Time to Read and Ponder
A poet recently asked writers for comments on how the pandemic has affected our thinking. What a perfect time to ponder: how have we changed?
This question is the essence of literature. A character must have an arc. Nobody wants to read a book about nothing.
Our Time to… Read collections are all about reflection. Here we are between how things were and however things will be. Books fill that void, help us consider past mistakes and future improvements.
As you ponder your own re-emergence into the outside world—at whatever pace you’re comfortable—these six books offer diverse, enthralling and transformative experiences, both for their characters (real and fictional) and for you, the reader.
From our Time to… Read Alone collection, Andre Fenton’s Worthy of Love tackles teen bullying and poor body image, through the eyes of mixed-race protagonist Adrian Carter. It poses profound questions about the nature of change, how much we are willing to risk to change ourselves, and on what is that desire for “self-improvement” based?
From our Time to… Learn collection, Rita Joe’s classic poem, “I Lost My Talk,” an emotional rendering of the long-term impacts of Residential School, is revived in this new work, illustrated by Mi’kmaw artist Pauline Young. An honest, insightful portrayal of a forced journey, the resilience of the traveller and the price paid, and an age-appropriate way to teach about residential schools.
From our Time to… Escape collection, Deni Ellis Béchard’s fourth book of fiction, A Song from Faraway, takes readers on the world tour COVID-19 won’t otherwise allow, spanning from nineteenth-century Prince Edward Island to modern-day Iraq. The remarkable resilience and adaptability of humanity is again on display, as characters reinvent themselves as they search for purpose.
From our Time to… Escape collection, Kevin Major’s latest thriller, Land Beyond the Sea, reimagines a 1942 early-morning U-boat attack on the passenger ferry SS Caribou in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, shifting perspectives between passengers of the doomed vessel and the U-boat commander. Major poses questions of what we will do for our homeland.
From our Time to… Discover collection, Shaped by Silence informs of reformatories run by the Sisters of the Good Shepherd, where “troubled” Irish girls were sent for education. Instead, they were forced into slave labour. We also learn from of survivors’ efforts to heal and rebuild their lives.
From our Time to… Discover collection, The Imperilled Ocean brings lively, astonishing stories of human-ocean interaction, both the frightening and hopeful. And because the oceans are essential for all life on earth, the stories herein can connect us at a time we’ve felt most isolated.