BC Bestseller List | October 21, 2017

The BC Bestseller List is compiled using sales data from more than 70 independent bookstores in BC, which is provided to the ABPBC by TBM BookManager. The list represents sales of BC published books released within the calendar year.

No. 1
Chasing Smoke: A Wildfire Memoir
by Aaron Williams
Harbour Publishing | 9781550178050

Chasing Smoke is an enthralling insider-account of how a fire season unfolds. Experienced firefighter Aaron Williams offers a tangible window into the intensely physical, high-adrenalin lifestyle shared by his crew of eccentrics, all eager to be on the front line. Williams shares what it’s like to work sixteen-hour days in an apocalyptic landscape, where the smoke is so thick your snot runs black and you need to drink ten litres of water a day. What it’s like to make a stupid mistake and singe your beard in front of your crew, or spend hours hosing a spot the size of a queen mattress and still not extinguish the burn. What it’s like to hear a tree fall, a co-worker’s shout, and imagine the worst.

BC Bestseller for 3 consecutive weeks

No. 2
Embers by Richard WagameseEmbers: One Ojibway’s Meditations
by Richard Wagamese
Douglas & McIntyre | 9781771621335 

In this carefully curated selection of everyday reflections, Richard Wagamese finds lessons in both the mundane and sublime as he muses on the universe, drawing inspiration from working in the bush–sawing and cutting and stacking wood for winter as well as the smudge ceremony to bring him closer to the Creator. Embers is perhaps Richard Wagamese’s most personal volume to date. Honest, evocative and articulate, he explores the various manifestations of grief, joy, recovery, beauty, gratitude, physicality and spirituality–concepts many find hard to express. But for Wagamese, spirituality is multifaceted. Within these pages, readers will find hard-won and concrete wisdom on how to feel the joy in the everyday things. Wagamese does not seek to be a teacher or guru, but these observations made along his own journey to become, as he says, “a spiritual bad-ass,” make inspiring reading.

BC Bestseller for 50 consecutive weeks

No. 3
Harry: A Wilderness Dog Saga
by Chris Czajkowski
Harbour Publishing | 9781550178098

Living alone in the remote wilderness, Chris Czajkowski has given her dogs a rich life, although not without its difficulties. Often residing in areas accessible only by float plane, the dogs have encountered grizzlies and cougars, slept in the snow, hiked with packs of food and equipment, and occasionally gotten themselves into scrapes, such as becoming lost in the wild or falling through ice into a freezing river. The gregarious and lovable Harry gives his account of their years together at Nuk Tessli and Ginty Creek. Together, they trace Chris’s off-the-grid life from a dog’s-eye view as she established an ecotourism business, built cabins by hand and scratched out a living for herself and the pack.

BC Bestseller for 10 consecutive weeks

No. 4
Speaking Our Truth: A Journey of Reconciliation 
by Monique Gray Smith
Orca Book Publishers | 9781459815834

Canada’s relationship with its Indigenous people has suffered as a result of both the residential school system and the lack of understanding of the historical and current impact of those schools. Healing and repairing that relationship requires education, awareness and increased understanding of the legacy and the impacts still being felt by Survivors and their families. Guided by acclaimed Indigenous author Monique Gray Smith, readers will learn about the lives of Survivors and listen to allies who are putting the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission into action.

BC Bestseller for 6 consecutive weeks

No. 5
Hello Humpback! picture bookHello Humpback!
by Roy Henry Vickers & Robert Budd, illustrated by Roy Henry Vickers
Harbour Publishing | 9781550177992

With bright and bold illustrations of the wild and magical West Coast by celebrated artist Roy Henry Vickers, this sturdy board book will delight babies and toddlers as they begin to experience and recognize the sights and sounds of the natural world. Hello Humpback!, a “first words” book, introduces iconic West Coast animals, from hungry sea otters to hopping orcas, and is sure to become an instant classic.

BC Bestseller for 35 consecutive weeks

No. 6
On Island by Pat CarneyOn Island: Life Among the Coast Dwellers
by Pat Carney
TouchWood Editions | 9781771512107

In this story collection, Pat Carney follows the rhythms of day-to-day life in coastal BC. Featuring a revolving cast of characters—the newly retired couple, the church warden, the musician, the small-town girl with big city dreams—Carney’s keen observations of the personalities and dramas of coastal life are instantly recognizable to readers who are familiar with life in a small community. With her narrative of dock fights, pet shows, family feuds, logging camps and the ever-present tension between islanders and property-owning “off-islanders,” Carney’s witty and perceptive voice describes how the islanders weather the storms of coastal life.

BC Bestseller for 29 consecutive weeks

No. 7
The Haunting of Vancouver Island: Supernatural Encounters with the Other Side
by Shanon Sinn
TouchWood Editions | 9781771512435

Vancouver Island is known worldwide for its arresting natural beauty, but those who live here know that it is also imbued with a palpable supernatural energy. Researcher Shanon Sinn found his curiosity piqued by stories of mysterious sightings on the island—ghosts, sasquatches, sea serpents—but he was disappointed in the sensational and sometimes disrespectful way they were being retold or revised. Acting on his desire to transform these stories from unsubstantiated gossip to thoroughly researched accounts, Sinn uncovered fascinating details, identified historical inconsistencies, and now retells these encounters as accurately as possible.

BC Bestseller for 2 consecutive weeks

No. 8
Opportunity Knox: Twenty Years of Award-Losing Humour Writing
by Jack Knox
Heritage House | 9781772032086

In this side-splitting follow-up to the bestseller Hard Knox: Musings from the Edge of Canada, Jack Knox presents his best writing, marking his twenty-year anniversary as a humour columnist at the Victoria Times Colonist, the newspaper that made him a household name. Revisiting his most—and least!—popular columns, Knox weighs the potential benefits of a marijuana-like drug that reduces anxiety in rats; reports on the “Bush Boys,” a pair of brothers who emerged from the forest near Vernon with a dubious story about being raised in the wilderness (they were actually from suburban California); and muses over fictional characters such as Barbie, Ken, Harry Potter, and Archie growing up and facing the grim realities of life.

BC Bestseller for 1 consecutive week

No. 9
You Hold Me Up
by Monique Gray Smith, illustrated by Danielle Daniel
Orca Book Publishers | 9781459812642

Consultant, international speaker, and award-winning author Monique Gray Smith wrote You Hold Me Up to prompt a dialogue among young people, their care providers and educators about reconciliation and the importance of the connections children make with their friends, classmates and families. This is a foundational book about building relationships, fostering empathy and encouraging respect between peers, starting with our littlest citizens.

BC Bestseller for 6 consecutive weeks

No. 10
An Old, Cold Grave
by Iona Whishaw
TouchWood Editions | 9781771512404

It’s early spring of 1947 in idyllic King’s Cove, and the Hughes ladies, mere et filles, are gardening and sorting through the jars of food that have been put up for the winter. But while cleaning up after the roof of their root cellar has caved in slightly, they are horrified to discover a small skeletal hand embedded in the mess. Panicked, they call Lane Winslow, the ex-British secret service agent, and, not without some misgivings about the state of their tense relationship, Lane calls Inspector Darling. This delightful new historical mystery series will appeal to fans of Maisie Dobbs and Bess Crawford.

BC Bestseller for 2 consecutive weeks

No. 11
Chilcotin Chronicles: Stories of Adventure and Intrigue from British Columbia’s Central Interior
by Sage Birchwater
Caitlin Press | 9781987915334

Set in the wild and untamed country of central British Columbia’s Chilcotin Plateau, Chilcotin Chronicles is about men and women caught in its interface of cultures and changing landscape. Indigenous inhabitants and white newcomers brought together by the fur brigades, then later by the gold rush, forged a path together that was uncharted and unpredictable. Birchwater discovers that their stories, seemingly disconnected, are intrinsically linked together to create a human ecosystem with very deep roots. The lives of these early inhabitants give substance to the landscape and meaning to the people who live there today.

BC Bestseller for 1 consecutive week

No. 12
In Case I Go
by Angie Abdou
Arsenal Pulp Press | 9781551527031

In Canada Reads finalist Angie Abdou’s fifth work of fiction, Eli and his parents have returned to their family home in Coalton, a small mountain town. The parents, Nicholas and Lucy, hope that by escaping their hectic city lives, they will restore calm and stability to their marriage, but they find that once charming Coalton is no longer the remote idyll they remembered. Development of a high-end subdivision has disturbed a historic graveyard, drawing negative press from national media. While Nicholas works long hours at the local coal mine and Lucy battles loneliness and depression, Eli befriends Mary, a troubled Ktunaxa girl who lives next door. Both children, disturbed by visions of people and places long forgotten, are challenged to account for past lives of seduction and betrayal.

BC Bestseller for 5 consecutive weeks

No. 13

Victoria's Most HauntedVictoria’s Most Haunted: Ghost Stories from BC’s Historic Capital City
by Ian Gibbs
Touchwood Editions | 9781771512138

Beautiful, charming Victoria is world renowned for its seaside attractions, flourishing gardens, and breathtaking ocean views. But looming behind its picture-perfect façade is a city shrouded in mystery, with restless, disembodied beings that whisper ghastly tales of mystery, violence, and horror. Known as British Columbia’s most haunted city, Victoria is teeming with a plethora of spirits. Get to know the city’s best-known hauntings along with some you may have not have heard before.

BC Bestseller for 1 consecutive week

No. 14
The Georgia Straight: A 50th Anniversary Celebration
by Doug Sarti & Dan McLeod with an introduction by Bob Geldof
RMB | Rocky Mountain Books | 9781771602525

For 50 years the Georgia Straight has served as the voice of reason during a number of turbulent times. With fearless tenacity, the Straight has always taken the good fight to the powers that be, whether they come in the form of big business, city hall, the provincial legislature, parliament or just plain human folly. Together in one place for the first time, this collection of Straight covers spans five decades of newsworthy figures, events, issues and pop culture. A visual time capsule of sorts, it’s a significant graphic chronicle of both the counterculture and recent Vancouver history – after all, if it was important, entertaining or inspiring, the Straight covered it. With work from a multitude of artists using various media and contrasting styles, this collection illustrates – literally – how the Straight was able to seize the moral high ground in the culture wars and turn civil disobedience into an art form.

BC Bestseller for 4 consecutive weeks

No. 15
The World’s Most Travelled Man: A Twenty-Three-Year Odyssey to and through Every Country on the Planet 
by Mike Spencer Bown
Douglas and McIntyre | 9781771621427

In 1990, Calgary-born Mike Spencer Bown packed a backpack and began a journey that would eventually take him through each of the world’s 195 countries and span more than two decades. From relaxing on the white sand beaches of Bali to waiting out blizzards in Tibetan caves, Bown trekked from country to country, driven by a desire to see the world in the most authentic way possible, not to just collect stamps on his passport. Eventually, he began to earn international recognition for some of his more unconventional destinations–such as a memorable trip to war-torn Mogadishu.  The World’s Most Travelled Man is an eye-opening account of the universal human experience as seen from each corner of the changing world.

BC Bestseller for 1 consecutive week

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