Exploring Solidarity & Pride: 4 Books to Check Out

I’ve always found Calgary Pride taking place during the Labour Day weekend to be fitting timing. LGBTQ2S Rights. Workers’ Rights. When it comes down to it they are one and the same. The histories of these movements over the last 50 years are deeply intertwined.

Which is why I’ve also tried to use the Labour Day weekend to read a book that combines these two movements. Below are the four books I’ve read over the last four years that are worth checking out.

Queering the Quarantine: 9 New LGBTQ Books to Check out (while staying home)

Welcome to the age of physical distancing. Has quarantine life got you looking for more books to fill your time? Are you worried about what you’ll do once Schitt’s Creek ends this week? Well, I hope this list helps!

Personally, I’ve already had three weeks of working from, and staying home. During that time trapped indoors I’ve managed to finish 9 new LGBTQ books worth sharing: 5 memoirs and 4 novels. (I’ll have some non-fiction to recommend soon!) All but one are Canadian. Seven were just released in 2019, with the other two not much older than that.

MY 2019 READING LIST

Joke’s on me… it is April 1st and I realized I have never shared my 2019 reading list. Better to throw it together late than never! 2019 was a year of reading as a way to distract myself from a double election year; often by tackling some of the many unread books sitting on my shelf.

Looking back on my reading list, I managed to complete over 60 new-to-me books this year. I again completed all of the Canada Reads books and continued to keep a nerdy spreadsheet to ensure I stayed focused on reading authors with a wider diversity of backgrounds and identities, including local, Indigenous and LGBTQ2S authors.

It was also the 100th Anniversary since the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike so I took time to devour many of the books looking back on that milestone event in labour history.

CANADA READS: 9 FINALISTS THAT DIDN’T WIN BUT ARE WELL WORTH THE READ

The recent announcement of the 2020 Canada Reads finalists had me reflecting on some of the fantastic Canada Reads books I have enjoyed over the years, many of which I ended up reading because they made it on the short list of finalists for the show.

So with all that in mind, I decided it could be fun to make a list to draw attention to what I think are the great Canada Reads finalists worth reading – even though they didn’t ultimately win the contest. Here they are:

READ LOCAL: FIRST-TIME EDMONTON AUTHORS WORTH CHECKING OUT

The heated debate over our downtown library branch renovation has got me thinking about Edmonton books. Now seemed as good of time as any to make a list of first-time Edmonton authors worth giving a chance. Here are a few I’ve discovered recently by picking up a copy at Audrey’s Books or at my local Edmonton Public Library branch. With the nice weather finally here, you could even consider them summer reads!

100 years on: a Winnipeg General Strike reading list

Today marks the 100th anniversary of a pivotal event in Canadian history.

The legacy of the Winnipeg General Strike of 1919 remains contested, but for those seeking to build working class movements today, I believe there is plenty that can be learned from that period of workers’ revolt in Canada.

From how it all began, to what happened in the years to follow, here is a list of some reading suggestions for those wanting to dive in.

Starting with Truth: 6 Residential School Memoirs to Read for Those Seeking Truth and Reconciliation

I’ve often been asked for book recommendations with the question “Where should I start?”. Each of the books listed below helped me better understand Canada’s truth from the words of those who directly experienced the residential school system. They use the power of a residential school survivor’s unique personal stories to share important first-hand truths about Canada’s colonial residential school system and their legacy which we are still experiencing today. Obviously, our colonial truth doesn’t end in the past with residential schools but, if you’re a settler like myself, these memoirs are a good place to start.