The Read Local BC’s Bestseller list highlights the titles of independent, B.C.-owned publishers sold in independent B.C. bookstores. Discover a few of their picks for the month of April:

Marion Mckinnon Crook, Always on Call

In the long-awaited sequel to Always Pack a Candle, intrepid public health nurse Marion Crook juggles marriage, children, and a vast array of patients and cases in rural British Columbia in the 1970s.

It has been over a decade since Marion Crook arrived in the Cariboo for her first job out of nursing school. The vast rural territory that once left her awestruck now feels like home, as she embraces life on the ranch with her husband, Carl, three young children, and numerous farm animals. But things are far from idyllic.

Overseeing a small staff of irrepressible nurses serving a public health district the size of a small country brings new challenges every day. From runaway patients and needle-phobic hockey players to cultural misunderstandings and heartbreaking cases of abuse and neglect, Marion never knows what is coming next. The 1970s bring signs of social progress as women gain more autonomy and the region grows more culturally diverse. Yet, old prejudices persist, and Marion must fight for her patients, as well as for her adopted son.


Taryn Eyton, Backpacking on Vancouver Island
The Essential Guide to the Best Multi-Day Trips and Day Hikes

Vancouver Island is home to legendary backpacking routes, and this expertly researched book takes you to the best of the best, whether you’re looking for a weekend trip to a mountain peak, a multi-day adventure to a secluded beach, or an easy day trip to a waterfall. The author, Taryn Eyton, is an experienced backpacker and Leave No Trace Master Educator. In addition to sharing the best backpacking routes on the Island, she provides practical advice to promote fun wilderness experiences and minimize your environmental impact.

Every featured backpacking trip includes:

  • Elevation, distance, and time information
  • Route descriptions and trail maps
  • Points of cultural and natural history
  • Tips on where to camp and where to find water
  • Information about fees, permits, and reservations


Dallas Hunt, Teeth

This is a book about grief, death and longing. It’s about the gristle that lodges itself deep into one’s gums, between incisors and canines.

Teeth details not only the symptoms of colonization, but also the foundational and constitutive asymmetries that allow for it to proliferate and reproduce itself. Dallas Hunt grapples with the material realities and imaginaries Indigenous communities face, as well as the pockets of livability that they inhabit just to survive. Still this collection seeks joy in the everyday, in the flourishing of Indigenous Peoples in the elsewhere, in worlds to come.

Nestling into the place between love and ruin, Teeth traces the collisions of love undone and being undone by love, where “the hope is to find an ocean nested in shoulders—to reside there when the tidal waves come. and then love names the ruin.”


Sam Wiebe, Ocean Drive

Paroled killer Cameron Shaw and small-town cop Staff Sgt. Meghan Quick find themselves on a collision course when the murder-by-arson of a college student sparks off gang violence along the forty-ninth parallel.

In his masterful new crime novel, award-winning author Sam Wiebe juxtaposes small town life with multinational criminal operations. With the threat of a gang war looming, and long-buried secrets coming to light, Ocean Drive is a riveting exploration of the shadows cast by development and the harrowing choices individuals make when faced with the allure of easy money.


Peggy Janicki and Carrielyn Victor, The Secret Pocket

The true story of how Indigenous girls at a residential school sewed secret pockets into their dresses to hide food and survive.

Mary was four years old when she was first taken away to the Lejac Indian Residential School. It was far away from her home and family. Always hungry and cold, there was little comfort for young Mary. Speaking Dakelh was forbidden and the nuns and priest were always watching, ready to punish. Mary and the other girls had a genius idea: drawing on the knowledge from their mothers, aunts and grandmothers who were all master sewers, the girls would sew hidden pockets in their clothes to hide food. They secretly gathered materials and sewed at nighttime, then used their pockets to hide apples, carrots and pieces of bread to share with the younger girls.

Based on the author’s mother’s experience at residential school, The Secret Pocket is a story of survival and resilience in the face of genocide and cruelty. But it’s also a celebration of quiet resistance to the injustice of residential schools and how the sewing skills passed down through generations of Indigenous women gave these girls a future, stitch by stitch.


Discover more B.C. Bestsellers here.