Six Books with BIG Ideas


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It’s been an exciting week in the realm of big ideas with TED2017 in Vancouver. To keep the big ideas rolling, VPL’s reading experts dive deep into the library’s collection to bring you these must-read books:

Better Now by Danielle Martin

After taking a stand before a U.S. senate committee on health care, Canadian doctor Dr. Danielle Martin wrote this book to share six big ideas that could make Canada’s health care system better. While the book does discuss policy, Martin focuses on the people impacted to bring these issues close to home.

How We Got to Now by Steven Johnson

In this short and entertaining book, Steven Johnson exposes six subjects that changed our modern world: glass, cold, sound, clean, time and light. This book will arm you with more party-ready trivia than you can use in one night, and it will get you thinking about all the ordinary things around you.

The Precariat by Guy Standing

Do you or someone you know belong to the precariat? It’s a growing group of people who are underemployed, unemployed or never employed. As the earning middle class shrinks, the precariat are becoming more visible in protest movements around the world.

Through the Language Glass by Guy Deutscher

Do our words shape our experiences of the world? This fascinating book is chock full of anecdotes and examples that will make you marvel at the inventiveness of human language. Guy Deutscher goes against the grain and outlines how language does shape the way we think.

The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan

You are what you eat – we’ve heard that before. Michael Pollan argues that we compromise our health when we choose to ignore where our food comes from. This book brings food consciousness to the mainstream eater and follows the food chains that shape the way we eat.

Frederick by Leo Lionni

This big idea is delivered in the form a children’s book, but raises many philosophical questions for people of all ages. While all the field mice are gathering food for the winter, Frederick is gathering colours and words. This read will have you thinking about the nature of work and meaning of community.

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