The Week in Books #25

Wow I didn’t realize it had been so long since I last posted a Week in Books, the most recent one is from October! I hadn’t been up to much for the end of last year as I was super busy with markets and holiday rush. Starting the new year though I am making more effort to read and have collected a few new books to reinspire me. Here are the titles I have made it through so far in the last 6 weeks.

Witches, Sluts, Feminists by Kristen J Sollee. This was an interesting look at feminist history as it relates to witches. Witches were the first feminists! Shamed by men for enjoying their sexuality and healing with herbs, then burned at the stake or hung without a fair trial. The witch trials really couldn’t be anything other than misogynist men inflicting their will on women. Short but sweet, this book had lots of great information in it.

It Didn’t Start With You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are and How to End the Cycle by Mark Wolynn. Oddly enough, one of the chapters in Witches Sluts Feminists talks about inherited family trauma, a topic I am definitely interested in but hadn’t read much about, and I had already selected It Didn’t Start With You to read next. So I got an accidental one-two punch of inherited trauma. This book was written in an approachable way and there was a lot of good information in the beginning but as the book went on I almost… didn’t believe the author completely. Some of the claims of an unknown family trauma being repeated in the life of a grandchild with eerily similar circumstances just didn’t convince me this is a real phenomenon in the way the author described (I have certainly seen how family trauma can carry on into the lives of the next generation through environment and upbringing, but I am skeptical of the tales where a 19 year old boy suddenly becomes cold all the time and shuts down then discovers his grandfather froze to death in the snow also at age 19. How exactly does that incident get imprinted into the genes of the younger generation?) It is really interesting, however, to think about how a pregnant woman can carry a baby girl in her body but also all the eggs the baby will be born with, and therefore she carries the genetic material of 2 generations at one time. In that instance I can see how if the pregnant woman experiences a trauma it can be encoded into subsequent lives, but at the same time JEEZ just another thing to make pregnant women paranoid about haha. The first part of this book was decent but the latter half sort of dissolved into the authors theory that to move past the inherited trauma you have to forgive your parents. Like, to the point of mending relationships with abusers for the sake of “moving on,” which is a hot load of bullshit. So I’m not sure how I felt about this one on the whole. Undecided.

Son of a Trickster by Eden Robinson. This book is excellent. Sixteen year old Jared drinks, smokes and bakes weed cookies but also cares for his elderly neighbours and supports his family. His grandma is convinced he is not human but actually the son of a trickster. I loved the characters, the writing style, and the casual supernatural magic. Witches, spirits, and lots of weed. Definitely recommend and I’m looking forward to the next one in the trilogy.

The Lonely Hearts Club by Heather O’Neill. This book was really phenomenal. I love Heather’s writing and this book is, in my opinion, her strongest yet (I’ve also read Lullabies for Little Criminals and The Girl Who Was Saturday Night and loved them both). Pierrot and Rose are both orphans growing up in an orphanage in Montreal run by Nuns. They haven’t realized they are falling in love until Pierrot is adopted and Rose is left alone, marking the start of their journey to find each other again. This book had a real Night Circus vibe to it, but with some darker themes like heroin addiction, murder, and pedophilia. Heather has a way of writing about grim subject matter but still making it beautiful, somehow. I devoured it and would recommend to anyone.

There There by Tommy Orange. This is a powerful book that tells the stories of twelve different characters all travelling to the Big Oakland Powwow. Each chapter is about a different character and as you read on you learn how they are all intertwined leading in to the final events. I thought the character building was strong which made up for the lack of a complex plot. Very enjoyable but intense read.

I’m on a real roll with fiction and I’ve got lots more to come in the next few weeks 🖤

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