Decoda’s Summer Reading: Heather

Join us every Friday in July and August and learn about the Decoda staff’s summer reading picks. Today Heather Deal, Decoda’s Director, Adult and Workplace Learning, is sharing her summer reading picks.

I’ve had the chance to read more this summer than usual. So, where do I start?

I’m fascinated by the DNA of reading choices. Where do we start? What do we read? Why? Who pointed us to a certain book? I’m also a fan of randomness in general, so here’s the random lineage of my current reading list.

I’m just back from a beach vacation with a collection of cousins at an inn on Pawley’s Island, South Carolina. I took 3 books with me. I left two behind and I gained a new one while there – an Andy Borowitz book which a relative passed on to me.

The first book I brought was A Man Called Ove, which I got from a little free library at home. I realised soon after I started reading it that it was recently made into a movie. I’m looking forward to seeing the movie and glad that I read the book first, as always. The book sparked conversations among family about being on the spectrum.

The second was an older Ian Rankin — Tooth and Nail — early in the Rebus series. It was interesting to see how the protagonist has evolved since this novel. It came from the vast collection on my bookshelves. I felt foolishly proud when another guest picked up the book within hours of me putting it on the shelf and took it away to read.

The third was Thomas King’s Indians on Vacation. This is a charming book by an author I love reading. I picked it up at the airport. Several people asked about the book and I was able to brag about one of our great Indigenous Canadian authors.

On the way home I stopped at a bookstore in Charleston, South Carolina. I had a great chat with the staff there and bought their recommended book, Sleeping with the Ancestors: How I Followed the Footprints of Slavery by Joseph McGill Jr. and Herb Frazier. The authors had recently visited the store and staff were really excited that their new book had just arrived. My father’s family is from the south, and there is history we are learning more about, and feeling the need to own.

Each book brought value beyond its’ pages, and played a role in conversations and interactions.

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