We're fired up, have a rebellious history, we're on the bleeding edge, and are witnessing the great climate robbery with serial girls

“Where is human nature so weak as in the bookstore?” 
― Henry Ward Beecher

We have five, count 'em, five new releases this month including the first book in our "Fired-up" series, a translation of Les filles en série, a great book on the climate, an edgy book on technology, and an important book on Toronto's poor. 

World's easiest free book contest! Win a copy of Fired-Up about Capitalism! To enter, email by December 6th with the subject line "November newsletter contest" and give us the name of the author of the book. We will draw a winner from the correct responses (Canadian mailing addresses only please). 

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A rich account of a forgotten history

Toronto's Poor
A Rebellious History
By Bryan D. Palmer and Gaétan Héroux
Foreword by Frances Fox Piven  

Toronto’s Poor reveals the long and too often forgotten history of poor people’s resistance. It details how the homeless, the unemployed, and the destitute have struggled to survive and secure food and shelter in the wake of the many panics, downturns, recessions, and depressions that punctuate the years from the 1830s to the present.

Written by a working-class historian and a poor people’s activist, this is a rebellious book that links past and present in an almost two-hundred year story of struggle and resistance. It is about men, women, and children relegated to lives of desperation by an uncaring system, and how they have refused to be defeated. In that refusal, and in winning better conditions for themselves, Toronto’s poor create the possibility of a new kind of society, one ordered not by acquisition and individual advance, but by appreciations of collective rights and responsibilities.

Read Open History's feature on Toronto's Poor!

Order it today!

New series
(hot off the press!)

FIRED UP about Capitalism

By Tom Malleson

Tom Malleson is Fired-up about Capitalism. Young people are tired of being portrayed as apathetic and self-interested. Unhappy with the future they are set to inherit, many of them want to know more about what needs to change. The new Fired Up series provides short introductions to activist issues. Each small book explores the basics of the subject and offers readers reasons to get fired up and take action.

Malleson exposes the reality of contemporary capitalism–from the widening inequality between the 1% and the rest of society, to ecological devastation–and demonstrates that in fact there are many alternatives. By demonstrating a wide range of examples of alternatives from around the world, from the short-term and practical to the long-term and ambitious, Malleson shows that replacing contemporary capitalism is not pie-in-the-sky utopia, but is a real possibility as long as enough of us fight back against injustice and insist that a better world is possible.


Now in English!

Serial Girls:
From Barbie to Pussy Riot
By Martine Delvaux  Translated by Susanne De Lotbinière-Harwood  

Everywhere you look patriarchal society reduces women to a series of repeating symbols: serial girls.

On TV and in film, on the internet and in magazines, pop culture and ancient architecture, serial girls are all around us, moving in perfect synch—as dolls, as dancers, as statues. From Tiller Girls to Barbie dolls, Playboy bunnies to Pussy Riot, Martine Delvaux produces a provocative analysis of the many gendered assumptions that underlie modern culture. Delvaux draws on the works of Barthes, Foucault, de Beauvoir, Woolf, and more to argue that serial girls are not just the ubiquitous symbols of patriarchal domination but also offer the possibility of liberation.

We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the National Translation Program for Book Publishing, an initiative of the Roadmap for Canada’s Official Languages 2013-2018: Education, Immigration, Communities, for our translation activities.

Great new book


The Great Climate Robbery
How the Food System Drives Climate Change and What We Can Do About It

By GRAIN  Edited by Henk Hobbelink  

“Food, land and seeds: protecting them is as essential to climate justice as rooftop solar, wind co-ops, or democratic public transit. This book lifts up the voices of indigenous and peasant farmers around the world, comprehensively explaining why their fight to stop the industrial food juggernaut is the same as the fight for a habitable, just planet.” – Naomi Klein

The Great Climate Robbery connects analysis of the food system to larger issues affecting the planet, and links peoples’ struggles over food to climate change. This book will help readers to understand the ways in which corporations control the food system and provide the analysis needed to challenge this control.

Get it today from BTL! 



The Bleeding Edge
Why technologies turn toxic in an unequal world

By Bob Hughes

"Bob Hughes blows all the hype out of the water."- Danny Dorling, Professor of Geography at the University of Oxford

It’s hammered into us from birth that ‘all good things come at a price’. Today, that price looks apocalyptic, with wars, exploitation and environmental collapse in every part of the globe. Some suggest that the carnage is “a price worth paying” for technological progress. No pain, no gain.

But technology is precisely the business of minimizing the costs and impacts of existence… and by whole orders of magnitude. By now, all human beings should be leading creative, leisure-filled lives in a pristine world of burgeoning diversity. So how did it go so wrong? In a word, inequality. In The Bleeding Edge, Bob Hughes argues that unequal societies are incapable of using new technologies well. Wherever elites exist, self-preservation decrees that they must take control of new technologies to protect and entrench their status, rather than satisfy people’s needs.

Get it today from BTL! 

BTL Events

You can always find our events at

Come on out for the Toronto launch for Toronto's Poor: A Rebellious History 
Thursday, December 8, 6:30pm at St. Luke's United Church, 353 Sherbourne St (at Carlton). 

Jamie Swift, co-author (with Ian McKay) of The Vimy Trap: Or, How We Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Great War is speaking on November 28th at the Tett Centre in Kingston, Ontario. 

Karen Dubinsky continues her tour for Cuba Beyond the Beach: Stories of Life in Havana  On November 24th Karen will be speaking and signing at McNally Robinson bookstore in Winnipeg from 7:30-9:00pm. Details here


People are talking

Visit Cuba highly recommends Cuba beyond the Beach: Stories of Life in Havana by Karen Dubinsky.

Our Times Magazine calls Drawn to Change "Brilliant and beautiful. . . .visually stunning.

Labour/Le Trevail says that Lunch-Bucket Lives is  "a momentous scholarly achievement."


BTL books and authors in the news

Ian McKay and Jamie Swift have been doing events and talking up The Vimy Trap: or, How We Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Great War. Ian McKay was on CKCU radio, and Jamie Swift was on CBC Information Morning and on CTV News Atlantic

Open Book featured an interview with Fired-up about Capitalism author Tom Malleson. 

The Winnipeg Free Press profiled Ester Reiter, author of A Future Without Hate or Need in a piece entitled "Author remembers legacy of Jewish leftist movement."

With the Prime Minister's visit to Cuba the media has been talking to Cuba beyond the Beach author Karen Dubinsky. However, our favourite is her piece "Leonard Cohen — 'The last tourist in Havana'"

The Whig Standard also profiled Karen and the book with the piece "Cuba- More than a beach"

Rob Kristofferson and Simon Orpana (author/illustrator) of Showdown! told the story of the graphic history to Sherman Hub News (page 8).


Follow us

You can stay updated on all the news here at BTL through our social media sites. Log on to find out about new books, events, and surprise sales. Check us out on FacebookGoogle+, and Pinterest, and follow us on twitter (@readBTLbooks). You can also find author interviews and more on the BTL YouTube channelGone digital? We have a growing list of e-books you can find on our website.


We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, which last year invested $153 million to bring the arts to Canadians throughout the country.

Nous remercions le Conseil des arts du Canada de son soutien. L’an dernier, le Conseil  a investi 153 millions de dollars pour mettre de l’art dans la vie des Canadiennes et des Canadiens de tout le pays.

We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the National Translation Program for Book Publishing, an initiative of the Roadmap for Canada's Official Languages 2013-2018: Education, Immigration, Communities, for our translation activities.

We gratefully acknowledge assistance for our publishing activities from  the Ontario Arts Council, the Government of Ontario through the Ontario Book Publishers Tax Credit program and through the Ontario Book Initiative, and the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund.

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