It’s been a while since I’ve done #6Degrees, hosted by Katie of booksaremyfavouriteandbest, but I am intrigued by the first book and was hoping participating in this month’s challenge would give me a push to read it for the challenge. Alas, it is not in my library, and so far I have come up empty handed in thrift shops. So onto my TBR list it goes. The book is called “Passages: Predictable Crises of Adult Life” by Gail Sheehy.
“At last, this is your story. You’ll recognize yourself, your friends, and your loves. You’ll see how to use each life crisis as an opportunity for creative change — to grow to your full potential. Gail Sheehy’s brilliant road map of adult life shows the inevitable personality and sexual changes we go through in our 20s, 30s, 40s, and beyond.”
“The Slow Moon Climbs: The Science, History, and Meaning of Menopause” by Susan P. Mattern
Reading the blurb about “Passages” reminded me that I have this book on my TBR list.
I and many of my friends are experiencing menopause or perimenopause, an important passage in life, so I am looking for some insight.
“For most of human history, people had no word for menopause and did not view it as a medical condition. Rather, in traditional foraging and agrarian societies, it was a transition to another important life stage. This book, then, introduces new ways of understanding life beyond fertility. Mattern examines the fascinating Grandmother Hypothesis–which argues for the importance of elders in the rearing of future generations–as well as other evolutionary theories that have generated surprising insights about menopause and the place of older people in society.”
“Bina: a novel in warnings” by Ankara Schofield
Though the main character of this novel—Bina (prounounced Bye-na)—is not a grandmother, she does have a “sorta son” called Eddie. Bina is in her 70s, and she tells her story in a series of jottings on the back of utility bills and used envelopes, and so the story is disjointed, sometimes hard to follow, yet it did keep me reading. So many questions to answer. How did Eddie become her “sorta son”? Who is the Tall Man? What did her best friend Phil ask her to do? Most importantly, what has Bina done to get her into so much trouble?
“Ducks” by Kate Beaton
On the other end of the age spectrum is Katie, who is only 22 and has left Cape Breton to work in Alberta’s Oil Sands where the men far outnumber the women. The story explores the gendered violence, mental health consequences, and indigenous land claims related to the Oil Sands work camps, a place, which is “…a uniquely capsuled-off society, a liminal space…” This graphic novel memoir is at times difficult to read—although there are sparks of joy—but it is eye opening, and it does not surprise me that it is one of the finalists of “Canada Reads 2023”.
“Fowl Language: Welcome to Parenting” by Brian Gordon
In this graphic novel, the main characters are actually ducks. Gordon had me laughing out loud as I recognized my parental self about ten years ago in many of the drawings. Too bad I didn’t read this book back then.
Cat’s Café by Matt Tarpley
There is a duck in Cat’s Café, but the duck is only one of a large cast of characters. Cat’s Café is a place where the local animals come to unwind. Other characters include an anxious rabbit, a coffee loving penguin, and an energetic kiwi, and there are lots of opportunities for a chuckle and/or an “Awwww, cute”. I found the graphic novel to be simply charming and it had me smiling throughout the whole book. Tarpley explores mental health issues very sensitively. Here’s another example drawing called “Waves of Life”.
“Berani” by Michelle Kadarusman
Admittedly there are no orangutans in the previous book, but an orangutan is an animal, so I am going to make that (maybe rather loose) connection here. Kadarusman is a Governor General’s award finalist, and this is the second book of hers that I have read that I have really enjoyed. Yes, the main characters are two seventh graders and an orangutan, but I learned a lot about Indonesia. Kadarusman lived for many years in her father’s homeland of Indonesia, and the story is based on an incident that happened to her brother. The surprise ending had me bawling!
There were a lot of twists and turns in this passage, and I don’t see much of a connection between the first and last book, but I had a blast creating it, and I hope you enjoyed reading it. Maybe you’ll find something that piques your interest too.
Next month the starting book will be “Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen.
Shoe’s Seeds and Stories
@Copyright 2023 Linda Schueler