Daniel Francis

Reading the National Narrative

New Vancouver Books Launched

Nov 20, 2013

Down to the Portside Pub in Gastown last night to attend a joint launch for a pair of books about one of my favourite subjects, Vancouver.

First up was Lani Russwurm, author of Vancouver Was Awesome (Arsenal Pulp Press), a self-described "pictorial history" of the city. He showed some slides and talked a bit about the career of George Paris, boxer/musician/sportsman, as an example of the unusual people and events he features in the book. I've long been a fan of Lani's (I don't know him but I'm going to call him Lani anyway) blog Past Tense Vancouver, now Vancouver Was Awesome.

Next up was Jesse Donaldson whose book This Day in Vancouver (Anvil Press) is a thick compendium of photos and text, a Book of Days, 365 of them to be exact, from Vancouver's past. If the sample he read to us is any indication, the book contains much that is quirky along with much that is significant.

Both books belong in the library of anyone serious about the history of the city.