21 THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT THE INDIAN ACT by Bob Joseph

Based on a viral article, 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act is the essential guide to understanding the legal document and its repercussion on generations of Indigenous Peoples, written by a leading cultural sensitivity trainer.

Since its creation in 1876, the Indian Act has shaped, controlled, and constrained the lives and opportunities of Indigenous Peoples, and is at the root of many enduring stereotypes. Bob Joseph’s book comes at a key time in the reconciliation process, when awareness from both Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities is at a crescendo. Joseph explains how Indigenous Peoples can step out from under the Indian Act and return to self-government, self-determination, and self-reliance—and why doing so would result in a better country for every Canadian. He dissects the complex issues around truth and reconciliation, and clearly demonstrates why learning about the Indian Act’s cruel, enduring legacy is essential for the country to move toward true reconciliation.


Title : 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act: Helping Canadians Make Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples a Reality
Author : Bob Joseph
Format : eBook (overdrive)
Page Count : 201
Genre : non-fiction
Publisher : Indigenous Relations Press
Release Date : April 10, 2018

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : unrated


Hollis’ unrated review

I don’t rate non-fiction but if I did this would get five stars. This was never going to be a comfortable experience but the way this guide was broken down, the way it made the policies and regulations easy to understand, and then how that related in the moment, and the impacts (both then and now), was done so well. It felt like the perfect way to begin this journey of learning, understanding, and reconciliation; because this is far from the end of it.

The tragic reality is that what should have been a positive and respectful code of conduct degenerated over time into one in which government policies led to cultural genocide, assimilation, theft of land, denial of treaty and constitutional rights, racism, and increasingly punitive laws meant to control every aspect of the lives and deaths of the original inhabitants of what is now Canadian territory.

This history (which is not actually history but still ongoing) is horrible, upsetting, and in some cases absolutely diabolical. Watching it unfold, seeing how these regulations were put in place and modified or amended when it suited, was just.. stunning. As in I was stunned stupid by it. Reading the chapter(s) on the residential schools would’ve been horrible at any point but is especially awful in light of the discoveries from the past few weeks. Which just goes back to my point that this isn’t historical; we are living it even now.

Aboriginal Peoples have preserved their identities under adverse conditions. They have safeguarded their traditions during many decades when non-Aboriginal officials attempted to regulate every aspect of their lives.

This should be required reading for every Canadian currently living on this land but also for everyone beyond. Highly recommend you pick this up and I hope to have many more recommendations for you as I discover them myself.

JANE AUSTEN’S BEST FRIEND: THE LIFE & INFLUENCE OF MARTHA LLOYD by Zoe Wheddon

All fans of Jane Austen everywhere believe themselves to be best friends with the beloved author and this book shines a light on what it meant to be exactly that. Jane Austen’s Best Friend; The Life and Influence of Martha Lloyd offers a unique insight into Jane’s private inner circle. Through this heart-warming examination of an important and often overlooked person in Jane’s world, we uncover the life changing force of their friendship.

Each chapter details the fascinating facts and friendship forming qualities that tied Jane and Martha together. Within these pages we will relive their shared interests, the hits and misses of their romantic love lives, their passion for shopping and fashion, their family histories, their lucky breaks and their girly chats. This book offers a behind the scenes tour of the shared lives of a fascinating pair and the chance to deepen our own bonds in ‘love and friendship’ with them both.

Title : Jane Austen’s Best Friend
Author : Zoe Wheddon
Format : Hardback
Page Count : 224
Genre : Biography
Publisher : Pen & Sword Books
Release Date : February 28, 2021

Reviewer : Micky
Rating  : ★ ★ ★ ★


Micky’s 4 star review

Headlines:
Female friendships transcend time
Lows and highs
Sharing confidences

Any Austenite is going to appreciate stepping behind what was known of Jane Austen and getting a sneak peak into her bestie Martha Lloyd. Through this biographical read, the reader gets to see the impact this friendship had on Jane’s life but also the kind of friend Jane herself was.

This biography was well researched, full of historical details and it had some photos in the middle of the book to aid visualisation of places that were signficant to this friendship. It was interesting that Martha was actually ten years older than Jane but there wasn’t a superiority or power imbalance arising out of that fact.

I was definitely heartwarmed by the same facets of friendship I value, being seen in the relationship between Jane and Martha. When the going got tough with health, grief and life’s difficulties, they were there for one another. Martha was a practical friend as well as a confidante. The chapter that was written on Martha after Jane’s death was a bit of a heart punch, maybe because I’ve always admired Jane so very much.

This was a great insightful biography and writing from the friendship perspective felt fresh. The writing was detailed and so I chose to read this over a number of days and enjoyed that approach. This is definitely a book that will thrill Austen lovers.

Thank you to Pen & Sword Books for the review copy.

THE FIXED STARS by Molly Wizenberg

At age 36, while serving on a jury, author Molly Wizenberg found herself drawn to a female attorney she hardly knew. Married to a man for nearly a decade and mother to a toddler, Wizenberg tried to return to her life as she knew it, but something inside her had changed irredeemably. Instead, she would discover that the trajectory of our lives is rarely as smooth or as logical as we’d like to believe.

Like many of us, Wizenberg had long understood sexual orientation as a stable part of ourselves: we’re “born this way.” Suddenly she realized that her story was more complicated. Who was she, she wondered, if something at her very core could change so radically? The Fixed Stars is a taut, electrifying memoir exploring timely and timeless questions about desire, identity, and the limits and possibilities of family. In honest and searing prose, Wizenberg forges a new path: through the murk of separation and divorce, coming out to family and friends, learning to co-parent a young child, and realizing a new vision of love. The result is a frank and moving story about letting go of rigid definitions and ideals that no longer fit, and learning instead who we really are. 



Title : The Fixed Stars
Author : Molly Wizenberg
Narrator : Erin Mallon
Format : Audiobook
Length : 6 hours 21 minutes
Genre : Non-fiction, memoir
Publisher : Dreamscape Audio
Release Date : May 12, 2020

Reviewer : Micky
Rating  : ★ ★ ★ 


Micky’s 3 star review

Don’t let that cover confuse you. To me, the cover conjures chick lit or romance, but this is non-fiction, a memoir. This memoir tackled interesting themes – understanding sexual orientation, gender and the potential for people to change in these respects as they grow and age. The author, Molly was in her 30s, married and a mother, when she went from feeling 100% straight to a different position.

This memoir was the unravelling of the status quo of her life and her process of working out who she was as a person, a woman, as a sexual being. Molly’s journey was incredibly interesting as was her self examination and discovery. However, the narrative style wasn’t particularly one that appealed to me. This story was told from the present time, then it would jump back into the past with lengthy descriptive periods that just lost my interest. Added to that, the timeline continually jumped back and forth in time but not staying with consistent time periods, if that makes sense. I found that approach jarring and confusing. I also wasn’t particuarly interested in her childhood or college years but I get that they had some foundational relevance.

I liked how the author used other texts and quotes to support her position, how she felt and that her experience was one that others had trodden. I do think it was a brave, exposing memoir.

The narrator is one known to me and not a narrator I favour, so I guess that might have slightly affected my listening experience too.

Overall, I think this is the kind of memoir that will appeal to those interested in a personal lgbtqia+ experience and also those trying to find answers to their own questioning. I generally found this anthropologically engaging and I think many others would too.

Thank you to Libro FM for the #gifted advanced listening copy.

https://libro.fm/audiobooks/9781690588672-the-fixed-stars

BADLY BEHAVED WOMEN: THE STORY OF MODERN FEMINISM by Anne-Marie Crowhurst

Badly Behaved Women is the illustrated story of the past 100 years of the women’s movement, from suffrage, alleged bra burning and the politics of hair to Beyoncé, body positivity and #MeToo.

In the early twentieth century, through ceaseless dedication and fearless campaigning, the women’s movement achieved what had previously been unimaginable: a woman’s right to vote. Four waves of feminism and a century on, the rich cultural history of this movement is truly worthy of celebration.

Accompanied by stunning photographs, personal testimony essays from key figures and archive material from sources around the world, Anna-Marie Crowhurst’s compelling and entertaining retelling of this multi-stranded, global and ongoing story also examines the flaws of the movement and the future of feminism.

Personal testimony essays from: Alice Coffin; Juno Dawson; Diana Evans; Nadia Ghulam; Susie Orbach; Helen Pankhurst; Gisela Pérez de Acha; Laura Perlongo; Emeli Sandé; Anne Wafula Strike; Hibo Wardere; Harriet Wistrich; Rosie Wolfenden.


Title : Badly Behaved Women
Author : Anne-Marie Crowhurst
Format : Hardback
Page Count : 192
Genre : Non-fiction
Publisher : Welbeck Publishing
Release Date : August 6, 2020

Reviewer : Micky
Rating  : ★ ★ ★ ★ ★


Micky’s 5 star review

The concept, the size…everything about BADLY BEHAVED WOMEN was stunning. The chapters, the timeline of feminism from 1900s to present time and most of all the powerful pictures supporting the themes were superbly thought out. This book had easy bites for chapters, you could dip in and out as well as read front to back, like I did.

I loved the stroll through history from the early 1900s starting with suffrage for white women , then considering black womens’ experience of this. From the fight to wear trousers to how WWII changed how women were perceived from a usefulness perspective. I found the start of reproductive rights so interesting. Initially, was the right to take the contraceptive pill and having some control over the number of children women had to have (unthinkable at the time that women might not want to have children). I never really thought of this when I started taking the pill, that women had once had to fight to do this. All closely linked to the women’s right to have sex as she chooses.

The book tackles the concepts of equal pay – this is still an issue in my career as is career progression. That said, I’m a white woman, this is so much worse for black women. Women of colour and their experiences were threaded throughout the book but also with some separate chapters as well, featuring some heroes of all our times, such as Angela Davis. Queer womens’ experiences were considered as a discreet chapter but were not particularly threaded through the book.

Not every topic was super serious, there was humour and celebration. Shoulder pads and handbags were featured. We might laugh at the Shoulder pads of the 1980s but they’re were a sign of power, think Grace Jones and Princess Diana.

I really enjoyed reading about the power of the media, such as TV, movies and music. I remember watching some movies when I was young with women as working women, juggling children as though a novelty. Then TV such as Buffy and The X Files where strong women were the centre. All this was alongside the reality of things such as female astronauts in space. I also loved the section on women’s football.

Present times in this book brought us to the #metoo experiences and movement, feminist comedians, and body positivity. The whole read felt like an enlightening and empowering stroll through the collective female journey. I highly recommend this for teens, adults and all genders, it was fantastic.

“Woman are powerful and dangerous.”

Thank you to Welbeck Publishing for the beautiful gifted copy.

WHITE FRAGILITY by Robin Di Angelo

The New York Times best-selling book exploring the counterproductive reactions white people have when their assumptions about race are challenged, and how these reactions maintain racial inequality.

Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue. In this in-depth exploration, anti-racist educator Robin DiAngelo examines how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what can be done to engage more constructively.


Title : White Fragility: Why it’s so hard for white people to talk about racism
Author : Robin DiAngelo
Format : ebook
Page Count : 187
Genre : Non-fiction
Publisher : Beacon Press
Release Date : June 2, 2018

Reviewer : Micky
Rating  : ★ ★ ★ ★


Micky’s 4 star review

WHITE FRAGILITY is one of a range of reads I’m accessing to educate myself further on this journey many of us are on. Most of the non-fiction titles I have planned for myself are own voices reads and whilst this title isn’t, it is relevant and addresses so many pertinent issues. This read is challenging, provocative and makes you examine yourself, your actions previous and now and has provided many ‘oh my’ moments for me (about society and about myself).

Whilst all of the topics in this book have been educational and thought-provoking, these are the areas that have been most useful to me in my self examination and how to challenge racism:
– racial control and the protection of white advantage
– interrupting the forces of racism
– social constructs and their perpetuation of white privilege
– a system of advantage based on race
– institutional power
– reward for not interrupting racism, punishment for interruption
– white fragility in action
– feelings and behaviours

I think this should be part of a range of mandatory high school texts in the UK, influencing evolving thinkers at a crucial time; I wish I had read this earlier. As I move on to more non-fiction reads that get me thinking on my personal journey, I think this was a good starting point.

I have to add that this was a library loan and I was blown away by the excellent selection of reads in multiple formats that my local library has invested in. This may be due to the fact that ten years ago my locality experienced race riots of their own and this investment has been part of the changes in my area.

CLASSIC KRAKAUER: ESSAYS ON WILDERNESS AND RISK by Jon Krakauer

The gripping articles in Classic Krakauer, originally published in periodicals such as The New Yorker, Outside, and Smithsonian, display the singular investigative reporting that made Jon Krakauer famous—and show why he is considered a standard-bearer of modern journalism.

Spanning an extraordinary range of subjects and locations, these articles take us from a horrifying avalanche on Mt. Everest to a volcano poised to obliterate a big chunk of greater Seattle at any moment; from a wilderness teen-therapy program run by apparent sadists to an otherworldly cave in New Mexico, studied by NASA to better understand Mars; from the notebook of one Fred Beckey, who catalogued the greatest unclimbed mountaineering routes on the planet, to the last days of legendary surfer Mark Foo.

Rigorously researched and vividly written, marked by an unerring instinct for storytelling and scoop, the pieces in Classic Krakauer are unified by the author’s ambivalent love affair with unruly landscapes and his relentless search for truth. 


Title : Classic Krakauer: Essays on Wilderness and Risk
Author : Jon Krakauer
Format : eARC
Page Count : 190
Genre : eARC
Publisher : Knopf Doubleday
Release Date : October 29, 2019

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★.5


Micky’s 4.5 star review

Please amuse me for a moment as I thrust a non-fiction read under your nose. I have been and still am to some extent, an avid reader of climbing, mountaineering and expedition non-fiction. With a love of the mountains myself and some amateur climbing in my back pocket, I do love to read about the big, adrenaline-edge climbs. Jon Kraukauer has journaled and recorded his way through some amazing experiences, and his INTO THIN AIR is one of my favourite books.

This collection of his articles and essays on wilderness and risk were a great read and my favourites were those that featured mountain peaks and extreme conditions. However, these essays feature extreme surfing, predicting eruptions and lahars with a doomsday feel, the ethics and liability of high alititude climbing, caving and much more. Those I favoured include: Living Under the Volcano, After the Fall, Loving them to Death

Krakauer narrates this stories with balance and seeming accuracy but there is also a thread of challenge and investigation through many of these stories which I really appreciated. He had a way of drawing you into these stories, bringing a human lens to extreme achievements, disasters and tragedy. His narrative was always engaging. Some stories made me feel a rightful anger such as Loving Them to Death, told with factual narrative of bullying and gaslighting a young person to their demise, elicting such emotion in this reader.

If you’ve never read Jon Krakauer, this is a good starting place to dip your toe into. There are such a range of topics to these essays that some and probably most will appeal to you, as they did to me. If you’re a fan already, you’ll love this.

Many thanks to Knopf Doubleday for this early review copy.

Create your website with WordPress.com
Get started