Already Toast, by Kate Washington

Staff Pick
Part memoir, part call to action, Washington’s Already Toast is a perfect way both to understand and raise awareness of the care economy.  As a full-time home health aide to her cancer-stricken husband, Washington experienced first-hand how all-consuming it is to manage the work of keeping someone alive. She also discovered that she's just one of millions--part of an invisible army of family caregivers in America--whose unpaid labor keeps our troubled healthcare system afloat. Read this book for insight into the vital role that unpaid caregivers play in our society, and why an investment in this infrastructure matters.                                                               
Already Toast: Caregiving and Burnout in America By Kate Washington Cover Image
ISBN: 9780807011508
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Beacon Press - March 16th, 2021

Carry, by Toni Jensen

Staff Pick

Jensen’s powerful essays can be read both as a moving memoir of a strong and gifted Métis woman growing up in violence and poverty, and as a composite portrait of the nation whose history and values foster such difficult circumstances. The book opens with a stunning report from the Bakken fracking territory near Standing Rock; while extraction companies ravage the land, their workers menace the area’s Indigenous women, and Jensen traces these twin assaults to the country’s history of attempted genocide of Native peoples. She finds a similar trajectory in place after place she’s lived and visited, from her childhood with an abusive father in Audubon County, Iowa, to the “ordinary, everyday” workplace misogyny in Kingman, Arizona,—where Timothy McVeigh planned his attack—St. Paul, where the woman next door later murdered a cousin; and Pittsburgh, site of the 2018 Squirrel Hill mass shooting. Jensen further deepens this focus on origins with deft etymological research, and she manages to convey everything in steeled and impassioned prose, channeling her outrage and anger—as well as a deep humanity that reaches out to the perpetrators of violence as well as the victims—into sharply cadenced sentences that have the force—and grace—of litanies. 

Carry: A Memoir of Survival on Stolen Land By Toni Jensen Cover Image
ISBN: 9781984821188
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Ballantine Books - September 8th, 2020

The Bells of Old Tokyo. by Anna Sherman

Staff Pick

Sherman, an American who lived in Tokyo for several years, describes the city as “one vast timepiece,” but on the evidence of her captivating memoir, it’s more of a living diorama, exhibiting the various ways time has been kept—and told—throughout the metropolis’s long history. During the centuries Tokyo was Edo, its rulers marked time with the daily tolling of nine bells, and Sherman has organized her book around a search for these relics. As she visits the various temples, castles, and other sites—such as a notorious prison—where the bells were once struck, she builds a rich narrative of cultural history that encompasses Eastern and Western notions of power, wealth, art, and, in the moving sections about the 1945 firebombing, war. Her prose is spare and lyrical—a perfect setting for an exploration of mutability that ranges from the shoguns’ mythic origins to the apportioning of hours by the animals of the zodiac, from clocks meant to be “more than just a machine” to atomic lattice clocks “accurate to within a second of the birth of the universe.”

The Bells of Old Tokyo: Meditations on Time and a City By Anna Sherman Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250206428
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Picador - December 1st, 2020