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Canada's billionaires: Did you hear about the Irvings?

Irving vs. Irving: Canada's Feuding Billionaires and the Stories they won't tell

by Jacques Poitras
(Viking Canada,
2014;
$15.99)

In this review of Irving vs. Irving: Canada's Feuding Billionaires and the Stories they won't tell, Canada's third wealthiest family -- who have a monopoly on New Brunswick’s English-language print media and billions of dollars in offshore accounts -- is examined against the backdrop of their history and relationships and their newspaper operations. Read on!

To think about the media landscape in New Brunswick, and the economy and politics more generally, one must come to terms with the power of the Irving family.

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'Hysteric' heroically explores identity and madness within us

Hysteric

by Nelly Arcan
(Anvil Press,
2014;
$20.00)

The narrator of Hysteric, Quebecoise author Nelly Arcan's recently translated second novel, is -- like her creator -- a young Plateau Mont-Royal writer named Nelly whose debut novel about her years as a prostitute was an international success. Having sworn at age 15 to end her life at 30, Nelly tells us early in the text that "something within me has always been absent."

But the gaze of a nameless lover, a young freelance journalist with a penchant for cyberporn, infuses her with a fragile vitality; Nelly, at 29, meets him at a techno party in a bar aptly called Nova.

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How potatoes and polar bears can teach kids about human rights

The Two Two-Eyed Potatoes

by Dustin Milligan
(DC Canada Education Publishing,
2014;
$11.95)

How do spuds choose their best friends?

In the children's book, The Two Two-Eyed Potatoes, Dustin Milligan uses fictional characters and events to answer this question.

At the Abegweit Warehouse, all potatoes follow the rule that spuds must only be best friends with taters having a different number of eyes from each other -- opposite and never equal! Any potatoes who dare break this rule end up becoming curly cut fries.

However, when Taylor meets Jordan, the two two-eyed potatoes immediately hit it off. Afraid of punishment, they avoid meeting each other only to end up depressed and lonely.

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Quirky? No way! Montreal is bordering on bizarre

Sweet Affliction

by Anna Leventhal
(Invisible Publishing,
2014;
$19.95)

Anna Leventhal, one of Montreal's quietly beloved literary personalities, has released a new book of short stories that pull the rug from under modern life, leaving it exposed and uncomfortable, yet strangely familiar. Montreal readers especially will recognize themselves in at least one of the local cast of characters, represented by Leventhal in a shockingly wide range of narrative voices, from teenage lesbian, to veteran squatter, to brain tumour patient and beyond.

The stories that make up Sweet Affliction are technically fiction -- some even border on bizarre -- but they tend to possess that authentic quality that confirms their previous existence in the archives of lived experience.

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SOS! Alternatives to capitalism needed please

SOS: Alternatives to Capitalism

by Richard Swift
(Between the Lines,
2014;
$16.95)

Richard Swift's book, SOS: Alternatives to Capitalism, is a much needed antidote to the myriad of political clap trap that spouts from our daily newspapers and much of our "left" journalism which suggests that capitalism can be reformed and regulated in such a way that an ecological and economic disaster can be avoided. 

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In conversation with author Doretta Lau

Photo: flickr/Florin Gorgan
Yutaka Dirks interviews author Doretta Lau and reviews her debut collection of short stories 'How Does A Single Blade of Grass Thank the Sun?'

Related rabble.ca story:

Doretta Lau sets a new standard in Canadian literature

How Does A Single Blade of Grass Thank the Sun?

by Doretta Lau
(Nightwood Editions,
2014;
$19.95)

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'El Niño' draws attention to the issues of migrant labour

El Niño

by Nadia Bozak
(House of Anansi,
2014;
$22.95)

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Nadia Bozak's El Niño begins how it ends: with portents of death under a blazing desert sun.

We first meet Baez, the coyote-dog hybrid creature who, in smelling her own demise, ties together the parallel timelines of Bozak's novel: one in the present day and the second two years before, each playing out against the harsh landscape of the Oro Desert.

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'Jewel of the Thames' dives into the mythos of Sherlock Holmes

Jewel of the Thames

by Angela Misri
(Fierce Ink Press,
2014;
$16.99)

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Do you have a young reader at home who craves an Arthur Conan Doyle style mystery story? Heck! Do you like young adult fiction with a strong female protagonist yourself?

Well, you need to read Jewel of the Thames by Angela Misri, which presents Portia Adams, a quick-witted young woman who inherits the legendary dectective Sherlock Holmes' dectective agency, and soon finds herself dreaming of solving crimes.

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