Category: Non-fiction 5 out of 5s

M. Wylie Blanchet’s — The Curve of Time *****

M. Wylie Blanchet’s — The Curve of Time *****

After being widowed in 1927, Blanchet took off with her children as skipper in her seven metre boat every summer to tour deserted inlets and abandoned First Nation villages. She cruised single handedly from her home on Vancouver Island along the Strait of Georgia between the Gulf Islands braving storms and engine breakdowns.

This is a wonderful memoir—a Canadian classic—that made me feel as if I was on an extended holiday to these beautiful and unique isolated locations.

John Pomfret’s—Chinese Lessons*****

John Pomfret’s—Chinese Lessons*****

After Mao’s brutal reign, Pomfret arrives in China at the beginning of the 1980s to attend Nanjing University when China first began opening to the west. In cramped living quarters with other students from different parts of China, the author gains detailed access to the lives of his classmates and how they and their families endured the cultural revolution. Pomfret graduates and his only wish is to return. As a reporter he arrives back in China, but when he reports on the Tiananmen Square massacre, he is expelled from the country. All the while, he keeps in contact with his university classmates and follows the direction of their lives that reveals the economic changes happening in a system still corrupt, censored, and controlled by the Party that silences anyone who opposes it.

Timothy Bottoms’ — Conspiracy of Silence *****

Timothy Bottoms’ — Conspiracy of Silence *****

This is a history of Queensland’s early European settlement that I was never taught. The novel documents an era during the 1800s when pastoralists claimed millions of hectares of Queensland’s interior for cattle and sheep grazing. When Aborigines objected, speared a sheep or approached waterholes they’d used for thousands of years, graziers either demanded the native police “disperse” the Aborigines or killed most of the tribe themselves.

Continue reading “Timothy Bottoms’ — Conspiracy of Silence *****”
Katherine Boo’s—Behind the beautiful forevers *****

Katherine Boo’s—Behind the beautiful forevers *****

A cast of characters in Annawadi slums near Mumbai’s airport are hopeful when India’s economy starts to bloom. Some are metal thieves, others collect recyclable garbage, but when their day is done, they live in close proximity to everyone so that there are few secrets.

This is a must read story with the focus on a Muslim family striving for a better life. The book reads like fiction, but was actually the author’s observations and research during her three years living in Mumbai.