Second Quarter Books (2021)

a woman wearing a grey ball cap and blue round glasses is holding up two books to the camera. the book on the left has an image of outerspace on it. the book on the right is a rich red colour with dainty drawings of leaves and flowers on it with a white title filling most of the cover.

Second Quarter Books (2021)

Another quarter of the year down. Summer usually brings for me depression, envy, and doubt in myself as a mom. This year I am countering that with a goals reset and a Summer “would be cool if” List. And more books of course.

Here’s what the last three months looked like for me books-wise. 

I read 24 Books in total between April and June.

  • 1 non-fiction
  • 5 Canadian authors
  • 4 Indigenous authors
  • 17 Women authors
  • 12 POC (person of colour) authors
  • 3 short story collections or essays > I achieved my goal for the year

FAVOURITES

I read a lot of memorable, gut-wrenching, laugh-out-loud, gasp-inducing books this quarter so I couldn’t pick one favourite. So I picked 5.

  • Ring Shout by P. Djeli Clark
  • Mind Spread Our On The Ground by Alicia Elliot
  • Burning Roses by S.L. Huang
  • Sisters of the Vast Black by Lina Rather
  • How to Pronounce Knife by Souvankham Thammavongsa

Three science fiction/fantasy/horror novellas, and two essay collections. I’VE GOT A THEME AND I’M NOT AFRAID TO USE IT! Ha!

TRACKING NOTES

I have been tracking some demographics of the authors in relation to the goals I set for myself at the beginning of the year. These goals were set to help me stretch my subject matter, and not just read the same old white dudes. But now I can see the white supremacy in that and I don’t know what to do.

SPEAKING OF WHITE SUPREMACY

For white people living in Canada who are confused/angry/sad/etc. about the uncovering of the graves of Indigenous children at former residential school sites and just now realizing that you live in a super racist country. Hello. Welcome.

I have not been posting about this to social media lately, because I don’t want that to be my activism. Because social media is not real life, and the folks who control it are not my kind of people. I know that I don’t do enough in real life, and I know that book-learning will only get me so far and I am upset with myself for that. But here we are. I get stuck in my own head, that’s no surprise.

If you are a learner like me, here are some books by Indigenous authors I have loved and learned from this quarter:

  • Unsettling the Settler Within by Paulette Regan. It is very academic, but if you take it slow it’s really good.
  • Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer. The author is a poet and a botanist, and she combines science, the heart of the living world, and Indigenous knowledge so beautifully.
  • This Town Sleeps by Dennis E. Staples. An openly gay Ojibwe man living on a reserve, trying to find some online hookups, while he’s being haunted by a ghost of a boy who’s taken up residence in a dog.
  • Indians on Vacation by Thomas King. It’s mostly a story about an elderly husband and wife bickering on vacation, but also somehow pokes at a deeper story.
  • Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse. Epic fantasy inspired by pre-Columbian Indigenous cultures of the Americas. Gods and gore. Ooh baby.

While you’re learning from Indigenous folks, don’t forget to pay them.

WHAT’S UP NEXT?

Climate crisis. I’ve got a book on the go right now (by an old white guy) that is getting me fired up about the mess we’ve made. To be honest, it doesn’t take much. I’ve already started looking for more material by Indigenous folks, Black communities, and vulnerable communities in the Global South (aka “Third World”) where it is hitting the hardest. Any recommendations are welcome.

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