Books in 2017

This wasn’t a great reading year quantity-wise, and I place the blame firmly on the shoulders of grad school and seasonal anxiety. But I did get some good books in, and here they are.

This year I discovered that Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher is available as an audiobook through Edmonton Public Library, it’s ~three hours long, and therefore it’s perfect for a drive alone down to Calgary. Carrie Fisher read the audiobook, and it’s very good. I saw The Last Jedi at the tail end of 2017, and seeing Carrie Fisher onscreen being badass was bittersweet. Wishful Drinking is funny and sincere and straightforward, and I loved it. I highly recommend listening to it straight through on a three hour drive. The Last Jedi was also good.

I had a class on Canadian Chlidren’s Literature and read several books about residential schools and inter-generational trauma in the space of two heavy but important weeks.  Four of them that I highly encourage everyone to read are:

  • The Outside Circle / Patti Laboucane-Benson – this is a comic book following a young man as he goes through the healing program at Stan Daniels Healing Center in Edmonton.
  • When We Were Alone / David Alexander Robertson – in the TRC calls to action, there is a call for educational materials for all ages, and David Alexander Robertson sought to fill the void when it came to talking to very young children about Canada’s past and residential schools. This book is gentle and loving, and is a conversation between a grandmother and grandchild.
  • I Am Not a Number / Jenny Kay Dupuis – this is the story of Dupuis’ grandmother’s experience in a residential school.
  • Secret Path / Gord Downie and Jeff Lemire – this is the book that goes along with Gord Downie’s solo album, and tells the story of Chanie Wenjack. It is difficult to read. There’s a Heritage Minute about Chanie Wenjack.

Some other favorites from the year were

  • I’m Judging You / Luvvie Ajayi – this book DOES IT ALL, from making me want to moisturize to making me think about ways to confront racism in my life. It is funny and challenging, and Luvvie Ajayi is a good follow on twitter.
  • Vengeance Road / Erin Bowman – this is a western in the spirit of True Grit, and it is very good. I love a good revenge story.
  • Spill Zone, vol. 1 / Scott Westerfeld, Alex Puvilland, Hillary Sycamore – this collects the first few issues of a comic book about a paranormal dystopia with a good mystery. The next volume doesn’t come out for months and this is why I normally keep myself behind on reading comics.

So far my reading in 2018 has been going at a feverish pace. I was sick for a while after Christmas, and school starts tomorrow, so I had a lot of down time. I’ve finished six books since the New Year, and I’m hoping to be better at keeping up regular reading throughout the semester. I feel better when I’m reading; I need stories to keep me going.

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