Recently I’ve been on a feminist biography rampage, devouring every book written by women who have something to say about feminism or their stories about growing up as a woman in this world. It’s the perfect way to absorb feminist theory, through the personal stories of others. Here are a few classics and a few new releases I’ve read recently:
Michelle writes cleverly about her relationships with friends, love interests and family. Lee mostly writes about her life in Melbourne, but as a Canberran, I love the memories she shares about growing up in the nations capital. She doesn’t hold back with the her more personal anecdotes. There are definitely a few ex-boyfriends reading her book, more than likely horrified that she told the world their secrets. Her lack of filter is what makes Banana Girl it such a compelling read.
The year is 2059 in Scion London and Paige Mahoney is Dream-walker. Paige works for an underground syndicate in London, that specializes in mime-crime, a type of spiritual warfare used by ‘Unnaturals’ or ‘Clairvoyants’. Unnaturals are a group of people on the fringe, abhorred and feared for their ‘second sight’ abilities and there are two options for people like them; work for Scion hunting your own kind, or spend your life running.
Juniper Books founder Thatcher Wine (great name) believes that there is a book out there for everyone that means something incredibly personal, be it an inspiring person’s story, a picture book or an unknown novel.
“I have this vision everyone should have the books they love, in the format they want, so they have reason to revisit those books, share them with others, and keep them forever. For every single person in the world, there is a printed book that means something.”
Picture books are the first leap into the world of reading for most children, so we’re always on the look out for good quality, quirky stories that will be loved by children and adults alike. The best picture books transport us to different worlds through their richly imagined stories and evocative illustrations, and teach us about others and ourselves with wisdom and humour. Here are a few stories that have enthralled and delighted us.
It was a cold winter afternoon when Yaba Badoe’s novel was placed in my eagerly waiting hands. “At last!” I thought, “something entirely different.” A Jigsaw of Fire and Stars tells the story of Sante, a baby orphan castaway, who is washed ashore and brought into the life of Mama Rose. Raised in Mama Rose’s tribe of lost children, Sante and her adopted family are a traveling performance troupe, each with strange talents — though Sante’s is the most mysterious of all. Though Sante is always on the move from one town to the next, her mysterious past begins to catch up with her and it’s not long before a bamboo flute, jeweled dagger and her faithful bird begin to change the course of her life.
It is a beautiful moment indeed when, browsing along the bookshelves, I come across an unfamiliar novel, when an intriguing cover draws me in and I find within a story that matches it perfectly. Though we are all aware of the proverb ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’, it is an inevitably unconscious act for many people and often as good a basis as any for selecting which book, out of millions, is going to be the next world that we enter.