10 books like Ravensong - A Novel

By Lee Maracle,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Ravensong - A Novel. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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To the Bright Edge of the World

By Eowyn Ivey,

Book cover of To the Bright Edge of the World

Ivey’s novel imagines a magical realist mystery and adventure in the rocky and forbidding country where she herself lives, up a steep dirt road in Alaska’s backcountry. Like her first novel, The Snow Child, which was an international phenomenon, this story is thick with metaphor. But this second book is more mature, as well as hauntingly written and absolutely compelling and resistant to being put down. I read it while at a remote Alaska cabin myself, and I felt surrounded by the spirits she describes, as if transported back to that period, just before the indigenous world was trampled by White newcomers, when the land and trees themselves still had the ability to exchange form with humans. 

To the Bright Edge of the World

By Eowyn Ivey,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked To the Bright Edge of the World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

SHORTLISTED FOR THE EDWARD STANFORD TRAVEL WRITING AWARDS 2016.

Set in the Alaskan landscape that she brought to stunningly vivid life in THE SNOW CHILD (a Sunday Times bestseller, Richard and Judy pick and finalist for the Pulitzer Prize), Eowyn Ivey's TO THE BRIGHT EDGE OF THE WORLD is a breathtaking story of discovery set at the end of the nineteenth century, sure to appeal to fans of A PLACE CALLED WINTER.

'A clever, ambitious novel' The Sunday Times

'Persuasive and vivid... what could be a better beach read than an Arctic adventure?' Guardian


'Stunning and intriguing... the reader finishes…


Greenwood

By Michael Christie,

Book cover of Greenwood

I love generational sagas, and this novel explores several generations of the Greenwood family, from the 1930s into the future. Set primarily on a remote island off the coast of British Columbia, Greenwood explores the passions and bonds and stories that arc through families, as well as the fate and interconnectedness of the West Coast forests, their destroyers and their preservers. The novel reminded me of David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas and of Richard Powers’ The Overstory, and maybe speaks even more truly and uniquely. Michael Christie is an insightful and gifted storyteller.

Greenwood

By Michael Christie,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Greenwood as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'The truth is that all family lines, from the highest to the lowest, originate somewhere, on some particular day. Even the grandest trees must've once been seeds spun helpless on the wind, and then just meek saplings nosing up from the soil.'

2038. On a remote island off the Pacific coast of British Columbia stands the Greenwood Arboreal Cathedral, one of the world's last forests. Wealthy tourists flock from all corners of the dust-choked globe to see the spectacle and remember what once was. But even as they breathe in the fresh air and pose for photographs amidst the greenery,…


The Reckoning of Boston Jim

By Claire Mulligan,

Book cover of The Reckoning of Boston Jim

Packed with detail about Victoria, Vancouver Island, and the Gold Rush days in British Columbia, I thought this book was engaging, epic, funny (wait until the camels appear—and the wake!), and a real page-turner. I swooned over the descriptions of the landscape and would go so far as to say the land and sea, so alive in this book, should be considered a character. I was so profoundly invested in the fates of Jim, Dora, and Eugene, that I almost missed how cunningly the novel took on gender, class, and race, illuminating so many of the contemporary issues dogging us here on the coast.  

The Reckoning of Boston Jim

By Claire Mulligan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Reckoning of Boston Jim as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Kolea

By Russell Cahill,

Book cover of Kolea

This novel is like a wild ride on the ocean. I loved how it took me into the Indigenous communities in the Hawai’ian Islands prior to contact with Europeans and revealed their longstanding links to the Pacific coast of North America. There’s an epic story, and it’s chock full of marvelous detail about culture, food, clothing, migration, and worldview, and even explores the nature of time. However, what most struck me was considering what it would be like to orient my thinking to the sea and its rhythms instead of the land. It shifted the way I see the place I live.   

Kolea

By Russell Cahill,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Kolea as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

To paradise they sailed—

There once was a world where hula dancers were experts at spear fighting, where a blind warrior taught his students healing arts...

where adventure ruled—

...as well as savage fighting. And where young people could build and sail a canoe on voyages to unknown lands.

where danger waited...

That world was Hawai’i.

The illegitimate child of Maui’s King, Kolea, is spirited away to Molokai and raised in seclusion by a mysterious Hula Dancer and a blind warrior. Trained as a warrior, he is pursued by his evil half-brother.

A daring escape in a voyaging canoe leads…


Where the Blood Mixes

By Kevin Loring,

Book cover of Where the Blood Mixes

An amazing play that explores the repercussions of Residential schools on the Indigenous population, and how its effects are frequently intergenerational. Winner of Canada’s Governor General’s Award for Best Drama, this play spares no one as it sheds light on the damage and healing happening in Indigenous communities across the country. 

Where the Blood Mixes

By Kevin Loring,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Where the Blood Mixes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Where the Blood Mixes is meant to expose the shadows below the surface of the author’s First Nations heritage, and to celebrate its survivors. Though torn down years ago, the memories of their Residential School still live deep inside the hearts of those who spent their childhoods there. For some, like Floyd, the legacy of that trauma has been passed down through families for generations. But what is the greater story, what lies untold beneath Floyd’s alcoholism, under the pain and isolation of the play’s main character?

Loring’s title was inspired by the mistranslation of the N’lakap’mux (Thompson) place name…


Food Plants of Interior First Peoples

By Nancy J. Turner,

Book cover of Food Plants of Interior First Peoples

When I became interested in the relationship between Plateau tribal peoples and their cultural plants, everyone I spoke with directed me to a series of remarkable papers by British Columbia ethnobotanist Nancy Turner. One look at the photographs of elders who grace the introduction to each volume reinforces their individual knowledge and respect for the place where they have lived for untold generations. Turner’s work in southeastern B.C. eastern Washington, north Idaho, and western Montana have been distilled here into a handy field guide filled with both beautiful photographs and timeless information. 

Food Plants of Interior First Peoples

By Nancy J. Turner,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Food Plants of Interior First Peoples as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Nancy Turner describes more than 150 plants traditionally harvested and eaten by First Peoples east of the Coast Mountains in British Columbia and northern Washington. Each description includes information on where to find the plant and a discussion on traditional methods of harvesting and preparation.


The Chief Factor's Daughter

By Vanessa Winn,

Book cover of The Chief Factor's Daughter

As an historian, I enjoyed Vanessa Winn’s portrayal of Colonial Victoria in The Chief Factor’s Daughter. Hudson Bay Chief Factor, John Work, protects all his daughters with many restrictions on their lives causing his eldest daughter, Margaret, to fear that at age 23 she will never find a suitor and is destined to remain a spinster forever. The author shows a fascinating side of society in 1858 where although Margaret and her sisters belong to the upper class in the fur-trading community, they are also the victims of snobbery and racism because their mother is Metis. Winn’s sequel Trappings continues with the story of Kate Work, another daughter, and both books are a good read for those who love family history.

The Chief Factor's Daughter

By Vanessa Winn,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Chief Factor's Daughter as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Chief factor: In the Hudson’s Bay Company fur-trade monopoly, the title of chief factor was the highest rank given to commissioned officers, who were responsible for a major trading post and its surrounding district.

Colonial Victoria in 1858 is an unruly mix of rowdy gold seekers and hustling immigrants caught in the upheaval of the fur trade giving way to the gold rush. Chief Factor John Work, an elite of the Hudson’s Bay Company fur trade and husband to a country-born wife, forbids his daughters to go into the formerly quiet Fort Victoria, to protect them from its burgeoning transient…


The West Beyond the West

By Jean Barman,

Book cover of The West Beyond the West: A History of British Columbia

A mule-drawn wagon train moves precariously along a narrow road carved out of a steep rock wall—this book lives up to the promise of its cover. The book jacket blurb entices lovers of history like me: “British Columbia is regularly described in superlatives both positive and negative—the most spectacular scenery, the strangest political campaigns, the mildest winters, the most rain, the most aggressive resource developers, the biggest peace and environmental movements, the closest Canadian ties to Japan and China, and the richest native culture.” The author, Jean Barman, is one of my mentors and an inspiration to everyone who is interested in British Columbia history.

The West Beyond the West

By Jean Barman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The West Beyond the West as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

British Columbia is regularly described in superlatives both positive and negative - most spectacular scenery, strangest politics, greatest environmental sensitivity, richest Aboriginal cultures, most aggressive resource exploitation, closest ties to Asia. Jean Barman's The West beyond the West presents the history of the province in all its diversity and apparent contradictions. This critically acclaimed work is the premiere book on British Columbian history, with a narrative beginning at the point of contact between Native peoples and Europeans and continuing into the twenty-first century. Barman tells the story by focusing not only on the history made by leaders in government but…


On the Farm

By Stevie Cameron,

Book cover of On the Farm: Robert William Pickton and the Tragic Story of Vancouver's Missing Women

While Janet Smith was Vancouver’s shame in the 1920s, Willy Pickton was our boogeyman in the ‘90s. How did this pig farmer get away with murdering up to 50 women?—he was convicted of only six—because the women were sex workers and drug addicts that he picked up in Vancouver’s notorious Downtown Eastside and the police really didn’t give a shit. An investigative journalist, Cameron does a great job of outlining the botched police investigation and the department’s reluctance to believe it was a serial killer. Pickton is pure evil, and what I loved about Cameron’s work is how she not only gets into his head, but tells the stories of the victims, and in doing so, helps give them back a voice.

On the Farm

By Stevie Cameron,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked On the Farm as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Verteran investigative journalist Stevie Cameron first began following the story of missing women in 1998, when the odd newspaper piece appeared chronicling the disappearances of drug-addicted sex trade workers from Vancouver's notorious Downtown Eastside. It was not until February 2002 that pig farmer Robert William Pickton would be arrested, and 2008 before he was found guilty, on six counts of second-degree murder. These counts were appealed and in 2010, the Supreme Court of Canada rendered its conclusion. The guilty verdict was upheld, and finally this unprecedented tale of true crime could be told.

Covering the case of one of North…


Forest Green

By Kate Pullinger,

Book cover of Forest Green

Kate Pullinger has written a powerful portrayal of a man at various stages of his life from childhood to old age. She has created a character, Arthur Lunn, who will move you to tears as he travels through life with memories that haunt him and demons he cannot dispel. Much of the story is set in the wilderness of British Columbia where the green forest gives him strength and hope. This story will preoccupy you as young Art journeys from innocent childhood during the depression years, to an old man of eighty living on the streets of Vancouver.

Forest Green

By Kate Pullinger,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Forest Green as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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