Lending Library: Singer-songwriter Luke Doucet's picks

The books you read and love can say a lot about you.

With this in mind, CBC Radio 2's Kelly Cutrara regularly approaches Canadian musicians and asks, "what is the book you think everyone should read?" Here's what singer-songwriter Luke Doucet had to say.


"I'm a short story guy. Probably to do with my attention span (or lack thereof) and the scheduling of my life, which often makes it difficult to maintain a train of thought for more than a day. So David Bergen is a writer I quite like. He's from Winnipeg. My mom turned me on to his work. I also really like Miriam Toews. She's also from Winnipeg, coincidentally. A Complicated Kindness, I know everybody's read that book. Certainly people here listening in have probably read it, but I thought that was truly fantastic."

So what have you been reading lately?

"These days I've been reading Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steel for the second time. I'm trying to get through that. It requires a lot of ongoing concentration. Essentially, he is trying to answer the question why Europeans, or North-Western Europeans, why did we develop technology and education the way we did? Why is there an apparent gulf between the achievements and the wealth accumulation of different peoples on the planet? And he's trying to answer that question citing guns, germs and steel as innovating factors as opposed to innate intelligence.

"And I just read a book by Barbara Ehrenreich called Brightsided, which deals with some of the more delusional aspects of the positive thinking culture that is so pervasive, certainly in America, maybe to a lesser degree in Canada."

Do you ever find the need to read fiction?

"I'm starting to be aware that [alternating between fiction and non-fiction] is a healthy way to approach reading. For the last four years, I devoured various writers like Thomas Kida , who has a book called Don't Believe Everything You Think, and I started reading Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins -- the atheist titans. And it's a little overwhelming because it's so heavy -- thematically heavy. Sometimes it's difficult to read. But even when you put that book down, you have to think and reconsider what you know about your life, and that's challenging, so fiction provides such a great respite."

Luke-100.jpg Luke Doucet is a Canadian singer-songwriter currently based in Hamilton, Ontario. The most recent album from Luke Doucet & The White Falcon, Steel City Trawler, was released in 2010. Listen to him live at Winnipeg's West End Cultural Centre on Concerts on Demand.

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