Whether you want fun fiction, digestible nonfiction, or relaxing reads, I’ve got you.

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If you’re like a lot of us, you’ve struggled to read books through the pandemic. Luckily we’re in a golden age of television, so there have been a lot of well-told, good stories for you to sink into. But if you’re a reader, you probably miss being able to sink into a good book (and being able to pay attention to words for longer than a strictly factual news article).

I know how you feel. I’ve been spending a lot more time glued to screens. Luckily, I’ve been able to keep reading, though my tastes have changed. …

You should actually read Ibram X. Kendi’s books instead of insulting him on Twitter…

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In the wake of George Floyd’s death, the bookstore I worked at responded to massive market demand for books about antiracism. We increased our stock quantities of many already-popular books, and brought in fresh selection. This is normal — anytime a topic comes to the forefront of public conversation, whether it’s “hygge,” Trump, or a trendy new diet, bookstores respond to the market. Sometimes these fads fade fast, but antiracism stuck around through the end of 2020, when I quit working at the bookstore. That’s a reading trend with considerable endurance, for a topical, political subject.

One of the bestselling…

Low-income workers depend on robust public transit, but the future looks bleak for transit post-pandemic

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Though a second wave of COVID-19 infections remains top of mind as we begin to look at re-opening economies, my biggest worry is the cut to services that low-income people depend on to survive.

Take my city, Vancouver, BC, as an example. TransLink operates our bus, SkyTrain (our above-ground subway system), SeaBus (which links North Vancouver with downtown Vancouver by water), and commuter train systems across the Metro Vancouver area. They’ve done their part to help out during this crisis — they began waiving bus fares on March 20 and done a good job maintaining social distancing on their systems…

I published my first Wattpad story this year. Here’s what I love about the platform.

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I started publishing my first Wattpad story, We Make Mayhem, back at the end of January 2020. Three months later, I hit “publish” on the novel’s final chapter. It’s been a big learning experience (one that I wrote about here and here as well), and I discovered so much to love about the platform. Here are five of the biggest things:

Reading on the app is ridiculously easy

I don’t love ebooks. In the past couple years I’ve gotten on board with audiobooks, but I just can’t make the leap to reading on a screen. I’m a paper girl. That said, the Wattpad mobile app provides the…

Why would any author pass up being paid for their work? Here’s why…

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This year, I published a YA sci-fi novel called We Make Mayhem on Wattpad as an experiment (I wrote about the process here). But I’m an agented, published YA author — why would I give a book away instead of finding another way to share it? Like… a way that would have gotten me paid?

I generally agree with the maxim that writers should never write for free. We deserve to be compensated for our work in some way. I don’t submit to non-paying markets for my non-fiction, so why did I do it for a whole novel?

I’m going…

I’m an agented, published YA author, but I was dying to find out what Wattpad was all about.

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I’m a YA author with an agent, a published debut novel (Maybe in Paris, Sky Pony Press, 2017), and a manuscript out on submission. But as of April 24th 2020, the last chapter of my YA sci-fi novel, We Make Mayhem, will be posted and the novel will be available to read in its entirety, for free, on Wattpad.

Wattpad is a Canadian website with a simple pitch—it’s a social platform where users can post their original writing or fanfiction for others to read — but an outsized impact. The site launched the career of Anna Todd, whose One Direction…

How Coronavirus puts the conflict between low-wage workers and their employers into sharp relief

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I’m sure I don’t have to set this story up for you. You’ve probably read at least three other articles today about coronavirus, and God knows how many tweets. As this thing looms in the background of our everyday lives (for now), health authorities are propagating the usual tips for staying healthy through flu season: stay hydrated, wash your hands, avoid unnecessary contact, and wash your hands again — just to be safe.

There’s one other piece of good advice that’s a little more complicated, though: stay home when you’re sick.

It’s not bad advice. It really will help stop…

A rising minimum wage leaves less and less for the most deserving employees

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Minimum wage is one of those subjects where, while preparing to write about it critically, you feel like you’re about to wade into quicksand. It’s dangerous ground.

I would never deny that there are good reasons to have a minimum wage. Minimum wage is part of the legacy of worker’s rights that came out of the twentieth century that were hard won by trade unionists — including my grandfather — and others willing to put their lives on the line to help lift workers up. I am thankful for the progress that was made. …

Books for the self help junkie, the techie, and more

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Books make the best gifts, don’t they? I may be biased on the subject as a bookseller, but I can’t imagine an alternate world where I wouldn’t whole-heartedly believe that.

I’m a young adult author. For most of my reading life, I’ve been all-in on YA. It still holds a special place in my heart and on my reading list, but in the past few years, but working at a bookstore has opened my eyes to a much broader spectrum of books. …

Patricia Marcoccia’s debut feature soars

On October 12th, I attended a screening of The Rise of Jordan Peterson, the debut feature film from director Patricia Marcoccia, in Vancouver, BC.

Co-hosted by the University of British Columbia’s Free Speech Club, Holding Space Films, and Jordan Peterson’s new platform Thinkspot, the screening was one of few to stand fast in the face of protest. Screenings in New York and Toronto have been cancelled due to employees’ “discomfort,” but Simon Fraser University stayed strong in support of the Free Speech Club, and the screening hosted at its Woodward campus went ahead.

After seeing the film, I have trouble…

Rebecca Christiansen

Novelist who also writes about politics, books, and society. On Twitter @rebeccarightnow.

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