I was a book club participant for two years and I am a huge fan of Book Clubs for Inmates.
One of my favourite books was The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman because for me, without diminishing the story, it is about making choices in life. A bad choice, the conscious choice to make things right, and subsequently experiencing the consequences of those choices.
The story was poignantly relevant during that period of my life when I was living the consequences of a bad choice. At the same time, the book inspired hope for me...that there is always a chance to make things right by doing the right thing going forward.
My favourite line in the book was “to have any kind of a future you’ve got to give up hope of ever changing your past.” Where I was at that time in my life, it was much easier to spend time wishing I could change the past. I’ve been fortunate to have met volunteers who gave me encouragement to look ahead and not behind, and who gave their time without judgment.
The protagonist, Tom, is my favourite character in the book because he embodies the person I wish to become.
Being able to participate in the book club is a privilege for me because I am able to not only “escape” inside the characters of the book I am reading, but I also get to discuss the journey with the group and hear their journeys as well. It allowed for a “safe time” during my incarceration and that in and of itself was the biggest impact for me.
Top Book Picks:
1 Red Clocks by Leni Zumas: It is reminiscent of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale
2 State of Freedom by Neel Mukherjee: I enjoyed this book as it speaks about the want for more or the want of something different. As humans, we have this mentality of the grass is always greener everywhere else except where are.
3 Everything Here is Beautiful by Mira T. Lee: This book is beautiful and sad and inspiring. It’s about sisterly love, devotion, mental health and the sacrifices one makes.