Book Beat: Muslim Ban Lit & Canada Reads 2017

Hi book lovers!  This week was hard in a multitude of ways, the Muslim Ban, the complete ignorance of the DAPL protests, and what they were for, added fuel to my fiery hate of Cheeto POTUS. So when I went to grab a book this weekend, I found myself turning to non-fiction, a genre I don’t read too much of, and grabbing The Obamas, by Jodi Kantor. After watching Barry on Netflix, a biopic of the legendary President, I found myself fascinated by his story, and Michelle’s. I recommend it if you wanted to know what the duo was like behind the White House doors and how they survived Presidency.

Two female protestors after the executive order was announced on the streets holding a sign that says Immigrants: America's Ghostwriters. Taken from Publishers Weekly
Protestors after the executive order taken from Publishers Weekly online article

Speaking of that completely xenophobic, islamophobic, can’t say enough about how awful it is, executive order that was introduced, I found myself reflecting this week on what it means to be an immigrant or refugee. It’s easy to forget, our ancestors were all immigrants, unless you are Indigenous or First Nations. I was an immigrant to Canada, from India and so were my grandparents, many of my family members fled Nazi Europe. Immigrants and refugees flee hoping for a better life and they have so much to contribute as citizens and many have contributed as writers! Check out this list by The New York Times for great recommendations for books by refugees. As well, in response to the order, many literary agents have put out a call for submissions from Muslim writers in hopes of creating more understanding and empathy for the community. Check out the call for submissions here. This week I am holding space for my Muslim neighbours in Quebec and families who will be affected by this horrific policy.

Speaking of unity and empathy, New York City’s Mayor’s Office for Media and Entertainment has announced a new reading initiative, One Book, One New York, that will in principle be like a huge book club for the city of New York. Five award winning novels by authors Ta-Nehisi Coates, Chimanda Ngozi Adichie and Paul Beatty to name a few, will be voted to decide the one book New Yorkers will read as a collective. Each book comes with a celebrity nominee, check out the cool new initiative here .

New York Senator, and ultimate Nasty Woman, Hilary Clinton has already announced a new book will be her focus for 2017, check out the details here.

Five Canada Reads 2017 Panellists, Chantal Kreviazuk,Humble the Poet,Jody Mitic,Candy Palmater,Tamara Taylor Holding Their Respective Books
Five Canada Reads 2017 Panellists and Their Respective Books Taken from CBC

The Canada Reads nominees for 2017 have been announced! The five panelists will be asking themselves as they judge the contenders, what book is needed to be read by Canadians now? Past winners like Lawrence Hill and Heather O’Neill found their books becoming bestsellers soon after. This years nominees include Andre Alexis for Fifteen DogsThe Right to Be Cold by Sheila Watt-Cloutier,  The Break by Katherena Vermette, and Company Town by Madeline Ashby. Each book will be defended by a Canadian public figure. Stay tuned because I’ll be reviewing the fifth book, Nostalgia by M.G. Vassanji! Check out the panellists and announcement here.

Happy Thursday!

Ashley Ash

Ashley Ash

Ashley is a proud Torontonian, third year social worker student, full time child advocate and national award winning writer. She will defend Anakin Skywalker and Jon Snow till she dies.