Well book lovers, it’s a very somber week for America and the world, and if you feel the same, I stand with you. I will fight this fight with everything I have, and I will continue to have hope for the future as that is all I can hold on to right now. I feel in shock and really wasn’t prepared for this; I’m no political science expert, but I have a pretty basic understanding of politics. These are some books recommended for those who like me, can’t comprehend this horrific win. As well here are some more recommended books to understand America in 2016 as a nation divided. I’ll be honest with you, I don’t know how to properly go about this week and the news, but I’m going to try.
In literary award news, Madeleine Thien won the Soctiabank Giller Prize for her already much awarded and praised book Do Not Say We Have Nothing, which follows the legacy of Mao’s rule and the Tiananman Square protests. If you have not already picked it up, do so quickly! Last year, bookstores sold out of last year’s winner Fifteen Dogs by Andre Alexis in around two days. The Giller Prize has long been considered Canada’s most prestigious literary award, and Thien can expect more sales, popularity, and prestige as she joins previous winners like Lawrence Hill, Margaret Atwood, and Alice Munro. You can read more about the history of the award and this year’s winner here.
A single sentence novel also won the Goldsmith Prize awarded to books that “break the mold.” This year’s winner, Mike McCormack’s Solar Bones, is a short (really short) story set in Ireland about an engineer who is brought back from the dead to reflect on “a county with a unique history of people starving and mortifying themselves for higher causes and principles.” McCormack is the third Irish winner in the four years since the prize was created. You can read more about this deviant award here.
In positive news, a London (Ontario) based program, A Book for Every Child, is celebrating it’s 25th anniversary. In this quarter of a century, this program has given out 169,000 books to children who would not otherwise own books. The program began through the London Public Library and has grown tremendously to the benefit of young children looking to fill their minds and hearts with stories from books. Last year, 6,400 books were given out, this includes 500 that were given to Syrian Refugee children. You can learn more about the program, and how to donate and support it here.
And finally, I just want to leave you with some hope for humanity. Here is a list of 31 books that may restore some of that hope that has been lost, diminished, or questioned.