A no messing around guide to the coolest things to eat, drink and do in Vancouver and beyond. Community. Not clickbait.

Scout Book Club, Vol.4

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 READING: Toad, by Katherine Dunn | Published approximately six years posthumously, cult author Katherine Dunn’s “new” book was actually the third novel she penned, back in the 70s – nevertheless, this real-life-inspired tale about a woman reconciling her destructive past with her currently chosen reclusive state remains relevant approximately 50 years later. Dunn cleverly and deftly wields gratuitousness to create a beautifully repulsive, discomfiting, smart, thought-provoking and provocative novel. — TS

The paperback edition, slated for publication this Halloween (!), is currently available to pre-order from local independent booksellers such as Massy Books and Upstart & Crow.*


Outlive: The Science & Art of Longevity, by Peter Attia, MD, with Bill Gifford | No one wants to die, yet few understand the importance and differences between ‘lifespan’ (how long you live) and ‘healthspan’ (how well you live). Dr. Attia offers insights into understanding the math and requirements one needs to possess today to be able to do the things we hope to do in our last decade of life using what he coins as “medicine 3.0”: the view that in order for a society to live and enjoy the spoils of aging, reacting to our ailments (as we currently do now; aka “medicine 2.0”) isn’t doing the trick. For example: If picking up and holding a baby at the age of 93 is something you wish to do, then some metrics can be tested to see if you’re at the right fitness level now to achieve such a simple task in the future. This book is an actionable manual for attaining long-term health by giving clear examples to comprehend. Find out more. — Jamie Mah, Scout Contributor

Available to order from local booksellers Massy Books (also currently in stock) and Upstart & Crow.*



UP NEXT: White Riot: The 1907 Anti-Asian Riots in Vancouver, by Henry Tsang | Published earlier this year, the photographic and essay compilation White Riot is an off-shoot of the artist/author’s 360 Riot Walk 360-degree video walking tour inspired by the anti-Asian riots of 1907 and the recent resurgence of hate towards this community. Not your standard ‘coffee table’ book, by any means, but probably one that everyone should have in their possession. Massy Arts Society’s Reviving RIOT FOOD HERE dinnertime event with author, Henry Tsang, in commemoration of the 1907 riot’s 116th anniversary went down earlier this month and sold out in a heartbeat. Although we’re still feeling pangs of regret (and hunger) for not snagging our tickets in advance before it was too late, there’s still time to lock in attendance for Tsang’s (free) ‘Race Memory Data’ discussion at SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts on September 20th, with historian Jack (John Kuo Wei) Tchen, urban planner Andy Yan and moderator Melissa Karmen Lee, CEO of the Chinese Canadian Museum. Do that here. — TS

White Riot is available to order directly from Arsenal Pulp Press, as well as from local booksellers Massy Books and Upstart & Crow.*



Plantcakes: Fancy + Everyday Vegan Cakes for Everyone, by Lyndsay Sung | Plantcakes is the second book by self-taught baker, and all-around cool-as-heck Vancouverite, Lyndsay Sung. As the title implies, Sung’s new cookbook brings a plant-based twist to traditional baking and dessert recipes — without losing the fun, sugar or sprinkles along the way. Featuring clear instructions and beautifully photographed dishes, Plantcakes kicks vegan desserts to the next level. It’s a dope addition to any seasoned vegan baker’s library, as much as it is a useful reference guide for those looking to explore the world of baking, period. (And anyone who digs a tasty bit of cake with their tea, natch.)

— Michelle Sproule

Plantcakes drops on September 12th – aka: today! To scoop up your copy and meet Sung in-person, be sure to hit one of two launch events (or both!) coming up later this month: Collage Collage Celebration, Sunday, Sept. 17th, 1-4pm; Evening at To Live For Bakery, Thursday, Sept. 28th, 6:30-8:30pm. Pro tip: Ensure your spot at the Sept. 17th launch event and support a super cool, woman-run small business by pre-ordering your copy of Sung’s new book here.*

**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

Do You See Art, Advertising or Both? Mural bylaws in Vancouver are complex, as a brewery owner frustratingly discovered. | In recent beer/bureaucratic news: This summer, one of Vancouver’s oldest remaining craft breweries, Storm Brewing, took yet another blow to its already fragile existence in East Van – this time dealt by the COV for the artist mural which has adorned one exterior wall of their warehouse for the past decade. The Tyee digs in and tries to make sense of the (non-sensical) contentious issue of public art in Vancouver in this article, published back in mid-August.


A Case of Bad Apples, or a Rotten Orchard? | Exploitation of migrant workers in BC is a big problem. With low wages, long hours, no overtime, and minimal resources at their disposal, those who pick what we eat deserve better. A must-read full of excellent reporting by The Tyee. Check it out here. — JM


This Network of Regenerative Farmers is Rethinking Chicken | Factory farming shouldn’t be the norm. This is how a pioneering new model can help change an industry in desperate need of reform. — JM


“Net-zero trauma by 2070”: 5 Questions for MAPS founder Rick Doblin | One of the central figures in I Feel Love: MDMA and the Quest for Connection in a Fractured World (Rachel Nuwer’s recent book, featured in Book Club Vol. 3), The Microdose science journalist, Jane C. Hu, poses a handful of timely questions to a man with a hopeful vision. — JM


On Cheeky Custom Cakes, Better Buttercream, & Rockin’ Out in the Kitchen, with Lyndsay Sung | To learn more about the process of “veganizing” in order to achieve maximum tastiness, we sat down with the indomitable Sung to chat about unlikely ingredients, baking soundtracks, Cat Burgers, and more… Read our new Q&A with the author here. — TS & MS


On Bookish Pairings, Local Literary Leanings and “Growing Slow”, with Upstart & Crow | Granville Island independent bookshop, Upstart & Crow, recently celebrated their three-year anniversary. With that in mind, and in the ‘back to school’ spirit of ‘hitting the books’, we chatted with Co-Founders Zoe Grams and Ian Gill, and Creative Operations Director, Robyn Smith about recommendations and other bookish topics. Read the Q&A here.


WORD | Serviette: fancy word for “napkin” (aka “a square piece of cloth or paper used at a meal to wipe the fingers or lips and to protect garments, or to serve food on”) but also the title of a new-ish food-focussed publication digging into “the ideas, conversations and connectivity of food cycles; the language, culture and transformative possibilities of what we eat. The second issue, which was published earlier this year, is themed ‘Food is Consumption’ and touches on everything from mezcalero to herbal remedies and corner stores. Although as of yet there are no BC stockists of the mag (hint! hint! nudge! nudge!), it is currently available to order online directly from the website, as well as a handful of select Canadian stockists. Get a digital taste of what to expect from the physical publication here. — 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.

There is 1 comment

  1. Thanks, Michelle, Thalia, and everyone.
    I am going to check out *Plantcakes*.

    When procrastinating, I spend a little time with Esmeralda Cabral’s *How to clean a fish and other adventures in Portugal* .

    I still like Sarah Elton’s *Locavore* along with Rachel Rose’s *Sustenance* https://www.anvilpress.com/books/sustenance

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.

Scout Book Club, Vol. 7

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.