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Jewel of the Thames

Jewel of the Thames

by Angela Misri
illustrated by Sydney Smith
edition:eBook
also available: Paperback eBook Paperback

There’s a new detective at 221 Baker Street. Set against the background of 1930s England, Jewel of the Thamesintroduces Portia Adams, a budding detective with an interesting —and somewhat mysterious —heritage. Nineteen-year-old Portia Adams has always been inquisitive. There’s nothing she likes better than working her way through a mystery. When her mother dies, Portia is left puzzling over why she was she left in the guardianship of the extravagant Mrs. Jones? Portia is promptly whisked …

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The Sweetness of a Simple Life

The Sweetness of a Simple Life

Tips for Healthier, Happier and Kinder Living Gleaned from the Wisdom and Science of Nature
edition:Hardcover
also available: Paperback

The author of The Global Forest--an international bestseller and a classic upon publication, beloved by readers around the world--gives us her tips and advice for achieving better health and peace of mind, with frugality, simplicity and pleasure not far behind.     
In The Sweetness of a Simple Life, Diana Beresford-Kroeger mixes science with storytelling, wonderment, magic, myth and plenty of common sense. Orphaned at an early age, Beresford-Kroeger was raised by elderly relatives in Ireland i …

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Shopping Cart Pantheism

Shopping Cart Pantheism

edition:Paperback
also available: eBook

Glorifying consumerism as the de facto religion of our time, Shopping Cart Pantheism offers a preposterous yet challenging invitation to participate in commodity worship. As our narrator meanders the Las Vegas Strip, its sites and monuments become examples of Christian sainthood, miracles, worship, and dogma now transformed into icons of consumerism. Satiric, witty, and deeply insightful, Shopping Cart Pantheism reveals the fraught beginnings of the twenty-first century's most pervasive neurosis …

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No Fixed Address

No Fixed Address

Six Continents, Sixteen Years, Sixty-Six Nations
edition:Paperback

The real-life adventures of award-winning thriller writer Jon Evans as he travels through sixty-six countries in Africa, the Middle East, Europe, the Americas, Australasia and Asia over a period of sixteen years.

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Excerpt

October 2005: To Penetrate the Impenetrable
Lake Bunyonyi, Uganda

I have been to the middle of nowhere, and it is not the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. It is, rather, where you go when your teenage taxi driver takes a wrong turn en route to said impenetrability and continues for half an hour unawares.

The Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is a national park in remote southwest Uganda, on the Congo border. It is best known for being home to half of the world's mountain gorillas (the other half are fifty kilometres south, in the Virunga range of volanoes that straddle the Uganda-Rwanda-Congo borders). Bwindi means 'dark.' The Dark Impenetrable Forest?it's like something out of a fantasy novel, isn't it? I mean, Mirkwood's got nothing on this place.

The bottle shop next door sold beer, Coke and water. There was a post office; a police station; a gas station with hand-cranked pumps; an immigration post (the town is right on the border of the Democratic Republic of the Congo); a hotel/bar with a pool table; a few dry-goods-type stores, J. Nkrumah and Sons and such by name, with shadowed, indeterminate contents; and, in the town's one concession to the twenty-first century, an MTN mobile-phone airtime-voucher stall. There were two secondary schools, one Muslim and one Christian, and a bunch of one-room primary schools. There were fewer than a dozen vehicles. But for the vehicles, the MTN store and the banana-tree backdrop, we could have been at the Texas-Mexico border a hundred years ago.

The nearest town to Bwindi is called Butogota, and even more than most small African towns, it's like something out of the Wild West. A single wide street of blasted dirt runs between two rows of storefronts, concrete blocks with tin awnings. The store I entered sold big sacks of wheat and beans; bags of salt, sugar and tea; soap (in long unwrapped bars), candles, baking soda, matches, toilet paper, paraffin?and that was it. No chocolate, no sweets, no biscuits, no baby food, no Vaseline, no lotions or powders?none of the other usual array of colourful disposables found in most African shop-stalls.

I was first made aware of our misdirection when the top of my head smacked into the roof of our car. I'd splashed out on a private ('special hire') taxi to Bwindi, public transit being chancy-to-unavailable except on market day, and somehow contrived to fall asleep despite the humped, fissured, rocky dirt road that winds along ridgetops and steep hillsides, past glorious views of the Western Rift Valley, and the cloud-shrouded Ruwenzori and the Virunga volcanoes, along terraced fields and stands of eucalyptus forest, during the (theoretically) three-hour journey. But when I woke, the road was no longer dirt. It wasn't even, really, a road. Barely even the idea of a road: more of a wide grass walking trail, very uneven?hence the wake-up bump'segregating raw jungle from small semi-cultivated fields and banana plantations.

I gently suggested to Isaac-the-driver that this couldn't be right. (Thinking: I know they call it impenetrable and all, but this is ridiculous.) Isaac bridled but eventually, with universal male reluctance, agreed to stop and ask directions. Of who? I thought, but indeed, round the next bend, next to a small igloo-like structure made of mud and strips of bark, there they were: a woman and five children, dressed in colour-drained rags, staring at us amazed.

Information was exchanged. A clearing was found, a little ways on, in which to turn around. We drove past the (now more amused than amazed) family and rattled back up a road I wouldn't have taken a 4WD down, much less a battered Corolla. It was vertiginously steep, narrow, twisted, uneven and incredibly bumpy. As I offered silent prayers of thanks to Toyota engineers, two parallel strips of dirt emerged from the grass; then the grass meridian vanished; and finally, thirty minutes' drive and maybe twelve kilometres after turning around, we were back on the proper route to Bwindi.

To give Isaac credit, he did drive with ferocious skill. If only his navigational abilities were commensurate. Or his negotiating skills. I later learned that he'd severely undercharged me, which may explain his failure to turn up today for the agreed-upon return leg.

[... Continued in No Fixed Address]

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National Treasure

National Treasure

Nicolas Cage
edition:eBook
also available: Paperback

In defense of Nicolas Cage — the man and the meme — a debate-sparking actor who audiences seem to love and loathe in almost equal amounts

Nicolas Cage: leading man or character actor? Action hero or goofball comedian? Internet joke or one of the greatest actors of his generation? Beyond the gif bait and easy punchline, Nicolas Cage continually frustrates easy categorization or understanding. In National Treasure, pop culture writer Lindsay Gibb studies Nicolas Cage’s acting style and makes …

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Fixing Fashion

Fixing Fashion

Rethinking the Way We Make, Market and Buy Our Clothes
edition:Paperback

With sales of more than US $500 billion a year, the fashion industry is one of the most important sectors of the global economy, employing millions of men, women, and often children in the developing world. And yet its record is far from pretty. The collapse of Bangladesh's Rana Plaza with some 3,500 garment workers inside was a shocking example of what can go wrong when manufacturers ruthlessly cut costs while turning a blind eye to labor rights and workplace safety issues.

Written by an apparel …

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AlliterAsian

AlliterAsian

Twenty Years of Ricepaper Magazine
edition:Paperback

A wide-ranging anthology of Asian Canadian literature to celebrate 20 years of Ricepaper.

2015 marks the 20th anniversary of Ricepaper magazine, a pioneering periodical devoted to Asian-Canadian writing. Over the years, Ricepaper's focus has shifted from predominantly arts and culture reporting to the publication of original literature; as such, it has both witnessed and cultivated the maturation of an Asian-Canadian literary tradition; indeed, many of today's most acclaimed Asian-Canadian writer …

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Sir John's Table

Sir John's Table

The Culinary Life and Times of Canada's First Prime Minister
edition:eBook
also available: Paperback

Winner, Taste Canada Gold Medal for Culinary Narrative

Commemorating the two-hundredth anniversary of Sir John A. Macdonald's birth, Sir John's Table is a refreshing look at Canada's first prime minister.

Sir John's Table traverses the colourful life of Macdonald, from his passage as a young Scottish boy in the steerage compartment aboard the Earl of Buckinghamshire to his new home in Kingston, Upper Canada. It traces his boyhood years of stealing fish and scarfing down fairy cakes into his adult …

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