Wednesday, November 26, 2008


I get to read while I wait in my doctor's office for appointments. My husband has the children (it's a small waiting room) and I am gloriously free for, at times, an hour to an-hour-and-a-half.

When they apologize for keeping me waiting, I always tell the staff not to worry:

"Are you kidding? This is the only rest I've had all day!"

The other day, I took along my latest issue of Quill & Quire: It's a magazine that, frankly, enables my odd habit of reading "just enough" of a blurb or a review of a book so as to note that I want to read it while seemingly avoiding spoilers that could pop up unexpectedly. Then, I mark a line in the top-right corner of the page to indicate that it's a page I want to remember.

I made note of a few titles that belong to the two subsets of literature comprise my reading list: that of the South Asian diaspora and that of the African diaspora (well, my reading also list includes authors still resident in their country-of-origin):

Vishnu Dreams by Ven Begamudre

I haven't read Ven Begamudre's first novel so I haven't the slightest sense of the author's style.

According to Emily Donaldson, Begamudre's second novel deals with "the conflicts that develop within an Indian family in the wake of their emigration to North American in the late 1960s . . . The story follows their attempts to integrate into a culture still mired in racism and ignorance."

There were also some titles for the young that really caught my eye:

The Bite of the Mango by Mariatu Kamara with Susan McClelland (Young Adult)

This account of young Mariatu Kamara's trauma in Sierra Leone -- which garnered international attention -- was released in September 2008.

Laurie McNeill writes:

"Because the text bears witness to a conflict most young Canadians will know little about, it deserves thoughtful reading, though its necessarily graphic nature makes it best suited to mature readers."

I think I'll have to work up to this and, admittedly, there are so many books awaiting my attention that it could be many months before I get to this one. Heavy.

Child of Dandelions by Shenaaz Nanji.

This novel is set in the era of Uganda's Idi Amin.

Librarian By Day writes:

"Child of Dandelions offers a positive look at a difficult period in the life of a girl, a family, and a country. This is an intriguing novel, one that could be paired with other culture-clash or immigration novels, to offer an example from the recent past." (Italics mine).

Usually, reading Uwem Akpan or Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (my favourite authors) requires a strong, emotional commitment due to the serious and descriptive content that captures individual strife in the midst of national turmoil. I suspect, this novel will require the same kind of relationship. Am I ready?

The Octonauts & The Frown Fish by

(Honestly, being so out-of-touch with, well, everything, meant that I needed to Google Meomi to find out who/what it was. It is a self-described studio.)

Wonderous Strange by Lesley Livingston

I want to write more but can't because a toddler pulls me away from my compuer to read to her.

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