Summer reads and travels

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Image: Yahaya Baruwa. Photo: Victoria Fenner

Happy summer, everybody, now that it's here. It's been a long time coming in some parts of the country. It's an unusual summer, weatherwise, and it's also a different pace from summers gone by because we're in the leadup to the fall election.

We'll be doing a lot of advance election coverage on rabble, including in our podcasts. But for today, we thought we'd do something a bit lighter related to summer reading and summer travel.

1)   A couple of months ago, our podcast exec producer Victoria Fenner was in her local Chapters Indigo bookstore where she met Yahaya Baruwa. He is a young Toronto author who was promoting his first two books. She was impressed not just with the story, but also with his determination to get his books published. Being carried in a big bookstore is an accomplishment in itself. Baruwa has accomplished a lot in his young life and radiates this "get it done" kind of attitude which really drew her in. For example, he sold over 2,000 copies of his first book by going door to door in his neighbourhood in Scarborough.

Yahaya Baruwa’s first book is called Struggles of a Dreamer – The Battle between a Dream and Tradition. It's fiction, but largely based on his experiences as a young man who was born in Nigeria and grew up in Canada. He emigrated with his family at the age of 12 and writes about the difficult balance to respect and honour one's traditional culture and also adapt to life here in this country.

Two of his books are published already, with a third coming out next month.

2.)  If you're a writer or journalist, gathering stories while travelling is something we do. David Kattenburg is a freelance journalist and publisher of the website He is also a contributor to rabble radio.

One of the places Kattenburg goes most frequently is Palestine. He is a fierce advocate for the end of the illegal occupation of Palestine by Israel. Over the years he has developed many friendships and journalistic sources. 

Victoria Fenner caught up with him via Skype from his hotel room in Beirut this week. He shared some of this year's experiences, some of which were a bit hair-raising. He talks about the significant events from this year's travels and shares some useful travel tips about travelling as a freelance journalist in places where foreign journalists aren't always welcome.

You can read and listen to David Kattenburg's dispatches from the Middle East by going to The Green Planet Monitor. There are audio interviews, blog posts and stunning photography from this trip and others which he has done over the years.

Image: Yahaya Baruwa. Photo: Victoria Fenner

Music Sting - Drum and Bass High Hat Conga loop -  RutgerMuller -


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