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The Recommend: January 2016

Most of the books we read are the result of one thing: someone we know, trust, and/or admire tells us it's great. That's why we run this series, The Recommend, where readers, writers, reviewers, bloggers, and others tell us about a book they'd recommend to a good friend ... and why.

This week we're pleased to present the picks of memoirist Brian Brett (Tuco); author Amy Jones (upcoming We're All in This Together), author Ursula Pflug (Motion Sickness), former Ontario premier and Liberal Party leader, Dalton McGuinty; author John Bart (Middenrammers); and poet Adebe DeRango-Adem (Terra Incognita).



Brian Brett picks Ronald Wright's The Gold Eaters

A recent reading treat for me has been Ronald Wright’s The Gold Eaters, a novel that’s both informative and gripping.

Long known as one of the top scholars of Meso-American civilization, Wright caught my attention with the lyrical Time Among The Maya, and I invited him to give a reading on Salt Spring Island where I like to think we became friends, and I’ve followed his career since, including his impressive novels, A Scientific Romance and Henderson’s Spear.

The Gold Eaters tells the story of Waman, a young man who sneaks away on a fishing boat and is captured by the first wave of Pizarro’s conquistadors, becomin …

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Quick Hits: From Paradise to Pop Culture

In Quick Hits, we look through our stacks to bring you books that, when they were published, elicited a lot of reaction and praise. Our selections will include books published this year, last year, or any year. They will be from any genre. The best books are timeless, and they deserve to find readers whenever and wherever.



Trauma Farm, by Brian Brett

Genre: Memoir

Publisher: Greystone Books

What It's About

An irreverent and illuminating journey through a day in the life of writer and poet Brian Brett, as he tends a small island farm on Salt Spring Island, affectionately named Trauma Farm, with numerous side trips into the natural history of farming.

Brian Brett moves from the tending of livestock, poultry, orchards, gardens, machinery, and fields to the social intricacies of rural communities and, finally, to an encounter with a magnificent deer in the silver moonlight of a magical farm field. Brett understands both tall tales and rigorous science as he explores the small mixed farm—meditating on the perfection of the egg and the nature of soil while also offering a scathing critique of agribusiness and the horror of modern slaughterhouses. Whether discussing the uses and misuses of gates, examining the energy of seeds, or bantering with his family, farm hands, …

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