Anticipated Reads August

Everywhere from Tkaronto to San Felipe, Berlin to Waukesha. A Mink, a Slenderman, and two Eds feature in this week’s list of our anticipated reads.

 

Ben Anticipates

Berlin by Sinclair McKay

 

 

Sinclair McKay’s Berlin begins by taking readers back to 1919 when the city emerged from the shadows of the Great War to become an extraordinary by-word for modernity—in art, cinema, architecture, industry, science, and politics. He traces the city’s history through the rise of Hitler and the Battle for Berlin which ended in the final conquest of the city in 1945. It was a key moment in modern world history, but beyond the global repercussions lay thousands of individual stories of agony. From the countless women who endured nightmare ordeals at the hands of the Soviet soldiers to the teenage boys fitted with steel helmets too big for their heads and guns too big for their hands, McKay thrusts readers into the human cataclysm that tore down the modernity of the streets and reduced what was once the most sophisticated city on earth to ruins.

 

Amid the destruction, a collective instinct was also at work—a determination to restore not just the rhythms of urban life, but also its fierce creativity. In Berlin today, there is a growing and urgent recognition that the testimonies of the ordinary citizens from 1919 forward should be given more prominence. That the housewives, office clerks, factory workers, and exuberant teenagers who witnessed these years of terrifying—and for some, initially exhilarating—transformation should be heard. Today, the exciting, youthful Berlin we see is patterned with echoes that lean back into that terrible vortex. In this new history of Berlin, Sinclair McKay erases the lines between the generations of Berliners, making their voices heard again to create a compelling, living portrait of life in this city that lay at the center of the world.

 

Order a copy of Berlin from the webstore here.

Due August 23

 

Inventor of the Future by Alec Nevala-Lee

 

 

During his lifetime, Buckminster Fuller was hailed as one of the greatest geniuses of the twentieth century. As the architectural designer and futurist best known for the geodesic dome, he enthralled a vast popular audience, inspired devotion from both the counterculture and the establishment, and was praised as a modern Leonardo da Vinci. To his admirers, he exemplified what one man could accomplish by approaching urgent design problems using a radically unconventional set of strategies, which he based on a mystical conception of the universe’s geometry. His views on sustainability, as embodied in the image of Spaceship Earth, convinced him that it was possible to provide for all humanity through the efficient use of planetary resources. From Epcot Center to the molecule named in his honor as the buckyball, Fuller’s legacy endures to this day, and his belief in the transformative potential of technology profoundly influenced the founders of Silicon Valley.

 

Inventor of the Future is the first authoritative biography to cover all aspects of Fuller’s career. Drawing on meticulous research, dozens of interviews, and thousands of unpublished documents, Nevala-Lee has produced a riveting portrait that transcends the myth of Fuller as an otherworldly generalist. It reconstructs the true origins of his most famous inventions, including the Dymaxion Car, the Wichita House, and the dome itself; his fraught relationships with his students and collaborators; his interactions with Frank Lloyd Wright, Isamu Noguchi, Clare Boothe Luce, John Cage, Steve Jobs, and many others; and his tumultuous private life, in which his determination to succeed on his own terms came at an immense personal cost. In an era of accelerating change, Fuller’s example remains enormously relevant, and his lessons for designers, activists, and innovators are as powerful and essential as ever. 

 

Order a copy of Inventor of the Future from the webstore here.

Due August 2

 


Rupert Anticipates

The Price of Time by Edward Chancellor

 

 

In the beginning was the loan, and the loan carried interest. For at least five millennia people have been borrowing and lending at interest. The practice wasn’t always popular—in the ancient world, usury was generally viewed as exploitative, a potential path to debt bondage and slavery. Yet as capitalism became established from the late Middle Ages onwards, denunciations of interest were tempered because interest was a necessary reward for lenders to part with their capital. And interest performs many other vital functions: it encourages people to save; enables them to place a value on precious assets, such as houses and all manner of financial securities; and allows us to price risk.

 

All economic and financial activities take place across time. Interest is often described as the “price of money,” but it is better called the “price of time:” time is scarce, time has value, interest is the time value of money.

 

Over the first two decades of the twenty-first century, interest rates have sunk lower than ever before. Easy money after the global financial crisis in 2007/2008 has produced several ill effects, including the appearance of multiple asset price bubbles, a reduction in productivity growth, discouraging savings and exacerbating inequality, and forcing yield starved investors to take on excessive risk. The financial world now finds itself caught between a rock and a hard place, and Edward Chancellor is here to tell us why. In this enriching volume, Chancellor explores the history of interest and its essential function in determining how capital is allocated and priced.

 

Order a copy of The Price of Time from the webstore here.

Due August 26

 

 

Witches by Brenda Lozano

 

 

Paloma is dead. But before she was murdered, before she was even Paloma, she was a traditional healer named Gaspar. Before she was murdered, she taught her cousin Feliciana the secrets of the ceremonies known as veladas, and about the Language and the Book that unlock their secrets.

 

Sent to report on Paloma’s murder, Zoe meets Feliciana in the mountain village of San Felipe. There, the two women’s lives twist around each other in a danse macabre. Feliciana tells Zoe the story of her struggle to become an accepted healer in her community, and Zoe begins to understand the hidden history of her own experience as a woman, finding her way in a hostile environment shaped by and for men.

 

Weaving together two parallel narratives that mirror and refract one another, this extraordinary novel envisions the healer as storyteller and the writer as healer, and offers a generous and nuanced understanding of a world that can be at turns violent and exultant, cruel and full of hope.

 

Order a copy of Witches from the webstore here.

Due August 16

 


Danielle Anticipates

Slenderman by Kathleen Hale

 

 

On May 31, 2014, in the Milwaukee suburb of Waukesha, Wisconsin, two twelve-year-old girls attempted to stab their classmate to death. Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier’s violence was extreme, but what seemed even more frightening was that they committed their crime under the influence of a figure born by the internet: the so-called “Slenderman.” Yet the even more urgent aspect of the story, that the children involved suffered from undiagnosed mental illnesses, often went overlooked in coverage of the case.

 

Slenderman: Online Obsession, Mental Illness, and the Violent Crime of Two Midwestern Girls tells that full story for the first time in deeply researched detail, using court transcripts, police reports, individual reporting, and exclusive interviews. Morgan and Anissa were bound together by their shared love of geeky television shows and animals, and their discovery of the user-uploaded scary stories on the Creepypasta website could have been nothing more than a brief phase. But Morgan was suffering from early-onset childhood schizophrenia. She believed that she had seen Slenderman long before discovering him online, and the only way to stop him from killing her family was to bring him a sacrifice: Morgan’s best friend Payton “Bella” Leutner, whom Morgan and Anissa planned to stab to death on the night of Morgan’s twelfth birthday party. Bella survived the attack, but was deeply traumatized, while Morgan and Anissa were immediately sent to jail, and the severity of their crime meant that they would be prosecuted as adults. There, as Morgan continued to suffer from worsening mental illness after being denied antipsychotics, her life became more and more surreal.

 

Order a copy of Slenderman from the webstore here.

Due August 26

 

Nomenclature by Dionne Brand

 

 

Spanning almost four decades, Dionne Brand’s poetry has given rise to whole new grammars and vocabularies. With a profound alertness that is attuned to this world and open to some other, possibly future, time and place, Brand’s ongoing labours of witness and imagination speak directly to where and how we live and reach beyond those worlds, their enclosures, and their violences.
 
Nomenclature: New and Collected Poems begins with a new long poem, the titular “Nomenclature for the Time Being,” in which Dionne Brand’s diaspora consciousness dismantles our quotidian disasters. In addition to this searing new work, Nomenclature collects eight volumes of Brand’s poetry published between 1982 and 2010 and includes a critical introduction by the literary scholar and theorist Christina Sharpe.

 

Order a copy of Nomenclature from the webstore here.

Due August 9

 


Olivia Anticipates

Mink Returns to Tkaronto by Lee Maracle

 

 

At the core of this novel, Lee Maracle’s last, is the question “Do the dead regret dying after they reach the after world?” Mink wonders this as he regrets dying. He does not want to leave earth with regrets, but he is so young when he dies again, after returning to earth with his ancestors’ permission. This time, however, he has seen Tkaronto, the city where his father lived, and he has seen and experienced first-hand the deep forests and bubbling rivers in the physical world he missed out on in his previous life.

 

Mink Returns to Tkaronto is a novel about a spirit’s return to earth, its experience in the physical world, and its development and growth. Paralleled with this, the novel is also an exploration of how Turtle Island’s geography and ecosystems have been manipulated and changed.

 

No one should regret dying; in this, her last novel, Lee Maracle describes the voyage undertaken by a young mink spirit and in doing so she reminds her readers to live their lives truthfully and to have good memories and stories to take with them to the spirit world.

 

Order a copy of Mink Retunrs to Tkaronto from the webstore here.

Due August 12

 

Utopia by Heidi Sopinka

 

 

Paz, an ambitious young artist, is drawn to Romy, one of the only women to break into the male-dominated art scene of 1970s California. She is also drawn to Romy’s husband, Billy, an enigmatic art star. When Romy dies suddenly under mysterious circumstances, Billy is left unmoored, caring for their newborn.

 

Leaving New York and grad school behind, Paz takes on the mantle of Romy’s life and steps into a ghostly love triangle. When Paz attempts to claim her creative life, strange things start to happen—photographs move, an unexplained postcard arrives, and an unsettling journal entry begins to blur the line between art and life.

 

As Paz becomes increasingly obsessed with the woman she has replaced and the absent man she has married, a disturbing picture begins to emerge, driving her deep into the desert to uncover the truth.

 

Order a copy of Utopia from the webstore here.

Due August 9

 


Patti Anticipates

A Waiter in Paris by Edward Chisholm

 

 

A waiter’s job is to deceive you. They want you to believe in a luxurious calm because on the other side of that door … is hell.

 

Edward Chisholm’s spellbinding memoir of his time as a Parisian waiter takes you below the surface of one of the most iconic cities in the world and right into its glorious underbelly. There, Chisholm inhabits a world of inhuman hours, snatched sleep, and dive bars. He scrapes by on coffee, bread, and cigarettes, often working under sadistic managers, for a wage so low he’s forced to fight his colleagues for tips. And these colleagues — thieves, narcissists, ex-Legionnaires, paperless immigrants, wannabe actors, and drug dealers — are the closest thing he has to family.

 

Waiting tables is physically demanding work, frequently humiliating, and incredibly competitive. But it doesn’t matter because you’re in Paris, the centre of the universe, and there’s nowhere else you’d rather be in the world.

 

Order a copy of A Waiter in Paris from the webstore here.

Due August 9

 

Jones by Neil Smith

 

 

Abi and Eli share a special bond. Eli looks up to his sister Abi, two years older, who knows how to inhabit the souls of animals, and sometimes even the soul of her brother. They share jokes, codes, and an obsession with impressive feats of word power—such are the survival tricks for growing up Jones. Pal, their alcoholic father, is haunted by demons from the Korean War, and their less-than-nurturing mother Joy hasn’t got the courage to leave him. Always moving to where Pal gets work, the Joneses go from Montreal to Boston, Salt Lake City, Chicago, and back to Montreal. No matter where they go, though, they can never get away from Jones Town.
 
And then, on Eli’s twelfth birthday, the darkness deepens when he stumbles on something he doesn’t understand—an episode that represents the beginning of Abi’s unraveling, although no one knows it yet. Over the years, Eli and Abi lurch towards and into adulthood on separate paths that sometimes cross, negotiating the world through sexual experimentation, drugs and alcohol, art and language.

 

Order a copy of Jones from the webstore here.

Due August 23

 

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