious Misadventures in India by Stewart Katz Stewart Katz used to live and work in Toronto. Fed up with the ‘rat race’, he quit his job, gave up his rent-controlled apartment, packed a bag and bought a one way ticket to India. His book Holy Cow! is a fascinating blend of slapstick comedy and serious soul searching. What is a nice Jewish boy going to do in one the world’s most populated countries? How will he adapt from bagels to baba ganoush? Katz dives in at the deep end by taking a public bus to a town called Mahaballipurum. He takes the reader along, not just on this overcrowded bus but on a wild adventure that leads throughout India, via hilarious events to culminate in the life…
Read more

Salt Spring Reads: Owen’s Grandmother and The Little Black Box

Salt Spring Reads is an online book club/review. For this column I try to find books that you might love to discover, books with a Salt Spring connection. Reviewed books are available at the Salt Spring Library and/or in local bookstores. Feel free to share your comments. Owen’s Grandmother and The Little Black Box by Maryanna Gabriel Maryanna Gabriel is an artist living on Salt Spring Island. She has experience working as a graphic designer. Her own grandchild inspired her to write, illustrate and publish this story. As the title indicates, this story is told from the grandmother’s point of view rather than from the grandchild’s. Owen lives far away and can’t see his grandmother as much as he wants to. But when she visits him in person, the visit is much more satisfying than having to communicate through ‘a little black box’ - an iPad, a way of communicating that is quite normal to today’s children but perhaps less so to grandparents. This is a universal story that wi…
Read more

Salt Spring Reads: Sockeye Salmon, Their Lifecycle and Travels

Salt Spring Reads is an online book club/review. For this column I try to find books that you might love to discover, books with a Salt Spring connection. Reviewed books are available at the Salt Spring Library and/or in local bookstores. Feel free to share your comments. Sockeye Salmon, their lifecycle and travels, by Brenda Guiled is an attractive first guide for readers of all ages to the mysterious of sockeye salmon. Aimed at young readers, the book is chockful of fascinating facts, including First Nations names and art pertaining to the fish. Brenda Guiled takes the reader along on the entire life’s journey, from newly laid eggs to full grown spawning salmon. Her gentle text encourages the reader to think along and use his or her own creativity by offering coloring pages and questions. The book introduces budding marine scientists to charts and maps, including a map of the Adams and Fraser Rivers where most sockeye salmon originate. This beautifully illustr…
Read more