Book Reviews

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 →

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 →

Lies Across America, James W. Loewen. The New Press, New York. Second Edition, 2019. I live in Guelph, a mid-sized city in Southern Ontario. We like to think of our home as a green and growing place, full of people who are alert to environmental and social justice. We think we know our history. Guelph was founded in 1827 by a Scottish novelist and businessman named John Galt. As a director of the Canada Company, it was his job to open the countryside for immigrant settlers. There’s a bronze and granite bust of him outside our former city hall downtown. It’s the courthouse now. There’sRead More →

Red River Girl: The life and death of Tina Fontaine by Joanna Jolly. Penguin Random House Canada, 304 pages. $24.95 paperback, $11.99 E-Book. A lot of Canadians were puzzled by one of the conclusions in the final report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (NIMMIWG). The inquiry found that the tragic number of women involved amounted to an act of genocide. A new book by British journalist Joanna Jolly helps us understand the truth behind the inquiry’s conclusions. Red River Girl tells the story of Tina Fontaine, a 15-year-old Indigenous woman murdered in Winnipeg in 2014. Although a manRead More →