We like consuming words on the page almost as much as we like consuming food on the plate. Welcome to the Scout Book Club: a brief and regular rundown of what we’re reading, what’s staring at us from the bookshelf begging to be read next, and what we’ve already read and recommend.
Jacking Out: A Journal of a Year Spent Offline, by Aron Lee | The personal journal-style account of one Montreal-based teacher/academic/author’s year spent without engaging with the internet both confirms and challenges ideas about life without it. From sex and friendship to the environment and climate change, racism and accessibility, Lee covers A LOT of important issues in just 366-ish days of day-to-day Covid-era internet-less (plus a month of reintegration) which – spoiler alert – does not mean a life without social engagement, connection, cellphones, texting, technology or friction. Clever, funny, insightful, informative, thought-provoking, controversial, flawed and inspiring.— Thalia Stopa, Contributing Editor
I Feel Love: MDMA and the Quest for Connection in a Fractured World, by Rachel Nuwer | Featuring the real life stories of many intriguing characters, from ravers to PTSD sufferers, Nuwer’s book covers a lot of ground: from how MDMA (aka Ectasy or “Molly”) accidentally came to be (in a German lab for pharmaceutical company, Merck), to its use by the US government as a potential ‘truth serum’ circa the 1950s (spoiler: this never took off), and subsequently by prominent biochemists and pharmacologists as a (legal) treatment for trauma and addiction in the mid-1970s. I Feel Love is at times maddening and disheartening, but also captivating, enlightening and an overall pleasurable read – in the similar vein of Dr. Gabor Maté and Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, who also explore the concept of ‘best practice’ for those who are suffering trauma. A must-read for those seeking a compassionate journey. Go even further by listening to the latest Track & Food podcast with Nuwer here. — Jamie Mah, Scout Contributor
Yoga, by Emmanuel Carrère | Don’t let the concise title fool you – this is a complex book full of digressions and all-out detours through Carrère’s various neuroses and experiences with death and depression…and a relatively small amount of yoga. Ultimately, it’s an incredibly intimate look inside the mind of one journalist/writer (Carrère himself), and a valuable one, as he journeys to figure out his inner workings for himself. — TS
FIND IT: Available as a special order from Massy Books*.
*It would be remiss for me not to mention Vancouver’s various other independent and used book stores, and encourage you to pay them an in-person visit to seek out these and other titles.
Who Builds The Internet? Meet Wikipedia’s Architects | While we’re on the subject of the internet (Internet?): Byline recently interviewed a bunch of Wikipedia Editors about their personal views on freedom of information and how their job has influenced their opinions on its dispersal via the internet. Read it here. — TS
Will diet soda, yogurt, and cereal disappear from stores? | In July, the World Health Organization dropped a new report declaring aspartame (an artificial sweetener commonly used in popular diet sodas) as “possibly carcinogenic”. An in-depth read for those seeking transparency about the manmade substances we consume. Check it out here. — JM
A Fight for Salmon Fishing Rights Connects Indigenous Peoples Across the Pacific Ocean | In Washington State, a story rooted around fish and sovereignty rights hits a chord between two distinct nations. A thankful, joyous and relatable read. — JM
Beyond Dining in the Dark: What It’s Actually Like to Eat Out When You’re Blind | A frank report about the misconceptions and pitfalls the blind deal with on a continual basis while eating out. Essential reading for those working in front of house hospitality. — JM
WORD | Slurpee: Annually, the celebration of National Slurpee Day goes down on July 11th (7/11) – a ‘big deal’ in Winnipeg, Manitoba (aka my hometown) which has held the questionable honour of being named the ‘Slurpee Capital of the World’ for over 20 years. A new article, Safari Sundays’ Slurpee monogram resembles a “dollop” of slushy published by It’s Nice That, reveals the story behind the beverage’s recent rebranding. — TS
Got a book that you think we’d dig? Let us know in the comments below or by emailing thalia [at] scoutmagazine [dot] ca.