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 →

I must admit it. I liked the Netflix adaptation of The Haunting of Hill House. I watched it twice, then borrowed Shirley Jackson’s novel from the library. I was, at first, sixth in line for the only copy they have, but all things come to those who wait. Especially library books. There were five other people waiting in line when I brought it back. Then I found a copy of the 1963 Robert Wise movie The Haunting in The Beat Goes On, one of Guelph’s used stuff shops. It was a much more faithful and straightforward adaptation of the novel than Netflix provided. I wasRead More →