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This Holiday Season, Buy Local Books for Everyone on Your List

We’ll start with these eight recommendations to make quick work of your festive shopping.

Read Local BC 23 Nov 2020 | TheTyee.ca

A book is arguably the perfect gift: it’s personal, provides hours of screen-free entertainment, and it’s easy to wrap. A book doesn’t require you to know the dress/ring/shoe size of the recipient, nor remember to separately purchase an incredibly specific charging cable. And when you buy a B.C.-published book from your neighbourhood independent bookstore, you give yourself a gift: the gift of a vibrant local literary scene.

Below we recommend eight B.C.-published books for everyone on your list. For even more inspiration, Read Local BC hosts a rich archive of local books.

And to kick off a season of supporting local authors, publishers and booksellers, Read Local BC is giving away one prize pack that includes eight B.C.-published books and a $50 gift certificate to the indie bookstore of the winner’s choice. Enter here.

For the self-determining feminist:

Balancing Bountiful: What I Learned about Feminism from My Polygamist Grandmothers
By Mary Jayne Blackmore (Caitlin Press)

“I am Mary Jayne Blackmore, the fifth child of my father’s 150 children. He is the 13th child of his father’s 31 children. My father is a polygamist, as was his father before him.

“My grandmother described first coming to the Creston Valley as if it were the real promised land: ‘Fruit was ripening on the trees and the cows stood deep in tall grass blowing in the meadows.’ For five decades, they thrived. They built businesses, built houses, built a school and raised families, carrying on the vision and legacy of their father. When I think about the sheer work of supporting those families, I’m amazed at the strength of my ancestors, but especially of the women.”

Read more.

For anyone growing their reconciliation reading list:

A Bounded Land: Reflections on Settler Colonialism in Canada
By Cole Harris (UBC Press)

“Closer at hand was an Indian agent, of whom by 1920 there were 16 in the province. These agents were responsible for the protection of Indigenous rights, such as they were, for instructing Indigenous peoples in civilized ways, and for their general well-being. Some agents were appreciated by their charges, others were detested, and many were considered irrelevant — it was often said that they never did anything. The province was large and the agents few and not always competent or sympathetic: many Indigenous peoples hardly ever saw one.

“Other eyes, embedded in the land system, usually were more insistently at hand, and from the perspective of Indigenous peoples their disciplinary power was more tangible and disruptive. These eyes belonged to all those people who owned property nearby, or who held land under licence or lease. Some of them were absentee owners, and some turned a blind eye, but in general they watched, thereby securing their rights to their properties. Such watching, backed by the law, turned Indigenous peoples into trespassers.”

Read more.

For the insatiably inquisitive sibling:

Dispatches from Ray’s Planet: A Journey through Autism
By Claire Finlayson (Caitlin Press)

“Ray has always known he’s different, but at 63 years of age, he certainly doesn’t believe he needs to be cured. According to him, the world would be vastly improved if everybody thought and behaved the way he does. He embraces the fact that he’s eccentric. But being eccentric, he says, is not the same as being defective. 'We don’t say someone has eccentricity,' he tells me. 'We simply say he’s eccentric. It’s not a disease.' He vigorously resists the idea that he needs to be fixed because, as he would say, on his planet he ain’t broken.”

Read more.

For the quirky urbanite:

Fool’s Gold: The Life and Legacy of Vancouver’s Official Town Fool
By Jesse Donaldson (Anvil Press)

“It was April Fool’s Day, and Joachim Foikis was about to turn the city upside down.

“The red and blue of his homemade uniform shone under the pop of flashbulbs as reporters and photographers formed a tight scrum around him, and the jangle of the bells on his cap made the foyer of Vancouver’s City Hall — normally a place dripping with righteous self-importance — feel more like a carnival sideshow. In one hand, he carried a sceptre adorned with a jester’s head.

“In the other was a cheque for $3,500.”

Read more.

For the exhausted climate doomsday prophet:

Hope Matters: Why Changing the Way We Think Is Critical to Solving the Environmental Crisis
By Elin Kelsey (Greystone Books)

“The tired old narrative of doom and gloom can no longer capture the changing global dynamics of life on planet Earth. The constant harkening back to fear does not serve us.

“Far from keeping us from growing complacent, fear drives apathy. Indeed, there is growing concern that framing climate change as an impending catastrophe stokes the fires of ‘climate doomism’ — the fatalistic belief that it is already too late to act, which, according to researchers, causes people to give up. And conversely, when we act from a positive feeling of meaning and purpose, we all benefit.”

Read more.

For the young climate activist:

One Earth: People of Color Protecting Our Planet
By Anuradha Rao (Orca Book Publishers)

“But one goal of this book is to showcase diversity — in background, location, age and interest. The people in this book don’t represent all the people from their nations, ethnicities or cultures. They spoke to me about themselves, their own experiences, and events as they recalled them. I chose to focus on 20 environmental defenders. You’ll learn about what they’re defending and how. You’ll see how their cultures and backgrounds influence their work. And you’ll hear the words and wisdom they’ve shared to inspire you. They’re the role models I wish I’d had when I was younger.”

Read more.

For the fun-fact lover and history buff:

Vancouver Exposed: Searching for the City’s Hidden History
By Eve Lazarus (Arsenal Pulp Press)

“In October 2018, Fatidjah Nestman was looking out her high-rise window on West 13th Avenue and noticed an old painted ad for White’s Grocery had popped up when workers removed the cement siding from a building on Granville Street. ‘I wonder how old this is,’ Fatidjah said to me. ‘The phone number Bay 433 predates the '60s.’ It certainly did. White’s Grocery was at 2932 Granville from 1915 until 1931. Ghost signs are a pre-billboard form of advertising that date back to the 1890s.”

Read more.

For the dinner table debate moderator:

Whipped: Party Discipline in Canada
By Alex Marland (UBC Press)

“Interviewing people who have experience in party politics is the best way to reveal confidential information about what happens in private settings off limits to outsiders. Refusals to provide basic information belie political secrecy. Politicians who agree to speak with a researcher can become silent when asked about what happens in the caucus and some require anonymity for fear of retribution. A staffer in the chief government whip’s office in Ottawa explained to me that a whip’s work is too sensitive to discuss, even in the abstract.”

Read more.


About Read Local BC

Read Local BC is a project of the Association of Book Publishers of BC that celebrates the vibrant community of authors, publishers, bookstores and libraries that make up our province’s literary landscape. Read Local BC acknowledges the support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund, the Canada Council for the Arts, Creative BC and the City of Vancouver.  [Tyee]

This article is part of a Tyee Presents initiative. Tyee Presents is the special sponsored content section within The Tyee where we highlight contests, events and other initiatives that are either put on by us or by our select partners. The Tyee does not and cannot vouch for or endorse products advertised on The Tyee. We choose our partners carefully and consciously, to fit with The Tyee’s reputation as B.C.’s Home for News, Culture and Solutions. Learn more about Tyee Presents here.

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