Archive for June, 2010
War. Sebastien Junger. In the Argo Catalog.
Sebastien Junger is an award winning journalist with a few books under his belt. In his new book, War, he spends time in the hills of Afghanistan with some of the hardiest troops in the United States Army. He makes five trips over the course of a year, several last a full month. I am not a fan of war, I do not glorify it, I often mock those that bother to fight in them and feel sympathy for those that are/were tricked into fighting or believing that violence makes peace. Put frankly I do not think war ought to be an option other than in self-defense. I was promised the book did not glorify war. Junger claims that to be biased and honest is possible, you have to call it like you see, and he does. Read the rest of this entry »
Ilustrado. Miguel Syjuco. In the Argo Catalog.
Syjuco nabbed some major prizes for this book and won the attention of the Globe and Mail among other media outlets. I was intrigued by the buzz around this guy because he is young, the book is considered snobby, elitist and difficult. Also, he lives in Montreal so I hope to meet him and invite him to read at Argo. Read the rest of this entry »
The Rage Against God. How atheism led me to faith. Peter Hitchens. In the Argo Catalog
Sometimes in life a person cannot help but be a cliché and this is one of those times in my life. As a person raised Roman Catholic and then a shopper of religions until I got a job that involved working Sundays and thus missing church I have long been told that either having children or approaching death would lead me back to faith. I always scoffed at this, though have thought of myself more of an agnostic than an atheist. One on my brothers is a hard core atheist and we have had many debates about faith. These debates slowly made me more inclined towards at least attending a Church because I am skeptical of is certainty regarding an unknowable. It has taken having a son of my own to give me the motivation I needed. Peter Hitchens is a reporter of some repute, a former atheist, and Trotskyite and he has a famous brother named Christopher. Peter’s new book is about how he returned to faith partly for family reasons, it is also about arguing against atheists. This struck me as a book that was impossibly similar to my own life and so I had to read it. Read the rest of this entry »
In a recent meeting I was informed that Mr Sedaris is a big deal. I had heard the name before but never read anything by him. I was given a copy of Me Talk Pretty One Day and told it would be funny enough to make me want to get his other books. While Sedaris can be funny I do not think I will be reading anything else by him. Read the rest of this entry »
I picked this book up after finishing a series of poems sparked by the birth of my son. The poems are about what it is like trying to be a father, or simply put a family MAN, after growing up in an age where aggression, excessive strength and many other aspects of the male have been disparaged. I am taught not to hold my feelings to myself, not to act strong all the time, not to act aggressively. But what am I to do when my feelings may hurt someone? Or cause my wife to question her choice? Or compromise my ability to comfort her through a miscarriage? What if someone needs protecting? Pulling out of a river? Well then at those times manliness in the Arnold or Stalone veine are good. The balancing act that is being a man is tricky these days. Manhood for Amateurs is a funny look at the role of dads and the positions they find themselves in. It is a very funny book that anyone with kids will enjoy. It is a light and entertaining read, though it does cover some tough ground such as what happened to Lego and Creativity.
Here is a funny video about bookselling from another indie store. We like the ad and hope you do too.
Beatice and Virgil. Yann Martel. View it in the Argo Digital Catalog.
The Holocaust is an event that never ceases to be in the western media. When it comes to the topic we all know there is a strong lobby that tends to react with vehemence towards anything other than a straight-forward “facts-first” approach to the Shoah. I realize, understand, and sympathize with the concern amongst sections of the populace that we do not trivialize the events, that we do not negate their value, and that we do not forget those who died. I studied genocide for a while, almost doing a masters degree in the field, before getting fed up with the close-minded attitudes that pervaded the field. I have avoided reading anything about genocides or watching movies involving them for several years because I “know the story” the way we do not need to read Dickens because we know the story. In truth I know the story in that I know the main events and the lens through which they will be interpreted. Yann Martel’s new book caught my attention because it is about trying to write about the Holocaust in a meta-sense. He is not the first person to attempt this and he certainly will not be the last, but I thought if he lived up to his reputation as a playful author this would be an interesting interpretation to say the least. I was not to be disappointed. Read the rest of this entry »
At Argo we have been working very hard on our Kid Lit section. For years have not been pro-active regarding this part of our store. Things are changing because Christopher has a 2 month old son and suddenly finds himself interested in the section. As a Bookstore owner he feels very under qualified to pick books for his son, intimidated by the vast array of choices. This has made him realize how hard this must be for many parents. So all that said, come in and check out our growing Children’s area. If you have personal favorites don’t be shy, just leave a message at the bottom of this post we can use all the help we can get in order to offer the highest quality of service possible.
The Orange Trees of Baghdad. In Search of My Lost Family. Leilah Nadir. In Argo catalog.
This is the story of a woman whose father left Iraq at the age of 16 and never managed to return because wars and Saddam Hussein made a return unsafe. Leilah always wanted to visit her homeland, and possibly move there with her family. This book is her story about the recent wars and sanctions and their effects on her family. I thought this book would be angry and galvanizing; I thought it would be a poetic memoir that was extremely critical of the American occupation or Iraq; I thought wrong. Read the rest of this entry »