Summer Reading List

Summer Reading List

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We've been doing a lot of reading lately. Quiet evenings curled up with a good book have been a regular part of our self-care during these uncertain times.  We're excited to share some of our favourites from the past month. Looking for a good read? Check out our picks:

Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions

By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

When Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie receives a letter from a childhood friend asking her how to raise her new baby girl as a feminist, she sends Ijeawele a letter with fifteen suggestions, which, she has now decided to share with the world . Dear Ijeawele is Adichie's letter of response.

Compelling, direct, and perceptive, Dear Ijeawele offers specific recommendations on how we can empower our daughters to become strong, independent women. This small but mighty book advances suggestions for ways parents can raise their children--both sons and daughters--beyond a culture's limiting gender prescriptions and constructs.

This fierce and illuminating manifesto is infused with deep honesty, clarity, strength, a sense of humour and above all, love. Adichie speaks to the important work of raising a girl in today's world, and provides a powerful body of work and guide for all people invested in the idea of creating a just society. 


Frying Plaintain

by Zalika Reid-Benta

Reid-Benta uses twelve interconnected short stories to tell the story of Kara Davis, a young girl coming of age in Toronto. Kara is a girl caught in the middle — of her Canadian nationality and her desire to be a “true” Jamaican while also being caught in the middle of her mother and grandmother’s rages and life lessons. She tries hard to navigate the space between being thought of as too “faas” or too “quiet” or too “bold” or too “soft.” 

This story is set in Toronto’s Eglinton West neighbourhood, often referred to as ‘Little Jamaica’, “the type of neighbourhood that never rests, never stays quiet” (p226). In her brilliant debut novel, Zalika Reid-Benta cleverly depicts the tensions between mothers and daughters, second-generation Canadians and first-generation cultural expectations, and Black identity in a predominately white society. 


More Myself: A Journey

By Alicia Keys

In More Myself, Alicia’s journey is revealed both through her own recounting, as well as through the vivid recollections of important people in her life. Away from the spotlight, Alicia has grappled with heartache―over the challenging relationship with her father, her people-pleasing nature, and the oppressive expectations and constructs of ‘female perfection’.

In her beautifully written autobiography, Alicia shares her lifelong quest for truth―about herself and her past, and her shift from sacrificing her spirit to celebrating her worth. With the same raw honesty that characterizes her artistry, More Myself is a riveting account and a call to readers: to define themselves in a world that rarely encourages a true and unique identity. 


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