Barber illuminates the issues surrounding our culture of consumption, describing the market mania that misdirects our lives, choking out our more vital concerns as individuals and as a nation. Besides producing a vapid character in the populace, consumer culture acts in direct opposition to the needs of a democratic government. This compelling study makes a convincing case for re-evaluating many recent legislative actions, and for citizens to recognize, speak out and act for our true imperative interests rather than market-manufactured "needs".
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American novelist Howard Norman has made a career of writing beautiful novels set in the Maritime Provinces of Canada. In another of those wonderful books, he gives us Wyatt Hillyer, a seventeen-year old boy, who is orphaned when his parents commit suicide on the same night over their unrequited love for the same woman. A huge pleasure to read.
Even if you missed seeing Mr. Somerville at last summer's book festival, you won't want to miss reading his exceptional novel The Cradle. Matthew and his wife are expecting their first child, and she wants the antique cradle from her childhood -- the cradle was one of the few items taken when her mother abandoned the family years earlier. With almost nothing to guide him, Matthew embarks on this quest, which soon becomes something of a Midwestern odyssey. Ten years later, Renee, a successful children's author, and her husband say goodbye to their son as he is shipped off to fight in Iraq -- an event that launches Renee into much soul-searching and introspection. Mr. Somerville spins these two seemingly disparate narratives until they collide in a superb example of love, family and forgiveness. A truly wonderful read.