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Scout Book Club, Vol. 12

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.

Currently Reading & Recommended

Curiosities, by Anne Fleming | The recently published (Knopf Canada, April 2024) novel by Victoria-based author, Anne Fleming, flips between the present day context of a writer-slash-amateur-historian also named Anne (either literally the author or someone based on them), and transcriptions/translations of various minor historical characters’ personal journals and correspondence. Overall, Curiosities is a riveting tale of witch hunting, identity searching, and unconventional love; a real-life-inspired 17th century mystery revealed in a cheeky modern day literary striptease. — TS

Available to order from local independent booksellers, such as Iron Dog Books and Massy Books.*


Table for Two, by Amor Towles | There are few authors today whose prose are as spellbinding and sophisticated as the delightfully charming Amor Towles. For his latest (fourth) book, a collection of short stories, the acclaimed author of Rules of Civility and A Gentleman in Moscow shepherds you through New York City circa the 2000s. Of all the captivating tales included, the brisk encounter of Smitty and Jerry in “Hasta Luego”, and “The Ballad of Timothy Touchett” – a cautionary tale of naivety and hubris – stand out as the most entertaining. Towles readers should also appreciate the return of Rules of Civility character, Evelyn Ross, who has changed her trajectory to the bright lights of La La Land. — JM

Available from local independent booksellers, such as Iron Dog Books, Upstart & Crow, and Massy Books.*


Field Days: Journal of an Itinerant Biologist, by Roger B. Swain | This collection of well-researched yet grounded short essays about nature was first published in the early 1980s, but although much of its data and/or theses may be out of date, they are still well worth re-visiting or reading for the first time (if you can get your hands on a copy of one of this book’s editions). Author, renown naturalist and journalist, Roger B. Swain, is an exceptionally talented storyteller, transforming humble natural curiosities (for instance, the practicality of collecting firewood, and the evolution of avocados) into marvellous pieces of writing. —TS

An elusive title to keep your eyes peeled for on the shelves of used book stores around town and/or online (AbeBooks is a good resource).*


The Gulf, by Adam de Souza | Universal coming-of-age themes are treated with adept sensitivity and lyricism in this Vancouver-based cartoonist/author’s most recent graphic novel. The Gulf follows a determined young woman running away from familial/authoritarian pressures and expectations, in search of another, better, more collaborative and sensical way of living simply on a commune in the Gulf Islands. An understatedly drawn but nuanced and empathetically depicted tale of teenage frustration, that’s likely to hit a chord with those decades older and who are still searching for that certain way of life… — TS

Available in store from Iron Dog Books, and as a special order from other local independent booksellers, including Massy Books and Upstart & Crow.*


*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.

Supplementary Reading

In Search of the Ultimate Daiquiri | Daiquiris are where it’s at! Find out what makes this simple cocktail an exceptional one in today’s cocktail cultural landscape. Via Punch.


Why do Americans keep drinking raw milk? | Good question. From the origins of pasteurization and its subsequent commercialization, to the current increase in health risks and logic-defying surge of raw milk consumption, Keren Landman, MD
tries to find the answer. Via Vox.


My rendezvous with the raw milk black market: quick, easy, and unchecked by the FDA | Commercial Determinants Of Health Reporter, Nicholas Florko, details the raw deal of getting your hands on some unpasteurized milk in America. Via STAT.


The Underrated Pleasures of Eating Dinner Early | Apparently more and more diners are embracing an earlier dinner hour these days. This eloquent and humorous article by Lauren Collins, circa 2019, makes plenty of good and still-relevant arguments for why eating early is a good idea – at home or in a restaurant – and details which cultures are more or less likely to agree. Via The New Yorker.


France Unveils Scratch-and-Sniff Baguette Stamps | It doesn’t get much more novel than France’s new olfactory venture: a postage stamp that smells like freshly baked baguette. Queue the 90s-era childhood nostalgia! Via DesignBoom.

Scout Book Club, Vol. 11

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.

Scout Book Club, Vol. 10

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.

Scout Book Club, Vol. 9

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.

Scout Book Club, Vol. 8

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.