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Library Column


Check out a book about B.C.

By Joan Richoz, Whistler Public Library

August 5, British Columbia Day, is a civic holiday intended for all residents and workers to relax and enjoy the beauty and culture offered within this spectacular province. I thought I would highlight some of the books about B.C. that we have at the library.

There are many interesting books about the history of transportation in the province. Robert Turner’s The S. S. Moyie: Memories of the oldest sternwheeler and The Sicamous and the Naramata: Steamboat days in the Okanagan describe the transportation system on the lakes of the Interior. Peter Corley-Smith has written several books on the history of aviation in B.C., notably Helicopters in the high country: 40 years of mountain flying ; Helicopters: The British Columbia story; Barnstorming to bush flying and Bush flying to blind flying. For more aviation history, try The accidental airline: Spilsbury’s QCA by Howard White . Tom Henry wrote a B.C. Book Prize award-winning book entitled Westcoasters: Boats that build British Columbia and former Whistler resident Pat Wastell Norris wrote the fascinating story of the salvage company, Island Tug & Barge, in High seas, high risk: The story of the Sudburys. Two very interesting books about lighthouses and their keepers are Donald Graham’s Keepers of the light and Lights of the Inside Passage.

The natural history of B.C. is a popular topic at this time of year and the following books by Richard Cannings are excellent resources: The B.C. roadside naturalist; British Columbia: A natural history and Geology of British Columbia: A journey through time. Some other good reads are: British Columbia wild: a natural history by Tim Fitzharris ; West Coast fossils: a guide to ancient life on Vancouver Island by Rolf Ludvigsen ; The forests of British Columbia by Cameron Young ; Ocean to alpine: A British Columbia nature guide by Joy Finlay. If you would like to be able to identify the plants you come across on your walks, check out Food plants of the Coastal peoples by Nancy J. Turner , Plants of Coastal B.C., including Washington, Oregon and Alaska by Jim Pojar , and the classic Wild flowers of the Pacific Northwest, from Alaska to Northern California by Lewis J. Clark.

If you are an avid bird watcher, we have the complete four-volume set of the UBC Press’ The birds of British Columbia. Black bears are a growing concern in Whistler and you can learn more about them by reading Black bears in British Columbia: The real story ; Bear attacks: Their causes and avoidances by Stephen Herrero or watch the video The natural world: In the company of bears featuring Whistler bear specialist Michael Allen.

We have numerous books on B.C. and First Nations artists, on climbing, hiking, walking, skiing and paddling in the Sea to Sky area and B.C. in general. If you are traveling the province this summer you will find some very interesting information in Tricia Timmerman’s British Columbia: off the beaten path: a guide to unique places or Secret coastlines ; Journeys and discoveries along B.C.’s shores by Andrew Scott; A traveller’s guide to Northern British Columbia by Carin Holroyd; Exploring the B.C. coast by car by Diane Eaton or A traveller’s guide to historic British Columbia by Rosemary Neering. Some of the best history books on B.C. are Jean Barman’s The West beyond the West: A history of British Columbia; George Bowering’s BC: A swashbuckling history and Geoffrey Molyneux’s British Columbia: An illustrated history.

Don’t forget to come to our annual used book sale on Saturday, Aug. 3 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in front of the Marketplace IGA.

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