Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Top Ten Books by North American Indigenous Authors that I've Read/Am Reading/ Am Looking Forward to Reading


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.


So I'm doing something a little different this week. The theme is supposed to be for celebrating the Fourth of July (in the States) or Canada Day (here) or... do other countries even have a day where they celebrate themselves? Is that a weird North American thing?

But I wasn't super comfortable doing that this year, especially with the announcements that my provincial government has made in the past few days. (Regarding reducing the amount of effort that is being put into reconciliation with Canada's Indigenous peoples, who have been treated pretty terribly by settler Canadians for the past few... centuries.) So instead we're going to be talking about some books written by Indigenous authors. It's also gotten kind of long (even by my standards) so I apologise for that. This is a combo of fiction and non-fiction books.



1. A Promise is a Promise by Michael Avaarluk Kusugak, Vladyana Langer Krykorka, and Robert Munsch: This one's a children's book that I remember reading when I was really young... it draws on Inuit lore, specifically the Qallupulluit- a humanoid creature that lives beneath the ice of Hudson's Bay and pull children down under if they get to close. This one was quite enough to freak me out when I read it and follows a young Inuk girl named Allashua after she draws the attention of the creatures.






2. Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse: Wow I probably should have organised these from... North to South or East to West or something instead of jumping around but. Too late now. Trail of Lightning takes the reader much further south, to what is now the area around Albuquerque and is set after the rising waters have made most of the planet unlivable, and supernatural beings once again walk among humans, causing trouble and assigning tasks and bother gifted monster-hunter Maggie about her love life. (No that's not what it's about. Well. A little bit. Maggie continues in a long, proud tradition of heroes who wish the supernatural would just let them have some privacy, please. Mostly it's about hunting for monsters. And fighting monsters of both the real and memory varieties.) I've reviewed this one and you can see that here.





3. The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline: I've had this book on hold for quite a while and I'm still waiting on it... I was initially reluctant to read it because I have a couple of things about marrow-based horror. (Um. Not what you're expecting. I don't actually have a fear of having my bone marrow personally stolen or any real cringe factor about that. Just. Long story.) But I've heard really good reviews and it sounds like a really important read. Oh. Right! Summary: when most of the world loses the ability to dream and discovers that the cure to the madness dreamlessness brings on may lie in the marrow on North American Indigenous people (the only ones who still can), they find themselves the target of "recruiters" and on the run from those who would take their marrow- the cure- by force.



4. Son of a Trickster by Eden Robinson: Another one I haven't read yet but would like to! I feel like I'm going to have to be in a very specific frame of mind to read this one, though, given that it tackles some heavy topics that I generally avoid in my reading. It sounds really good and everything it's just that I am a sensitive plant about certain things for um... reasons. Anyway. 







5. Love Beyond Body, Space, and Time edited by Hope Nicolson: An anthology focusing on LGBTQUIAA+ and two-spirited sci-fi short stories. I've got this on hold right now, I was SO EXCITED when I found out my library was getting a copy in, because I feel like it's been on my TBR for such a long time. 








6. Mapping the Interior by Stephan Graham Jones: I actually took this out of the library a while ago, drawn by the cover alone... and then proceeded to slip into a reading funk and have to return it before picking it up. That particular funk out of the way, I'm really looking forward to getting my hands on it again because it's a horror novella about a boy trying to map the inside of a house that doesn't want to be mapped... a house that's maybe pretty haunted. 








7. Take Us To Your Chief and Other Stories by Drew Hayden Taylor:
Honestly this one had me at the title because I am a fan of aliens but also it ESPECIALLY had me about drawing parallels between the concept of extra-planetary visitors and the experience that North America's Indigenous peoples had with the European arrival. 







8. Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer: This one appeals to the environmental science degree training that I'm never going to fully shake. I'm not that far in but I think the narrative voice is really appealing so far. One of the highlights for me of taking environmental science (with a lot of biology thrown in along with quite a bit of politics) was learning to constantly seek out new ways to think of any given environmental challenge (and solution) and to consider other perspectives (especially those of Indigenous people, who are too often ignored or discounted and who often know A LOT more about the system than anyone whose just showing up and attempting to manage it) and so far I think Robin Wall Kimmerer's perspective is going to be really valuable. I'm hoping I'll learn a lot! (I've already learned more about sweetgrass than I knew before so that's good.) (I'm saying that totally without sarcasm. I have some weird interests.)

9. The Right to Be Cold by Sheila Watt-Coultier: Another environmental science-appeal book for me. The ideas from this book got quite a bit of spotlight in a few of my courses (it was even mentioned by name several times), but I never did get around to reading the book itself.






10. 21 Things You May Not Know about the Indian Act by Bob Joseph: Since there are definitely more than 21 things that I don't know about the Indian Act, this one seems like a good start. I'm familiar with little pieces of it but not the whole thing and that seems like something I should probably remedy, and I've heard that this is a good way to start familiarising myself with it.  




20 comments :

  1. I love your spin on the list! :-) Looks like some very intriguing books here. My TTT

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    1. Thank you! I feel like this one took me more time than just about every TTT I've done in the past... Anyway. Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. I love how you spun the topic to make it work for you this week. :) I always encourage participants to do that if they need/want to!

    - Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl

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    1. It's kind of a relief to hear that I still feel a little weird whenever I go off-prompt in any big way...

      Thank you for running TTT every week! I really like participating, it always makes me think.

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  3. Would you classify The Marrow Thieves as a horror novel?

    Here is our Top Ten Tuesday.

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    1. Having not read it yet I can't say for sure, but the premise definitely has shades of horror (you know, with the stealing of people's bone marrow). Most of the way it's pitched is as post-apocalyptic speculative fiction (with emphasis on commentary on colonialism)

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  4. This is a great way to spin this week's list! I think the whole having a day to celebrate your country is definitely a North American/Canadian thing, or at least we don't have anything like it here in the UK.
    My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2018/07/03/top-ten-tuesday-166/

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    1. Okay. I was wondering... I was actually in London for Canada Day one time actually that was interesting. Apparently all the Canadians in the city like. Congregated. (I didn't go, I had school stuff.)

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  5. Interesting spin on this week's theme. The only other country that I can think of that does something like our Independence Day is France. They celebrate Bastille Day.

    Visting from TTT

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    1. It only pretty recently occurred to me that... it's kind of a weird thing to do? I kind of wonder if the idea of celebrating the country's independence is something Canada has borrowed from the States? (They days are coincidentally really close, and I think in a way it makes more sense that the Americans celebrate their independence... after all they had a war and it makes sense to celebrate the end of that because wars are... not fun.) I don't know, perhaps I should do some history research on that one?

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  6. Well done post for this week's TTT theme!

    Here's a link to my TTT post of this week:
    https://captivatedreader.blogspot.com/2018/07/top-ten-tuesday-books-with-red-white.html

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    1. I think this is the furthest I've ever wandered from the theme of the week... I'm glad you liked it!

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  7. I am so looking forward to reading Trailof lightning. I started the ecopy but I decided to wait for my paperback :)

    My TTT: https://fantasyraiders.wordpress.com/2018/07/03/top-ten-tuesday-my-fave-time-travel-stories/

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    1. It's really good! I'm looking forward to getting my hands on a paper copy at some point- I'm really grateful to have had the chance to read and review and eARC, but the physical book experience is still my favourite.

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  8. Interesting take on today's topic! North America's roots go down pretty far. Trail of Lightning sounds interesting.

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    1. Trail of Lightning IS interesting. It's a great read, I definitely suggest picking it up!

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  9. I love your twist on the topic. I need to read more books by native authors, so I’ll have to look up some of these. Thanks for sharing them!

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    1. I hope you're able to read a few of them! In making this list I realised how very few there are out there that are of the speculative fiction genres I tend to favour... and how few I have READ. If you do read anything off of the list feel free to come and talk my ear off about them!

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  10. I added Son of a Trickster to my list! The cover alone hooked me, but the synopsis was intriguing as well. I love the idea for your post today! <3

    L @ Do You Dog-ear?

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    1. I am unduly excited by the comments I've gotten that this post helped them find a TBR book. Like. SUPER excited. So thanks for telling me that! (It's also really nice to hear that you liked the idea for the post because I felt a little weird going off the TTT theme like that...)

      Thanks for stopping by!

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