July 18, 2016

We want to know your Top 5: what are your go-to things when you need to cheer yourself up? “Things” can be anything—a nail polish colour, a Vine, or a dog on the street (pics, please). If you want to share what you love with us, pitch us at submit[at]gutsmagazine.ca.

Without further ado, here is librarian of our hearts and friend-of-GUTS Alex Carruthers on some of her favourite things!

A photograph of a pile of the author's favourite chocolate chip cookies.This Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Pop the dough in the freezer for a half hour before putting it in the oven. The author says not to reduce the amount of chocolate even though it seems like too much. I say only add as much chocolate as you are comfortable with.

Public Libraries

Imagine a perfect future—a world without economic, social, and political inequality. Does this future include comfortable public spaces where anyone can freely congregate to relax, learn, or work with each other on whatever they want? Of course it does.  Are all the products of human intellect and creativity held and shared in common because private ownership of such things is an absurd limitation of our collective potential? Of course they are. I think in the best possible future the values and goals of the contemporary public library (intellectual freedom; free, accessible services for all; and sharing as much as you can) have been adopted and incorporated into all economic, social, and political structures.

In the best future we will all be some kind of librarian. For now, the thrill, challenge, and occasional danger of being a public librarian comes from working towards the library’s beautiful goals within an economic system that actively works against them. If you can’t be a librarian, you can still live the dream: I recommend taking advantage of your local public library’s services and spaces, even joining the board of trustees, defending the library’s existence against the forces of austerity, and helping it to expand and take over!

Ancilliary Justice by Ann Leckie

Ancillary Justice represents experiences and relationships that I could not imagine before reading it. Leckie explores the perspective of a single consciousness with a thousand individual bodies, and she creates a whole galactic empire of humans who care so little about the distinctions of gender that they use only one set of pronouns: she/her. Also, the plot is non-stop action so it is basically the pinnacle of what science fiction can achieve.Cover art for the iPad game The Room Two. The title of the game is in gold along the top of the image; the bottom is a clock face with lunar cycles and roman numerals.

The Outside Circle by Patti LaBoucane-Benson

This graphic novel was my first introduction to the concept of restorative justice and the amazing work happening at the Stan Daniels Healing Centre in Edmonton—another place doing inspiring, utopian work.

The Room 2 iPad game

Put a pin in this one. It is the best for staying inside in the winter. Play The Room first and The Room 3 after.


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