It has become a tradition without which I cannot close the year. Before New Year's Eve, I compile the books I've read and share highlights with friends and readers. A simple tradition that allows me to look back on the places I've travelled to and the people I've met through reading.
Welcome to the end of 2020 where a pandemic made the first half of this year unprecedented, and the rest of it unbelievable, but devastatingly true. Last year, my end-of-year reading compilation was titled 'Reading Balzac in end-times'. So this year, I will avoid any attempt to sum up the dreadful, brutal year that was 2020. Here are my 2020 reads.
In this 2012 novel, Saul Indian Horse is a young Indigenous boy who grows up in a residential school in Northern Ontario. Author Richard Wagamese (1955–2017) signed this masterful tale of resistance through sports. The story was made into a beautiful movie, but it's well worth reading the book even if you have seen it.
Lorraine Guay est une personalité bien connue dans les milieux communautaires au Québec. Dans le livre *Qui sommes nous pour être découragées?*, la journaliste Pascale Dufour réalise un entretien complet avec cette militante de longue date.
Il y a quelques années, j'ai eu envie d'approcher la lecture de façon structurée. J'aime lire un peu de tout, mais j'aime aussi me fixer des objectifs pour lire des œuvres que je ne lirais pas autrement. En 2017, je suis tombée sur la collection d'Olivier Barrot *Un livre un jour, un livre toujours*, et j'ai su tout de suite que mon programme était fixé. En ordre chronologique, cette liste de 200 livres fait le tour des grands classiques de la littérature.
I knew I wanted to read Cherie Dimaline's new book as soon as it came out. I didn't get to it in 2019, but a number of people have -- it has topped Canadian bestseller charts for months now. /Empire of Wild/ is a compelling, fast-paced thriller that pulls from Métis mythology and symbolism. In this book, prepare to come face-to-face with the legendary figure of the Rogarou.
World events are off to a seriously concerning start for 2020. I learned of the US drone strike in Baghdad that killed a top Iranian military officer while in the midst of reading /American Spy/ by Lauren Wilkinson. Her debut novel takes place during the Cold War, when a young FBI agent gets recruited by the CIA for an assignment in communist Burkina Faso. Current global geo-political context aside, I have found in /American Spy/ a fulfilling story written by a promising novelist.
Vijay Prashad's book traces the former Soviet Union's influence on liberation movements throughout Asia and Latin America from its establishment in 1922 through to the first years of the Cuban Revolution in 1959.
My reading in 2019 was marked with the discovery of new Indigenous authors, the completion of some ambitious classics, and reading through a wide range of new authors, in French and English. As is becoming a tradition, I am sharing the bright spots that got me through the year.