Decoda’s Summer Reading: Heather Deal

Every Wednesday in July and August this summer we’ve learned about the Decoda staff’s summer reading picks. Today we’re squeezing one more in! Heather Deal, Decoda’s Director, Adult and Workplace Learning, talks about her picks inspired by exploration.

My summer reading list is about exploration. Since I can’t take a road trip, I’m using books as my route to discovery.

I first read William Least Heat-Moon’s Blue Highways when it was published in 1982. I think that’s when I caught the road-trip bug. Soon after, I moved from Cleveland to Vancouver and started a whole new life adventure, including many road trips to places I couldn’t have imagined visiting. I’ve decided to re-read this book to connect with the feeling of discovery he so aptly describes.

Yellow Wife by Sadeqa Johnson is part of my exploration of my family’s role in the Southern US. One branch of the family immigrated from Ireland to the Carolinas in the 1700’s. Yellow Wife is the story of an enslaved woman’s long fight for freedom in the 1850’s. As we travel the road of reconciliation here in Canada, I am also striving to understand the US history I was never taught in school, and what my family’s place in that history was.

The Haunting of Vancouver Island by Shanon Sinn is part of a life-long exploration of things I don’t understand. As a scientist, I love empirical evidence, and I am also fascinated by mysteries that are more difficult to explain.

And finally, what better mysteries to explore than two written by great Canadian authors, Obsidian by Thomas King and How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny.

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