Tag Archives: Tanzania

“Life is Good with Books I Love” Challenge

I had two friends who invited me to participate in two different Facebook challenges at roughly the same time, so I turned it into my own creation, which I called the “Life is Good with Books I Love” challenge. Now the problem with the challenge was I was only supposed to post the pictures of the books with no explanation. <Gasp> Asking writers to not talk about their favourite books is like…well, let’s just say that it is a different sort of challenge. So I thought I could at least blog about it. So here they are, the seven books I chose and why.

Day 1

“Embers” by Richard Wagamese

I blogged about what this book meant to me earlier this year. I’ve been turning a lot to books that soothe my soul in the past year or two, and I found this one to be so magical that I bought it. For excerpts from this amazing, soul soothing book, click here.

Day 2

“Loving vs. Virginia” by Patricia Hruby Powell; illustrated by Shadra Strickland

I had never heard of the story of this interracial couple who fought to decriminalize interracial marriages until last year. This beautiful novel in verse, which was eye opening for me, alternates between Richard and Mildred Loving’s viewpoints.

Read this article for some of the background of the case and for some books, including this one, that tell the story.

Day 3

“Braiding Sweetgrass” by Robin Wall Kimmerer

Last week I wrote about how I am reigniting my love for my garden, and this is the book I mentioned in that post.

First published in 2003, the book has had a resurgence in popularity. Read an interview with the author here, in which she talks about the current pandemic situation and hope for the future. 

My eye popping poppies

Day 4

“Light a Candle” by Godfrey Nkongolo and Eric Walters; illustrated by Eva Campbell

Before he became the president of an independent Tanzania in 1962, Julius Nyerere had the idea of lighting a candle at the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, and this did indeed happen after he became president. The book is the story of the Uhuru (freedom) torch.

My father was born in this country before it became independent and when it was called Tanganyika (Territory), and so I have always had an interest in the country.

Click here to read what I had to say about the book in a previous blog post.

Day 5

“A Many Splendoured Thing” by Han Suyin

This novel about Eurasian Suyin and her English lover Mark provided comfort and insight in the early years of my marriage, while I was living in Beijing. The author Han Suyin was half-Chinese and half-Belgian, which gave her a unique perspective on bicultural and biracial relationships.

Day 6

“Women Who Run With the Wolves” by Clarissa Pinkola Estés

A gift from my bestie, this book is as relevant today as it was when it was first published in 1992.

If you don’t have time to read it right now, this article contains an excellent summary.

Day 7

“The Art of Bev Doolittle”

I love optical illusions and I love nature, and Doolittle’s art combines both. I fell in love with her art when I was a young woman. 

Watch this video for examples of her pictures.

I could likely do this challenge for a year and then some, so there were many books I left out like my childhood favourites “Anne of Green Gables” and “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. 

What books would you put on your list? Leave me a comment below.

Shoe’s Sunday Stories

@Copyright 2020 Linda Schueler

Telling Tales Festival 2019

I love going to the Telling Tales Festival held at Westfield Heritage Centre. This year due to a conflict and also the weather, my daughter and I were there briefly.

The only author we saw speak was Eric Walters, which is OK, because he is a favourite of my daughter and me. Walters graciously stood out in the rain while the audience took cover on the stage. 

Eric Walters

Before the presentation on the “Forest of Reading” stage, I had noticed that there was a poster for a new initiative called “I Read Canadian Day”. Walters started his talk with mentioning this event. The first time this will be celebrated is February 19, 2020. Bravo!

Walters also talked about his recent books including “Fourth Dimension” and “Broken Strings”, co-written with Kathy Kacer. But it was his third book, a picture book called “Light a Candle” co-written with Tanzanian native Godfrey Nkongolo that I was most interested to hear about. Tanzania is where my father was born, and it has a special place in my heart.

In Nkongolo’s bio, it states that “One of his passions is to promote African thought and show the world that although the widely known story of Africa is one of despair, Africa also has a message of hope.”

The story follows young Ngama, who is in the stage between child and man. His father, the chief of the Chagga people, and a group of men from the tribe are going to climb to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro in order to light the Uhuru (freedom) torch. Julius Nyerere had become president of a now independent Tanzania, and he made a request to light a candle at the top of the mountain, something he had spoken about doing before he became president. Ngama is told that he is not old enough, but he follows the men anyway and witnesses and then joins in the lighting of the torch. It’s a touching story, written in both English and Swahili.

Have you got any tales to tell from the Festival? Or any new picture book choices to share?

Shoe’s Sunday Stories

@Copyright 2019 Linda Schueler