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The New Year is just around the corner, and I love to review the books I have read during the year: my favourites, the ones I would recommend, and the titles that shined during a difficult time.
Exclusive-access contracts are leaving incarcerated persons and their families no choice but to pay exorbitant private company fees to access books and communicate with one another.
I knew I wanted to read Cherie Dimaline's new book as soon as it came out. I didn't get to it in 2019, but a number of people have – it has topped Canadian bestseller charts for months now. Empire of Wild is a compelling, fast-paced thriller that pulls from Métis mythology and symbolism. In this book, prepare to come face-to-face with the legendary figure of the Rogarou.
World events are off to a seriously concerning start for 2020. I learned of the US drone strike in Baghdad that killed a top Iranian military officer while in the midst of reading American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson. Her debut novel takes place during the Cold War, when a young FBI agent gets recruited by the CIA for an assignment in communist Burkina Faso. Current global geo-political context aside, I have found in American Spy a fulfilling story written by a promising novelist.
Faiz Ahmed reviews Vijay Prashad's book that traces the former Soviet Union's influence on liberation movements throughout Asia and Latin America from its establishment in 1922 through to the first years of the Cuban Revolution in 1959.
My reading in 2019 was marked with the discovery of new Indigenous authors, the completion of some ambitious classics, and reading through a wide range of new authors, in French and English. As is becoming a tradition, I am sharing the bright spots that got me through the year.