Monday, March 13, 2023

February 2023 Reading Stats and Booktube Uploads


Best Books of February 2023

The Outer Harbour: Stories by Wayde Compton
Highly imaginative, interlinked stories set in 2001-2025—styled as a radio transcript, journalistic reporting, real estate promotion, & a series of posters, as well as more conventional fiction narratives—that come together almost like a novel. Vancouver is a character in these stories that are mostly about biracial artists addressing racialized class conflict, anti-immigration attitudes, & police violence. Published in 2014, it still feels fresh.

Knight Owl by Christopher Denise
In this children‘s historical fantasy picture book, a small but plucky owl realizes his dream and becomes a knight. There‘s plenty of foreshadowing—dragon imagery is on almost every page—until Owl comes face to face with a massive dragon. Funny, sweet and inspiring. A Caldecott Honor recognizes the charming art, which rewards careful examination to find jokes and surprises.

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus; audiobook read by Miranda Raisin
I had put off reading this because of the cover, even though it was on lots of “best of 2022” lists, including Barack Obama‘s. My mistake! Loved the main character so much! And the humour. And the early 60s setting. And the clever dog. And the fierce feminism. So good!

The Waiting by Keum Suk Gendry-Kim; translated by Janet Hong
In 1950 when the war started, people fled from northern Korea in such numbers and such haste that hundreds of thousands of family members were separated. This poignant graphic novel addresses that issue, and the sustaining hope that loved ones will once again be reunited. Two timelines: a daughter‘s present-day concerns for her elderly mother‘s wellbeing, as well as the dramatic events of the past. Stark, expressive black and white art.

How Far the Light Reaches: A Life in Ten Sea Creatures by Sabrina Imbler; audiobook read by the author
Ed Yong calls Sabrina Imbler‘s queer memoir “transcendental.” I agree. I love the way this nonbinary Chinese American science journalist filters fascinating aspects of sea creatures through a personal lens. They are full of wonder for the natural world, and can also make correlations to their own issues relating to such things as body image, autonomy, adaptability, racism, street safety, and a sense of community.

How Not to Spill by Jessica Johns
I first read this in 2020 and wrote: Nêhiyaw (Cree) writer Jessica John‘s‘ first poetry collection is only 40 pages, so it didn‘t take long for me to read through it twice. And I will read through it again, because I can‘t get enough. “My ceremony is facetiming my nieces & nephew every sunday.” From badass grandmothers to dreams about MySpace, love letters, warnings and doorways: these are poems about holding on to joy and beauty no matter what. 
I picked it up again before reading Johns' debut novel, Bad Cree.

A Bigger Picture: My Fight to Bring a New African Voice to the Climate Crisis by Vanessa Nakate
Part memoir, part manifesto: Ugandan climate activist Vanessa Nakate addresses this book mainly to youthful readers, but I found it inspiring. Courage is contagious. She shares her experiences with burnout, racism (cropped out of an AP photo when she attended a conference in Switzerland) & overcoming her own shy awkwardness. Her delivery is earnest, there‘s an impressive array of facts, and there are concrete suggestions for individual actions.

The Terraformers by Annalee Newitz; audiobook read by Emily Lawrence
A refreshing change for me: the idea that humans will still be around in 59,000 AD, working to keep all living things in balance on a terraformed planet. Very queer, anti-capitalist, uplifting solarpunk, told in three interconnected novellas over a vast timespan. Audiobook read by Emily Lawrence includes music and other sounds. 

Frizzy by Claribel Ortega and Rose Bousamra
This wonderful graphic novel for children addresses systemic racist bias towards “good” hair by presenting a wholly sympathetic character, Marlene, who hates the weekly salon visits her mother deems necessary in order to straighten her wild curls. The tone of the narrative is humorous (despite serious topics), the resolution is celebratory, the characterization is relatable and the vibrant art is very appealing.

Sometimes They Sang by Helen Potrebenko
This had been sitting on my shelves unread and so I picked it up for the Read Across Canada Challenge. So glad that I did! Witty, fiercely feminist and oriented towards workers' rights. It was published in 1986 and stands up well to the test of time.

Man Made Monsters by Andrea Rogers; audiobook read by DeLanna Studi and Lane Factor
18 loosely interconnected stories touch on incidents across 200 years in a Cherokee family—beginning in 1839 and ending in 2039. Each one has a monstrous or horror element (vampire, werewolf, medical experimentation, ghosts, zombies, deer woman or other supernatural creatures). Author Andrea Rogers is queer and Cherokee. Her bracing stories have queer characters and address Indigenous issues like forced relocation, residential schools and MMIW.

The Sentimentalists by Joanna Skibsrud
“I don‘t believe in ghosts. I just think about them sometimes.” This is a haunting, lyrical, fragmented novel about history and how trauma affects subsequent generations. Napoleon is a veteran of the Vietnam war. In the final year of his life, his daughter seeks to know him better, and what happened when he was a soldier. There are no clear answers, but the emotional resonance rang through me like a bell.

Homie by Danez Smith
I reread this nonbinary poet's collection for Feminist Book Club, having previously read it in March 2020. This time I had a deeper appreciation and understanding. Smith expresses rage at the injustices in society and also celebrates the joy of being part of a Black queer community.

The Talk by Alicia Williams and Briana Mukodiri Uchendu
Jay is an African American child, telling us about his life from early childhood into pre-adolescence. One day his parents & grandparents give him ‘the talk‘ —about the dangerous realities of racism. Afterwards: “The family reassures me that I‘ve done nothing wrong & no, I‘m not to blame.” Their “eyes say that I‘m the beat of their hearts” and “the joy in their smiles.” A powerful, important picture book with warm, poignant illustrations.

Booktube links:

Reading challenges, buddy-reads and readathons in February:

Black History Month - I read 9 books by Black authors
Book Naturalists Book Club - A Bigger Picture by Vanessa Nakate
Read Across Canada: Alberta - Sometimes They Sang by Helen Potrebenko
Buddy-read The Sentimentalists with Melissa and Sarah
Started buddy-reading Alberta Alone with Maya on Feb 9
Reading what I already own: I read 2 from my shelves; one was a gift more than 10 years ago, the other I purchased in 2022

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

January 2023 Reading Stats and Booktube Uploads

January favourites:

Valley of the Birdtail: An Indian Reserve, a White Town, and the Road to Reconciliation by Andrew Stobo Sniderman and Douglas Sanderson
A breath of hope for the future of Indigenous-NonIndigenous relations in Canada. I want every Canadian to read this.

No Friend but the Mountains: Writing from Manus Prison by Behrouz Boochani; translated by Omid Tofighian; audiobook read by a full cast
I tried this in print last year but got bogged down in the extensive translator notes at the beginning. This time, I listened to the audio, performed by 10 different narrators, including Richard Flanagan (who wrote the foreword) and Omid Tofighian, who translated the work from Farsi. Kurdish Iranian refugee Behrouz Boochani was illegally imprisoned by the Australian government. This book was smuggled out in text messages on a contraband phone. An AMAZING call for justice for asylum-seekers everywhere.

Monkey Beach by Eden Robinson
A supernatural mystery and a coming-of-age, set in a contemporary Haisla community on British Columbia's west coast. It's the third time I've read this and it gets better every time.

Ain't Burned All the Bright by Jason Reynolds and Jason Griffin; audiobook read by a full cast
The print edition -- which consists of a verse narrative composed in three long sentences, set within stylized collage art created by Jason Griffin -- was my favourite YA book last year. It's about a boy coming to terms with the challenges of our world, including the Covid-19 pandemic and police brutality against Black bodies. I wasn't sure how it would translate to audio but it works. It REALLY works! There are two performances, one by author Jason Reynolds, followed by a full cast version. The audio edition also includes a conversation between the two Jasons.

Foster by Claire Keegan; audiobook read by Aoife McMahon
A small girl spends the summer with childless relatives in rural Ireland. From that unprepossessing outline, Claire Keegan has crafted a perfect novella about family secrets and the acquisition of wisdom. Beautiful and haunting.

Strangers to Ourselves: Unsettled Minds and the Stories That Make Us by Rachel Aviv; audiobook read by Andi Arndt
The connection between mental illness diagnosis and identity is explored with great sensitivity in this audiobook, beginning with the author's own experience of being diagnosed with anorexia nervosa at age six.

Perdido Street Station by China Mieville; audiobook read by John Lee 
This epic fantasy is a wild and wondrous ride, fully deserving of the many awards it has garnered. I was fully immersed in a steam-powered world shared by humans, bird people, insect people, frog people, cactus people and conscious metal constructs, and their love, loyalties and betrayals. 24 hours in audiobook, superbly performed by John Lee.

Ten Days In a Mad-House by Nellie Bly; audiobook read by Rebecca Gibel
A classic work of investigative journalism: Nellie Bly writes movingly of the shocking abuses she witnessed and experienced during her time undercover in a mental asylum. It was 1887; she was 23. Once inside, she acted as she normally did outside, but every doctor dismissed her claim to sanity and attempts to advocate on behalf of patients who were being mistreated. Her exposé yielded an investigation and improvements, a laudable achievement.

Hotline by Dimitri Nasrallah
I had this on my shelves ever since it made the Giller longlist, then was spurred to pick it up because it's in the running for Canada Reads. Wow! I fell hard for the wonderful central character, widowed Muna, who escaped the Lebanese civil war in the 1980s by emigrating to Montreal with her young son. 

Cold Enough for Snow by Jessica Au
It‘s cold and rainy in Japan in October, where the Chinese Australian narrator is travelling with her elderly mother. “[Writing] was the only way that one could go back and change the past, to make things not as they were, but as we wished they had been, or rather as we saw it.” The simple, self-reflective prose style of this novella grew on me until, by the end, I absolutely loved it and the way it left me feeling melancholy yet satisfied.

Creature: Paintings, Drawings, and Reflections by Shaun Tan
A collection of essays and gorgeous narrative artwork from a prodigiously talented Australian artist, Shaun Tan. There‘s something for every reader of every age when you open one of his books, including this one.

The Call of the Red-Winged Blackbird: Essays on the Common and Extraordinary by Tim Bowling
The first 74 pages contain nine philosophical essays, including "Should I Really Read The Remains of the Day in What Remains of My Days?" The second part is a long essay (195 pages)--"The Hermit's Smoke"--about the author's conflicted desire for solitude. Edmonton author Tim Bowling is considered a writer's writer, meaning that his language is exquisite. I really enjoyed his  ruminations.

Waves by Ingrid Chabbert and Carole Maurel; translated by Edward Gauvin
A graphic novel that sensitively portrays a lesbian couple and their anguish after a stillbirth, and then the subsequent journey towards emotional wellbeing, based on Ingrid Chabbert's own experiences.  

A qui appartiennent les nuages? by Mario Brassard and Gerard Dubois
Told from the viewpoint of a woman looking back on a traumatic time in her childhood during un unspecified war, this deeply moving Canadian graphic novel with vintage-style art captures the uncertainty of memories. When she was 9, she was afraid to fall asleep because every time she woke up, more of her world was destroyed. When she did sleep, it was always the same terrible dream of a line of people walking. Her family eventually joined the line. An English translation is now available. Age 9 to adult.

Choosing Brave: How Mamie Till-mobley and Emmett Till Sparked the Civil Rights Movement by Angela Joy and Janelle Washington
Angela Joy‘s outstanding picture book biography and history book is summed up by the subtitle: How Mamie Till-Mobley and Emmett Till Sparked the Civil Rights Movement—and truly does justice to its subject. Distinctive papercut art by Janelle Washington manages to capture the love, dignity and strength. Lots of helpful back matter too. Ages 8 up. Adult readers: this would be a good book to pair with Percival Everett‘s The Trees.

Pink, Blue, and You!: Questions for Kids about Gender Stereotypes by Elise Gravel with Mykaell Blais
This appealing Canadian picture book about gender stereotypes is well-suited to its audience: children from preschool through to Grade 2. Author/illustrator Elise Gravel received the Rights and Freedoms Award in Quebec for “raising awareness and popularizing complex and sometimes taboo subjects among children.” Gravel worked with trans educator Mykaell Blais.

The Three Billy Goats Gruff by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen
“I love goat! Let me count the ways.”
I love authors who sneak in some exposure to Elizabeth Barrett Browning to preschoolers.
As expected from this brilliant duo—Barnett and Klassen—this picture book retelling is hilariously clever. It follows the traditional pattern, with surprises. The convention of the troll‘s poetic manner of speech has him fretting over what rhymes with strudel. The trick played on him by the first two goats becomes, in the troll‘s mind, his own doing. Goat number three 
is astonishingly huge. There‘s another big, bigger, biggest towards the end. Etc. Kidlit fun!

Maybe: A Story About the Endless Potential in All of Us by Kobi Yamada and Gabriella Barouch
An award-winning picture book with whimsical, dreamy illustrations and an inspirational message for all ages. 

Still This Love Goes On by Buffy Sainte-Marie and Julie Flett
Buffy Sainte-Marie says writing the song that has been made into this picture book was like “taking photos with my heart of the things that I see on the reserve.” Cree-Métis illustrator Julie Flett has contributed her gorgeous collage artwork. Sheet music is included at the end. This book is a celebration of nature and community, and a treasure for readers of all ages.

My goals for 2023 include reading more from my shelves. In January I read 4 books that I had purchased in 2022 and 2 that I purchased this month, so I'm happy about that. I also reread one that was gifted to me about 20 years ago. Woohoo!

Another goal is to continue to focus on Indigenous authors. I read 9 books by Indigenous or mixed authors in January. Good job, me.

These are the two I gave up on, because, in both cases, I wasn't in the right mood:
Booktube uploads in January:

Book clubs and buddy-reads:

Valley of the Birdtail - with Kathy R
Monkey Beach - with Kathy R
Boat Number Five - with Shawn the Book Maniac
Homegoing (previously read, not in January) - Feminist Book Club
Braiding Sweetgrass, YA edition, plus Does My Body Offend You? - YA Book Club
How to Read Now (previously read, not in January) - Lesbian+ Book Club

Reading challenges:

Read Across Canada (January is BC + nature): The Call of the Red-Winged Blackbird. (Monkey Beach would have fit this prompt also)

Saturday, December 31, 2022

Annual Reading Stats 2022

I like to look back on my reading at the end of the year, to see how well I'm doing in regards to my goals, which are to prioritize books authored by women, Indigenous, People of Colour, queer, and Canadian. In my efforts to read diversely, I also look for works in translation. I aim to maintain fluency by also reading books written in French. To that end, here are my stats in tasty pie charts:

*translated from 17 different languages

A couple more interesting stats:
I re-read 10 books that I'd previously enjoyed
and abandoned (did not finish) 19.

December 2022 Reading Stats and Booktube Uploads

Nineteen out of the 42 books that I finished in December were so good that I gave them 5 stars on Goodreads. That's what I call an excellent reading month! My favourite books are listed below, roughly in order of preference, starting with the best.

Fayne by Ann-Marie MacDonald

Kurangaituku by Whiti Hereaka

Eddy, Eddy by Kate De Goldi

The Short Story Advent Calendar, edited by Michael Hingston

Heartbreak: A Personal and Scientific Journey by Florence Williams, audio read by the author

Books and Islands in Ojibwe Country by Louise Erdrich

Amazona by Canizales

Why Indigenous Literatures Matter by Daniel Heath Justice, audio read by the author

Rebent Sinner by Ivan Coyote, audio read by the author

How Not to Drown in a Glass of Water by Angie Cruz, audio read by 

Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver, audio read by Charlie Thurston 

Thrust by Lidia Yuknavitch

Maya's Song by Renee Watson and Bryan Collier

Somewhere Sisters: A Story of Adoption, Identity, and the Meaning of Family by Erika Hayasaki

Charlie Muskrat by Harold Johnson

The Invisible Siege: The Rise of Coronaviruses and the Search for a Cure by Dan Werb, audio read by Jason Culp

The Marriage Portrait by Maggie O'Farrell, audio read by Genevieve Gaunt

Indelicacy by Amina Cain

Rehearsals for Living by Robyn Maynard and Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, audio read by the authors

My stats for December:

There were two that I did not finish, and in both cases it was because I could tell that it was the wrong time for me to be reading that book, not because I didn't like it:

Booktube uploads:

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Timmies 2022

Here are a dozen new literary references to Tim Hortons, which is my idiosyncratic ongoing personal project. For previous collections, click here.

Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands by Kate Beaton


Take the Long Way Home by Jon Claytor

was no place to put the trash - no bins, no Dumpster - and pickup was every other week. If you put trash outside, Bugsy [the racoon] got into it, so there was just an industrial-sized communal bag in the kitchen. With three people living there - sometimes four or five, as there was always a rotating cast of girlfriends and buddies and other persons of various origins washing up on our couch or on the floor - it piled up quickly, and the house often had the wet, rotten smell of hot garbage.
    One night I took the trash out, but the bag was too full and too heavy; it ripped as I tried to take it down the porch stairs, spilling garbage down over the steps. I ran inside, cursing, to get a broom and a dustpan, but when I came back out I stopped, confused; there appeared to be mounds of white rice all over, cups and cups of it.
    I leaned in closer to examine it. It wasn't rice - it was maggots. Thousands and thousands of writhing, fat, white maggots which, disturbed from the warm, edible loam of the trash, were now wriggling all over the deck and down the stairs.
    Horrified, I raced inside, grabbed a bottle of bleach and poured it, raw, over the mess; the larvae writhed in agony as they died and the smell of bleach and garbage was so unbearable I staggered back into the apartment and vomited in the kitchen sink. After that we started sneaking our garbage, one household bag at a time, into the unlocked Dumpster behind the Tim Hortons several blocks away, disposing of it at night when no one was around.

This Has Always Been a War: The Radicalization of a Working-Class Queer by Lori Fox

We didn't know much about addiction, about homelessness, but we knew how it could look. We'd watched a man nod into his own lap in the Tim Hortons on Abbott Street, had seen kids hawk lone red and white carnations in plastic sleeves to drivers on the interchange offramp. We'd heard the spellbound murmurs of the woman who sat all day at the bus shelter on Fillmore. 

    We offered these people things we thought they'd want. Some days, one said yes to a cheeseburger, or a filet o fish, or a hot coffee, and other days, no one wanted anything but whatever coins and cash we had.

Agatha of Little Neon by Claire Luchette
"What's that?' she said, picking up a different wad of papers.
    "Some stories I'm writing."
    "Don't you have anything better to do?"
    "Well, not really." I shuffled some of my other papers, hiding them out of sight. Our whole group had culture and language classes during the day, and I was about to start my calligraphy homework.
    "You wrote this?" She cleared her throat and began reading from one of the papers: "'Our first kiss was in a twenty-four-hour Tim Hortons. She came back from the restroom and' blah blah blah."
    Holly looked up from the paper with a frown, her shoulders sagging, heaving air out of her lungs like she had finished a marathon.
    "Aren't you going to keep reading?" I said. "That's just two lines."
    "More than enough." She handed the papers back to me.

'The Bicycle Thief,' in Taobao: Stories by Dan K Woo

    It would be nice to cut the place some slack, really it would, but the trio of young mothers she faced off with was the last straw. Sprawled on a bench beside the
 [Hope, BC] town square, they were chatting and smoking up a storm, keeping half an eye on their youngsters in the sandpit, when Charlotte pulled up and asked through the lowered window of her idling SUV where a person could get a decent latte.
    "Whaddya mean decent?" rasped the fat platinum blonde. Pack a day minimum was Charlotte's bet.
    "I don't know. Someplace with good espresso. Maybe independently owned?"
    The blonde pursed her lips, her pencil-thin eyebrows sharp vees, and drew deeply on her cigarette.
    What? Too many syllables? Charlotte brought it down a notch. "As long as it's not Tim Hortons, I'm easy."
    Three sets of eyes hardened. The blonde elbowed the skinny one beside her, who flicked her butt to the ground and withdrew into the hood of her black sweatshirt. "Hey, why you driving around looking for lattes?" Platinum asked. "Like, don't ya know there was an earthquake?"
    For the life of her Charlotte couldn't connect the two comments, so she chose to ignore them. "If you could just tell me where the nearest cafe is."
    Again Platinum jabbed her friend's bony side. "Back the way you came, lady, right beside the gas station off the highway. Unless you want McDonald's, you'll hafta drink Tims like the rest of us." Her eyes widened innocently, but her mouth twisted into a smirk.

The Broken Places: A Novel by Frances Peck

    My father felt the vehicle shake from the intersecting mid-city track spines. The old coal town grids remained part of the roadway, holding up traffic now and then for flour cars and even causing a few traffic deaths. He watched familiar landmarks and their darkened corridors and intersections pass by in the gloom. The dingy old mill, Overpass #1, Overpass #2, Emmett Card's Dodge Chrysler dealership, the first shopping mall ever built in Ezra, the northside Safeway converted into the Garfield Hockey Arena, the Ninth Avenue bridge and traffic circle, the roof of the homeless shelter down the slope near the old train junction, McDonald's, Tim Hortons, Walmart, Chinatown, and the three-storey boarding house. Arteries led out to the endless spill of fields -- wheat, canola, potatoes, mustard, barley. Where urban ended and rural began in Ezra was a mystery.

'Ghostfly' in Ezra's Ghosts by Darcy Tamayose

    The air was cold in the shadow of the tall buildings along King, but when I stepped into a patch of sunlight, it was summer again. The great rust bulk of Scotiabank rose like a megalith, flanked by the black standing stones of the TD Canada Trust and pale phallus of BMO. I walked past antique stores and Thai restaurants, cathedrals and parks and shops selling Persian rugs, and payday-loan companies, and ragged men urinating against trees. I walked past the warehouses on the rail line, where the slaughterhouses had stood when Toronto was still called Hogtown past identical burger restaurants competing for business on opposite street corners, past grocery chains and ATMs and the old St. Lawrence Market, where people had been bought and sold, and the flatiron building that was the same as the one in New York, only smaller. I walked past a vodka bar called "Truth" and a park named for a colonial administrator and a cafe named for a hockey player and a performing arts centre built entirely of rubble, and in the colonnades I heard my own footsteps echo back into the centuries, back into Italy and Spain and the British Empire. [...] Above it all, the syringe of the CN Tower punctured the blue vein of the sky.

In the City of Pigs by Andre Forget

    Black Friday, and we'd left Jeff's parents' to drive to Ontario after Thanksgiving. I didn't need to be back for work until the next night. He hadn't been to Niagara since he was a kid. We'd been looking forward to it for weeks.
    The Surfside Inn was right on the Welland River, between a water treatment facility and a Tim Hortons. Old-timey sign on the roof, triangular planter boxes stuck with fake flowers between each room. The timber on the exterior was painted a shocking blue, the brickwork the colour of clotted cream. Jeff protested only a little before relenting. Through he didn't understand my affection for outmoded, cheesy Americana -- It just reminds me of being a kid, he'd say -- he had no more appetite for chain hotels than I did.

Bodies of Light by Jennifer Down


    O Tauro maxed out at a buck twenty-five an hour and turned the radio knob until he got Rock 95 and blasted it nice and loud. The two of us hummed along and he butted a third or fourth or fifth cig into the hot clipping Highway 11 winds. We took an exit and joined a procession of cottagers who arrived on the north side of Sunshine City, where a morass of corner gas stations and townhouse rows, apartments and plazas greeted us. 
    We continued along to West Street, where a convenience store, a doughnut shop, a Little Caesars, a store called Big Apple, and other unassuming businesses formed a semicircle plaza. The only place that had any consistent traffic besides the gas station was a slow burning Timmys drive-thru and a stucco-themed KFC beside it.

Half Bads in White Regalia: A Memoir by Cody Caetano


    After Bonnyville and to-go coffees from Timmys, we scoop south, down to Wainwright, and while we catch our breath from running from the parking lot to get close enough for our photo, we admire the big, fake bison. It's here because the real bison used to be here, and it's massive, and it makes me sad. But there's no time for sadness, to think about what we did to this earth, and the things living here. To think about what it was like when we were at the front of this thing, when we were on our first date, and not at the end.

The Summer of Bitter and Sweet by Jen Ferguson


    I suggested we meet at Timmy Ho's.
    "Timmy Ho's?" the Posner impersonator queried, as if he was some guy from Chicago who had never heard of the place.
    "Yes. Tim Hortons on Sixth."
    "All right," he said, after a pause.
    What did he think, I was going to suggest Starbucks and blow my grant money on a venti mocha frappuccino with him taking notes?
    Mr Posner's cover was so blown. Plus that fake American accent was plain goofy. In any event, my dog noticed a squirrel on the windowsill and started barking incessantly. I couldn't hear anything else so I hung up.

'Vacuuming the Dog,' in Western Taxidermy by Barb Howard

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

November 2022 Reading Stats and Booktube Uploads

An Indigenous readathon called Skoden took place on booktube in November and I joined in with enthusiasm. I usually read a few books by Indigenous authors every month, but this month I read 21! That's more than half of the 40 books I read in November. I'm pleased to say that I learned a lot and also enjoyed the many new perspectives offered by reading a wide variety of Indigenous literature. See my video links below for further details.

Here are this month's stats.

Here are the covers of all 40 books that I finished in November.

These are the eleven best books of the month:

Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands by Kate Beaton

Maps of Our Spectacular Bodies by Maddie Mortimer

This Place: 150 Years Retold by Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm; David Robertson; Richard Van Camp; Katherena Vermette; Chelsea Vowel and others

H of H Playbook by Anne Carson, translation and adaptation of Heracles by Euripides

Our Colors by Gengoroh Tagame, translation by Anne Ishii

The Power of Story by Harold R Johnson 

Rave by Jessica Campbell

The Summer of Bitter and Sweet by Jen Ferguson 

The Lesbiana's Guide to Catholic School by Sonora Reyes

Swim Team by Johnnie Christmas

What It's Like to Be a Bird by David Allen Sibley

The two books I tried and then abandoned in November:


Links to booktube videos I uploaded in November:

Finalists for Canada's GG Award for Fiction 2022

Friday Reads Nov 4

Friday Reads Nov 11

Indigenous Reads Nov 12

Friday Reads Nov 18

Recent Reads Nov 22

Friday Reads Nov 25

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

October 2022 Reading Stats and Booktube Uploads

Grateful as I have been for online events during the covid pandemic, I was so happy to attend the Vancouver Writers Fest in person this year. I went to 8 events and walked a lot. Vlogs of my Vancouver biblioadventures are linked at the bottom of this post.

These are my favourite books of October:

Alberta and Freedom by Cora Sandel

Our Wives Under the Sea by Julia Armfield

What a Mushroom Lives For: Matsutake and the Worlds They Make by Michael Hathaway

Attack of the Black Rectangles by Amy Sarig King, audiobook read by Pete Cross, Jane Yolen, AS King, Maggi-Meg Reed et al

Finding Edward by Sheila Murray

Aki-Wayn-Zih: A Person as Worthy as the Earth by Eli Baxter 

Mina by Matthew Forsythe

Time Zone J by Julie Doucet

Here are my October stats:

Covers of the 30 books I finished:

This is the only book I bailed on in October (not in the right mood):

Uploads on my booktube channel, Lindy's Magpie Reads:

Friday Reads Oct 7

Friday Reads Oct 14

Whateverday Reads Oct 16

Vancouver Biblioadventures 1

3 minutes of highlights from a 3-hour walk through Stanley Park

Vancouver Biblioadventures 2

Vancouver Biblioadventures 3

Vancouver Biblioadventures 4

Vancouver Biblioadventures 5

Vancouver Biblioadventures 6

Friday Reads Oct 28

Fiction Finalists for Canada's GG Awards