Fantastic Books By BIPOC Authors for Holiday Reading

Is it too early to talk about holiday reading? As far as I’m concerned, it’s never too early to start thinking about my next big chunk of time off – whether it’s at home or away. We normally spend this time of year in Canada with minimal travel, but what I look forward to most about any break from work is a robust reading list that I can dig into during long, lazy days. Because of the pandemic, I’m actually looking forward to devoting more time to reading than I normally would during the holiday season since we won’t be spending as much time with our extended family as usual. (or perhaps any at all, depending on how things go)

Even when I’m not on holiday, I’m an avid reader. I usually have three books on the go. One from my book club (we meet monthly), a classic (I’m currently on Mansfield Park but the Bronte’s are my favourite), an extra fiction or biography to tide me over until the next book club pick (if necessary), and an educational one. I think that’s four, but it really depends on how the book club pick is going.

Recently I’ve been trying to diversify my author list, and over the course of the past few months have read some truly fantastic books. I’ve rounded them up for you here, and have listed some that are next on my list! 

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Table of Contents

I read this book about a year ago now, and it is still vivid in my mind. It follows a series of Indigenous Americans who are not closely connected but linked in various ways. Each character’s story is so different yet there are threads of connectivity throughout and it culminates in quite the event at the end. I really enjoyed this read. 

I read this at the height of the Black Lives Matter movement and am glad I did. This felt like a very moving personal essay written during the civil rights movement in the early 1960’s but it could have been written yesterday it is so relevant and poignant. I believe it’s because humanity and social justice are always relevant and need to be constantly brought to the forefront, no?

This was a book club pick but it really was an excellent read, so I’m adding it to this list. It is a Booker Prize Winner for 2019 and is written in a way that feels a bit like poetry. Again it follows a series of characters who live very different lives over different eras but are all connected – through their heritage and circumstances of the story. 

This was my bookclub pick and i’m so glad we read it. This is a deep intergenerational story that follows the descendants of two step sisters who were separated during tribal wars in what is now Ghana. I felt like this book was rich in historical context and cultural references, but we didn’t get to know the characters too much as we pass through so many different stories. This was a great read. 

This was named one of Time’s best books of 2019 and sounds like a fun, modern book about a young woman searching for meaning in today’s world. A lot lighter than the books above, which I think is why I am aching to read it. 

I have been one of those people who think Canada is immune to all things bad. But this is simply not true. I’m looking forward to reading this book by Canadian activist and journalist about his Canadian experience and unwavering commitment to social justice. 

This title kept popping up in conversation and listicles, so I added it to my own. I think a big part of our overconsumption problem is a continued disconnect from nature and our environment, and this book sounds like a celebration of the earth in the best ways. 

This could fall into a fantasy YA category but I’m totally OK with it. The story sounds intriguing, and I’m happy to support a new Canadian Indigenous author. 

So, what will you be picking up to indulge in over the holiday season? To me, a solid winter holiday is comprised of plenty of books, hot beverages (maybe a cocktail or two), and a warm fire to enjoy it all by. I hope you find some time to indulge in some good reading, or whatever is your favourite way to spend down time this holiday season. 

Thank you as always for reading,

Alyssa

xx

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