Suggestion Saturday: May 18, 2013

Here is this week’s list of blog posts and other tidbits from my favourite corners of the web.

The Girl and the Flower. A fairy tale about a woman who would do anything to save her dying husband. Prepare to suddenly need to wipe something out of the corner of your eye when you read this.

Closer to the Sun via @jtvancouver. A poem that sent chills down my spine.

Great Graphic Novels for Seniors. This is actually a great list of recommendations for anyone who isn’t interested in traditional superhero tales but likes the look of graphic novels.

Cabinet Containment. If only all politicians could be humanely given away this easily. One of my college professors once warned us that most readers don’t pick up on satire. Her words echo through my mind every time I read this blog.

Kindness in a Cruel World. I love this.

Excuse Me, Can You Leave? It’s Just That I Was Studying First. An amusing story about a student who really doesn’t want to share “his” bench. This exchange reminds me of Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory.

From Food Bank:

“Look,” he said, pointing to the buildings, “A food bank! If you want, we can drop off those leftovers so you can withdraw them later.”
“Um, I think food banks give your food to other people.”
He feigned shock. “Then that’s a horrible bank!”


Between 1854 and 1929 abandoned children in the U.S. were sent out west in an attempt to find new families for them. Back then there were no social workers or foster homes as we know them to protect neglected or abused kids, and orphan trains were basically the only  alternative mistreated children had to growing up homeless on the streets.

Orphan Train is a novel about an Irish girl eventually (re)named Vivian Daley who experiences the best and worst of this social experiment. Eight decades later a biracial teenager named Molly slouches from one home to another. Her foster father claims to love her, but Molly has long since learned the hollowness of that word. When they meet under unusual circumstances in 2011 old secrets are revealed and painful memories finally laid to rest.

This early bird stayed up reading past midnight because I was so enthralled with the vivid descriptions of the worlds they lived in as well as how many similarities there were between Vivian and Molly’s childhoods. I wanted to dive into the pages of this book and bring both girls home to live with me.

Fair warning: a few scenes describe physical and (attempted) sexual abuse from the child’s point of view, but these experiences are not the crux of Molly and Vivian’s stories. If anything, this book is about how beautiful life can be after you’ve acknowledged that something really shitty happened and vowed never to perpetuate the cycle of abuse.

What have you been reading?

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