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August 2018 Staff Picks

David’s Pick : The Death of Homo Economicus by Peter Fleming

Cover image for The death of homo economicus : work, debt and the myth of endless accumulationThis blistering, hilarious, & occasionally horrifying survey of the current state of capitalism & neoliberalism will make your hair stand on end. Fleming pulls no punches and amasses evidence to show how hollowed-out the world of work has become and how crushing debt is for many people (especially students), thanks to en economic regime that was supposed to unleash human freedom but has instead led to Trumpism, Brexit, and widespread alienation through the economically advanced countries. It’s also quite funny in places, if that’s any consolation.

Jaynme’s Pick: Spying on Whales by Nick Pyenson

spying on whalesA paleontologist and self-styled whale chaser weaves his own adventures into a rich account of the largest creatures on our planet. One particularly intriguing question arises: What can humans learn about surviving in a changing world from these creatures who for millennia have survived on a planet where oceans rose and fell and land masses shifted?

Joanne’s Pick : Body into Balance: An Herbal Guide to Holistic Self-Care by Maria Noel Groves

 Cover image for Body into balance : an herbal guide to holistic self-careMany of our ills today are an indication of our body being out of balance.  Holistic medicine looks at helping to accomplish balance again by looking at not only the body but the mind and spirit also.  This beautifully illustrated book is a solid and easy to understand introduction to herbal medicine that helps the readers understand that herbs, used on a daily basis, can help bring the body back into balance.

Leanne’s Pick : Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

Cover image for Truly deviousThis is the first novel in a Young Adult mystery trilogy. The second book is expected to be published in 2019. In the 1930s, tycoon Albert Ellingham founded Ellingham Academy, a private school in Vermont for the brightest thinkers, inventors, and artists. A place where, in his words, “learning is a game.” Not long after the school opened, his wife and daughter were kidnapped, and one of the students murdered. The only clue was a strange letter signed by Truly Devious. The crime was never solved, and it became one of the greatest unsolved mysteries in US history. Fast forward to present day. Stevie Bell, a true-crime lover, has been accepted to Ellingham Academy. She has an ambitious plan: she is going to solve the decades-old mystery. Not long after she arrives however, Truly Devious makes a return and another crime is committed at the Academy. Can Stevie solve these mysteries before it’s too late?

This was a fun and quick read. It ends on a cliffhanger, so I can’t wait until book two comes out!

Megan’s Pick : Vi by Kim Thuy

Cover image for ViI’m not a fan of sappy love stories, and when I picked up Vi by Kim Thuy it was mostly because I have loved all her books. Written in the same vignette style as Ru and Man, Vi weaves together love stories. They are stories of love between family members, love between husband and wife, love lost, unrequited love, and as always with her love for place she had to leave as a child. The writing and the stories in this beautiful book will have you wondering why you waited so long to fall in love with Kim Thuy.

Natalie’s Pick : Fighting for Space by Travis Lupick

fightingFighting for space : how a group of drug users transformed one city’s struggle with addiction. A history of Vancouver’s activists who sought justice and support for drug users and the poor, so often marginalized and stigmatized. The book is well-researched and encourages dialogue around addiction and the opioid crisis. 2018 Ryga Award winner.

Sonia’s Pick : What is a Child? by Beatrice Alemagna

Cover image for What is a child?Beatrice Alemagna’s treatise on childhood, illustrated as a series of expressive portraits, reminds us that childhood is not just a passing phase on the way to adulthood but a state of mind and experience that can last a lifetime, if we let it. Adults who may have forgotten what it is to be a child will be reminded and children may feel themselves, and the profundity of their young lives, to be understood. “A child has small hands, small feet and small ears, but that does not mean they have small ideas.”