BC Bestsellers | November 18, 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.

Through vivid stories of devoted pigs, two-timing magpies, and scheming roosters, The Inner Life of Animals weaves the latest scientific research into how animals interact with the world with Peter Wohlleben’s personal experiences in forests and fields. Horses feel shame, deer grieve, and goats discipline their kids. In this, his latest book, Peter Wohlleben follows the hugely successful The Hidden Life of Trees with insightful stories into the emotions, feelings, and intelligence of animals around us. Animals are different from us in ways that amaze us—and they are also much closer to us than we ever would have thought. Published in partnership with the David Suzuki Institute.

BC Bestseller for 3 consecutive weeks

No. 2
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 14 consecutive weeks

No. 3
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 7 consecutive weeks

No. 4
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 6 consecutive weeks

No. 5
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 5 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 33 consecutive weeks

No. 7
Raven Walks Around the World: Life of a Wandering Activist
by Thom Henley
Harbour Publishing | 9781550178074

In 1970, twenty-two-year-old Thom Henley left Michigan and drifted around the northwest coast, getting by on odd jobs and advice from even odder characters. He rode the rails, built a squatter shack on a beach, came to be known as “Huckleberry” and embarked on adventures along the West Coast and abroad that, just like his Mark Twain namesake, situated him in all the right and wrong places at all the right and wrong times. Eventually, a hippie named Stormy directed him to Haida Gwaii where, upon arrival, a Haida Elder affirmed to the perplexed Huckleberry that she had been expecting him. From that point onward, Henley’s life unfolded as if destiny were at work–perhaps with a little help from Raven, the legendary trickster. Beautifully recounted with passion, humour and humility, Raven Walks around the World is a moving and thoughtful account of a life lived in harmony with the land and community.

BC Bestseller for 1 consecutive week

No. 8
First, We Brunch: Recipes and Stories from Victoria’s Best-Loved Breakfast Joints 
by Rebecca Wellman
TouchWood Editions | 9781771512312

First, We Brunch is an exquisitely photographed cookbook showcasing more than 60 recipes from the city’s most beloved mid-morning eateries. Food writer and photographer Rebecca Wellman introduces us to the people and stories behind the capital city’s diners, bistros, cafés, coffee shops, bakeries, and more. This stylish, image-rich collection of recipes and stories is the ultimate guide to Canada’s brunch capital and offers yet another delicious way to celebrate the city’s thriving food culture.

BC Bestseller for 2 consecutive weeks

No. 9
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 10 consecutive weeks

No. 10
The White Angel
by John MacLachlan Gray
Douglas & McIntyre | 9781771621465

The White Angel is a work of fiction inspired by the cold case of Janet Smith, who, on July 26, 1924, was found dead in her employer’s posh Shaughnessy Heights mansion. A dubious investigation led to the even more dubious conclusion that Smith died by suicide. After a public outcry, the case was re-examined and it was decided that Smith was in fact murdered; but no one was ever convicted, though suspects abounded—from an infatuated Chinese houseboy to a drug-smuggling ring, devil-worshippers from the United States, or perhaps even the Prince of Wales. For Vancouver, the killing created a situation analogous to lifting a large flat rock to expose the creatures hiding underneath.

BC Bestseller for 1 consecutive week

No. 11
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 40 consecutive weeks

No. 12
The World’s Most Travelled Man: A Twenty-Three-Year Odyssey to and through Every Country on the Planet
by Mike Spencer Bown
Douglas & 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. This book 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

No. 13
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 5 consecutive weeks

No. 14
The Mighty Hughes: From Prairie Lawyer to Western Canada’s Moral Compass
by Craig McInnes
Heritage House | 9781772032055

Throughout his sixty-year career, Ted Hughes has been a model of ethical conduct in the Canadian judicial system. He might have retired as a respected senior judge in the town where he was born had his career not been sideswiped by the intense party politics underpinning Canadian judicial appointments in the 1970s. The injustice he felt led him to BC, where he reinvented himself as a civil servant in a province that was earning a reputation for wacky, unprincipled politics. There, he became Canada’s moral compass, a man of such integrity that his condemnation alone persuaded one premier to resign and another to bring in a watchdog to look after vulnerable children. This is the story of his remarkable life and how he became the lion Canadians needed him to be in when the credibility of our political system was on the line.

BC Bestseller for 3 consecutive weeks

No. 15
Fighting for Space: How a Group of Drug Users Transformed One City’s Struggle with Addiction 
by Travis Lupick
Arsenal Pulp Press | 9781551527123

North America is in the grips of a drug epidemic. While deaths across the continent soar, Travis Lupick’s Fighting for Space explains the concept of harm reduction as a crucial component of a city’s response to the drug crisis. It tells the story of a grassroots group of addicts in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside who waged a political street fight for two decades to transform how the city treats its most marginalized citizens. Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, this group of residents from Canada’s poorest neighbourhood organized themselves in response to a growing number of overdose deaths and demanded that addicts be given the same rights as any other citizen; against all odds, they eventually won. But just as their battle came to an end, fentanyl arrived and opioid deaths across North America reached an all-time high. It’s prompted many to rethink the war on drugs and to look at addiction as a health issue as opposed to one for the criminal justice system.

BC Bestseller for 1 consecutive week

 

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