“Dope as hell”

According to a recent visitor to Diggers, the shop is “dope as hell” and were pretty stoked by the compliment!
In trying to live up to that high honour, we’ve got lots of awesome new books and zines on the shelves for our season opener this Saturday, June 2nd from 11am to 7pm. In addition to new books, maybe being “dope as hell” has a lot to do with the atmosphere in the shop where you’re welcome to just hang out. There’s also interesting stuff like silkscreened patches, pins, coloring books for kids (that you won’t find likely find elsewhere) and art, along with free stuff. There are often vegan snacks and drinks, too.

books on table
Just a few of the new titles. There’s approximately 400 books in the shop.

The new titles in the shop are from recent travels to Victoria, Seattle and Portland with the bulk being ones I chose while at last weekend’s always-inspiring Montreal Anarchist Book Fair.
We’ll also have workshops and events at Diggers over the summer so come and learn what we’ve got in store and also let us know what you might like us to host.
You can find a full list of our books online, too at: catalogue
The zines aren’t listed though, so you’ll have to drop by!

Here’s a small sampling of the new titles (it’s so hard to choose what to highlight!):
Against the Wall: Featuring the work of artists Banksy, Ron English, Blu, and others, as well as Palestinian artists and activists, these photographs express outrage, compassion, and touching humor. They illustrate the wall’s toll on lives and livelihoods, showing the hardship it has brought to tens of thousands of people, preventing their access to work, education, and vital medical care.

Fermentation on Wheels- Road stories, food ramblings, and 50 Do-it-yourself recipes Whitsitt, a self-styled “gastronomic nomad” and fermentation educator, takes readers on an entertaining and informative journey as she drives a converted school bus across America and spreads the gospel of fermentation. Fueled by love of teaching, community, and potlucks, Whitsitt, in her lab on wheels, explores the emerging fermentation subculture at organic farms, markets, off-the-grid communities, and urban settings—wherever the DIY food movement and passion for sustainable-living practices thrive. This cookbook (with such headings as “Fear Is the Fuel for Exhilaration”) offers basic fermentation recipes using starter cultures such as sourdough, koji, yogurt/kefir, vinegar, and yeast. She also includes recipes for basics such as sauerkraut, kimchi, and condiments, including a fermented hot pepper sauce and miso mayo. There are sourdough pancakes, English muffins, dosa bread, and beverages such as fig cider kombucha, fruited meads, and fizzies. Salinity charts, equipment lists, environmental-control tips, and information for sourcing starter cultures are also provided. Whitsitt’s adventures encompass battles with bus breakdowns, loneliness, and self-doubt, but she never loses sight of her mission: “Food was never a political statement before I discovered fermentation.” On her magic school bus, she is a veritable Ms. Frizzle, sharing the science and benefits behind the healthy microorganisms of our inner ecosystem.

Things that make white people uncomfortable: Super Bowl Champion Michael Bennett is an outspoken proponent for social justice and a man without a censor. Bennett is a three-time Pro Bowl defensive end, a fearless activist, a feminist, a grassroots philanthropist, an organizer, and a change maker. He’s also one of the most scathingly humorous athletes on the planet, and he wants to make you uncomfortable.

Small is Necessary – shared living on a shared planet: For centuries now, economists and governments have been relentlessly focused on growth. Bigger is always better, they say. But on a planet of finite resources, something has to give. And that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. With Small Is Necessary, Anitra Nelson show how shared living can help us solve a wide range of the social, economic, and sustainability challenges that we face today. Detailing a number of innovative approaches to shared living, she reveals a new way to think about our place in the world, one that is outward-looking, culturally rich, and ecologically sustainable.

The Feminist Utopia: 57 visions for a wildly better future: In this groundbreaking collection, more than fifty cutting-edge voices, including Melissa Harris-Perry, Janet Mock, Sheila Heti, and Mia McKenzie, invite us to imagine a truly feminist world. An abortion provider reinvents birth control, Sheila Bapat envisions an economy that values domestic work, a teenage rock band dreams up a new way to make music, Katherine Cross rewrites the Constitution, and Maya Dusenbery resets the standard for good sex. Combining essays, interviews, poetry, illustrations, and short stories, The Feminist Utopia Project challenges the status quo that accepts inequality and violence as a given—and inspires us to demand a radically better future.

I Mix What I Like:  In a moment of increasing corporate control in the music industry, where three major labels call the shots on which artists are heard and seen, Jared Ball analyzes the colonization and control of popular music and posits the homemade hip-hop mixtape as an emancipatory tool for community resistance. I Mix What I Like! is a revolutionary investigation of the cultural dimension of anti-racist organizing in the Black community.
Blending together elements from internal colonialism theory, cultural studies, political science, and his own experience on the mic, Jared positions the so-called “hip-hop nation” as an extension of the internal colony that is modern African America, and suggests that the low-tech hip-hop mixtape may be one of the best weapons we have against Empire.
Jared A. Ball, PhD, (a.k.a. The Funkinest Journalist) is the host of FreeMix Radio, and associate professor of communication studies at Morgan State University.

Antifa – The antifascist handbook If you’re curious and want to learn more about anti-fascism, and if you’re interested in history at all, this is a great read.  It’s broken down basically into 2 parts: the history of antifascist struggle in Europe and USA and an analysis of antifascist philosophy and tactics. Whether you are straddling the fence or on either side of it, this book is broadly informative and interesting.

Revolution in Rojava: Democratic autonomy and Women’s Liberation in the Middle East is, above all, a testament to humanity’s political potential. Given the widespread violence and suffering in Syria, it’s not unreasonable that outsiders look at the situation as unrelentingly awful. And while the reality of the devastation is undeniable, there is  reason for hope in at least one small pocket of the nation: the cantons of Rojava in Syrian Kurdistan, where in the wake of war people are quietly building one of the most progressive societies in the world today. Revolution in Rojava tells the story of Rojava’s groundbreaking experiment in what they call democratic confederalism, a communally organized democracy that is fiercely anti-capitalist and committed to female equality, while rejecting reactionary nationalist ideologies. Rooted in the ideas of imprisoned Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan, the system is built on effective gender quotas, bottom-up democratic structures, far-sighted ecological policies, and a powerful militancy that has allowed the region to keep ISIS at bay. This first full-length study of democratic developments in Rojava tells an extraordinary and powerfully hopeful story of a little-known battle for true freedom in dark times.

Fiction – The Cost of Lunch by Marge Piercy: With uncompromising emotional intensity, Piercy (Gone to Soldiers), the author of 17 novels, 17 volumes of poetry, and a memoir, captures the complex female experience in her debut short story collection. From the title story featuring an aspiring female poet who weighs the price of sex and poetry to a student’s disenchantment with her high school teacher (“Somebody Who Understands You”), Piercy maps the interior lives of women across generations, paying special attention to the socio-politcal environment that affects them. Her writing maintains a skillful detachment, limning moments of isolation between characters with palpable unease: “He is gentle. If he does not touch her with passion, neither does he hurt her. That is very important, not to be hurt.” Piercy, whose work is inseparable from her feminist politics, includes many characters (seven of whom are writers) who are suggestively autobiographical in their histories and musings, including a girl dying of rheumatic fever (“She’s Dying, He Said”), an anti-Vietnam War activist shuttling men to the Canadian border (“The Border”). Piercy is best at unraveling what she creates-turning an answer into a question in “Do You Love Me?,” and a soliloquy punctuated by silence in “Little Sister, Cat and Mouse.” Powerful in scope, the collection feels driven by an idea rather than a story, demonstrating Pierce’s understanding of how social constructs evolve in deeply personal ways.

Just Work? Migrant Workers’ Struggles Today :This offers a vast range of original, grass-roots perspectives on global migrant labour organising in the twenty-first century. An important book that shows how the power of organised labour – precisely because of the potential of mass movements to disrupt entrenched habits – can help solve complex societal issues.
From diverse worker’s organisations in South Africa to migrant worker resistance in the Gulf, from forest workers in the Czech Republic to domestic workers’ structures in Hong Kong, the book brings together a wealth of lived experiences and hidden struggles for the first time.

Birthright? Travelogue of an American Rebel in Israel / Palestine: In 2013, author-activist Nani Ferreira-Mathews participated in a popular free ten-day “birthright” tour of Israel offered by the Taglit-Birthright organization in an effort to explore and reconnect with her Jewish heritage. This day-to-day account of the daily programs, activities, and dating games—as well as the tour guides’ stubborn refusal to discuss or even acknowledge Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories—reveals an agenda animated by racism, heterosexism, colonialism, and militaristic nationalism.
Drawing upon her experience as a person of both indigenous Hawaiian and Jewish heritage, Ferreira-Mathews interrogates the meaning of “birthright” within a settler-colonialist nation, where national identity is so fundamentally entangled with the systematic displacement of native peoples.

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