I always have so much trouble with Top Ten Tuesday. For one thing I find it hard to think of ten of anything I really enjoy, and thinking of topics of ten things I love is even more difficult. But I love reading other blog’s Top Ten Tuesday and since I really want to make this blog a thing (again…), I’m going to try to keep Top Ten Tuesday a constant fixture on this blog!
For Stuck in a Story Book Reviews first Top Ten Tuesday on it’s new and improved site, and as a recent university grad, I decided to look at my favourite books I’ve studied during my four years at university.
- Monkey Beach by Eden Robinson: An amazing look into the effects of generational trauma passed on through Indigenous families who suffered under the Canadian residential school systems. This book is filled with such raw emotion, and Lisamarie is a very tough protagonist and her journey to accept and understand her Haisla heritage is a moving one.
- The Neverending Story by Michael Ende: An incredible high fantasy novel about coming-of-age and learning your place in the world. While the movie is beloved by many, the book is indescribably beautiful and cleverly written. Those who love John Connolly’s The Book of Lost Things will love this.
- The Island of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells: I’m not one to like many classic novels, but this book completely won me over. It’s completely different from what The Simpsons spoof will have you believe. The book offers a very clever look at the similarities between Humans and Animals, much like Animal Farm but without the communism.
- In Search of April Raintree by Beatrice Culleton: A realistic and dark look at the trauma and violence many Indigenous children (this book focusing particularly on Metis) suffered in the Canadian foster care system. Knowing that the book is autobiographical in many areas makes the book all the more chilling. TW: The book is well-known for it’s traumatic and detailed description of a gang rape.
- Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear: While a difficult book to get into because of it’s narrative voice (it’s written in a heavy Southern tongue) the book was unique in everything else I’ve read in an academic setting. One of my favourite things about this book is that it featured many characters of diverse ethnic, religious, sexual, and gender backgrounds and that none of these labels is the only thing important to their character. For example: Karen is a lesbian, a prostitute, and a woman who kicks some serious butt.
- The Girls of Slender Means by Muriel Spark: A very interesting historical fiction set in London during the Second World War. What makes the book so interesting is that, while their is a lot of talk on rationing, air raids, etc. that were happening to England during the time, the women of the May of Teck Club attempt to live their lives as if no war is going on which makes the end of the novel that more shocking.
- Can You Hear The Nightbird Call? by Anita Rau Badami: This book offers amazing insight into immigration into Canada through the eyes of three very different Indian women. The book questions what it means to be Canadian, when does someone become of another place, among other things. One important historical incident in the novel is the Air India Flight 182 which I didn’t know of before this book even though I’m Canadian. It’s a reminder to me (and other Canadians) that while Canada attempts to appear as a lovely and accepting country to other nations and people of colour, that we hide our racist and prejudiced history well.
- The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison: A disturbing and unforgettable novel that follows a young girl, Pecola, suffering abuse from her family. It’s told from the perspective of Claudia, one of Pecola’s classmates, who appears to be looking at her past as a child through an adult lense, much like To Kill a Mockingbird. TW: Incest and sexual abuse.
- Trumpet by Jackie Kay: The first (and so far only) book which focuses on a transgender character. The novel follows the death of fictional Jazz musician, Joss Moody, is revealed to be biologically female despite presenting as male throughout his life which shocks many reporters and Joss’ son. The novel gives a great analysis on society’s need to gender people, as well as how complicated sex and gender really are and how people need to be knowledgeable about both before intelligently commenting on them.
- Godless But Loyal To Heaven by Richard Van Camp: An Indigenous dystopian short story collection following mainly Inuit and Dogrib beliefs. At times, the stories can be hard to swallow (pun intended) and some gruesome imagery is shown, but the stories are addictive and draw you into the world of the story. There are also so few Indigenous dystopian stories so this book is a very unique read.