Cranky Complaints-Lady Buys BOOKS! (or tries to)

The Library is on STRIKE?!?!!

Luckily, their online offerings are still available, so I’m taking this opportunity to recharge the Kobo and download five exciting books free – well, I don’t know if they’re all exciting, but one is sure to be a winner.  Here’s what’s going on the Kobo tonight:

Two books by my high school classmate, Cory Doctorow, one fiction, one non-fiction:


The Great Big Beautiful TomorrowContext


The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow


Plus three food books:

Love in a Dish ...and Other Culinary Delights

Love in a Dish ...and Other Culinary Delights

A collection of classic food writing from MFK Fisher, the classic food writer herself, a foodie before there ever was such a thing, from the 1930s to the 1990s.  I have trouble reading “old writing”… the formal tone, the belaboured descriptions.  It all just FEELS dusty.  But I’m definitely going to give this a real try, because everybody who is anybody in food writing references her as an influence somewhere along the line.



Heirloom: Notes from an Accidental Tomato Farmer

By Tim Stark; I seem to remember reading this, but it was during a period where I was reading about nothing BUT food and this book blurs together with a whole bunch of others, including It’s a Long Road to a Tomato (loved it) and The $64 Tomato, a book I am doomed never to read again because I can never remember the $!% number in the title so I sit there searching randomly for “The $73 tomato?”  “The $86 tomato?” until I give up.  How did I find it just now to put in the linkie, you wonder???  I typed “The $ Tomato” into Amazon.  Clever!

The 100-Mile Diet

The 100-Mile Diet: A Year of Local Eating

Another one I definitely read, years ago, that was lost in the blur of foodie books.  And now, of course, both these trends have taken off and hopefully are just about over – the trend of eating more and more locally (and writing a book about it), to the point of ridiculousness… and the trend of doing “whatever it is” for a year (and writing a book about it). 

Please note that I don’t think eating locally is ridiculous!  But I recently read a nice article about ChocoSol, a Toronto-based chocolate company, that made the very good point that there are yummy things to eat even BEYOND that 100-mile radius, and the trick is finding ways to bring them in responsibly and convincing others to enjoy them in their highest-quality form, in moderation.  ChocoSol, for instance, brings its chocolate in only once a year, by boat, from Mexico.  This offers the lowest-footprint way of bringing the chocolate to Toronto, where they process it and distribute it in various forms.  Anyway, I don’t want to rant except to say that local eating really doesn’t go far enough… while at the same time, perhaps going a bit too far.  If you know what I mean.

Ooh – last-minute addition!

Allah, Liberty & LoveAllah, Liberty & Love:  The courage to reconcile faith and freedom.

By Irshad Manji, a lesbian Muslim (plus she’s Canadian, so I should probably just toss her a handful of hyphens and have her sort out the order in which she wishes to use these adjectives), who seems to think there is no problem reconciling Islam with her sexuality and a number of other things.  Should be interesting reading, though I prefer seeing her on video than reading the books.  Just lazy, I guess. 

image Anyway, grabbing all these books for the Kobo feels a little like being Mormon and building a food pantry against some kind of unspecified contingency which may never arrive. 

But having survived the garbage strike a couple of summers ago, I have little faith that this no-libraries thing will blow over quickly.  And if nobody is sitting at the front desks, there is a chance that there is nobody maintaining the website.  In which case, it’s better to check out the books now than take the chance on an epic fail further down the line.

If you homeschool, or just READ from time to time, do you have a plan to survive a library strike???