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Musician Jane Bunnett in one of her favourite spots to read in her home in Toronto. (Deborah Baic/Deborah Baic/The Globe and Mail)
Musician Jane Bunnett in one of her favourite spots to read in her home in Toronto. (Deborah Baic/Deborah Baic/The Globe and Mail)

My Books, My Place

Jane Bunnett pumps up the volumes Add to ...

My three-storey home in Toronto's Parkdale/Roncy neighbourhood is my sanctuary and the place that I love to read. There's only one catch. Make that two. I have to be there and there has to be no one else in the house, so I can spend the day reading in the various locations that I love.

For example, my library, most of the time, is filled with visiting musicians and friends. I especially like reading there in the wintertime because of the brightness in the room, all of our books on music (which are inspiring) and the working fireplace.

Previous instalments of My Books, My Place

I generally like to close the door, hunker down and finish a book in a few days, totally immersing myself in the story as opposed to reading it over a few weeks.

When the library is occupied, I'll take to the living room. It's not as private, but there's another fireplace to poke at.

I'm just finishing Dionne Brand's Ossuaries. It's an incredible read.

I'm looking forward to digging into Preston Lauterbach's The Chitlin' Circuit and the Road to Rock 'n' Roll in the next few days. I love to read informative and historical works about music.

I know this book is going to be an exciting read, as it is all about the era of Jim Crow and what were called “strolls,” where blacks were beholden to nobody and were allowed to work their own clubs. They were wild times, during which artists such as Little Richard, James Brown and Aretha Franklin honed their craft.

There are tons of interviews with key people, surviving relatives and loads of source material from the black media of the time.

This book I'm going to read in the living room, where I can “pump up the volume” on the Louis Jordan and Jimmie Lunceford vinyl.

Jane Bunnett is a Canadian saxophonist, flutist and bandleader known for Afro-Cuban jazz melodies, and the artistic director of the Brampton Global Jazz and Blues Festival.

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