Babble Book Club’s next selection is Straphanger: Saving Our Cities and Ourselves from the Automobile by Taras Grescoe. Straphanger offers an intimate and personal tour of cities that offer alternatives to car-based living and provides support towards the shift away from automobiles in cities. Grescoe uses personal anecdotes of bicycle rides and subway commutes to inform readers of the economical and environmental impact of transportation and public transit technology on cities.

Starting in Shanghai and ending in Grescoe’s hometown of Montreal, Straphanger‘s travelogue style provides a well-rounded glimpse of international and Canadian cities forays into the world of public transit, the historical aspects of the emergence of cars and people’s frustrations with lives spent in traffic. 

Taras Grescoe’s writing has been celebrated both in Canada and internationally, being featured in numerous publications like Canadian Geographic, The New York Times and The Independent. Grescoe has been nominated for a variety of Canadian literary awards and has received the Writers’ Trust Non-Fiction Prize, the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction and the Quebec Writers’ Federation Award.

This selection’s final discussion date has yet to be decided, but the discussion thread has been created in the babble book lounge. As always, readers are welcomed to participate on the thread throughout the course of the read and contribute thoughts, comments and questions about any aspect of the book to fellow babblers.

At Babble Book Club we encourage lots of discussion about the various and engrossing aspects of the read, especially the opinions from our readers. The Babble Book Club is always an inviting place for new users to join, on-and-off readers to rediscover and seasoned veterans to show the ropes!

Straphanger looks like a great non-fiction read about the current topic of free and accessible transit and the push for less cars and more mass transit in cities. Straphanger is widely available at Canadian libraries, independent bookstores and through the publisher Harper Collins Canada.

Book cover image courtesy of Harper Collins Canada.