A book lovers guide to local shops

Starting on Water Street, specifically the store Books And Things, check out the window display for Chinese human rights and pro-democracy activist Wei Jingsheng’s book of memoirs, “The Courage To Stand Alone.”

Also in the window is something far lighter, which is Max Brooks’s “The Zombie Survival Guide.”

And if you go into the store, check out the table of recent arrivals and look for Mexican Nobel Laureate Octavio Paz’s collection of essays entitled “The Labyrinth of Solitude.”

Almost right next door, go visit Scholar’s and take a look in their recent arrivals for the Jewish-Palestinian American anthropologist and ethnographer Lilu-Abu Lughod’s “Writing Women’s Worlds: Bedouin Stories” ($8.95).

For further reading on women in the Middle East, Azar Nurisi’s memoir “Things I’ve Been Silent About: Memories” is available for $15.

Finally given the backdrop of the impending Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), be sure to look in the window for American Nobel Laureate (Economics) Joseph E. Stiglitz’s “Globalization and Its Discontents”.

Published in 2002, its critique of global neo-liberalism and the behaviour of the IMF in the 1990s is probably more pertinent now than ever.

Still on Water Street, the labyrinthine Thea’s Books and Violins is a nice browse. In the philosophy section, look for the indispensable Thomas Kuhn’s “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.”

In the foreign literature section, you will find “The Island of the Day Before” by acclaimed Italian novelist Umberto Eco, as well as Shyan Selvudari’s beautiful, mis-shelved “Funny Boy” (in the foreign literature section, but Selvudari is, in fact, Sri-Lankan Canadian).

When you leave Water Street to visit the two bookshops on George Street, stop by Mark Jokinen’s to take advantage of the “buy two, get the third book free” deal. Before you even enter the shop, you might to browse the dollar bin outside to find a copy of Gzowski’s (yes, that Gzowski) “The Latest Morningside Papers” – his series of essay collections on Canadian politics and culture.

Inside, head over to your immediate left for the English language literature sections where you should be able to find Gregory Maguire’s “Wicked” (upon which the hit musical of the same name was based), as well as the perennially beloved author Kurt Vonnegut’s “Jailbird.”

One section over in the science-fiction/fantasy section, for six dollars, you can get acclaimed African-American and women’s sci-fi writer Octavia E. Butler’s brilliant “Parable of the Sower.”

Finally, one block over, drop by Knotanew Book Store for a quick look at their literature sections, in which you will find author and Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher’s “The Best Awful,” as well as Gillian Flynn’s “Gone Girl” (upon which the highly praised American film of the same was based.

As well as Canadian author Annabel Lyon’s “The Golden Mean,” a fascinating piece of historical fiction based on the lives and friendship of Aristotle and a young Alexander The Great.

Note: Dixon’s was strangely closed when I did the rounds this week, but hopefully we’ll catch up with them soon.