Category Archives: History

Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance

Image result for hillbilly elegyHillbilly Elegy offers a fascinating look into the lives of white rural Americans. Author J.D. Vance uses his own personal experiences to describe and illuminate current social issues among working-class Americans. It is a quick, engrossing read, especially in light of the current political situation in the United States. I would recommend this book for anyone wanting to get an insight into the lives and hopes and dreams of those who feel so let down by their failure to achieve the “American Dream.” (Submitted by Claire).

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The Golden Spruce: a true story of myth, madness, and greed by John Vaillant

Image result for golden spruceThis book was excellently written – it made a topic that I wasn’t too sure was all that interesting into a fascinating and page-turning true tale. Highly recommended. (Submitted by JF).

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Sophia: princess, suffragette, revolutionary by Anita Anand

This was a fantastic biography with great writing. It was super interesting–I absolutely loved it! If you want to read about an interesting life, this is a great choice. Sophia was born into Indian royalty and raised in an English palace. She surprised everyone when she returned to India as a revolutionary battling injustice.  Highly recommended. (Submitted by JF).

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Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

This book was written as a letter from a father to his 15-year-old son about what it means to have a black body and be a black boy/man in America. It was awesome with great writing. I connected to this in a couple of big ways: I am the same age bracket as the author and his language around “the Dream” really hit home for me….I loved it! (Submitted by JF).

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The Girl with Seven Names: a North Korean defector’s story by Hyeonseo Lee

The Girl with Seven Names was a fascinating look at North Korea from an accidental defector who lived a more comfortable life than many on the Chinese/North Korea border. Not only did I learn a lot about North Korea, but I learned much about that part of the world in general. Lee’s book was very interesting and I highly recommend it. (Submitted by JF).

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Louis Riel by Chester Brown

Montreal author and illustrator Chester Brown presents the story of Canadian icon Louis Riel in this unique and gripping comic. This biography illustrates the struggles faced by the Metis people of the prairies, leading to two resistance movements against the Canadian government to form the province of Manitoba.  Brown has created an accessible and entertaining way to learn about an important part of Canadian history while also creating an exciting illustrated story that can appeal to any reader.  (Submitted by CB)

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Momma, Momma, the Preacher’s Comin’ by Doreen Brust Johnson

Local Surrey author, Doreen Brust Johnson, felt compelled to write this account of her mother’s life. Born in 1939, Doreen grew up in rural northern Saskatchewan before moving to Vancouver as a teen. The story opens with adult Doreen in a coma as a result of a car accident–her elderly mother sits by her side and weaves a tale of hardship, love, and courage. To help Doreen through her coma, her mother shares the stories of growing up in the early part of the 20th century — the World Wars, the depression, and traveling north to become homesteaders.

I enjoyed this historical account of Canadian life — it reminded me of how important it is to share stories with one another. Listen to your elders, to your parents–ask questions and learn. I look forward to meeting Doreen at Authors Among Us at City Centre Library on Sat, April 16 at 12:45pm. Call 604-598-7426 to save your spot! (Submitted by Meghan).

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