In our third reading round-up, we are taking stock, both physically and metaphorically.
Our selections for this month include lists and inventories, which use objects as a jumping-off point to explore memory and meaning. But these books also take stock in other ways — by examining and retelling ancient stories, diving into the colonial, patriarchal, and racist systems that plague our daily interactions, and sending characters on journeys of self-reflection and discovery. These inventories aren’t just lists. They are a means of determining who we are now, how we got here, and where we are going.
On International Women’s Day, the Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction announced their longlist for the 2017 prize. The Bailey’s Prize is one of the most prestigious book prizes awarded in the U.K., and each year they highlight stunning books by contemporary female authors that cover a broad range of themes. Continue reading
by Rebecca Valley
You may or may not know by now that I work during the day as a middle school librarian. Back in September, I challenged myself to read 20 young adult books before the end of 2016, and as of this morning, I completed my goal — with a comfortable two week cushion, I might add.
I work at a Title I school, and my students were one of the primary inspirations for our Droplet series on young adult and children’s literature. In my school district, about 30% of the students speak Spanish as their first language, and a huge percentage are first generation immigrants from Guatemala and Mexico. Continue reading
Pond by Claire-Louise Bennett (Riverhead Books, 2016)
Reviewed by Rebecca Valley
A few weeks ago, while in the middle of Claire-Louise Bennett’s debut novel Pond, I discovered an interesting quote on the paper tag attached to my bag of chamomile tea — a great venue if you’re looking for cheery aphorisms, but rarely a space for particularly thought-provoking material. This particular tag featured a quote from Lord Byron, which read, simply: “There is pleasure in the pathless woods.”
by Rebecca Valley
#WITMonth snuck up on me. I was busy tying up all the loose ends from our August 1st launch, and when I finally resurfaced I discovered that my Twitter feed was inundated with a library’s worth of books by ladies from around the world. Among the stacks of recommendations were old favorites like Silvina Ocampo and Isabel Allende, and acquaintances like Han Kang, whose book The Vegetarian has been on my to-read list for months. What truly amazed me, though, was the sheer number of authors I’d never discovered — women whose names I had never heard, whose titles I had yet to uncover. Continue reading