This book is inspiring for anyone who wants to remember—or learn—what it feels like to be a whole person. Read it and share it.” —Sarah Selecky
“What happens when technology moves beyond lifting genuine burdens and starts freeing us from burdens that we should not want to be rid of?” asks philosopher Albert Borgmann in his 1984 book, Technology and the Character of Contemporary Life. “If we believe that we, as humans, were created for relationship and meaningful work, work that provides for families and serves neighbours, work that engages our bodies and creative faculties, then it follows that we would value a certain kind of burden,” he explains.
He called them good burdens, commitments that tether us to people and the physical world. Like the burden of preparing a meal and getting everyone to show up at the table, or the burden of reading poetry to someone you love or going for a family walk after dinner, or the burden of letter-writing—gathering our thoughts, setting them down in a way that will be remembered and cherished and perhaps passed on to our grandchildren.
Albert points out that these types of activities have been obliterated by the readily available entertainment offered by every screen in the twenty-first-century wo …
There is so much good stuff on 49th Shelf that we sometimes compile our favourites to keep them close at hand via this series, Top Shelf. If there's not a book for you here—nay, ten!—well, we guess there isn't but it would be very, very strange. Enjoy!
Sometimes cities pulse with energy and optimism. And sometimes they crush. Urban Grit is about the crush, with characters struggling to survive and even thrive in the face of it.
Check out Suzanne Allyssa Andrew's blog post along these lines, as well: Messes and Meltdowns in the City.
Whether or not you believe that "short is the new long" when it comes to fiction, you'd be hard-pressed to turn down a book or two on this list of hot short story collections that came out in Spring 2015. Another hugely popular list among members in this same area is Canadian Short Stories, The New Generation, a crowdsourced list of writers who may be heirs-apparent to Munro and Gallant, and who are most definitely compelling Canadian voices in the twenty-first century.