Happy (almost) spring break! This year, spring break is the perfect time to sit back, relax, and dive into a new book, so check out the books Team Options is reading this spring for some literary inspiration.
Megan, Writing Coach: “I’m currently rereading Woman on the Edge of Time by Marge Piercy. Written in the 70s, this novel explores a feminist utopian future through the eyes of a female protagonist whom our world has left behind. This novel explores many themes—racism, sexism, abuse, environmental destruction, poverty, institutional oppression—while simultaneously proposing radically different ways of living, relating, and thriving. I’m returning to this book because of the profound impact it left on me when I first read it a few years ago; it has informed my vision of what a better world for all living beings might look like, and perhaps it will inform yours, too.”
Monika, Educational Consultant: “I have two interesting books to recommend: First, The Dutch House by Ann Patchett. This is a story of siblings growing up with unsupportive parents and about how we can find family in less traditional ways while choosing our own paths in spite of pressure to conform. Patchett is excellent at telling personal stories that gesture at much larger truths.
Second, News of the World by Paulette Jiles. This story, which has been recently released as a film, tells of an older man who travels Texas on horseback, reading out stories from the newspaper to support himself. He encounters a young girl, who was captured by an Indigenous tribe and helps her return to her home. This maybe wasn’t the best written book in the world, but it’s a fun way to learn some new history.”
Amanda, Educational Consultant: “Here are my book recommendations: I think everyone should read Five Little Indians by Michelle Good. It follows the lives of 5 residential school survivors after they are released from the abuse they suffered after being ripped away from their families and placed in residential schools. Many ended up in Vancouver’s DTE, so it feels very real and close. We experience their traumas and tribulations as they come to terms with their past and ultimately find a way forward.
I also recommend Greenwood by Michael Christie. This book starts out seeming like it’s about the environmental devastation, which it is, but then it weaves in the story of a multi-generational family whose life and livelihood are tied to trees. This family saga is set over 100 years and unravels much like the rings of a tree. Beautifully written, great characterization, a book you won’t soon forget.”
Kara, Educational Consultant: “I am loving Gabrielle Roy’s The Road Past Altamont, which is a collection of short stories about life in rural Manitoba. Each story is simple and beautiful and bears witness to the circular nature of youth and old age. It’s a fast read–only 145 pages—yet I find that I am actually slowing down my reading to savour every word. I like to think that taking the time to enjoy this book would make Roy’s lovable characters on the open prairie proud.”
Melodie, Office Manager: “I just finished reading Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man’s Fight for Justice by Bill Browder, which is a true story about an American businessman who decided to take on the Russian top political brass. It ended up with serious consequences: the demise of his Russian tax attorney. Exciting and easy to read, it feels like a fictional thriller, but it really happened!”