Launch! Prince Arthur Hotel! September 5. 6:30. Cake and beverage. Meet the Authors.

Launch! Prince Arthur Hotel! September 5. 6:30. Cake and beverage. Meet the Authors.
Prize Winning Stories from NOWW

Friday, November 19, 2010

Two Great Books

Waiting for Joe. Sandra Birdsell has crafted a masterpiece.  She has created two characters you won't soon forget.  Laurie and Joe made big money and blew it.  Now they are living in a stolen, clapped-out RV on a Wal-mart parking lot.  Laurie is an impulse shopper, a fashionista and home decorator, a collector of objects, the epitome of the shallow, media-driven, over-merchandized 21st century. Even though she no longer has money, Laurie is unable to stop spending. Joe, once the golden boy, alternates between fits of rage, self pity and the desire to leave.  The couple stand in contrast to Joe's father, Alfred, a tough old bird who survived Japanese prison camps and is now surviving the indignities that arrive near life's end.  Neither Laurie or Joe can stick to a plan.  They live by impulse.  But they are not cardboard cut-outs.  They are real people with families, childhood histories, past tragedies and loves. This is a rock-hard book but fortunately, it has an up-beat ending.

Wonderful news this week. The incidence of childhood athma is down.  Why? Children are less exposed to cigarette smoke. The incidence of ear pain in childhood is also down.  Who knew that smoke causes children to suffer ear infections.  Will the tobacco companies be cheered?  Not if they are the samelow-life decribed in Rob Cunningham's book Smoke and Mirrors,the Canadian Tobacco War. Our big cigarette companies have not been good corporate citizens.  These are thugs in three peice suits.  They set up smuggling rings to bring illegal cigarettes into Canada. They hid the evidence of the health problems and addictive properties of the nicotine delivery sticks they were flogging.  Now they are fighting hard to prevent more prominent labels on the packaging.  They used every trick in the book, legal and illegal.  This is a well written account that will make you mad.

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