Submitted by Kit Darling and the members of the Bay Area Book Club
Here are a few reviews of titles that we have enjoyed. To borrow them or place a reserve, go to https://hpl.bibliocommons.com/ .
Beneath the Tamarind Tree by Isha Sesay. Sesay is a CNN journalist of Sierra Leonean descent who covered the story of the 276 school girls who were abducted by the militant Islamic group Boko Haram in 2014, a group that is inherently misogynistic and opposes education for women. The kidnapping made international headlines and prompted the #BringBackOurGirls movement. The girls who were from poor families sought an education in order to make better lives for themselves and their families. Sesay follows three of the girls and tells of their sisterhood and survival while suffering mental and physical abuse. She tells of the suffering and anguish of their families. She exposes the appallingly and inadequate response by the Nigerian government. Today 60% of the girls remain missing. A good read. Paige Turner
Forgiveness by Mark Sakamoto The 2018 Winner of Canada Reads, this memoir is an account of WWII via the familial recollections from contrasting sides of a human tragedy. The book challenges the image and rhetoric that Canada is a peaceful, liberal and multicultural enclave of the world. The author’s paternal grandparents were forced from their home in British Columbia, stripped of their growing businesses and sent to live in squalor as indentured servants on a sugar beet farm in Alberta. The author’s maternal grandfather was captured in Hong Kong, faced brutality, starvation and forced labour in a Japanese POW camp. A powerful story of two families linked together through compassion, understanding and forgiveness. Paige Turner
I Can’t Breathe, a Killing on Bay Street by Matt Taibbi Eric Garner died from a choke-hold at the hands of the police in New York City, July 2014. His death and his words “I can’t breathe” were caught on video. Despite the evidence Garner and his family were ultimately denied justice. The emphasis on ‘stop and frisk’, the reliance on statistics to prove the effectiveness of the police and belief in the “broken windows theory,” which focused on policing minor offenses in order to prevent serious and violent crime formed the backdrop to this tragic end. This is an excellent description of systemic racism and how it works for the individual and in justice and policing. A MUST READ book! Sheri Selway
And for some local colour, The Whisky King by Trevor Cole.The story of Rocco Perri, infamous as “the King of the Bootleggers” and his empire and of Frank Zaneth, an immigrant from northern Italy and the 1st undercover operative for the RCMP – the man who pursued Perri until Perri’s disappearance in 1944.