Black History Month Spotlight

Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay

From the publisher’s website:

  • New York Times bestselling author Roxane Gay has written with intimacy and sensitivity about food and bodies, using her own emotional and psychological struggles as a means of exploring our shared anxieties over pleasure, consumption, appearance, and health. As a woman who describes her own body as “wildly undisciplined,” Roxane understands the tension between desire and denial, between self-comfort and self-care. In Hunger, she casts an insightful and critical eye on her childhood, teens, and twenties—including the devastating act of violence that acted as a turning point in her young life—and brings readers into the present and the realities, pains, and joys of her daily life.
  • With the bracing candor, vulnerability, and authority that have made her one of the most admired voices of her generation, Roxane explores what it means to be overweight in a time when the bigger you are, the less you are seen. Hunger is a deeply personal memoir from one of our finest writers, and tells a story that hasn’t yet been told but needs to be.  

Read the reviews at:

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White Pine Spotlight

The Pain Eaters by Beth Goobie

  • This book needs to be read by everyone – male and female alike.
  • This book is about the knowledge – the deep and profound sadness – that all women carry with(in) them. Whether it be the result of an individual violation – like Maddy’s rape in this book – or a ‘group’ violation – like the Montreal Massacre – every woman carries the fear of this violence inside them.
  • That this is no different than 40 years ago, when I was Maddy’s age, is perhaps the greatest failure of our social contract.  The war on women is a civil emergency (Charlotte Bunch in After the Montreal Massacre) but no one is treating it as such.
  • And then there is the telling – having to relive the experience – to validate what happened to oneself, and to bring the perpetrators to justice. The victim being victimised again… that there is no safe place for Maddy, or any woman.
  • The things to like about this book include: the literary quality (the imagery, concept, motifs, the intensity of the writing (and of Maddy’s experiences)); the authenticity of Maddy’s reactions to her rapists and the depth of her pain; relevance to the treatment of victims; relevance to the secrets everybody knows but doesn’t talk about (taking on a whole new significance in the wake of Harvey Weinstein et al)
  • The author also makes fabulous use of literary and cultural references, and draws on indigenous wisdom throughout.

Read the review at Quill and Quire.

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  • Students who would like to join us at the Festival of Trees, at Harbourfront, on Tuesday May 15th should see Ms. Wray or Ms. Kennedy  in the Library.
  • Permission forms will be available closer to the date.

Black History: Spotlight

 Today’s featured title is Steal Away Home: One Woman’s Epic Flight to Freedom – and her Long Road Back to the South.

  • This is the latest work of literary non-fiction from Governor General’s Award winning author Karolyn Smardz Frost.
  • Steal Away Home tells the story of Cecilia Reynolds, who, after escaping slavery as a fifteen year old girl, later returns to her childhood home as a free woman.
  • A vibrant and compelling journey through the Civil War era and Cecilia’s struggle for freedom.

 

White Pine Spotlight

  Optimists Die First by Susin Nielsen

  • A lovely quiet little book.
  • Clearly the author is inspired by Flannery O’Connor… and that can’t be bad!
  • There is nothing easy about this book, and some will take exception to treating such subject matter with such light-heartedness. I just found it so refreshing.
  • Nielsen writes with natural ease, taking the art of imagery to the level of mastery.
  • The relationships in the book are genuine and supportive – including positive family dynamics – and help to move the characters past the various degrees of guilt they each feel about their individual situations.
  • The book is chock full of humour and touchstone cultural references (music, film, literature) and is quintessentially Canadian in it’s setting, amounting to a love letter to Vancouver.

Read the review at Quill and Quire.

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  • Students who would like to join us at the Festival of Trees, at Harbourfront, on Tuesday May 15th should see Ms. Wray or Ms. Kennedy in the Library.
  • Permission forms will be available closer to the date.

White Pine Spotlight

 Girl Mans Up by M-E Girard

    • Love this book!  Fast paced.  Sparse writing.  Snappy dialogue. Authentic voices.
    • The writing is beautiful. The imagery captivates right from the start.  The author excels at writing complex scenes loaded with multiple meanings…
    • And then there is family and friend drama… it’s not all peace, love and happiness… this book will also break your heart!
    • This book illuminates – for all cis-gendered folk – just what it is like to live life outside the binary… what the majority population take for granted that, especially, bi and trans folk can’t and don’t.
    • Open, honest, realistic, positive and human(e) this book will equally appeal to the quiet nerdy types who love video games and gaming.

Read the review at Quill and Quire.

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  • Learn more about the Forest of Reading here.
  • Check out Forest Fridays, virtual visits with featured authors (link is to last year).  We look forward to their return. When they do, we will be hosting a couple of them here at ESA
  • Students who would like to join us at the Festival of Trees, at Harbourfront, on Tuesday May 15th should see Ms. Wray or Ms. Kennedy in the Library.
  • Permission forms will be available closer to the date.

Canada Reads 2018!

The season begins!!

Check out the titles on the longlist at the CBC Canada Reads website.

We already have six (6) of the longlisted titles in the collection:

 

Touch base with me next week to find out whether I’ve decided to bring in any of the other longlisted titles.

The Canada Reads shortlist will be announced January 30th.  Stay tuned.

If you are at all connected with the ESA Community, consider joining us on our annual ESA Book Club field trip to the final day of taping of Canada Reads 2018, on Thursday March 29th.

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Canada Reads Field Trip organised by ESA’s Own Book Clubit’s never too late to join… next meeting Wednesday January 17th, where we will be discussing Alison MacLeod’s Governor General Award nominated short story collection All the Beloved Ghosts)