February Reading Challenge

January’s reading challenge was a roaring success, so I’m excited to set a new challenge for February. I loved all 3 of the books I read in January and hopefully I can replicate it again this month. You can see my January Summary here.

I was really torn between two challenge ideas for February. I have a pile of fantasy novels piling up on my shelf, so I was tempted to read 3 of them for February, but I decided to actually challenge myself and get a little bit more specific with some books I’ll be less likely to read anyways. That said, I may set a genre challenge every third month or so to help work my way through my TBR and try and keep my challenges from being too heavy or onerous.

So without further ado, my reading challenge for February is:

Read 3 books about Canada

It’s pretty embarrassing how few Canadian novels I’ve actually read and with CBC posting the 2018 shortlist for Canada Reads, I was inspired to try and knock back a few of my Canadian authors! My 3 picks for February are:

  1. The Boat People by Sharon Bala
  2. The Break by Katherena Vermette
  3. The Colony of Unrequited Dreams by Wayne Johnston

I’ve been anxiously waiting for CBC to drop the 2018 shortlist for Canada Reads and I decided to pick one of the 5 contenders for my reading challenge. The Boat People is based on the true story of a cargo ship of refugees from Sri Lanka that landed on Canada’s shores in 2010. However, instead of finding sanctuary all 500 of the refugees were thrown into a detention centre. The story is told through several different perspectives of both the refugees and people involved in the case. That’s all I really know about it and I’ve decided to read the book before I do any further research. So I guess I’m not done with immigration stories yet, but I didn’t read any books about refugees last month, so it’ll be interesting to get this perspective.

I’m trying to get a diverse selection of books, so I like that The Boat People is written by a woman of colour and that it features Vancouver a little bit (my current home). However, I literally just looked up the author to learn a little bit more about her and I was actually ecstatic to discover that while she was born in Dubai and grew up in Ontario, she currently calls St. John’s home (my hometown!!).

My second pick, The Break, was recommended to me by a co-worker and then I started seeing it everywhere and have only heard good things about it. It’s about a Métis woman in Manitoba who potentially witnesses a crime on the break outside her house. I don’t know a whole lot about the plot, but the book synopsis informs me that it’s a inter-generational saga that features the narratives of all the people who get tied up in the case. I’ve been loving family dramas lately, so I’m excited to dive into this one. The Break is also written by a woman of Métis decent, so I was inspired to give this in a read in order to support more first nations writers. Side note: The Marrow Thieves has also made the 2018 shortlist and sounds fascinating, so I’m hoping to find time to read this one in the near future as well.

Finally, I wanted to read something about Newfoundland since it is my homeland and I have a deep love for the island, even though I’ve been loving living in Vancouver for the last 4 years. There is a surprisingly amount of literature about Newfoundland, but it was hard to find one that was super appealing. I decided on A Colony of Unrequited Dreams, which is historical fiction about Joey Smallwood, Newfoundland’s first premier when we joined confederation in 1949.

I read Greg Malone’s Don’t Tell the Newfoundlanders a few years ago, which is an exposé about how Newfoundland came to join Canada. I found it fascinating and wrote a whole blog post on it here, so I’ve decided to expand my knowledge and give this book a try. I’m a little nervous about it though because my copy is 600 pages of tiny font. Usually book length doesn’t bother me, but I’m worried this one won’t be an easy read, so we’ll see how I do.

Anyways, wish me luck and I’ll check back in in a month!

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