With the thought of protecting our environment, in January, I read a library copy of 101 Ways to go Zero Waste. Although full of good ideas, this book was really a review of similar zero waste books and reinforced what our family is already doing to save the environment.
We are already using shampoo bars (love the ones from LUSH), reusable vegetable and grocery bags and make our coffee (reusable filter) and tea (loose) at home. We consider our purchases and are fastidious about composting and recycling.
One great idea, from the book, that i will try (once we flatten the curve and COVID19 is no longer impacting our day-to-day lives) is bringing my own container to take out restaurants to reduce garbage.
First of all, I am disclosing that I am not the best connoisseur of poetry. Sure I can still recite Stopping in the Woods on a Snowy Evening but I recognize that I am probably missing some of the beauty and education wound into these poems. I take full accountability (and admit that I prefer the narrative fiction and non-fiction) that it is me, not the material as the good reads ranking for this book are very high. To be absolutely honest, I just read it because it was on the long-list for Canada Reads.
Although it was very artistic, creative and I appreciated the different formats, I struggled to maintain focus while reading these poems. The author clearly has a strong command of language and vocabulary but perhaps, I was just too tired to read poetry in January!
Wow!! What a loving family. I am thankful that they were willing to share their story, their challenges, their knowledge and their love with others.
The author, Amanda, endured struggles in her teens – with bullying, alcohol. She got treatment, met the love of her life, had 3 children together – happily ever after, right? No, life continued to throw challenges and when one of her children came out as transgender the family learned and supported their daughter through many difficulties, even moving schools, dealing with trolls yet always loving and supporting their child.
As their brave child worked through many challenges, Amanda’s husband was working though his own story. He had been unhappy, depressed and the marriage was at risk. A year later, he bravely admitted that he too was in the wrong body. Not only that, they adopted a teenaged daughter who had been bounced around in the foster system sharing their love and becoming a family of 6!
As part of the Canada Reads long-list, it is another book that will move readers to a place of understanding and, hopefully, less judgement than seems to exist in society. It did not win a place on the short-list I am thankful to have read, learned and witnessed the love of a family through this book.
Need to know more? check out her website here.
The Governance Code: School Boards, Superintendents and Schools Working together is a collection of leadership suggestions tailored specifically to school boards. This would have been a great book to read prior to starting as a trustee and was a helpful reminder of the board and staff working together towards a collective goal for students.
While it had some great tips, my only suggestion would be to have a more Canadian focus since it referenced Canadian and American school boards (ie. reference provinces not state)!
If anyone is thinking of running for a position of school board trustee this would be a great book to read to understand the roles of the trustees (governance), the roles of superintendents (operations and leadership) and work together to ensure responsible leadership that focusses on students.
While I read this book in January, it would be interesting to consider some of this advice in the present time of COVID19, with schools closed and a quick pivot to online learning (thank you teachers, principals, superintendents)!
For anyone who has been following this blog, you will know that I am a HUGE fan of Canada Reads! It is an amazing celebration of Canadian authors as 5 defenders sit around a table in the CBC studio and debate great Canadian books.
We Have Always Been Here is written by Samra Habib, a strong woman who identifies herself as both Queer and Muslim. She moved to Canada from Pakistan to flee the persecution of her family. She has dealt with racism, homophobia, Islamaphobia and has spent decades not only accepting herself but struggling with the relationships with her family, her community and her faith.
As she journeys to acceptance, so does her family. It is hard to believe that this young girls was pushed into an arranged marriage as a teenager. Thankfully she shares that her relationship with her family continued to evolve and that she continues to experience the love of her family despite the strict teaching of their mosque.
This is a great memoir for Canadians to learn and understand the challenges of new Canadians, members of the LGBTQ community and Muslim women. It is written in an honest, non-judgemental way to open eyes and make readers think about the rich fabric of Canada!
Although Canada Reads has been postponed for 2019, check out the great content on the CBC website here.
As part of a read indigenous challenge on the CanadianContent goodreads site, this was an eye opening read. It is a starting point to do better. It is a call of action reminding readers and the government of the Truth and Reconciliation recommendations and a wake up call for individuals to have a greater understanding of Canadian history.
Working in health care, I have experienced the call to action by completing cultural competency education. It replaces the stereotypes and history which was taught public school with the harsh facts of residential schools, Indian hospitals and the ongoing impacts of the Indian Act which still exists today.
After reading this book, it is hard to believe the terrible language and sentiments of the governments with a goal to “kill the Indian” in the children mandated to attend residential schools. It also makes me question the progress on the truth and reconciliation recommendations.
The content was helpful and informing but admittedly, it was a dry (but important) read. Perhaps adding some individual testimony would have helped readers to really understand the true impact. For fictional books on this topic, I would recommend reading anything by the late Richard Wagamese who lived a life impacted by the decisions of others.
Hi all, I have been remiss in posting my 2020 reads but now that I am self-isolating, my goal is to get caught up on my posts. I am sharing pre-apologies for clogging your inboxes if you subscribe to my email posts but also will provide some suggestions for some reading. 🙂
Whether you are self-isolating or social distancing, it is a time to hunker down and read! What are you reading? What is on your TBR pile? Do you have any suggestions for some lighter books that everyone would enjoy?
Broken Man on a Halifax Pier was a quick read about a man, broken, jobless and behind in his rent, who meets a woman on the pier. She is named Ramona and swoops into his life, pulling him out of his listless state to build a relationship and face the challenges of past, present and future.
Drugs, a gun, fights, arrests, near drownings, death and a terrible storm combine with decades of with family drama to keep the reader engaged. Broken Man on a Halifax Pier is an enjoyable read which blends every day challenges of life with the power and danger of living near the ocean in hurricane season.
There is a small part of me that wants to give the tent trailer a second chance and head back East to spend more time in Nova Scotia (and actually get to Halifax) after last year’s “adventure” which could rival a Chevy Chase summer vacation! I might need to read a few more books tempting me to travel east first… and get the tent trailer home as it is still vacationing in Cape Breton!!!
Agatha Christie is known as “the best selling novelist of all time” (from her website), publishing 66 books and 14 short story collections. Over a billion copies have sold in English along with another billion in translation! Her novels have been enjoyed world-wide yet the only book that I had read was And Then There Were None. It is time to rectify that and in 2020, I have set a goal of reading one of her novels each month starting with her at the beginning of the Hercule Point series with The Mysterious Affair at Styles.
This series introduces the clever, retired detective who is a friend of the narrator and hastens to the country estate after the death of the newly married Emily Inglethorpe. It was originally published as a serial in The Times Weekly edition and readers begin guessing who is responsible when it is revealed that the matriarch has been poisoned. Hercule must assess the motives of multiple suspects including her husband, step-sons, their spouses and the help who all lived together and would have benefited from her fortune.
After reading the novel, I serendipitously discovered the Read Christie 2020 challenge which begins with The Mysterious Affair at Styles. It provides a book each month along with encouragement and more details about each book to celebrate 100 years of her novels.
Who is interested in joining me on this journey through Agatha Christie novels? Check out the website and follow the hashtags of #readchristie2020