Bear Radio Book Club March 2023

Every month our team members pick a book that’s tickled their fancy and we recommend it to you, our network so that we can all read, learn and grow together – just think of it as our own little book club!

Because reading is what? Fundamental! 

Jill’s Book Recommendation:
The Wreckage of my Presence by Casey Rose Wilson

I’m a big fan of actress, comedian and podcaster Casey Rose Wilson, and I’ve been following her career for more than five years. She’s witty and hilarious, and on her podcast Bitch Sesh, she’s talked all about her upbringing in Washington, D.C., the death of her mother and the kooky antics of her father, Paul Wilson (who has built up his own fan base in the process). In this book of essays, Wilson’s point of view is both hilarious and somber. I laughed out loud several times while reading Wilson’s often chaotic stream of consciousness writing. She perfectly encapsulates the point of view of a person using humor to get them through tragedy and pain. At her core, Casey Rose Wilson is a humorist, but there’s so much more to her behind the cheeky personality we usually see.

Julia’s Book Recommendation:

The Passenger by Ulrich Alexander Boschwitz

I’ve been doing a lot of self-re-education on German and Berlin history at the moment so when I saw my parter reading this, I of course asked to be next in line. The Passenger was first published in Germany in in 1938, 1939 in the US and in 1940 for England. After that? It seemed to disappear until its resurgence in 2021. The novel tells the story of Otto Silbermann, a businessman who is rejected by his community and forced to flee, fearful of being exposed as a Jewish person despite how Aryan he looks. We follow his ‘passage’ as he boards one train and then another and another looking for help and ultimately escape.

The story of the author is almost as sad as the novel – why did the book disappear into obscurity? Boschwitz himself was sent to Australia from England in 1939 because he was German, despite his Jewish background. In 1942 he was allowed to return but the boat he was on was torpedoed by a German submarine and he died at the age of 27, he books and manuscripts lost between hemispheres… wild.

Denisa’s Book Recommendation:

All About Love by Bell Hooks

‘The word ‘love’ is most often defined as a noun, yet we would all love better if we used it as a verb,” writes bell hooks. All About Love provokes you and highlights the intensely personal and vulnerable relationship each of us have with love. hooks is a renowned scholar, cultural critic and feminist so her writing is not your average novel type of read but a mixture between personal anecdotes as well as psychological and philosophical ideas. I used to read her essays in university and she was the first cultural analyst where i thought ‘this makes sense’ – hooks writes for the people, she writes to stimulate us rather than writing exclusively for academia.

Her language is essay to follow, piercing and kind. Her main observation: we live in a society bereft with lovelessness – not the lack of romance, but the lack of care, compassion, and unity. As she explores the question “What is love?” she tears down the cultural myth that the ideal love is infused with sex and desire and provides a new path to love that is rather healing.

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