Sorry I haven’t posted for a while, I’ve been down with a flu (no, not that one fortunately) and have been quite unwell. I couldn’t even read for a couple of days because the headaches were so bad. I hope you are keeping well, staying safe and washing your hands during this troubling time.
Here are a couple of things I have been reading. These have all been 5 star reads for me. This is probably going to be a lot of bad gushing as I’m struggling to English today!
The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta was recommended by Brooklynne from Lost in Literature (make sure you give her a follow! Her recommendations are always on point!) This is a beautiful story, told in verse (swoon!) of a young black man and his journey through his young life, school, coming out and getting into drag. The language and style is so evocative and beautiful, even the difficult parts sing to you. This is YA. I really, really loved this.
Into the Fire by Sonia Orchard was recommended to me by Em from Em_isReading on the gram. This book is so great. As a Gen Xer, this is the first book I’ve read that really captures the feeling that I had going into university and how that has turned out. There is a lot of talk about choices, expectations, fantasties, families. The book is centred around the friendship of Alice and Lara, through the lense of grief after Alice’s death in a house fire. This is a great story with many layers,brilliantly told.
We Have Always Been Here by Samra Habib is a brave and moving memoir. Part of a persecuted religious minority in Pakistan, Habib’s family flees to Canada when she is 10. In addition to the trauma she has already dealt with, ten year old Samra has to become the family interpreter for important matters, come to terms with a very different lifestyle after having left a comfortable situation and arriving in her new country with nothing, and deal with racism and ostracism at school. At 16 she is in an arranged marriage with a cousin ten years her senior. Habib’s challenges keep on coming and when she realises her sexuality and begins to own it she manages to make positive changes in her life, although it is inherently dangerous for her to be both queer and Muslim. Read this.
From the Ashes by Jesse Thistle is one of the most haunting books I’ve ever read. Thistle’s earliest memories are of abandonment and starvation as his father left him and his to brothers (the oldest 5 years old) to fend for themselves for days on end with very little food. They would have to drink the “brown soda” (beer) to keep hunger at bay. The boys ended up in care with their grandparents. The three struggled, Jesse more so. He ended up a homeless drug addict for many years and was in and out of jail. This is a frank account of drug addiction, crime and homelessness and Thistle’s ongoing struggle to break the terrible cycle that he was in, and that he also knew was killing him. All of the content warnings for this one, including rape and suicide. But do read it.
What have you been reading?