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The 'truth' about obesity, weight loss and health?

Body of Truth: How Science, History, and Culture Drive Our Obsession with Weight -- And What We Can Do About It

by Harriet Brown
(De Capo Press,
2015;
$25.99)

Reports in the media suggest that obesity is a growing danger. Too many people weigh too much and the numbers of such individuals have increased substantially over the last decades. Such excess weight is associated with a variety of diseases and other negative consequences, ranging from high blood pressure to inability to fit into an airline seat, from diabetes to coffins that are too small for obese deceased.

Yet such narratives of obesity are increasingly challenged.

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Searching for salvation: 'Binary Star's' journey across addiction, disease and abuse

Binary Star

by Sarah Gerard
(Two Dollar Radio,
2015;
$16.00)

"Sickness is reciprocal," says the unnamed narrator of Binary Star, Sarah Gerard's feverish debut novel. The narrator is anorexic and involved in a long-distance relationship with an abusive alcoholic who has latched onto a blurred vision of anarchist veganism.

"It's a symbiotic relationship of sickness," says Gerard. "It's something that the narrator shares with her culture, also shares with her boyfriend. She's battling within herself this desire to stay sick and this desire to live."

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Toronto's mishandling of a transformation

Toronto: Biography of a City

by Allan Levine
(Douglas & McIntyre,
2015;
$36.95)

Many define Toronto as the 'centre of Canada', including Toronto: Biography of a City author Allan Levine. But what happens if you don't live in Toronto or, really, anywhere near it, and say in a different city that is also fighting for Canadian city superiority?

Through this lens is how reviewer Daniel Francis deconstructs and evalutes this book.

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Amber Dawn connects luxury and logic between body and soul

Where the words end and my body begins

by Amber Dawn
(Arsenal Pulp Press,
2015;
$14.95)

The first time I read Amber Dawn's Where the Words End and My Body Begins, I was standing over my kitchen counter peeling and eating tangerines. It wasn't my plan to dive in right away but I didn't want to do the dishes and it had just come in the mail, replete with a soft pastel cover that is at once sugary and arcane, paradisal and dismal.

There I was with wet fingers, slurping all over this freshly published collection.

"you never considered yourself femme"

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What Canadians need to know about their labour history

Photo: Graphic History Collective

May 1 International Workers' Day, commemoration and protest celebrated around the world, may be behind this year, but the legacy and lessons of the day stay with us throughout the year, particularly as we head into our federal election.

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Oh, Canada: Harper's systematic attack on democracy and media

Kill the Messengers: Stephen Harper's Assault on Your Right to Know

by Mark Bourrie
(HarperCollins Canada,
2015;
$32.99)

If the state of Canada's democracy doesn't already reduce you to tears, it will once you get your hands on Mark Bourrie's latest book, Kill the Messengers: Stephen Harper's Assault on Your Right to Know. This book would be worth the time under any circumstances; in an election year, it's absolutely essential reading.

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128 km later: How to hold on after your life doesn't make sense

The Walking Man

by Paul Dore
(Iguana Books,
2015;
$19.99)

"Lemme just get this out of the goddam way; I'm nervous as all hell. Nervous because you may or may not relate to the mess that follows."

This is how Paul Dore's debut novel, The Walking Man, opens: an intimate conversation with the narrator, our unnamed protagonist. A bundle of nerves, the character spills out his anxieties, struggles with depression, fears of opening up to people, of never finding love.

This book is that over-sharing friend we all have, and yet readers should not be intimidated or scared off by its candidness.

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How can we make Canada's roads safer?

No Accident: Eliminating Injury and Death on Canadian Roads

by Neil Arason
(Wilfrid Laurier University Press,
2014;
$29.99)

Is it possible to eliminate death and serious injury from Canada's roads? No Accident: Eliminating Injury and Death on Canadian Roads author Neil Arason definitely thinks so.

No Accident urges Canadians to prioritize road safety as a national priority and provides a roadmap that will guide us to a safer future. Arason weaves together topics from public transit and cyclists to human-related errors to road engineering to collision-avoidance technologies to provide a well-rounded and timely study of Canadian roads.

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Sex, drugs and pyromania: 'The Green Hotel' exposes Toronto's underbelly

The Green Hotel

by Jesse Gilmour
(Quattro Books,
2014;
$18.00)

First time author, Jesse Gilmour was introduced to the Canadian arts scene as a subject of a book instead of as a writer. His father, the infamous David Gilmour, wrote the memoir The Film Club, which talks about their relationship around the time when Jesse dropped out of high school.

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Transformative movement-building: Another politics made clear

Another Politics: Talking Across Today's Transformative Movements

by Chris Dixon
(University of California Press,
2014;
$27.95)

With such widespread challenges and injustice facing our society, combined with the shifting energies and momentum of people power, the 'another politics' Chris Dixon documents in Another Politics: Talking Across Today's Transformative Movements offers perhaps the most promising and exciting approaches to collectively addressing these problems while simultaneously moving us into the world in which we wish to

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