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WATCH LIST: May 2017

By Observer Staff


House of Cards
CREATED BY BEAU WILLIMON, STARRING KEVIN SPACEY AND ROBIN WRIGHT
(Netflix)


The strength of this political series, about the manipulation and mind games behind the pursuit of power, has always been the seemingly larger-than-life twists. As real-world American politics take a turn for the dramatic, the show, now beginning its fifth season, seems poised to reflect and comment on our world in a fresh, unsettling way. May 30

Cutting Back: My Apprenticeship in the Gardens of Kyoto
BY LESLIE BUCK
(Timber Press)


The gardens in Kyoto, Japan, are famous for their beauty and the skill needed to cultivate them. Leslie Buck, a 35-year-old Californian, became the first American woman to learn pruning techniques at one of the city’s most revered landscaping firms. In this memoir about her three-month immersion in a new culture, job and way of life, she also learns how to nurture herself. May 3

There Your Heart Lies
BY MARY GORDON
(Pantheon)


Marian and Amelia, grandmother and granddaughter, live together in a cottage on Rhode Island. When Marian becomes ill, she starts to tell Amelia her life story, including a secret stint volunteering during the Spanish Civil War. The novel explores how history has an impact across generations as Amelia sets off on her own journey to Spain. May 9

What Is the Bible?
How an Ancient Library of Poems, Letters, and Stories Can Transform the Way You Think and Feel About Everything
BY ROB BELL (HarperOne)


There’s always something to learn from the Bible, even for those who have read it dozens of times. Bestselling author and former pastor Rob Bell takes another look at scripture, asking what the passages say about how the authors understood themselves and God. In the process, he finds new inspiration in the old words. May 16




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Ethics

Parliament House in Stockholm, Sweden. Photo: Pixabay

Sweden’s governing party pledges to abolish religious schools

by Al Donato

Should they be re-elected in September, the Swedish Social Democrats announced that their education policy would eliminate gender and religious segregation in schools.

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Observations

Jocelyn Bell%

Observations: Our magazine's plastic problem

by Jocelyn Bell

"While I can easily defend the use of a polybag on financial grounds, it would be unconscionable to deliver a cover story about plastics . . . in plastic."

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Video

ObserverDocs: Playing by Heart

by Observer Staff

United Church music director Kara Shaw was born prematurely, became almost totally blind and was later diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Today, the 28-year-old showcases her unique musical ability, performing piano on local and national stages.

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Features

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Contrary to popular belief, its presence doesn’t guarantee the product is reusable or recyclable.

Features

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Hidden plastics rarely get recycled and often can’t be reused. Here we make some of the invisibles visible.

Culture

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Recent fiction about the refugee experience invites readers to broaden their emotional borders.

Profiles

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Don Hume was a United Church minister nearing retirement. Then he tried crack cocaine.

Features

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It's not as hard as you think.

Features

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What that recycling logo actually means

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Contrary to popular belief, its presence doesn’t guarantee the product is reusable or recyclable.

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