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Red Jenny (Toronto)

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Me Funny
Me Funny
by Drew Hayden Taylor
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 16.57
35 used & new from CDN$ 3.11

5.0 out of 5 stars Him Funny, Jan. 13 2008
This review is from: Me Funny (Paperback)
This book helps the reader to understand some elements of the particular style of humour of aboriginal culture in Canada. Along with the explanations and bits of history are interwoven specific examples. Drew Hayden Taylor is amazing.

Time Was Soft There: A Paris Sojourn at Shakespeare & Co.
Time Was Soft There: A Paris Sojourn at Shakespeare & Co.
by Jeremy Mercer
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 13.00
39 used & new from CDN$ 1.71

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dreamier than fiction, Nov. 6 2006
For anyone interested in literature, left-wing politics, Paris, travel, adventure, or just a good story, this is a great read. I found it to be continually entertaining, populated by very interesting characters.

It is almost a semi-biography of the unique personality that is George Whitman, owner of Shakespeare & Company Bookshop.

Shakespeare & Co. is a bookstore on Paris' Left Bank, but it is really so much more than that; it is an institution. The book gives the reader a taste -- an small idea of what it is like to be in that milieu.

Mercer's writing is fluid and fairly concise, without annoying fantastic flourishes. A good quick read.

Carfree Cities
Carfree Cities
by J. H. Crawford
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 25.40
11 used & new from CDN$ 2.95

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Imagining a Better City, Nov. 23 2005
This review is from: Carfree Cities (Paperback)
Full of interesting ideas, and written in readable text, this is an excellent book imagining the city without the automobile.
He starts out by expounding on the problem: why cars in cities are bad. From environmental pollution to safety threats, he covers all the negatives about automobiles.
Then he offers a theoretical solution: a reference design for a carfree city. It incorporates a large amount of public space and green space with moderately dense development. The city is based around small, pedestrian friendly districts connected by a rail-based metro (subway) or tram (streetcar) system. He also covers additional problems like the transportation of freight and emergency vehicles.
The last portion of the book offers some more practical suggestions for transforming existing cities, creating new ones, and alternatives. Well researched, well documented, and very creative.

Kingztanbul
Kingztanbul
Offered by Vanderbilt CA
Price: CDN$ 39.95
2 used & new from CDN$ 39.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, Sept. 9 2005
This review is from: Kingztanbul (Audio CD)
I can't understand the words, but the quality of the music is outstanding. Excellent scratching, interesting rhythms, an awesome rapping. I highly recommend this.

Down to This: Squalor and Splendour in a Big-City Shantytown
Down to This: Squalor and Splendour in a Big-City Shantytown
by Shaughnessy Bishop-Stall
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 15.88
14 used & new from CDN$ 2.76

5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging and authentic, June 14 2005
A page turner, this book takes you right inside the phenomenon that Toronto's Tent City was. The author isn't so much of an anthropologist as a participant. The story is as much his personal story as it is the story of his neighbours in Tent City. The only thing I had trouble with is that sense of spying on these people. Reading this felt almost like intruding upon their private lives. All in all, however, a great read, especially for Torontonians, or those interested in poverty activism, harm reduction, psychology or sociology.

Diet for a New America: How Your Food Choices Affect Your Health, Happiness and the Future of Life on Earth Second Edition
Diet for a New America: How Your Food Choices Affect Your Health, Happiness and the Future of Life on Earth Second Edition
by John Robbins
Edition: Paperback
40 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A must read, March 29 2005
Old, but not really outdated, this book will make you think about what you put in your mouth.
Although it may not convince you to go vegan, it will inform you of the personal and environmental consequences of choosing to consume heedlessly. It will encourage mindful eating. It might also gross you out a bit.
I think some of the language is a bit inflammatory for my tastes, but I happen to agree with much of it, so I was almost able to overlook it. Read it for yourself and judge.

Otherwise Than Being: Or Beyond Essence
Otherwise Than Being: Or Beyond Essence
by Emmanuel Levinas
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 25.52
27 used & new from CDN$ 21.09

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Levinas' best work, but not easy to understand, March 29 2005
Much though I am fascinated with Levinas, I do find it nearly unreadable. His text is so dense, it requires (but definitely merits) slow reading.
Although it might be helpful to have read earlier Levinas, this book takes a bit of a departure from the philosophy he espoused in his younger days. I don't believe it is such a radical departure so much as a reorientation and increased sophistication, but that's a topic for another discussion!
I highly recommend this read if you are familiar with phenomenology, particulary Husserl and Heidegger, and Kant. I believe they are essential to understanding his arguments.
If you are willing to put in the time and mental effort to unpack this, it is a very rewarding book. For some additional explanation, a good companion is Beyond by Peperzak.

The Corporation
The Corporation
by Joel Bakan
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 17.33
22 used & new from CDN$ 2.81

5.0 out of 5 stars Informative, easy read, March 29 2005
This review is from: The Corporation (Paperback)
I think this should be required reading for all citizens.
Exposes (without ideological idealism) the facts about corporations. Most people have vague misgivings about corporations, but don't have much of an idea of why. This book helps to clarify and explain what we instinctively feel.
I got a kick out of the psychological assessment of the corporation, a legal person without moral conscience, as a psychopath.

Confessions of an Economic Hit Man
Confessions of an Economic Hit Man
by John Perkins
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 18.11
97 used & new from CDN$ 0.20

12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent balance between personal story and history, March 29 2005
This book is at once an autobiography, a 20th century history of America and a call to action. These elements are balanced very well with a very readable narrative style.
The history in this book is somewhat controversial. It is the less-shiny aspects of history which may or may not be taught in US schools (I will not make assumptions here), but which is easily accessible if one only looks for it. It is also quite well-documented and supported by evidence. Perkins discusses American corporate and governmental involvement with Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Nicaragua, Panama, Ecuador and many other nations from a first hand perspective.
What is interesting is that we see this history as the setting for a very personal story, through the eyes of a participant. As the title suggests, it is in fact a confession. Perkins was an important player in some of the darker aspects of subtle non-governmental foreign policy, and he is not an apologist.
He shows a little bit of the psychology of people who commit evil acts on behalf of organizations to which they belong. For example, structures set up to do harm can generally find people with the personality characteristics that can be capitalized upon - greed, ambition, etc. What this means is, rather than simply provoking hate towards individuals who are perpetuating exploitation, Perkins reveals the underlying broader issues, such as the consequences of the misuse of power and profit. I think he very effectively places the specifics of historical facts (as well as his story) in context in a way that historical texts typically do not.
Although it is not a prescriptive book as such, Perkins does offer some ideas and suggestions at the end as to what individuals can do if they believe in trying to ameliorate the situation he has presented.
I found it to be both a compelling page turner and very factual at the same time. Highly recommended for the history buff, social activist, avid biography reader, news junkie, or really anyone who cares about the world we live in.

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