Duncan Cameron shares his favourite books of 2019

Any one of a great number of Vancouver bus riders could have offered a similar thank you to Libby Davies whose political memoir Outside In: A Political Memoir (Between the Lines) includes a full account of her 20-year fight to save the lives of thousands of heroin addicts dying on city streets, because the police, civic, provincial and federal authorities were too thick to understand that drug addiction was a medical problem, not a criminal matter. Davies superbly balanced work (she took a course at UBC on memoir writing when she retired as the member of Parliament for Vancouver East, and it shows) provides numerous lessons from real life on how to make a difference as a social justice activist, working with street people from a store front, sitting on city council, or as deputy leader of the federal NDP. Davies was a close associate of Jack Layton, and here she gives an engrossing account of the rise, and fall of NDP fortunes in the Layton years. For many, the very personal stories Davies chooses to share with her readers will be the most interesting part of this highly readable, enjoyable book.