Alan Pickersgill

We Are The Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast by Jonathan Safran Foer. Penguin Random House Canada, 2019. 288 pages. There is a Planet B. It’s not always easy to see, but it’s out there. Waiting. This isn’t the super-expensive, elitist vision of the late Stephen Hawkings or the multi-billionaire Elon Musk. They thought we’d have to  leave this planet and find another one. The tough part would be finding one with enough gravity to keep our feet on the ground, enough oxygen to keep our lungs functioning, and enough resources to plunder. We don’t have to go that far. We can remake theRead More →

“I have an $8,000 oak living room set none of my kids want so I’m selling it. A Paki came by and offered me ninety bucks.” This was said to me this morning by an old guy in the neighbourhood who sold his house and is moving out of the area. He’s been having garage sales to unload a lot of the stuff he’s accumulated over the years. I pass his house every day while walking Charlie and I often stop and shoot the breeze with him. Usually casual banter, nothing terribly important. I was taken aback. “Who came by?” I asked. “An East IndianRead More →

Chung Min Lee, The Hermit King: The Dangerous Game of Kim Jong Un. St. Martin’s Press, 2019 As I began writing this book review, the American president, Donald Trump, fired John Bolton, his national security advisor. News reports said the two of them had a falling out over ways to deal with Iran, North Korea, and the Taliban. Bolton is a hawk in all three areas. He would happily go for military solutions while Trump says he wants to make deals. He just doesn’t see deal making as a two-way street. With Trump, it’s always “my way or the highway.” My guess is that theRead More →

A long time ago, a library was little more than a repository of books and a reading room. We could sit and read anything from a newly released novel to an old but unforgotten classic. We could read out of town newspapers and thumb through current issues of popular magazines. Or, we could borrow a book  and bring it home to read. A library became known as the university of the working class. As Daniel Quinn wrote in his novel Ishmail, “there is no secret knowledge; no one knows anything that can’t be found on a shelf in the public library.” Now they have evolved.Read More →