” The Pacific Northwest is extremely suited to be a location in a novel”
August 1st was Lughnasadh, a Pagan celebration that ushers in the first of 3 harvests. Corn, grain and fruit are ready to be cut down. We move slowly in the heat of the afternoon and here on the coast there are mornings we wake to hazy skies as the winds push smoke from forest fires that rage each Summer from the Interior of BC and as far south as California.
My collection of Pacific Northwest books has grown steadily over the years and I wanted to share them with you today. Taking in the history, art and large variety of plants and trees of this area are topics I enjoy reading about. A lot of the books mentioned below have been lovingly curated and purchased from the gift shop on the ferry or picked up while visiting a second hand bookstore. I’ve gotten rid of a lot of things when I’ve moved but my books always come with me. During these warm days in high Summer reading a book outside on my patio with a cold drink is a peaceful way to unwind. So let’s get right into it. I’ve created a link to each book so that you can purchase any of these titles should you be interested.
The Shores We Call Home
A collection of Carol Evan’s beautiful art. The way she captures the coastal forests and inlets is breathtaking and her portraits are surreal. You forget you’re looking at watercolour paintings and that they’re not actual photos. Click to purchase.
Takaya – Lone Wolf
This book will pull at your heartstrings. Takaya showed up on a chain of islands off the city of Victoria on Vancouver Island just weeks after the chief of the Songhees First Nations people passed. Against all odds, he spent 9 years living alone, teaching himself to feed from the ocean without a pack, without a mate. This book follows the magical relationship the author Cheryl Alexander had with Takaya including some of the most stunning photos. Takaya was considered sacred to both the First Nation people of the area and became so to all who learned of his story. He was a gentle soul but sadly was killed in 2020 by a trophy hunter. Click to Purchase. If you’d like to watch the documentary David Suzuki made about this beautiful animal, click here.
Spirits of The Coast
A deep dive into the lives of Orcas who for many of the First Nation is a friend and a portal into the world of spirit. From their family tree to their unique behaviour this book is for you if you love these creatures called by some the “wolves of the sea”. Click to Purchase.
Pacific Northwest – The Beautiful Cookbook
I found this book years ago and am so happy I picked it up. Filled with large glossy photos and a culinary trip through Oregon, Washington and British Columbia; this book houses a vast collection of regional recipes from traditional Granville Island Chowder to desserts, soups and meats. Written in 1995 , it’s still relevant. A wonderful book. Click to Purchase.
The Ultimate Guide to HomeSteading
Written by a local author who lives on Vancouver Island (and who I’ve met), Nicole Faires teaches how to be self sufficient, living off the land. From food preservation to building a home, this book is a treasure trove of information if you’re like me and would love to buy a parcel of land and disconnect from the “real world” some time in the near future. Click to Purchase.
Dan Connor Mystery Collection
If you like suspense novels, you’ll love this series. Based along the foggy coasts of British Columbia, Dan Connor, ex cop, lives on his boat, moving between the waters of Northern Vancouver Island and Haida Gwaii. When he’s called back to duty to investigate missing persons cases (and even a serial killer hunting pipeline workers near the Great Bear Rainforest), Dan recruits his old friend Walker – a native man- to help him navigate deep in the forests and rainy fjords; places men “like Dan” are not usually welcome. These are page turners. Click to Purchase.
Little Red Ridinghood of The Pacific Northwest
How cute is this book? I couldn’t resist. The classic story we’ve all grown up with, with a Pacific Northwest twist! Join Little Red Ridinghood and her friends: mountain goat, beaver and fox as they travel through the dark forest, across rivers and over mountains to get to grandma’s birthday party, all while trying to avoid the big “bad” wolf. Click to Purchase.
Heart of The Raincoast
Based on the life of Billy Proctor a man born and raised in Echo Bay on the Broughton Archipelago of British Columbia; this book is ultimately about the importance of preserving wildlife on our coasts and takes you on a fascinating journey of what has been Billy’s life; Living on a float home, becoming a commercial fisherman at the age of 5!. The salmon and herring are so very important to the preservation of this area and Billy explains the damage Fish Farms and logging has created. An eye opening read into understanding how we are all connected. Click to Purchase.
Cascadia: The Elusive Utopia
This one is interesting. Cascadia is an area comprised of Oregon, Washington and British Columbia and has become somewhat of a bubble where politics are viewed in a different, some would say relaxed light. It’s also home to the least institutionally religious people on the continent – We’re spiritual more than religious 🙂 People have come to Cascadia for years in search of a place where an open mind is appreciated and encouraged. Click to Purchase.
Rains All The Time
Oh do we ever like talking about the weather here on the Pacific Coast. Good thing it’s usually only one of 2 scenarios: Raining or the dry spell we get for about 8 weeks in the summer. Rains All The Time is a journey through history arriving at why we have the reputation of being the wetting place in the northern hemisphere. Click to Purchase.
Timeless Shore – Canada’s West Coast Trail
The West Coast Trail is a hiking trail in the Pacific Rim National Park on Vancouver Island, beginning in Port Renfrew and ending in Bamfield. An arduous hike that takes about 7 days to complete. I would love to work up to doing it some time in the near future. For now I can enjoy the lovely snapshots taken along the trek from my couch. Click to Purchase.
I wish I could share my entire collection but the rest will have to be added to a part II.
I hope you’ve enjoyed the books I’ve shared today.
Until next time.