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Announcements > March/April book! Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot

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message 1: by Emma (new)

Emma Watson (EmmaWatsonBookClub) | 46 comments Mod
Dear OSS,

One of the most memorable moments of the year for me, so far, was the honor of walking beside activist and friend, Marai Larasi at the Golden Globes. Along with learning that movements are both rewarding and really hard work, my involvement with #TimesUp in the UK and in the States is showing me how much we can do together when we stand in solidarity and how incredibly important it is for those who have privilege to use whatever they can to amplify the voices of those who are less often listened to. These are a few of the many reasons why I have chosen Terese Marie Mailhot’s Heart Berries for this month’s book.

Having always felt deeply impatient and limited by having to express myself in perfect grammar and punctuation (this was pre-apostrophe gate!), I am quietly reveling in the profundity of Mailhot’s deliberate transgression in Heart Berries and its perfect results. I love her suspicion of words. I have always been terrified and in awe of the power of words – but Mailhot does not let them silence her in Heart Berries. She finds the purest way to say what she needs to say. She refines… How beautiful are these sentences?

“I learned to make a honey reduction of the ugly sentences. Still my voice cracks.”

“When you told me, I want too much I considered how much you take.”

“I feel like my body is being drawn through a syringe.”

“I felt breathless, like every question was a step up a stairway.”

“Nothing is too ugly for this world I think it’s just that people pretend not to see.”

“I woke up as the bones of my ancestors locked in government storage.”

I won’t go on because I don’t want to ruin this book for you, but the writing is so good it’s hard not to temporarily be distracted from the content or narrative by its brilliance.

In her first paragraph, Mailhot writes, "The words were too wrong and ugly to speak. I tried to tell someone my story, but he thought it was a hustle." Space is needed for pain; people need to be believed and to be able to tell their stories. Roxane Gay says it so perfectly when she describes the book as an "open wound, a need, naked and unapologetic." Perhaps, because this author so generously allows us to be her witness, we are somehow able to see ourselves more clearly and become better witnesses to ourselves. This has certainly been my experience.

It feels right and vastly overdue to be reading a story from a First Nation woman with her perspective of a colonial world. I loved her keen observations of white people (like me) and their ways. It’s critical to be reminded that there are ways of thinking and seeing things that endure and have existed long before colonizers. There are a million ways to think about things! It’s good to have this named.

I read this book in one sitting, but I know I will come back to lines in it to refer to again and again and again. I felt transformed by having read Mailhot’s book as if she channeled some of her brilliance to me through osmosis. As though magically just through having read her writing, I myself became more intelligent and a better writer without having to do ANYTHING!! That’s how good she is! Her work is inspiring, in the way the best things are - you instantly want to go and DO and create yourself as a result of having come into contact with it.

With all my love,
Emma and Team Our Shared Shelf


Agnes Szalkowska | 355 comments Another interesting book no doubt. Thanks Emma .


message 3: by MeerderWörter (new)

MeerderWörter | 2318 comments Emma wrote: "Dear OSS,

One of the most memorable moments of the year for me, so far, was the honor of walking beside activist and friend, Marai Larasi at the Golden Globes. Along with learning that movements a..."


THANK YOU Emma, for choosing this book!
I can't wait to read it!


message 4: by Ashley (new)

Ashley | 166 comments Thank you, Emma! Can't wait to start reading this. I've loved reading with this group. Doing so has greatly broadened my reading horizons and brought me reading choices I wouldn't have otherwise picked up. It's such a great learning opportunity and experience to be here!


message 5: by Robert (new)

Robert Smart | 271 comments Thanks Emma!

I can't wait to read it too!


message 6: by Cynthia (new)

Cynthia Meng (districtrue) | 15 comments Ahhhh this sounds so intriguing! I'll be sure to get my hands on one
xx


message 7: by Simone (new)

Simone | 84 comments Can't wait to read this book! Thank you, Emma!


message 8: by Patrick (last edited Mar 06, 2018 06:25PM) (new)

Patrick Weems (Procryton) | 1 comments This sounds really interesting. I'm definitely enjoying the group. Regrading "apostrophe gate," perhaps a felt-tip would avert international scandals of this magnitude in the future? ;)


message 9: by Cyn (new)

Cyn | 54 comments great choice! can't wait to start it!


message 10: by Shana (new)

Shana Kaplan (sek1128) | 81 comments "Pre-apostrophe gate!" Lol Love your humor. Thank you for the announcement Emma. The book sounds very interesting. Can't wait to go pick it up and start reading. : ) xx


message 11: by Samantha (new)

Samantha Tonelli | 12 comments Sounds very interesting!!! Can’t wait to read it!! Thanks so much Emma!!


message 12: by Susanne (new)

Susanne (Susanne1988) | 10 comments Thanks for another great read! Looking forward to dive in another book about not just an amazing women, but also about a minorty group in the USA. I like that we keep reading books that isn’t just teaching us about womans right, but also about all human rights.


message 13: by Laura (new)

Laura | 3 comments This looks very interesting. Anyone else who is interested in reading another good memoir of a First Nation woman can read "One head at a time" by Beverly Little Thunder.

Highly recommend it!


message 14: by Mandi (new)

Mandi Thomas | 4 comments Really excited to read this!! Thanks Emma and the rest of OSS!


message 15: by Ross (new)

Ross | 1441 comments I can as anyone reading my comment's :) can attest know well the struggle with the rules of grammar. great choice "apostrophe gate" love it.


message 16: by MeerderWörter (new)

MeerderWörter | 2318 comments Susanne wrote: "Thanks for another great read! Looking forward to dive in another book about not just an amazing women, but also about a minorty group in the USA. I like that we keep reading books that isn’t just ..."

Well you know, intersectionality is key... Women are not a monolith...


message 17: by Ashwin (new)

Ashwin (ashiot) | 210 comments Emma wrote: ... It’s critical to be reminded that there are ways of thinking and seeing things that endure and have existed long before colonizers. There are a million ways to think about things! It’s good to have this named. ..."

This is a very important point. Looking forward to reading this one.

"Having always felt deeply impatient and limited by having to express myself in perfect grammar and punctuation (this was pre-apostrophe gate!)"

Hahaha!


message 18: by Kate (new)

Kate Griffiths  (KateMarieGriffiths) | 69 comments Wow I can’t wait! It sounds very interesting and just my cup of tea. 😊


message 19: by Irem (new)

Irem Karakayis (iremkarakayis) | 1 comments I can't wait to read!


message 20: by MeerderWörter (new)

MeerderWörter | 2318 comments Hm, we better get our copies soon before they are sold-out...
And I hope I don't have to wait weeks until it gets here...
Off to the book shop for me!


message 21: by Chloe (new)

Chloe (cloweejones) | 15 comments Thank you for the recommendation. The synopsis seems very interesting. I’m going to have to miss this one as well though, probably won’t read it for another year or so.
Could I just ask for availability of the book to be considered a little more please? There’s been a theme of quite new releases for a few books recently and that means they’ve been rather pricey. Hardbacks are a no go for me, and even some paperbacks for this group have been over £10. As someone who doesn’t use libraries or have an e-reader, and struggles with audiobooks, paperbacks are my way of consuming books. I’m fortunate enough to live in the UK where getting hold of books is generally easy, especially in my first (and personally only) language, but I know it’s not even that simple for many others in this group. I’m not having a go, just wanting to leave a bit of a reminder :)


message 22: by Maricela (last edited Mar 07, 2018 06:04AM) (new)

Maricela Cruz (MaricelaCruz) | 24 comments Emma Watson, I always support you. Language can be a source of liberation for women.


message 23: by Kathrin (new)

Kathrin | 23 comments Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!


message 24: by MeerderWörter (new)

MeerderWörter | 2318 comments Chloe wrote: "Thank you for the recommendation. The synopsis seems very interesting. I’m going to have to miss this one as well though, probably won’t read it for another year or so.
Could I just ask for availab..."


You can always ask in the Pay-It-Forward thread.


message 25: by Maricela (last edited Mar 07, 2018 06:17AM) (new)

Maricela Cruz (MaricelaCruz) | 24 comments Thank you, Emma Watson. The book seems very interesting.


message 26: by Laura (new)

Laura | 5 comments I already had this on my TBR list, so very excited that it was chosen! Can't wait for my copy to show up in the mail! 😊


message 27: by Mira (new)

Mira de la curiosithèque | 1 comments I will buy it very soon. But I’m a French reader : I hope I will understand the way this author writes.😳


message 28: by Leslie (new)

Leslie (lesliejean43) | 70 comments I also already had this on my list!! I'm excited that it has been chosen. Looking forward to reading it. :)


message 29: by Diane (new)

Diane | 25 comments I am excited to read this!


Anna Francesca✨ (annafrancesca3) | 56 comments This book sounds incredible, looking forward to reading!


message 31: by Dennis (new)

Dennis Fahey | 2 comments Thank you, Emma!


message 32: by Arnaud (new)

Arnaud B. | 113 comments Thank you for the suggestion Emma. :)
I suppose you already read it but i have read "A Room of One's Own" by Virginia Woolf.
Great book !


message 33: by Allie (new)

Allie (goodreadscomallisonnaylor) | 10 comments Thank you for this great book selection. Works written by or about First Nation women have been on my list for a while, and this presents the perfect opportunity to start.


message 34: by Peachy (new)

Peachy (peachybashan) | 1 comments Emma wrote: "Dear OSS,

One of the most memorable moments of the year for me, so far, was the honor of walking beside activist and friend, Marai Larasi at the Golden Globes. Along with learning that movements a..."


WOW. I've been a member for quite a while, but I somehow haven't been compelled to read the previous selections. But this one speaks to me seemingly directly, so it will be my first Our Shared Shelf read!


message 35: by Helen (new)

Helen (helen2U) | 291 comments Look, honey. I'm that girl who is just one year older than you, and who always wrote the full words on yahoo messenger etc, when other people waited for my reply, but I didn't care. People who abbreviated too much got on my nerves on numerous occasions and one day I too started abbreviating because I got curious and soon liked it, soon started writing my own way and developed my own wording so I can relate. This book so far looks amazing!


message 36: by Emma (new)

Emma Clement (emmatclement) | 1822 comments Yay, never heard of this book, but it looks great!


message 37: by Mary (new)

Mary | 2 comments 💛


message 38: by Cindy (new)

Cindy Leighton | 2 comments No concerns about the translation of this book done by Sherman Alexie?


message 39: by MeerderWörter (new)

MeerderWörter | 2318 comments Cindy wrote: "No concerns about the translation of this book done by Sherman Alexie?"

What do you mean? How comes Sherman Alexie into the discussion here? (Yes, I know what he did!)


message 40: by Simply Lily (new)

Simply Lily | 1 comments Yaaay ! This will be my first book from OSS. I have waited such a long time to take part in this reading group. I could not participate before because I was in Asia (and it's quite difficult and long to get your books there, I guess it would be a great destination for the book fairies) but now, I'm back in France and I have ordered Heart berries. It will arrive on Friday, I am so excited ! Thanks a lot Emma, for coming up with this project. I am truly looking forward to reading my very first feminist book and sharing with the OSSs about its content and writing. Talk soon girls ! :)


message 42: by Kasi (new)

Kasi (KasiReadsALot) | 16 comments So excited for this. Emma has a way of whipping one into a fervor of anticipation with the way she entices us about these beautiful literary works.


message 43: by Laure (new)

Laure | 387 comments Oh my. I have a way of reading that is a bit particular, kind of diagonally - my eyes just consider a package of text and extract the "juice", mostly with keywords, so that I quickly get the information. This works well with some stories but prevents me to enjoy some books or some texts because I'm just too fast to let the poetry sink in. This book will completely hijack this habit!!!! For once I'll be a slow reader. Let's see how it goes.

PS- Emma, I have the feeling you integrated our past requests for more intersectionality in the authors' choices, and I'm happy about that.


message 44: by Savannah (new)

Savannah (The Book Prophet) (The_Book_Prophet) | 2 comments Ooh this sounds interesting! Especially coming from a part-Native American myself. Nice choice!


message 45: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Vallieres | 1 comments Emma wrote: "Dear OSS,

One of the most memorable moments of the year for me, so far, was the honor of walking beside activist and friend, Marai Larasi at the Golden Globes. Along with learning that movements a..."


Wow. I never heard of this one, but sure will put it on my list of book to read.


message 46: by Alfie (new)

Alfie | 2 comments Thanks Emma! Can’t wait to give this one a read, I always love your recommendations!


message 47: by Kasi (new)

Kasi (KasiReadsALot) | 16 comments Chloe wrote: "Thank you for the recommendation. The synopsis seems very interesting. I’m going to have to miss this one as well though, probably won’t read it for another year or so.
Could I just ask for availab..."


Chloe, I feel your pain. I am always hesitant to spend money, especially over $5-$10, on a book I am not sure I will like. That's food, that's gas, that's two or more books! I tend to be light years behind what's newly published or current or what everyone else is readying, but that is why I live for the library. However, my library is a little slow and don't tend to get new releases, especially not if they aren't on a best sellers list or something of that nature, for quite a while. I am not sure they even have Heart Berries on their radar yet. :/! And, really, this is just my long-winded way of saying I second your emotion. Something that has been out for a while would not hurt my feelings, or my wallet's!


message 48: by Jenni (new)

Jenni | 3 comments The quotes you named and your overall review make me want to read this *right now*!!


message 49: by Jessica (new)

Jessica | 9 comments Wow-thankyou so much Emma


message 50: by Sonja (new)

Sonja Hliddal | 1 comments This sounds like exactly what I want to be reading right now. Thank you, Emma & Team OSS, very much looking forward to reading & feeling these words.


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