Sunday, January 13, 2008

A good read...

I won't be frequently pestering you as to what to read, mostly because I don't get to read nearly as much as I would like. I obsessively keep lists of my "wish I had time to lounge on a couch with a good book" books. I place holds at the library. Check my holds. Pick up my holds. The holds then sit in bags in various locations throughout my house. I then return my holds, untouched.

Four books in this undignified position in my house as I type this:

Arlington Park-Rachel Cusk
Radiance-Shaena Lambert
Empress of Asia-Adam Lewis Schroeder
Spanish Fly-Will Ferguson (which I especially want to read, having heard a fantastic interview with him on the CBC)

One book however, has managed to stick me on the couch for extended reading (and very intentional selective hearing with regards to the chaos around me) in the last week. The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill is phenomenal. I loved another of his books, Any Known Blood. This might top it.

Maybe I am the ignorant one, but how many of you knew that a group of ex-American slaves who assisted the British in the American Revolution were rewarded with free passage to Nova Scotia? After their settlement there failed, they were shipped away again. This time to form a new colony of Freetown, in Sierra Leone. 1,100 ex-slaves were returned to Africa and were forever after known as the Nova Scotians. Still are. I learned so much from this book (and Hill's Any Known Blood) about Canada's position on slavery and its aftermath. A very worthwhile read, both from the perspective of being lost in a fantastic story and for the smug belief that you have elevated your mind in some minute way to the plight of others. Five stars.

Alright, so back to my Entertainment Weekly and I really want to start Spanish Fly, but I am sure I don't have time before it needs to go back...luckily, I have a half-dozen new, sure-to-stay-unread books waiting for me.

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