"The best-laid schemes of mice and (wo)men
Go oft awry."
So it is for me. Between company and canning, by the end of the day I'm exhausted. Instead of reading I put my feet up, pull out my knitting and turn on the TV. At least I have my audiobooks during those times when I'm working and don't have other people around.
Here are a few photographs of what we've/I've accomplished in the last few days. There is more canning but it's already on shelves in the coolroom.
Titles with a 🍁 indicate this is a Canadian Author and or Illustrator.
Clicking on the title will take you to the Goodreads page of the book.
Banned Book Club by Kim Hyun Sook, Ko Hyung-Ju & Ryan Estrada
I was fascinated and terrified by this look into the recent history of Korea. The experiences of numerous real people are amalgamated into the narrative. It tells the story of a group of young readers who meet to read and discuss banned books in 1983. You might be surprised by how dangerous reading is perceived to be under an authoritarian government. Spies are everywhere at the university campus. Many students are paid to go so they can inform on other students. Conflict with police and arrests were common.
The end of the book takes us to a reunion of the book club in 2016. They are in the middle of another protest, but this time the participants are from all ages and all walks of life. I would probably bring this into my Elementary school library for upper intermediate readers. I see it as a real world jumping off point after students have read Ban This Book by Alan Gratz.
Parachutes by Kelly Yang, Cassie Simone (Narrator) & Karissa Vacker (Narrator)
This is a rollercoaster of a read. It's the story of two girls from different worlds who come together because of the prestigious private school they attend. Dani De La Cruz and her mother struggle to make ends meet. To help them out financially her Mom sets them up to host an international student, Claire Wang. Claire, a privileged wealthy Chinese foreign student, and Dani seem to have nothing in common.
The story is told from the perspective of both these girls. While they come from different backgrounds, a misogynistic system of rape culture makes both of them vulnerable.
Audacity by Melanie Crowder
This novel in gorgeous verse is a fictionalized account of the life of Clara Lemlich. She fought hard to unionize and improve the working conditions of women garment workers in New York in the late 1900's. It follows her and her family as they leave their village in anti semitic Russia and travel across Europe to England. After a time there they manage to get steerage passage to the United States.
Shortly after arriving, Clara got a job working in a sweatshop as a seamstress. Her meager earnings supported her whole family, including her father and brothers who spent the day studying. Clara was frustrated by the unfairness of her situation. Passionate about educating herself she attended classes at night to improve her English. At one point she was offered a scholarship to go to college where she could fulfill her dream of becoming a doctor. Still the working conditions under which she and other workers toiled were so horrific, unsafe, and unfair, that she ended up having to choose between that dream, and that of helping all the other suffering women workers. In the end, in spite of the violence she endured by strikebreakers, goons, and police, she continued organizing for the union.
The backmatter contains information about Clara Lemlich and shows that she was an activist up until she died in 1982. It also includes the transcript of interviews with her children and grandchildren. There's a glossary and a bibliography. Alas, there is no recipe for the rugelach her family spoke so fondly of.
I'm still reading Yara's Spring by Sharon McKay & Jamal Saeed. (I'm not a fan of reading digitally) My loan for the audiobook of The Vanderbeekers to the Rescue by by Karina Yan Glaser expired before I could finish it. I'm now listening to Welcome to the World, Baby Girl! by Fannie Flagg. I crowdsourced part of my #MustRead list this year and the sequel to it was one of the recommendations so I'm reading this first. Everytime I read a book by Fannie Flag I am in awe of how beautifully she crafts her characters .
I will make time for Forward Me Back to You by Mitali Perkins. (It will be my 10th big book of the summer.) I hope to get to Monsters by David Robertson. My next audiobook will be Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi. There is a pile of picture books I need to get to as well.
PROGRESS ON MY READING GOALS
Big Books Summer 2020 9/10
Books by Canadian Indigenous Authors: 17/25 100
Books by Canadian Authors: 105/100
Goodreads Reading Challenge: 244/333