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Patty Osborne's Blog

Books in the House

Patty Osborne

Don't you think that the "bedside reading" bit on CBC's The Next Chapter is much too restrictive: who in the reading world reads one book at a time and keeps it at their bedside? I like to read four books at a time and scatter them about the house.

Upstairs bathroom: Just Mary: The Life of Mary Evelyn Grannan (Dundurn) by Margaret Ann Hume is a biography of the woman who created the well-loved character from my childhood days, Maggie Muggins, and it goes into the early days of the CBC (where Mary began her broadcasting and writing career) when it was all men all the time.

Kitchen table: The Lebanese Dishwasher (Quattro) by Sonia Saikaley flips between Lebanon and Montreal as we follow the life of, yes, a Lebanese dishwasher who leaves his wartorn country for a new but depressing life in Canada. I'm ten pages from the end and can't wait to find out if things are going to get better for Amir.

Downstairs bathroom: In Far to Go (Anansi) by Alison Pick a Jewish couple with a young son gradually realizes just what Hitler's invasion of Czechoslovakia is going to mean to them. The back cover copy tells us that the son will be taken to safety on a Kindertransport but my reading is not that far along yet.

Bedside: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Bantam) by Maya Angelou is the first volume of Angelou's autobiography and I bought it for a dollar off the shelves at the local swimming pool (money going to charity). A good old book that's been reprinted many many times but is new to me. Angelou grew up in the black section of a tiny town in Arkansas in the 1930s where her grandmother, ran a general store. Angelou's writing reminds me of Winfred Rembert's paintings (see my previous post) and every night I look forward to snuggling under my duvet for another installment.

If you're thinking "only four books on the go, what a wuss!" please send in your own list.

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