As a white woman, the best thing I feel like I can do right now is amplify BIPOC voices, so here are some books that I really enjoyed that I think people should check out.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
An obvious choice, as this book was directly inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement. Most people have probably already heard of it, or seen the movie. If you haven’t, then I strongly recommend changing that now.
An Extraordinary Union by Alyssa Cole
This is book one in Cole’s The Loyal League series, all of which are set during the Civil War. In this book, a Black woman spies on the South f the Union Army and ends up working with another spy. As this is a romance, they inevitably fall in love but more importantly, this book delves into the role of Black people in the fight to end slavery.
The Skin We’re In by Desmond Cole
Canadian society is built on racism. We don’t like to admit it, but that doesn’t make it untrue. This book looks at a year of Desmond Cole’s activism and creates a comprehensive picture of entrenched, systemic inequality. I’ve been following Cole for several years, going back to when he hosted a podcast for Canadaland, and he is one of the most important Canadian voices right now.
Another look at Canada’s “multicultural mosaic,” by another writer I first heard through the Canadaland podcast. This book is a very clever and often funny look at growing up as the daughter of immigrant parents.
Bone & Bread by Saleema Nawaz
I read this book when the Canada Reads 2016 shortlist was announced and quickly was drawn into it’s world. It’s a tale of two sisters and also a tale of past and identities.
CW for disordered eating.
Looking at the above list, there is a big group missing: Indigenous authors. This is because, as I went through my top rated books on Goodreads, I realized that I don’t have any from Indigenous authors. I was not unaware of this blind spot and it is why the monthly theme for June is Indigenous books, to tie into National Indigenous History Month. So by the end of this month, I will at least have made some progress on this front. In the meanwhile, here are some books by Indigenous authors that I have heard many good things about, many of which are on my planned reading list for June:
- Moon of the Crusted Snow by Waubgeshig Rice
- Son of a Trickster by Eden Robinson
- The Break by Katherena Vermette
- The Right to be Cold by Sheila Watt-Cloutier
- The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline