Director’s Bookshelf – 4/23/18

Director's Bookshelf 4.23It’s time for another peek over my shoulder at what I have been reading this past month. One of my goals for March was to catch up on the many young adult novels I’ve meant to get to in the past year or so. For April, I didn’t really set any reading goals, and let myself read whatever it was that caught my eye when I was ready to start a new book.

books and islandsBooks and Islands in Ojibwe Country: Traveling Through the Land of Ancestors by Louise Erdrich – After hearing Louise Erdrich mentioned and recommended on several of the Book Riot podcasts that I listen to, I finally got around to reading this memoir of her trip with her 18-month-old daughter through the islands in the Lake of the Woods area of northern Minnesota and southern Ontario. She writes about the connection between the Ojibwe (also referred to as Anishinaabe) people and books, from storytelling via rock paintings to the massive collection of books on the island estate of Ernest Oberholtzer, a friend of the Ojibwe. At less than 200 pages, this book was a quick and personal read about a subject I knew very little of. It was also a great introduction to Erdrich’s works, of which I plan to read more soon.

the merry spinsterThe Merry Spinster: Tales of Everyday Horror by Daniel Mallory Ortberg – Ortberg is the co-founder of the website The Toast, where he wrote a series of stories called “Children’s Stories Made Horrific.” These stories have been adapted from that series into this short story collection. The tales are eerie, grim, and frequently enigmatic. I kept searching for a moral lesson in them (as often appears in traditional fairy tales), but then I decided that wasn’t the point of these stories. They’re about mood, darkness, and the mystery of what happens next.

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