Clearing the Plains: Disease, Politics of Starvation, and the Loss of Aboriginal Life; James Daschuk

It’s Bookstravaganza season again, and I have just finished my first book for the season (also conveniently research for my thesis!)

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Clearing the Plains

Communities that entered into treaties assumed that the state would protect them from famine and socioeconomic catastrophe, yet in less than a decade the “protections” afforded by treaties became the means by which the state subjugated the treaty Indian population.

Remember when I made a promise to you and also myself that I would use Bookstravaganza to read lighter material than what I study in school?  Well ha-ha, fooled you!  Fooled myself, also.  Turns out when you have a thesis proposal due Monday it’s actually kind of hard to pick up a good old piece of fiction in favour of a demoralizing nonfiction book you would like to include in the proposal bibliography.

I’ve been terribly engrossed, as of late, in the research for my thesis on the subject of cultural genocide in Canada, nevertheless, James Daschuk’s Clearing the Plains: Disease, Politics of Starvation and the Loss of Aboriginal Life

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Bookstravaganza = Gezellig

It’s Bookstravangza season once again! I look forward to blogging about all the books I’ll be reading this December. To find out about my pledge and see what charity we’re supporting this year, read this post! ❤

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Hoi hoi!

I am absolutely in disbelief that this is the fourth year of Bookstravaganza!  When I look upon my last three Decembers and the one that approaches, I realize that in my life there are only two things in common between all four of them: Christmas is celebrated on December 25th, and I find myself reading as much as I can before the clock strikes twelve on December 31st.

Bookstravaganza has been a great tradition that has really made many of my Decembers so incredibly memorable.  In 2012, I read Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms on a night train from Rome to Paris.  In 2013, I read White Oleander by Jane Fitch while a white blizzard cascaded in front of my window in Edmonton, and a week later found myself reading The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham on a hot beach in Playa del Carmen.  Last year, I…

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Serena, Ron Rash

BOOK #5 – the review is finally done! Read here about what I thought about Serena by Ron Rash! And don’t forget to donate to Welcome Baby!

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Serena

A kind of annihilation, was what Serena called their coupling, and though Pemberton would never have thought to describe it that way, he knew her words had named the thing exactly.

If you’ve heard of Serena, I think it mostly likely might be because it is a movie starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper that has just came out.  As excited as I am to see J-Law and B-Coo (?) reunite on the screen, I was really excited to read the book first.  Set in the 1930’s, Serena,  by Ron Rash, follows a man named Pemberton and his return to North Carolina to his logging camp, accompanied by his new wife Serena.  A fierce couple, Serena and Pemberton strive to build their timber empire, ruthless against anyone who gets in their way; meanwhile sixteen year-old Rachel Harmon struggles to raise her baby, fathered by Pemberton before his marriage to Serena.  When…

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Lincoln at Gettysburg: The Words that Remade America, Garry Wills

Hello my beauties! Another blog post from me for my Bookstravaganza competition! Be sure to check out our donation page on the Yeg Bookstravaganza website here: http://yegbookstravaganza.wordpress.com/donate/! Thank you!!

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Gettysburg

In his brief time before the crowd at Gettysburg he wove a spell that has not, yet, been broken — he called up a new nation out of the blood and trauma.

Living in Washington D.C. calls for at least one book about one of the great individuals who have walked its streets.  Since Hillary Clinton’s biography couldn’t be more massive, I went to the next best thing: a book about the Gettysburg address.

Now here’s a bit of a side story: in the first month that I had come to Washington, I went with a group of other interns I live with to the Lincoln Memorial.  It’s a bit of a hike, not really anywhere near a metro stop, and the day we went was incredibly windy, yet the memorial was still crawling with people, swarmed with tourists and a singing Mennonite group and veterans and maybe even a…

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Brave New World, Aldous Huxley

Book #3 for my book marathon with YEG Bookstravaganza! Take a look and don’t forget to donate for Edmonton Public Library’s Welcome Baby initiative!

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But I don’t want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin.

Even though I finished this book on Thursday, I’ve been either too busy or too lazy to write the review.  Brave New World has been on my list for a terribly long time, but I’ve finally emerged from the darkness, joined most twelfth graders from around the world, and read this all-time classic.

If you’re living under the same rock I just emerged from and haven’t yet read Brave New World, then here is a rough, back-cover summary.  Written in the 30’s, Brave New World is set in the future in 632 A.F., After Ford ( or 2540 A.D.) in London.  In this world resources and reproduction are carefully controlled; the tradition of the family unit has been disposed, and instead people are created…

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A Mercy, Toni Morrison

2nd book complete! And another Toni Morrison!! Don’t forget to visit the Bookstravaganza wordpress page to donate for our charity Welcome Baby! Thank you!

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Their drift away from others produced a selfish privacy and they had lost the refuge and the consolation of a clan. Baptists, Presbyterians, tribe, army, family, some encircling outside thing was needed. Pride, she thought. Pride alone made them think that they needed only themselves, could shape life that way, like Adam and Eve, like gods from nowhere beholden to nothing except their own creations. She should have warned them, but her devotion cautioned against impertinence. As long as Sir was alive it was easy to veil the truth: that they were not a family-not even a like-minded group. They were orphans, each and all.

So I plunged right into another Toni Morrison for my second book of Bookstravaganza.  I realized I hardly ever read any authors back to back.  I’m glad I did.  A Mercy is Morrison’s ninth novel, and less famous as Beloved or Song of Solomon

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Beloved, Toni Morrison

Finished my first book yesterday! Here’s my brief review of a relatively new American classic Beloved by Toni Morrison!

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I waited for you.

You are mine.

You are mine.

You are mine.

Beloved, by Toni Morrison, has been on my list for ages.  It is one of the five books I think of when I think great American classics.  By the title alone I knew it would completely capture me.  It’s a word that I love saying over and over, even guessing how it is to be pronounced: be-loved? bell-lov-ed?

For anyone who isn’t familiar with the premise of Beloved, it is a story surrounding Sethe, her daughter, Denver, and Paul D., a man from Sethe’s past back at Sweet Home, the plantation where the two had been enslaved prior to the Civil War.  Sethe’s home has been marked by tragedy upon tragedy, haunted by the ghosts of the past, and Paul D. comes to bring back harmony and happiness, or even bring it into the home for…

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