What to read when the world has gone mad
Amidst dire forecasts about the effects of catastrophic climate change, the civil war and humanitarian crisis in Yemen, and the rise of authoritarianism around the world, it has not been an easy year.
Millions of refugees are displaced.
Wildfires and flash floods brought death and destruction.
Here at home, justice -- let alone fresh drinking water -- seems as remote as ever for many of Canada's indigenous people.
Two and a half years ago, on the 15th anniversary of 9/11, we convened a panel of writers to help search for hope in the enfolding warmth of literature.
We re-broadcast that conversation on our program of December 23, 2018.
Michael's guests are:
Anakana Schofield is an Irish-Canadian novelist, literary critic and essayist. Her first book won Amazon's First Novel Award. Her second, Martin John, was on the short-list for the Giller Prize last year.
Samantha Nutt is a physician who has worked in many violent zones across Asia and Africa, and is the Founder and Executive Director of War Child Canada. Dr. Nutt is currently on staff at Women's College Hospital in Toronto. In her spare time, she wrote the bestselling book, Damned Nations: Greed, Guns, Armies and Aid.
Kamal Al-Solaylee is a journalist and professor at Ryerson University. His acclaimed memoir of growing up gay in the Middle East is called Intolerable, and his most recent book is Brown: What Being Brown in the World Today Means (To Everyone).
University of Toronto English professor Nick Mount was recently named one of the top ten post-secondary school teachers in Canada. His latest book is " Arrival: The Story of CanLit."
OUR GUESTS' RECOMMENDATIONS
Stuart McLean Vinyl Café books
The Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven Pinker
The Crucible by Arthur Miller
Judy Blume books
The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
Saturday by Ian MacEwan
Spiral: Trapped in the Forever War by Mark Danner
Enid Blyton books
God is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens
Culture and Imperialism by Edward Said
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
A Rage for Order by Robert F. Worth
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
Hannah Arendt books
Wittgenstein's Nephew by Thomas Bernhard
The Lesser Bohemians by Eimear McBride
Louis Lamour books
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
Virginia Woolf books
Martin John by Anakana Schofield
A Hologram for the King by Dave Eggers
The Ask: A Novel by Sam Lipsyte
A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews
Sweetland by Michael Crummey
Lullabies for Little Criminals by Heather O'Neill
Good Poems for Hard Times by Garrison Keillor
The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien