Books about the Gulf Islands

reading at the shore

May long weekend is upon us and the Southern Gulf Islands are not ready for your visit yet. We follow advice from our provincial health authority. At this time, BC Ferries advises also against non-essential travel and has reduced its capacity to our communities by half. Local businesses are learning WorkBC health and safety guidelines and planning ways to open in the future to keep our communities and visitors safe.


It’s time to #ExploreBCLocally and we want you to enjoy your weekend dreaming about the Islands and planning your future vacation with us. Let us help you explore the Southern Gulf Islands from home.

We are rich with brilliant creative residents on the Southern Gulf Islands, so this list is definitely not exhaustive! Among these few examples, we think you will find one to satisfy your curiosity and find solace at home until it’s safe to travel again.

Six books that let you explore the Southern Gulf Islands through the eyes of talented local storytellers.

  1. Lose yourself in a journey through your senses. David Spalding, of Pender Island, offers Enchanted Isles: The Southern Gulf Islands, a stunning coffee table book that captures the people, places and history of our communities.
  2. Dream of becoming an Islander. Grant Buday’s Stranger on a Strange Island: From Main Street to Mayne Island reveals one person’s experience trading the high-powered city life of Vancouver for the eccentricities of small-town life on Mayne Island.
  3. Live closer to the land and your food. Brian Brett’s memoir Trauma Farm: A Rebel History of Rural Life brings you on a poetic journey to the heart of a Salt spring organic farm.
  4. Peek into our world and guess who. Saturna resident Pat Carney delivers delight as she introduces a cast of nameless characters whose stories give you a taste of the society that has evolved in On Island: Life Among the Coast Dwellers.
  5. Enjoy a literary treat. One of CBC’s best books of 2019, Galiano’s Michael Christie offers “Greenwood”, a dystopian view of ecological destruction as the backdrop for a compelling story of family and legacies woven over generations.
  6. Immerse yourself in young adult fiction. Kit Pearson’s trilogy “The Whole Truth,” “Nothing But the Truth”, and “Be My Love” novels are set on an island called “Kingfisher Island” which is actually based on our own Mayne Island.

written by Jacqueline East