In October we celebrate Citizenship Week
Acceptance, tolerance, freedom, kindness, diversity, home, friends, family, peace, opportunity, multiculturalism, beauty, comfort, and desire to help others – that is how our library patrons reflect on being Canadians.
These books talk about the rights, the values and responsibilities that bind us together:
Belonging: the paradox of citizenship by Adrienne Clarkson
“Clarkson masterfully chronicles the evolution of citizenship throughout the ages: from the genesis of the idea of citizenship in pre-history, to Aristotle and the Greeks, to the medieval structures of guilds and class; from the warring factions of the French revolution, to Icelandic law-making tradition, and present-day modern citizenship based on values, consensus, and pluralism. She concludes by looking forward, vividly imagining what will happen if we don’t live up to our ideals of democracy, identity, and belonging.”–From publisher.
A Cowherd in Paradise: from China to Canada by May Q. Wong
“A Cowherd in Paradise manages the task of evoking the perilous, impoverished life of peasants in pre-revolutionary China while delving deep into the psyche of an immigrant to Canada during the period of discriminatory head taxes. With honesty, Wong also sympathetically recounts the disastrous conjugal encounter between two strangers—her parents—meeting for the first time on their wedding night. Wong’s description of the enforced polarization of one nuclear family, set asunder by a Canadian law excluding ethnic Chinese immigrants—no matter if they are wife, daughter, or son—should be required reading for anyone who cares about citizenship and human rights.” —Jan Wong, author of “Red China Blues”.
Souvenir of Canada by Douglas Coupland
“Full of surprises and insights, Souvenir of Canada presents us as we have never seen ourselves before in an irresistible flow of text and image. Every Canadian should own this book. It’s amusing, thought-provoking and it’ll sure make you proud, in your own strange way, to be Canadian.”
My Canada: every step of the way by Hélène Viel
“A story of endurance and dreams fulfilled. After a decade of planning and dreaming, Hélène Viel, from Rivière-du-Loup, Quebec, and her husband Ole Olson from Broadview, Saskatchewan, marked their retirement by walking across Canada, from the Arctic Ocean to the Pacific to the Atlantic. Maintaining a pace of 40 to 50 kilometers a day through Canada’s four seasons, the walkers passed through two territories and ten provinces, completing the longest recorded walk across Canada: from sea to sea to sea. Ole did it all: 10,081 kilometers. Hélène, 66, achieved a fantastic 8,107 kilometers. This is her story.”
“Between 1880 and the 1930s, the big railway companies, and the federal and provincial governments launched three aggressive campaigns to “sell” Canada at home and abroad… With compelling research, insight, and wit, Daniel Francis documents how these three campaigns established Canada as a destination for immigrants and tourists and turned us into proud defenders of western civilization. In doing so, they also transformed the way Canadians and outsiders thought about Canada, inadvertently providing the raw material for nationhood. Each campaign produced images expressing what Canadians believed to be fundamental about their country. Those images were incomplete and misleading, providing an idealized portrait of Canada rather than a realistic snapshot.”–From publisher.