13 books for Friday the 13th


On the topic of luck, my personal belief if that we make our own: put yourself in the right place at the right time with the right credentials and experience and you are bound to “luck” into some good fortune. Today, this Friday the 13th, I find myself almost literally buried in luck, with a great big stack of great books that have come in from local publishers and which I am writing single sentence reviews of below. Know that if a book appears here on V.I.A. it is most definitely awesome, we don’t ever present stuff we aren’t supporting. If you’ve read any of our book reviews in the past you’ll notice that we usually get more in-depth than one sentence, and I don’t mean to push my luck here but I hope you’ll do some digging yourself and find out more about these titles below.

This stack of books which are bound for the V.I.A. library (which doubles as our meeting room here at our Chinatown office) fall under three categories: Books With The Word Vancouver In Their Title and Kids Books and Miscellaneous. Let’s start with…


Walking Vancouver
John Lee
Heritage House

Plenty of great stories dotting many walks, I learned that the neighbourhood I live in (Mount Pleasant) was “Vancouver’s first suburb”

Vancouver: A History in Photographs
Aynsley Vogel and Dana Wyse
Heritage House

A condensed version of our city’s history from it’s inception until the 1960’s, perfect for those intrigued by it’s stories but not committed enough to go deep and join the Historical Society.

Public Art in Vancouver
John Steil and Aileen Stalker
Touchwood Editions

Though I feel like I’m keenly aware of the public art in out city I had no idea the breadth of it until I picked up this handy guide.

Vancouver Exposed
Donald E. Waite
Self published!

An incredibly detailed hardcover gem detailing Vancouver’s history with an abundance of fantastic photographs of our city.

Drinking Vancouver
John Lee
Touchwood Editions

Guide to 100+ bars, broken down by neighbourhood, in an almost-pocket sized edition.

Vancouver Kids
Lesley McKnight
Brindle & Glass

22 stories told by real-life kids about their experiences growing up in Vancouver!


B is for Basketball
The students and teachers of School District No. 50 (Haida Gwai), illustrated by Judy Hilgemann
Mckellar & Martin

It’s the official book of the 2011 All Native Basketball Tournament, created in collaboration with students and teachers, and it is fantastically illustrated with informative sidebars!

Christopher Aslan, illustrated by Emily Mullock
Benjamin Brown Books

27 pages of the different feelings that can be expressed with the word “Dude”!

Go Away, Unicorn!
Emily Mullock
Mckellar & Martin

About a girl and the unicorn she doesn’t want… spoiler alert: in the end they of course become best friends!

Fractured – Happily Never After?
Joanna Karaplis
Mckellar & Martin

3 fairy tales reworked and re-written for a modern, young adult audience, all printed on chlorine free paper using 100% post-consumer waste!

The Canoe He Called Loo Taas
By Amanda Reid-Stevens, Illustrated by Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas
Benjamin Brown Books

Written by Bill Reid’s daughter (THE Bill Reid, yes), great attention to detail with printing techniques.


Cascadia’s Fault
Jerry Thompson
Harper Collins

Despite it being all about the “deadly earthquake that will devastate North America”, it tells how science is helping us understand and be better prepared for the event when it happens.

Sepass Poems
Chief William K’HHalserten Sepass, illustarted by Lynne Grillmair
Longhouse Publishing

It’s filled with translations from oral traditions, keeping stories alive through print!

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Bob is our founder and Editor-in-Chief. A family man and outdoors enthusiast in his 3rd decade of publishing, he steers the V.I.A. ship, hosts our 'BC Was Awesome' history TV show and co-hosts our weekly podcast. bobk@vancouverisawesome.com