If you are looking for some political reading over the summer, here are a few books worth checking out.
Tragedy in the Commons by Alison Loat and Michael MacMillan. Here’s the whole Random House blurb:
In Tragedy in the Commons, Alison Loat and Michael MacMillan, founders of the non-partisan think tank Samara, draw on an astonishing eighty exit interviews with former Members of Parliament from across the political spectrum to unearth surprising observations about the practice of politics in Canada.
Though Canada is at the top of international rankings of democracies, Canadians themselves increasingly don’t see politics as a way to solve society’s problems. Small wonder. In the news, they see grandstanding in the House of Commons and MPs pursuing agendas that don’t always make sense to the people who elected them.
If you prefer your books in dead tree format, do I have a deal for you. Three of my books are available for 25% off! Get all the deets here. Alltop was originally published in parchment.
I found a neat book for children of activists! It is called A is for Activist and it is by Innosanto Nagara. While the book is a baby board book it held more interest for my six year old than my three year old, as he could relate to the abundance of poster-carrying protesters. Each letter is tied in with at least one activist-related word, including those normally hard to use letters: V is for Vox Populi, the voice of the people, X is for Malcolm X and Z is for Zapatistas.
There’s lots of room for discussion of concepts (Read more…)
I bought the book “If you Give a Gay Mouse a Cookie” by Art for a Democratic Society because a facebook friend recommended it, and I have to admit, I’m disappointed. I recognize the spirit of the book. I recognize that they are trying to rebut the crazy “gay marriage will lead to bestiality and people forcing you to marry them” nonsense by saying no, gay marriage will lead to good things, and as expected they followed the pattern established by Laura Numeroff where one (good) thing leads to another.
What I didn’t expect was that the book would erase (Read more…)
Hi cenobyte, How have you been? I understand you only wanted to communicate to your previous consultant but I am emailing you now check on the update for your book. We are celebrating our 17th anniversary this month and we’re giving out almost more than 50% discount. I am not sure if you are particular […]
I received correspondence today from the vanity press that keeps contacting me. You remember this from such escapades as Nathan’s going to publish my manifesto and Suggestions for Nathan regarding my manifesto and A Mouthful of Marbles and Nathan’s gone missing. A woman called “Cherie [REDACTED] a Publishing Consultant from [REDACTED]” contacted me today. Below is my […]
In January, I was contacted by Ex Libris, a vanity press that uses extremely aggressive marketing techniques to bilk writers out of their hard-earned income. I have asked repeatedly to be taken off of their contact lists, to no avial. When they contacted me in January 2014, I began a lengthy correspondence with my contact […]
We’re in the midst of a mass extinction, but Elizabeth Kolbert is actually somewhat hopeful about it all. We are at a truly extraordinary moment of history in which we are cognizant of our own demise (except for those in denial) and, therefore, able to affect how it turns out if we can just get our act together!
This book has been on the NY Best Sellers list for four weeks for good reason. It’s full of scientific data, but it’s written conversationally. We get to know all the people involved in the research. They’re all pivotal to (Read more…)
Yesterday morning, I got up really early and travelled to the studios of CanadaAM in Toronto. Here’s the interview about the new paperback edition of my book, “The Four Walls of My Freedom: Lessons I’ve Learned from a Life of Caregiving” (House of Anansi Press, 2014). Available everywhere in Canada now and for pre-order online in the USA.
I continue to be profoundly moved by the wisdom of the classical authors. It’s often hard to accept that some of them were writing two or more millennia ago: many seem so contemporary they could have been written this century. Of late – within the past year or so – I’ve been reading Lucretius, Aristotle, […]
I’ve been to a lot of University of Regina lectures over the years. None by a right wing radio commentator, until tonight, and it didn’t turn out how I expected. I know there are people who reeeally don’t like John Gormley and his radio show. I used to listen to it frequently while I worked in a job that had me in a car most of the day, traveling the province’s east side. I’ve not really tuned in too much the past 6 years, while I work meters from where his talk was given Tuesday night. It’s not easy to (Read more…)
In 1555, Bishop Stephen Gardiner wrote a treatise to King Phillip II of Spain, in which he borrowed (aka plagiarized) extensively from Machiavelli’s The Prince and The Discourses. Gardiner did not credit Machiavelli or attribute any of his quotes, but rather copied some of Machiavelli’s content verbatim or very closely. This was less than two […]
There’s a line in one of Horace’s epistles that really caught my eye. In Latin it reads: Utque sacerdotis fugitiuus liba recuso, pane egeo iam mellitis potiore placentis Horace: Epistles, Book I, X No, I can’t translate it.* However, I was reading David Ferry’s 2001 translation and he renders it like this: I’m like that […]
The map above might show the making of a serious tragedy for Western and especially Canadian culture. It indicates in colour which nations read the most. Yellow is the second lowest group. Canada is coloured yellow. In this survey, Canada ranks 10th – from the bottom! Twenty countries above us have populations which, on the […]
Proud to say my favorite former used bookstore owner has won best blog in the GLBT category! Way to go, Caroline!!
Canadian Blog Awards 2014 results
It’s fairly clear, even after reading only a few verses, why Lucretius’s didactic poem, On the Nature of Things – De Rerum Natura – made such an impact on thought, philosophy, religion and science in the Renaissance. It must have been like a lighthouse in the dark night; a “Eureka” moment for many of the age’s thinkers. […]
My well-thumbed copy of Eugene Ehrlich’s book, Amo, Amas, Amat and More, is dated 1985. It’s amusingly subtitled “How to Use Latin to Your Own Advantage and to the Astonishment of Others.” It’s still in print, it seems, or was as recently as 2006. I’ve read my copy on and off for the past 25-plus […]
While I haven’t tried to make a sourdough raisin bread yet, that idea occurred to me while I was making my latest breads, this week. I’m sure it would be a good mix, but I’ll have to build my levain up again, since I used all my countertop levain in yesterday’s bread (about 350g). I […]
The last loaf of January, 2014 was a machine-made corn bread, made using a recipe from Washburn’s & Butt’s 300 Best Canadian Bread Machine Recipes book that I’ve mentioned previously. It’s a good book for bread machine users. Unlike my previous efforts to tinker with bread recipes, I used the basic, printed 1.5-lb. recipe without […]
I got a phone message from Nathan! (The ‘consultant’ Ex Libris has assigned to my book.) It was the same voice mail that he’s left the past three or four times he’s called. He’s very persistent. Unfortunately for Nathan, I don’t answer telephone calls for which I do not recognize the phone number. Fortunately for […]
Somewhere on one of my bookshelves, is an old Penguin paperback copy of History of The Peloponnesian War by Thucydides. It’s a bit worn, pages lightly yellowed, glue a little brittle. It’s been sitting on the shelf, stacked with many other paperbacks, piled two deep, floor to ceiling, for the past two decades and more. It’s […]
Dear Nathan, I was thinking about who you should get to edit my manifesto. I mean manuscript. My eleventh grade English teacher came to mind, but after she was accused of gross vandalism, criminal harassment, stalking, and destruction of property … Continue reading →
A few years ago, I decided to engage in some corporate espionage. I work in the field of book publishing, and I had been hearing rather a lot about vanity presses like Ex Libris. Normally, I don’t like naming the … Continue reading →
Hydration matters. Not just to athletes and long distance runners. It matters to bakers. How much water is in your dough is crucial to how the crumb develops. It’s amazing how a few grams more or less of water can make a real difference in the resulting loaf of bread. This week I did a […]
Bought a book at Loblaws (of all places) this week, one by Harry Turtledove: The Big Switch. It’s one of his many alternative history novels, about what might have happened if things had happened a certain way – a different way from what actually transpired – in the opening years of World War Two. He’s […]