Wednesday, July 31, 2019

July 2019 Reading Round Up

Audiobooks were my steady companions in July. I even liked one so much that I listened to it twice. See my reading round up highlights below to find out which one that was. As it happens, only one other of my 5-star favourites this month was one that I experienced in audio format.

Bina by Ankana Schofield [audiobook narrated by the author; 5 h]

If you like the voices of feisty old women in your fiction, Bina is for you. She warns her readers: “Know this much—know it firm, know it tall, know it wide: I will not shut up.” Her trials include being unable to rid herself of a younger man who started living in her west Ireland home after he crashed into her stone fence, having a crowd of activists camped in her yard, and facing criminal charges for things she didn‘t do. It is seriously funny and I loved it so much I listened to the audiobook twice in a row. Similar books include Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk and Baba Dunja's Last Love by Alina Bronsky.

Eddie was an eruption, a natural disaster. The first human one. Won‘t be the last. Plus, he‘s still going, erupting and disrupting. Like today. He might be gone, but look at what he left in his wake. A wake is an absolutely cheery goodbye. There will be no wake with Eddie except an earthquake. It‘d take an earthquake, maybe, to really be shut of him. Pity you can‘t order them over the phone, underneath specific people.

I started thinking about Canada and what kind of people might be there. I didn‘t like their prime minister. He was flighty. He looked like he‘d take off if he went rolling up an escalator too fast.

Why was it we weren‘t rewarded with children? And did I think it was timing, or was it God‘s decision? And, were some chosen and some not? I said no. I said it was nothing to do with timing, but rather some of us had more sense, and could avoid a bucket of trouble being sloshed into our laps.  

Matronalia by A B Dillon

Alberta author Angela Dillon‘s heartbreaking and healing words are addressed to her daughter, expressing regrets, love and hope. Some things passed on from our mothers are best not passed along to the next generation, but it‘s not easy to break the cycle. Honesty, generosity, and clear-eyed examination are some of Dillon‘s tools of precision and understanding.

Go to art when you are lost, my darling. 
Stand before something that breaks you.

You were bold, and this angered him, so instead of giving you the flowers he had bought for you, he threw them in the garbage. Mark me, buy flowers for yourself at least once a month. Your heart is a rose that belongs to no one but you. Besides, who wants Safeway carnations when behind your ribs peonies flourish and the linnets sing fresh and freely?

I release you from ever having to search my face before you leap. 
Does the cherry blossom seek permission?

A man or a boy will want the right to your body. He will whittle you down, girl, whittle you down. Remember this — no one, no church, no man, no boy, nobody, not even me, has a right to your body. You alone navigate the terrain of your wonderful estate. 
Wander and get lost, wander and get lost. 
Get wonderfully lost.

Dunk Tank by Kayla Czaga

Fresh similes (“the wind sighs like it‘s locked its keys in the car”) and encapsulations of teenage girlhood (“synchronized eye-rolling”) and social media (“Can you feel me tap / on your faces, liking your life? / Do you like your life? I like it / so much I make all the small / hearts underneath you light up.”) make this a delightful, sometimes dark, sometimes funny queer Canadian poetry collection.

I‘m very avant-garde in what 
I use for bookmarks. That 
look on your face would do. 

Figuring by Maria Popova 
[audiobook narrated by Natascha McElhone; 21 h]

A long and mesmerizing audiobook that begins with Kepler in the 17th c and ends with Rachel Carson. In between is an interwoven tapestry of the lives of scientists and artists—with a focus on queer women—showing the cross pollination between art and science, the way poetry and music have inspired discoveries and invention. If you love Popova‘s Brain Pickings blog, you will love this too.

The very term ‘pesticide‘ seemed no longer appropriate to Rachel Carson, for designating any organism as a pest to be decimated for the benefit of another organism, the human animal, was an affront to the elemental interconnectedness of nature. She thought ‘biocide‘ better captured the impossibility of violating earth with such poisons without making it unfit for all life.

Having received more congratulatory calls from friends after the Peanuts nod than after her National Book Award, Carson joked, “I found that true immortality seems to rest in being included in a comic strip.”

Urania had taken on a different meaning. As sociology and medicine sought to classify identities that diverged from heteronormative sexuality, uranian, coined before homosexual, came to signify a person of a third sex. First, a female psyche in a male body, then more generally those whose attractions differed from the normative standards of their anatomy, or what we today might call queer people.

Algebra of Infinite Justice by Arundhati Roy

I was waiting for my library hold on Roy‘s new collection of essays, so I decided to reread this one that I own. In her dust jacket photo, Roy (born in 1961) looked young when this collection was published in 2001. The content concerns socio-political issues of two decades ago, but her insights and witty style remain engaging. In the title essay: “President George Bush can no more ‘rid the world of evil-doers‘ than he can stock it with saints.” 

I've looked at the table of contents for Roy's new collection, My Seditious Heart, and I see that all six of the essays in The Algebra of Infinite Justice are included, along with another 37 pieces.

Nowadays I‘m introduced as something of a freak myself. I am, apparently, what is known in twenty-first century vernacular as a ‘writer-activist.‘ (Like a sofa-bed.)

The only dream worth having is to dream that you will live while you are alive and die only when you are dead.

Let‘s just say we‘re an ancient people learning to live in a recent nation. The majority of India‘s citizens will not be able to identify its boundaries on a map, or say which language is spoken where or which god is worshipped in what region. To them the idea of India is, at best, a noisy slogan that comes around during wars and elections.

They were on the streets, celebrating India‘s nuclear bomb and simultaneously “condemning Western Culture” by emptying crates of Coke and Pepsi into public drains. I‘m a little baffled by their logic: Coke is Western Culture but the nuclear bomb is an old Indian tradition? Yes, I've heard--the bomb in in the Vedas. It might be, but if you look hard enough, you'll find Coke in the Vedas too. That's the great thing about all religious texts. You can find anything you want in them.

The New York Pigeon: Behind the Feathers by Andrew Garn

Striking pigeon portraits, taken by photographer Andrew Garn at the Wild Bird Fund rescue centre in NYC, are the stars of this gorgeous, oversized book. There are also chapters on the history and biology of these birds, as well as stories about people who love them. 

Because of their loyalty and excellent homing abilities (employing a combination of visual and magnetic cues) pigeons were recruited as messengers early on. In 2500 BC rulers of Sumeria used pigeons to carry news. Gengis Khan established a pigeon post system covering almost one sixth of the world. In the 20th century almost one million pigeons served in the great world wars, saving the lives of thousands of soldiers.

If sightings of pigeons were to become as scarce as hen‘s teeth, bird watchers would travel great distances to seek them out. They would be astonished and covetous when witnessing their great splendour.

Pigeon eyes. Photography by Andrew Garn
Gumballs by Erin Nations

While transgender cartoonist Erin Nations‘ square-head drawing style didn‘t appeal at first glance, I quickly warmed to his sincerity and humour in this autobiographical collection. Included here are short slice-of-life strips and single page comics about his childhood as a triplet, his gender dysphoria and transitioning, his interactions with colleagues and weird customers in his work as a grocery produce manager, and amusing fictional personal ads.  

Yoga for Everyone: 50 Poses for Every Type of Body by Dianne Bondy

An encouraging body-positive yoga guidebook. 50 poses are illustrated step-by-step with eight diversely-abled models, including a man with no legs, and a very pregnant woman. Support and stability props like blocks, straps, chairs and walls are clearly demonstrated in the variations for each pose. At the end there are a number of sample sequences to help devise a customized practice.

The philosophies behind yoga can foster body positivity by helping you realize that you‘re enough. The central tenets of yoga include nonviolence, contentment, gratitude and self-study.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

June 2019 Reading Round-Up

My reading highlights in June:

Dr Edith Vane and the Hares of Crawley Hall by Suzette Mayr

Rereading isn't common for me, but I read four books for a second time in June. Three of them will be mentioned in a future post, and the fourth is this dark and funny novel, which one of my bookclubs discussed recently. It's a lesbian Alice in Wonderland-ish spoof on the politics of academia, set in a fictional university that could very well be the University of Calgary... if the U of C had malevolent buildings infested with jackrabbits.

Books litter part of the hallway, a pile collected against the wall opposite an open office door. A plant flies out of the door, spatters dirt against the wall, peppering the books.
—Fuuuuuuuck, she hears.
Then, —Fuckety fuck McFuckintosh O‘Fuckinstein vanFucklington!
The office belonged to Jack Froese. One of the creative writers.

Edith tried to get a better chair from the faculty lounge and its collection of unused chairs, but the office administrator, Alice Z, caught Edith pushing the chair in transit between the lounge and her office and chided Edith—Edith needed to fill out the appropriate form, and the new chair should be in her office in six to eight months. Thirteen months ago.

Fen: Stories by Daisy Johnson

“He‘d come to her with a story burning so hot in his mouth he couldn‘t help but tell it: the house that fell in love with a girl, the girl that starved into a fish.” In this collection of sly stories all set in same village in the English fenland, words can scald, coming of age can be brutal, and a fox is not necessarily just a fox.

I like cocks, she said, but I‘m trying to be bisexual, even if it doesn‘t take. I think, in this day and age, it‘s wrong to be straight. 

You have to call a hare a langlugs, he‘d said. And you can‘t ever let them on the boat. Not ever.

This Place: 150 Years Retold by Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm and others. [graphic novel format]

I was 17 in the holds queue at Edmonton Public Library, so it was a treat to find this graphic novel on shelf at the Banff Centre when I was there recently. It‘s an outstanding collection of stories by talented Indigenous writers like Chelsea Vowel, Richard Van Camp and Katherena Vermette. What an appealing way to present aspects of Canada‘s history that need to be more widely-known! The timeline prefacing each piece is a valuable component, as is the extensive end matter.

As Indigenous people, we all live in a post-apocalyptic world. The world as we knew it ended the moment colonialism started to creep across these lands. —Alicia Elliott, Foreword 

Glass Beads by Dawn Dumont [Audiobook narrated by Louise Polika]

Interconnected stories follow a pair of multifaceted Saskatchewan Cree women—and their on-again-off-again romantic partners—from childhood into middle age. Dawn Dumont‘s earlier fiction is swaddled in humour. This time around, she takes her gloves off & gets really real, with issues like foster kids, family violence, police brutality, addictions, suicide, and racism. A good choice for OverDrive‘s One eRead Canada program. I'm sorry that I missed Dumont's talk at Edmonton Public Library last week.

He talked fast, leaping over multiple ideas in a single bound. He had a dozen voices as he acted out characters. He was a one-man conversation band.

Spring by Ali Smith

Ali Smith is keeping it surreal, which is her special way of keeping it real. Her prose sings a song of hopeless hope: that we can change; that art somehow makes space for us to breathe; that we can stop being afraid of other people who are different in some ways from ourselves. Heartbreaking beauty that resonates with the truth of our times.

What if, the girl says. Instead of saying, this border divides these places. We said, this border unites these places. This border holds together these two really interesting different places. What if we declared border crossings places where, listen, when you crossed them, you yourself became doubly possible.

What do you do there? her mother said when she‘d been a fortnight into the job.

I‘m a DCO at one of the IRCs employed by the private security firm SA4A who on behalf of the HO run the Spring, the Field, the Worth, the Valley, the Oak, the Berry, the Garland, the Grove, the Meander, the Wood and one or two others too, she said.

Brittany, her mother said. What language are you speaking?

War won‘t stop, the story says. But enmity can. Things can change over time, what looks fixed and pinned and closed in a life can change and open, and what‘s unthinkable and impossible at one time will be easily possible in another.

Don‘t be calling it a migrant crisis, Paddy said. I‘ve told you a million times. It‘s people. It‘s an individual person crossing the world against the odds. Multiplied by 60 million, all individual people, all crossing the world, against odds that worsen every day. Migrant crisis. And you the son of a migrant.

The Deeper the Water, the Uglier the Fish by Katya Apekina

Fraught family dynamics, art, mental illness, obsession, and a time span from the 1960s to the early 22nd century. My favourite aspect of this novel is the layered, wildly varying viewpoints built from multiple sources including letters, interviews, medical notes, phone conversations, plus the main alternating voices of two sisters. Wowsa.

“Don‘t cry,” she says and closes her eyes. 
I hadn‘t realized I was crying. Tears have been leaking out of me since we got here, like my face is incontinent. “I‘m not,” I say and wipe them with her hair.

Feast Your Eyes by Myla Goldberg

Told in multiple voices—interviews, letters, journal entries—plus a daughter‘s reminiscences, this novel is uniquely presented as a museum catalog for a posthumous photo exhibit. Lillian Preston and her art are based (in composite form) on real photographers and images; I could clearly imagine them. I was enthralled by the characters and the central question, which is how a woman can be both artist and mother.

After three years of folk songs, hands-on learning, and Quaker meetings, nothing short of electroshock therapy could have prepared me for public junior high. 

She knew kids had the built-in cuteness of baby animals but that real childhood was what went on underneath.

The Owl Service by Alan Garner

My YA book club voted this one of their favourite novels out of the hundreds we‘ve read. The group actually read it before 2003, which is when I joined, and I‘ve only this year got around to reading it. Now, I understand their love and admiration for this haunting and compelling novel that brilliantly explores personal relationships and societal structure in the UK. Eerie touches of myth and magic in an atmospheric, realistic setting. (Dodie Smith's I Capture the Castle was another strong contender in our vote for favourites, and my vote for went to Skellig by David Almond. Now that I've read The Owl Service, the two might be tied.)

"Is it a children‘s book? Of course it is, and of course it‘s not only for children. Nowadays, I‘m very glad to say, children‘s literature is taken seriously by academe, and not dismissed as trivial. The Owl Service is one of the books that made that possible and necessary. 50 years after it was first published, we can see that it was always a classic." -From the introduction by Philip Pullman, 2017

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas [Audiobook narrated by Bahni Turpin]

Speaking of YA, I was dragging my feet about picking this up because The Hate U Give was so good, and who knocks it out of the park twice in a row? Angie Thomas does, that‘s who. Her characters—Bri and her family and friends—are real people to me. I‘m so glad to know them. Bri, you keep on speaking up for yourself! Outstanding audiobook performance by Bahni Turpin.

“Brianna, why don‘t you go have a seat?” she tells me, which is mom-at-church speak for: “Girl, you better go somewhere before I whup your behind.”

Normal People by Sally Rooney

“Connell had just wanted to be normal, to conceal the parts of himself that he found shameful and confusing. It was Marianne who had shown him other things were possible. Life was different after that.” 
I could identify with these two lost souls and I enjoyed the quiet yet inexorable way their relationship unfolded. We all make mistakes and we are all deserving of grace. 

He had thought that being with her would make him feel less lonely, but it only gave his loneliness a new stubborn quality, like it was planted down inside him and impossible to kill.

Denise decided a long time ago that it is acceptable for men to use aggression toward Marianne as a way of expressing themselves. As a child, Marianne resisted, but now she simply detaches, as if it isn‘t of any interest to her, which in a way it isn‘t. Denise considers this a symptom of her daughter‘s frigid and unlovable personality. She believes Marianne lacks warmth, by which she means the ability to beg for love from people who hate her.

Hurricane Child by Kheryn (now Kacen) Callender [Audiobook narrated by Krystel Roche]

Winner of two important LGBTQ awards—Stonewall and Lambda—the primary audience for this first-person tale are readers who are around the same age as the main character, who‘s 12. Caroline Murphy was abandoned by her mother for unknown reasons, is bullied at school, and falls in love with another girl. To set her even further apart, Caroline can see spirits. A heartfelt and memorable story set in the US Virgin Islands. Audiobook is performed by Haitian actress Krystel Roche. Her emotional range—sometimes defiant, sometimes sorrowful—is perfect for this.

Lanny by Max Porter [Audiobook narrated by Annie Adlington, Clare Corbett, David Timson, and Jot Davies]

Mythic nature meets modern English life in this joyous, eerie, propulsive novel about creativity, friendship, and our connections to place. Four different audiobook narrators skillfully perform the kaleidoscopic viewpoints. Think George Saunders‘ Lincoln in the Bardo, Jon McGregor‘s Reservoir 13 and Melissa Harrison‘s At Hawthorn Time.

The Only Harmless Great Thing by Brooke Bolander

A brilliant reimagining of history, with humans able to communicate with elephants using sign language. In this slim yet powerful novella, true facts are mashed together in three alternating storylines. It's Radium Girls plus Topsy the elephant (who really was executed in public on Coney Island) plus the problem of how to warn future generations to stay away from toxic nuclear waste sites. Weird and wonderful, especially the parts from an elephant‘s point of view.

But chains can be snapped, O best beloved mooncalf. Sticks can be knocked out of a Man‘s clever hands. And one chain snapping may cause all the rest to trumpet and stomp and shake like a rain-wind coming down the mountain, washing the gully muddy with bright lightning tusks and thunderous song. 

Dharma Punks by Ant Sang [graphic novel format]

Chopstick, a Chinese New Zealander, is looking for existential answers. He‘s turned to Buddhism and pacifism while he recovers from a painful loss but agrees to help his friends carry out a potentially violent act of political protest. Expressive, atmospheric heavy ink artwork. Set in 1990s Auckland, the ragtag band of punk rock anarchists grabbed me by the heart right from the opening pages. Do our lives matter? 

Friday, May 31, 2019

May 2019 Reading Round-Up

Thirty-one books in 31 days: that's very tidy reading stats, isn't it? These are a few of my favourites:

What the Eyes Don't See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance and Hope in an American City by Mona Hanna-Attisha 
[Audiobook performed by the author; 11 hours]

When an Iraqi-born American paediatrician learned there was lead in the Flint water supply, she immediately took action. At first I was a little impatient with the memoir aspect that's interwoven, a lot of personal family history, but then I realized the author was showing us how she became the kind of person who could take on corrupt, lying bureaucrats and politicians. Resilience can be learned: it's one of the things that makes this a hopeful and inspiring true story.

Again and again, the state and federal officials‘ disdain for Flint was shocking. At the EPA, when asked about using federal money to buy water filters for city residents, the Region 5 Water Division Chief wrote, “I‘m not so sure Flint is the community we want to go out on a limb for.” The pointed cruelty, the arrogance & inhumanity. Sometimes it is called racism. Sometimes it is called callousness. And sometimes […] it can be called manslaughter.

Friday Black by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

There's a blurb on the cover from Roxane Gay that says "Read this book." I'm glad that I took her advice because WOW! This funny and gruesome collection of near-future short stories isn't for the faint of heart. Adjei-Brenyah cranks up satire to hyperbolic levels -- and the results are powerful because it's  so easy to see what lies beneath the exaggeration: today's truths.

When Marlene was 6 and I was still a crying bag of poop, my parents tried to convince her that having a younger brother would actually help her to be a good teacher because she could practice information transfer on me. They also told her that I could never be in competition with her in life or their hearts after they caught her trying to smother me with a pillow. They tell that story and laugh about it now.

Emmanuel started learning the basics of his Blackness before he knew how to do long division: smiling when angry, whispering when he wanted to yell.

Ghost Wall by Sarah Moss

Quiet and powerful at the same time. The opening chapter, an imagining of a Neolithic ritual, had me worried because I dislike having my emotions manipulated. Fortunately, everything settles down after that, and it becomes a compact compelling story about a dysfunctional family, a queer girl's coming of age, and human connections to nature. Feminist themes are at the forefront. I loved it.

Dad and I find ash, I said, up on the moortops at home, people say they want to be scattered there as if scattering is making something go away entirely and then we sit down with our sandwiches and realize we‘re in the middle of someone‘s granny, of course they always choose the places you‘d stop for lunch, somewhere on the top of a ridge with a nice view.

I ducked under the flap in the doorway and waited a moment—I could, after all, be going into the wood to pee, or getting a drink of water. Without a house, it occurred to me, it is much harder to restrict a person‘s movement. Harder for a man to restrain a woman.

My Sister the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
[audiobook performed by Adepero Oduye; 4 hours]

Macabre, shocking and witty. I devoured this short audiobook in a single morning. Psychopaths and psychological thrillers aren't usually my thing; it's the relationship between two Nigerian sisters that kept me enthralled. How far would Korede go to help her sister Ayoola? Also, actress Adepero Oduye's audio performance is brilliant.

Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai 
[Audiobook performed by Michael Crouch; 18 hours]

I let myself sink into this epic audiobook and feel all the emotions of the AIDS crisis in 1980s Chicago and its aftereffects in contemporary Paris. It's got the ingredients I like: believable characterization; vivid settings; queer content; the art world; social commentary -- and it's deserving of its many awards and accolades.

You can never know anyone‘s marriage but your own. And even then, you‘ll only know half of it. 

Left to his own devices, he‘d be listening to The Smiths, which wouldn‘t have helped a thing. And if it turned out he only had a few years to live, shouldn‘t he be listening to Beethoven?

For these eight hours, she was unable to do a thing. Being on an airplane, even in coach, was the closest an adult could come to the splendid helplessness of infancy.

Adulthood Is a Myth by Sarah Andersen

I'm guessing that many of you already know how great this self-deprecating collection is, because I've seen Andersen's cartoons posted all over social media. Humour is medicine. It triggers the release of serotonin and endorphins, lowers stress, lifts our mood, helps put problems into perspective, and improves our physical health. We all need to laugh.

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Bloom by Kevin Panetta and Savanna Ganucheau

It's a sweet gay romance in graphic novel format, but I'm not a fan of romance in general, so it was other attributes that kept me interested. What I love most is the believable characterization, capturing the uncertainty and confusion of life after high school, and the weight of parental expectations. I also love Ganucheau's beautiful ink wash art and all the (yummy) extended scenes of baking process.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Four Book Clubs in Six Days

I'm in four book clubs at the moment. Typically, the meetings are spread out over a month, but sometimes the stars align and all of them happen in less than a week. I'm not complaining! I love it. Book discussions give me more insights into what I've been reading, allow me to feel more closely connected to people in my clubs, and broaden my understanding of people who make up our larger society. Following are brief descriptions of the titles chosen for May.

In Two Bichons book club, we read all kinds of books written by women:

Hammer Head: The Making of a Carpenter by Nina MacLaughlin

We all enjoyed this slim, poetic memoir and we ran out of time before we finished talking about the issues raised, such as: work satisfaction; knowing when to quit your job; trust; clothes and self-image; gender bias in the trades; the different ways we learn and the joy of learning. We also compared our own responses to wooden things versus high tech materials. It's a book brimming with gratitude and interesting facts.

"The poet Jon Cotner pointed me to a Korean proverb 'Knows the way, stops seeing.' It's not an argument for getting oneself lost, but a nudge to stay awake, stay focused, alert even when time and experience have dulled us."

For each YA book club meeting, we choose two titles that appeal to teenage readers (mostly these are in a publisher's Young Adult category, sometimes they are middle grade or adult crossovers):

Bloom by Kevin Panetta and Savanna Ganucheau

Ari wants to leave his small town and his family's struggling bakery, but a handsome new guy who's taking a year off cooking school throws his plans into question. It's a sweet, leisurely gay romance in graphic novel format, and since I'm not a fan of romance in general, it was other attributes that kept me interested. What I loved most is the believable characterization, capturing the uncertainty and confusion of life after high school, and the weight of parental expectations. I also love the beautiful ink wash art and all the yummy baking scenes.

A Girl Like That by Tanaz Bhathena

Other members of my book club liked this debut more than I did. I wasn't enamoured with the writing style, and yet I still consider it a pick and recommend it for its portrayal of gender discrimination and for its rich immersion into the lives of Parsi immigrants from India living in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. I also enjoyed the portrayal of Zarin Wadia, the tempestuous sixteen-year-old at the centre of this gritty, contemporary story. Author Tanaz Bhathena, a Parsi woman who now lives in Canada, was born in India and then lived in Saudi Arabia until she was 15.

"In this world, no one cares if you are starving to death. No one even looks at you. They only care when you start doing things they don't approve of - like dancing with your clothes off."

In Feminist book club, whether we are reading nonfiction or fiction, we always examine it through a feminist lens:

One Day We'll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter by Scaachi Koul [audiobook]

A collection of personal essays about topics like feminism, rape culture, self-image, racism and being a brown-skinned Canadian born of Kashmiri immigrants. The pieces fit together smoothly so this reads like a frank and witty memoir. It's her relationship with her parents that ties everything together. I like that her father reads the segments between chapters, with Koul narrating the rest of her work in the audiobook.

"Mom talks about moving to Canada as if my father had requested she start wearing fun hats. 'Why not try it?' she thought, instead of, 'This fucking lunatic wants me to go to a country made of ice and casual racism.'"

In Lesbian book club, we read mostly fiction, mostly by lesbian authors:

Bingo Love by Tee Franklin and and Jenn St-Onge (plus others)

They fall in love as schoolgirls in 1963, are separated by their families, and then get back together 49 years later. After that, only death can separate this pair of grandmothers. A charming second chance romance/family saga with a cast of African American characters. The graphic novel format features brightly-coloured art in a cartoony style. I love stories about older lesbians! I look forward to hearing what the other members think of this when we meet tonight.