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.
RECOMMENDED READING: Miss Iceland, by Auđur Ava Ólafsdóttir | Miss Iceland is a slim, simply written and subtle text, but a mighty powerful one. Much of the beauty of the writing of awarding-winning Icelandic author, Ava Ólafsdóttir, is its restraint: the story setting is Iceland circa the 1960s, and is largely about the simple day-to-day of a few men and women (the protagonist is an ambitious, young woman writer); but the dynamics, personal struggles, everyday tasks and daydreams, decor and even the food/meals, reveal a LOT, touching on many explosive topics (sexism, gender, sexuality, autonomy, equity, equality, etc.) rumbling below the surface of the largely self-contained country, seemingly ready to erupt (much like Iceland itself). —TS
CURRENTLY READING:The Lost Supper: Searching for the Future of Food in the Flavors of the Past, by Taras Grescoe | Montreal-via-Vancouver author Taras Grescoe is prolific, expansive and immersive in his subject matter. To date, topics have included everything from the province of Quebec to the mass tourism industry, global public transit systems, seafood and prohibited food around the globe. His latest book, The Lost Supper, is a contribution to the larger conversation of sustainability, in which he takes a trip through the past, to endeavour on a veritable archaeological gastronomical dig. Foods uncovered and enjoyed include (from the publisher, Greystone Books): “Ancient sourdough bread last baked by Egyptian pharaohs; raw-milk farmhouse cheese from critically endangered British dairy cattle; ham from Spanish pata negra pigs that have been foraging on acorns on a secluded island since before the United States was a nation; and olive oil from wild olive trees uniquely capable of resisting quickly evolving pests and modern pathogens.” — TS
The Algebra of Happiness: Notes on the Pursuit of Success, Love, and Meaning, by Scott Galloway | A book teeming with humanity, from the man predominantly known for his wit, charm, and childish humour as the counterweight to Kara Swisher on Pivot (the podcast they host together), as well as host of his own podcast, The Prof G. Consisting mostly of work culled from his weekly newsletter, No Mercy/No Malice, and broken down into chapters on success, love, and health, The Algebra of Happiness is part treatise and part handy guide of wisdom against the three pillars we all live and work around. Galloway’s fondness for self-improvement shows no limits (but conveniently this edition could fit in your back pocket). — JM
**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.
Colonialism and Greenwash in Occupied Palestinian Territories | In case you’re not already familiar, It’s Freezing in LA! is a print publication and online platform, founded launched in 2018, with a multifaceted approach to exploring climate change. In her recent article, “Colonialism and Greenwash in Occupied Palestinian Territories“, IFLA contributor Zainab Mahmood gives a rundown of how the environment/natural resources factor into Palestinian’s illegal occupation by the State of Israel. — TS
The Crimes Behind the Seafood You Eat | The New Yorker brings us rigorous reporting detailing the horrible conditions the Uyghurs, one of China’s largest ethnic minorities, face in cultivating the fish many of us eat. A triumph of investigative journalism from not to be missed. — JM
The wild business of desert island tourism | Ever wanted to spend 10 days alone on a deserted island? Is the movie Castaway a favourite of yours? If so, this feature by The Hustle will help satisfy that inner warrior within. — JM
You’re more likely to go to prison for exposing animal cruelty than for committing it | The lengths that animal rights activists will go to in order to fix a problem astounds. For Wayne Hsiung, a leading figure in this arena by upholding a virtue of saving hurt and injured animals from factory farms, the price of a possible conviction was never far from view. Unjust, this reporting (via Vox) should enrage. — JM
WORD: Te | The title of a bi-continental bilingual thematic publication and Independent Publishing House, founded and co-edited by Michael Guo. It’s also the Hokkinen pronunciation of ‘tea’ – which, according to Guo, was the first globalized term, disseminating from China to land on ears around the world. Listen to Guo’s interview with Stack here.