Books are meant to be taken off the shelf and looked back on. So as we head into the last weeks of 2009 it’s time to take a look at all the progressive books released this year. The Book Lounge held a diverse array of literary works this year. Books this year explored foods leading to our demise, Canadians who have built our progressive movement, and reasons you may not want to take that cruise vacation. Take a look, there may be a book to enjoy some tea by this holiday season.

January : Christina McCall:’Feminist in arms’

Reviewed by Jessica Rose

Though journalist Christina McCall may best be remembered for her in-depth coverage of the Liberal Party, she also covered issues of urban planning, Canadian nationalism, and of course, feminism.

February: Eating Words

Reviewed by Ben Hart

Deanna Fong’s first collection of poetry reads like a delicately prepared menu. Fong offers three courses — From Skins to Bones, Exploration and Hearts.

March: Who Killed Stalin

Reviewed by Laurel Smith 

The Kremlin Betrayal is a fictionalized account of post-WWII spying shenanigans which centres upon Stalin’s assassination and the Soviet leader’s obsession with rewriting history.

April: Global Dissent Heats Up

Reviewed by Mel Watkins

Defiant Publics describes an information revolution permitting new forms of transnational communication creating global consciousness in the wake of the global financial crisis.

May: Cutting the Crap

Reviewed by Katie O’Connor

Rhetoric for radicals sets out guidelines for the ardent activist — establishing the need for clearer communication in achieving social change.

June:Cruise Ship Blues

Reviewed by Melissa Fong

If you’re contemplating a cruise vacation this summer think again — Paradise Lost at Sea exposes the not-so-glamorous realities of cruise vacations.

July: Seven Killer Chemicals

Reviewed by Donna Barker

Are you a toxic time bomb? The authors of Slow Death by Rubber Duck investigate how common chemicals impact our bodies and offer ways to avoid them.

August: Five  Obvious Food Facts

Reviewed by George Fetherling

Bacon, A Love Story and Squeezed: What You Don’t Know about Orange Juice are just two from a growing list of titles all about food. Read on for notable highlights of this increasingly popular genre.

September: Theory of Capital Makes a Comeback

Reviewed by Jordan Brennan

In Capital As Power an attack is launched on theories of capitalism by focusing on one of the oldest conundrums in the discipline of political economy — the theory of capital.

October: Out of Body

Reviewed by Cara Ng

In her recent book, Bodies, Susie Orbach examines body despair in the Western world, and how our bodies are “made” through the brain’s interaction with personal experiences and our environments.

The Ties That Bind

Reviewed by Katie O”Connor 

Polyamory, open adoption, mixed marriage, househusbandry, single motherhood — 18 authors tackle what it means to be a family in the 21st century.

November: Remembering Communism

Reviewed by Aaron Leonard

Marx and Engels had no idea what they were setting loose when they wrote The Communist Manifesto — and they would be the first to admit it. That’s the sense you get reading Tariq Ali’s new book.

Norman Bethune: Stepping Forward to Revolution

Reviewed by Tara Quinn

The image of Norman Bethune sketched by Adrienne Clarkson in this contribution to the Extraordinary Canadians series invokes duality: the guerrilla doctor and the humanist.

December: Thrifty: Living the Frugal Lifestyle

Reviewed by Donna Barker

Thrifty offers encouraging, entertaining and eclectic ways to live a frugal life with style.

Samantha Power

Samantha Power is the News Director at her beloved campus community radio station CJSR FM 88.5 in Edmonton. She’s been involved in news production for over four years and had a brief stint in the...