Long closed due to the pandemic, our library has finally reopened! Hallelujah! On Friday, I visited it for the first time in I can’t remember how long, and it was a delightful 20 minutes I spent there. They have excellent virus protection precautions in place, and as a result, we are restricted to a 30 minute time period. There were only two of us there, besides the librarians, so it was incredibly quiet. Oh, how I’ve missed being able to walk there and spend time exploring the stacks!
I am a Learner. That’s why I became a teacher (and also because I loved spending my days in the hopeful and inspiring world of young people). So in trying to deal with the horrific events of the last few weeks, I realized that I have so much to learn. I decided to begin an important undertaking: I am now focusing on educating myself on how to become Anti-Racist.
“In a racist society it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be anti-racist.”
“The opposite of racist isn’t ‘not racist.’ It is ‘anti-racist.’ What’s the difference? One endorses either the idea of a racial hierarchy as a racist, or racial equality as an anti-racist. One either believes problems are rooted in groups of people, as a racist, or locates the roots of problems in power and policies, as an anti-racist. One either allows racial inequities to persevere, as a racist, or confronts racial inequities, as an anti-racist. There is no in-between safe space of ‘not racist.”
And one of the most hopeful things I’ve discovered in making this commitment to become anti-racist is that so many other people are doing the same thing! I took the photo above just this morning when I got on the library website to look for some e-books to add to my growing list of books to read on this subject. Every. single. book. has a waiting list of weeks and weeks! My heart soared with HOPE to see that there are so many other Learners out there!
On this page, I will keep a list with links to my reviews of books and other resources that I’ve found and appreciated, so please come back here occasionally to see this self-education journey.
Red: Click to read my review
Blue: Read but not reviewed
BOOKS READ AND REVIEWED:
- Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston
- Dream Big Dreams: Photographs from Barack Obama’s Inspiring and Historical Presidency, by Pete Souza
- They Called Us Enemy, by George Takei
- Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race, by Reni Eddo-Lodge
- We Should All Be Feminists, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
- Dear Ijeawele: or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
- Becoming, by Michelle Obama
- Across That Bridge: A Vision for Change and the Future of America, by John Lewis
- Kindred, by Octavia Butler
- Our Time Is Now, by Stacey Abrams
- The Beautiful Struggle, by Ta’Nehisi Coates
- Misty Copeland: A Life in Motion, young readers edition, by Misty Copeland
- Idia of the Benin Kingdom, by Ekiuwa Aire
- The Cay, by Theodore Taylor
- I Am Loved, by Nikki Giovanni
- Bud, Not Buddy, by Christopher Paul Curtis
- Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation, by Duncan Tonatiuh
- A Kid’s Book About Racism, by Jelani Memory
- Ruth and the Green Book, by Calvin Alexander Ramsey and Gwen Strauss
- Almost to Freedom, by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson and Colin Bootman
- Through My Eyes, by Ruby Bridges
- The Story of Ruby Bridges, by Robert Coles
- Brown Girl Dreaming, by Jacqueline Woodson
- Barracoon, by Zora Neale Hurston
- The 1619 Project: Born on the Water, by by Nikole Hannah-Jones and Renee Watson
- Born a Crime, by Trevor Noah
- The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
- I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
- Seven Spools of Thread: A Kwanzaa Story, by Angela Shelf Medearis
- The House of Dies Drear, by Virginia Hamilton
- Beloved, Toni Morrison
- Harriet Tubman: Conductor Of the Underground Railroad, by Ann Petry
- Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, by Mildred D. Taylor
ART and ARTISTS I ENJOY:
Links to Podcasts and Other Sites to Visit:
- Unlocking Us with Dr. Brené Brown. “Brené With Ibram X. Kendi on How to Be an Antiracist“
- The Oath, with Chuck Rosenberg. “Racial Justice,” interview with Maya Wiley. Click here to read the transcript.
- The Michelle Obama Podcast, on Spotify
- “About Race with Reni Eddo-Lodge”, on Emma Watson’s Our Shared Podcast, available on Spotify.
- Black Children’s Book Illustrators to Follow and Support (a link to check out!)
It’s so exciting when a new library is built close to one’s neighborhood! Cornelius is a town right next to Forest Grove, Oregon, and they have a brand new beautiful library, part of the Washington County Cooperative Library Services. So I visited the library for the first time the other day and took photos to share. Welcome, new Cornelius Public Library! I’m so happy that you are here!
Waiting for the Biblioburro, by Monica Brown, is based on a true story from Colombia about the children who live in remote areas and don’t have access to libraries or even school books.
In this picture book story, a young girl, Ana, longs to have books to read but she lives too far away from a library. But one day she hears the clip-clop of a burro approaching. She looks to see who is coming and sees a man leading a burro, and the burro is loaded down with bags of books!
This is a wonderful little book that can start many important conversations in a classroom, and is a sweet read for any of us who simply love books and libraries!
To learn more about Luis Soriano Bohórquez, the man who started the biblioburro, a real-life mobile library, click here.
I chose this book to read for my personal challenge, “Wanderlust,” an effort to read books that are from or take place in each country of the world. This was a book that takes place in Colombia.
Byron and I visited one of our nearby libraries today. The Hillsboro Library is a very nice library with beautiful grounds which include paved walking trails, a creek, and ponds that host many water birds. It was a fun way to spend Valentine’s Day morning, both inside and on our walk outside the library.
Inside the library, I appreciated the “Blind Date” display and checked out one of the books that turned out to be a vegan cookbook. Perfect! I loved the clues on the front of each of the wrapped books and hope that many others checked out one of those parcels as a blind date!
“When in doubt, go to the library.”
~ J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
One of the important criteria when searching for a home in Oregon to buy for our retirement years was that it be located within walking distance of a library. We were very fortunate and found a lovely home and a sweet library! So we spend a lot of time at our local library. Our daughter now works there. It’s an important place for the entire family!
On this sunny morning, I again walked to the library, took some books back, picked up a book on hold, and checked out the Friends of the Library book sale. I also took a bunch of photos to share my library love with you. I hope you enjoy the slideshow!
Do you ever feel as if your reading life is fractured? I always have at least three books going at the same time…an audiobook to listen to while driving or knitting, a Kindle book, and a library book. Perhaps because of the bitter cold, dreary, and confining weather we are having, plus the dismal state of the union at the moment, I find that my reading life is definitely fractured! I am reading 7 different, very diverse, books at the same time ! And I’m enjoying them all!
- Audiobook: Listening to The Silkworm, by Robert Galbraith (although I took a break from it to listen to the newly published In the Great Green Room–The Brilliant and Bold Life of Margaret Wise Brown, by Amy Gary.
- Kindle Books: I am in the middle of The Two Towers, by J.R.R. Tolkien, my re-read of his Lord of the Rings trilogy. I am also reading Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott, for Roof Beam Reader’s Classics Book-a-Month Club. I started Wild Seed, by Octavia Butler, last month then set it aside to start Little Women…but I keep going back to it. And then I pre-ordered the book The Meaning of Michelle, by Veronica Chambers, and it came in last week, so I started it, too!
- Library Books: When we had a break in the stormy, icy weather last week, Hubby and I walked to the library. I came home with too many books, and am enjoying a knitting book called Seamless (or Nearly Seamless) Knits, by Andra Knight-Bowman and a gardening book, Sissinghurst: Portrait of a Garden, by Jane Brown.
Definitely fractured reading, and It’s a little like a reading frenzy, too. Does this ever happen to you, or am I completely losing it in the middle of the very January January??
My library loot this week! You can tell I’m immersed in gardens and gardening right now.
Okay…I’ve been posting about all the “Little Free Libraries” that have just recently started popping up in our town, excited that I live in a town full of readers. This morning on our walk we ran into another new one in the neighborhood! As always, I photographed it and checked out the books inside, and much to my surprise, I found a book that I had just donated to our local library last Friday! I know it was mine because I pulled it our and looked inside and found this bookmark that I’d forgotten to remove before I donated it. I’m wondering if this “Little Free Library” was built by one of our librarians or library volunteers? And I’m very pleased that my donations are finding new life in the town’s libraries both big and small!