Looking for Sister Book Clubs

I came across the idea of ‘Sister Book Clubs’ on a blog a few weeks ago, and I think it would be a great idea for our prison book club.

Often, the women have requests for books that are either not available through the library or, if they are available, the wait is very long – sometimes up to four or five months. If you are part of a book club, or know someone who is in one, please consider passing along this idea. (….& feel free to pass along that we’ve discussed five books and have never had a problem getting one back.)

Again, if you or someone you know is interested, send me an email or call me.



Book Requests – Updated

The following list is by no means complete – these are books (or topis) that the women have requested when we meet for the Book Club.  If you have any of these books, email me at tanyadriechel [at] legalresourcecentre.ca and I will arrange to pick them up. 

Specific Books
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd — Agatha Christie 
The Lords of Discipline – Pat Conroy
Heavier to Heaven – Charles R. Cross
Life on the Outside: The Prison Odyssey of Elaine Bartlett – Jennifer  Gonnerman
Water for Elephants — Sara Gruen
The Associate – John Grisham
Black Like Me – John Howard Griffin
Roots – Alex Haley
The Book of Negroes  – Lawrence Hill
Tenacious: Art and Writings from Women in Prison – Vctoria Law
To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
Stolen Lives-  Malika Oufkir  
Gone with the Wind – Margaret Mitchell
Gap Creek – Robert Morgan  
Cross Country – James Patterson
Daniel X Watch the Skies – James Patterson
Swimsuit – James Patterson
The 8th Confession – James Patterson
Maximum Ride: The Final Warning – James Patterson
Run For Your Life – James Patterson
Keeping Faith — Jodi Picoult
Memoirs from the Women’s Prison – Nawal El Saadawi
The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger
The Pilot’s Wile – Anita Shreve
Anything by Lisa Scottoline
The Power of Now – Ekhart Tolle
Restoration –  Rose Tremain
The Shadow of the Wind — Carlos Ruiz Zafon

General Requests
Clive Barker books
Any V.C. Andrews books
Gregory Maguire series
S.E. Hinton books
The Twilight Series
Any Book on CD

YA Lit: 70s/80s?

Hey there — a SLIS professor has asked if we are interested in several cartons of 1970s, 1980s, and a few 1990s YA books. She says they aren’t gorgeous to look at, but they are excellent stories. If we accepted these, we could take them and divvy up between women’s / men’s prisons. Maybe some for Bissell? What are your thoughts?

Anarchy, Books and Prisoners

Hey everyone! You should all come to the Edmonton Anarchist Bookfair on October 2 at 7pm. Not only are there books, the keynote speaker this year is Vikki Law, an activist who, among many other things, supports women in prisons. Law works with women to get their writing out and her own writing brings attention the struggles and resistance of women prisoners. She will be speaking on “Women’s Resistance and Organising in Prison”. From her bio at PM Press:

After a brief stint as a teenage armed robber, she became involved in prisoner support. In 1996, she helped start Books Through Bars-New York City, a group that sends free books to prisoners nationwide. In 2000, she began concentrating on the needs and actions of women in prison, drawing attention to their issues by writing articles and giving public presentations. Since 2002, she has worked with women incarcerated nationwide to produce Tenacious: Art and Writings from Women in Prison and has facilitated having incarcerated women’s writings published in larger publications, such as Clamor magazine, the website “Women and Prison: A Site for Resistance” and the upcoming anthology Interrupted Lives.

I really recommend that you come and hear her speak. I’ve been reading about her this week as I’m hoping to interview her for CJSR’s Adamant Eve (Edmonton’s only feminist news radio show! Listen Fridays at 5:30 on CJSR 88.5 FM or online at www.cjsr.com!) and the work she does is really incredible. In facilitating Tenacious, she has given women a voice and forum. Her writing criticizes past research which has ignored uprising in women’s prisons and brings attention to  issues facing women prisoners in the US, everything from the cost of tampons to the lack of jobs to the fact that the women lose all parental rights if their children have been in foster care for more than 15 months.

This Bitch interview (pdf) provides background information on Vikki Law’s work in prisons, while this interview with Grassroots Feminism provides more information about her work on Tenacious. And be sure to read Law’s own words on how Incarcerated Women Create Their Own Media.

I think creating a zine is something the committee should keep in mind for a potential future project. There are, of course, some questions around it. Do you think EIFW would let us? What would it look like if we did? What would producing it entail? Some of these questions may be answered in the lecture, and if they’re not we can ask!

The Edmonton Anarchist Bookfair will be held on October 2-4 at the Edmonton Ukrainian Centre, 11018 97 Street. Law speaks at 7pm on the Friday, October 2nd.  See you there!

September committee meeting

Can we schedule a committee meeting sometime this month? With such a large group it’s hard to find a date that is perfect but which of the following dates works best for people?

Thursday, September 17 at 5 p.m.

Tuesday, September 22 at 5 p.m.

Wednesday, September 30 at 5 p.m.

Saturday, October 3 in the afternoon (UPDATED TO ADD: I don’t think this date will work since the Community Bookshelf committee is getting organized for Homeless Connect and I think many of the prison committee also volunteers with the CB committee)

Do people have a preference for either at Henderson Hall or at the Legal Resource Centre? Or the Empress? 🙂

Thanks everyone!