Books to read over the holidays!

By Numerous

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Pearson Centre’s Winter Reading List (December 2017)

Mike’s World, Lester B. Pearson and Canadian External Affairs Asa McKercher and Galen Roger Perras, Editors Timely as we mark the 60th Anniversary of Pearson’s Nobel Peace Prize. Mike’s World explores the myths surrounding Pearsonianism to explain why he remains such a touchstone for understanding Canadian foreign policy. In it, leading and emerging scholars dig deeply into Pearson’s diplomatic and political career, especially during the 1960s and his time as prime minister. Topics range from peacekeeping and Arctic sovereignty to environmental diplomacy and human rights policy. Chapters also explore Canada’s relations with South Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and the Americas. They show that competing forces of idealism and pragmatism were key drivers of Pearsonian foreign policy, and how global events often influenced politics and society within Canada itself.

Stolen Life: The Journey of a Cree Woman Rudy Wiebe & Yvonne Johnson Recommended by: Jennifer David “Powerful but difficult to read, this book is the story of Yvonne Johnston. It was written in collaboration with award-winning author Rudy Wiebe and details the events that put Yvonne behind bars for life. While not representative, it does paint a clear picture of the effects of colonial policies and the inter-generational trauma that has impacted so many Indigenous people today. I recommend this book to everyone who wants to better understand Indigenous realities and history.”

Indian Horse Richard Wagamese Recommended by: Jennifer David “Recently made into a movie, this fictional book by Richard Wagamese also tells the history and story, through one boy’s eyes, of living through that dark chapter that was Indian Residential Schools in Canada. Moving and well written.”
The Nightingale Kristin Hannah Recommended by: Bernie Farber The Nightingale is a historical fiction novel, written by Kristin Hannah and published in 2015. It tells the story of two sisters in France during World War II, and their struggle to survive and resist the German occupation of France.

Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging Sebastian Junger Recommended by: Dalton McGuinty Based on a Vanity Fair article from June 2015, Tribe is a look at posttraumatic stress disorder and the challenges veterans face returning to society. Using his background in anthropology, Sebastian Junger argues that the problem lies not with vets or with the trauma they’ ve suffered, but with the society to which they are trying to return.One of the most puzzling things about veterans who experience PTSD is that the majority never even saw combat—and yet they feel deeply alienated and out of place back home.

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind Yuval Noah Harari Recommended by: Dalton McGuinty Also recommended by Sergio Marchi, “A fascinating read that reminds us how little we know about ourselves! His sequel, Homo Deus, is for my Christmas reading.

Could It Happen Here? Canada in the Age of Trump and Brexit Michael Adams Recommended by: Susan Delacourt “It’s upbeat and assuring, especially to those who think we live in a pretty exceptional country.”

The Shadow of the Wind Carlos Ruiz Zafón Recommended by: David Moscrop The international literary sensation, about a boy’s quest through the secrets and shadows of postwar Barcelona for a mysterious author whose book has proved as dangerous to own as it is impossible to forget.

Writer, Sailor, Solider, Spy: Ernest Hemingway’s Secret Adventures Nicholas Reynolds Recommended by: David Moscrop

Quand t’es née pour un p’tit pain by Denise Filiatrault et Danièle Lorain Denise Filiatrault n’a assurément besoin d’aucune présentation puisqu’elle marque le paysage culturel québécois depuis sept décennies. Chanteuse dans les cabarets, comédienne à la télévision et au cinéma, actrice au théâtre, metteure en scène, travailleuse acharnée et femme de tête créative à la personnalité flamboyante, elle raconte enfin son histoire, écrite en collaboration avec sa fille Danièle, « pendant qu’il est encore temps et surtout avant que d’autres s’y attellent et racontent n’importe quoi », dira-t-elle.

CLAUDE LEGAULT : IMPROVISATIONS LIBRES Pierre Cayouette L’amour du métier, les années de galère, l’euphorie du succès, la rançon de la gloire, l’épisode traumatisant dont il n’a jamais parlé publiquement: dans Improvisation libres, ce grand pudique jette un regard sans concessions sur sa vie et, sous la plume de Pierre Cayouette, il se livre comme jamais. Pour la première fois, des amis, des collègues et des membres de sa famille nous parlent de cet homme passionné et rigoureux, qui n’a jamais eu peur d’exposer sa part d’ombre en pleine lumière.

Couche-Tard ou l’audace de réussir: Le parcours d’Alain Bouchard, l’entrepreneur qui a osé inventer sa vie Guy Gendron Le parcours sinueux et exceptionnel d’un homme indissociable de l’empire qu’il a bâti. Mélange de tabagie, de kiosque à journaux, de marché d’alimentation, de débit de bière et de magasin général, le dépanneur a connu plusieurs transformations au cours des 35 dernières années, depuis qu’un homme a décidé d’en faire l’affaire de sa vie. Cet homme, c’est Alain Bouchard. Curieusement, peu de gens connaissent son nom, même au Québec où il a toujours vécu. Il est pourtant l’un des entrepreneurs les plus riches au Canada, et l’un des plus honorés par ses pairs sur la planète.

Life on the Ground Floor: Letters from the Edge of Emergency Medicine James Maskalyk Recommended by: Joann Garbig In this deeply personal book, winner of the 2017 Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction, humanitarian doctor and activist James Maskalyk reflects upon his extensive experience in emergency medicine. Splitting his time between a trauma centre in Toronto’s inner city and the largest teaching hospital in Addis Ababa, he discovers that though the cultures, resources and medical challenges of the hospitals may differ, they are linked indelibly by the ground floor: the location of their emergency rooms

All We Leave Behind Carol Off Recommended by: Joann Garbig In 2002, Carol Off and a CBC TV crew encountered an Afghan man with a story to tell. Asad Aryubwal became a key figure in their documentary on the terrible power of thuggish warlords who were working arm in arm with Americans and NATO troops. When Asad publicly exposed the deeds of one of the warlords, General Abdul Rashid Dostum, it set off a chain of events from which there was no turning back. Asad, his wife, Mobina and their five children had to flee their home.

The Break Katharena Vermette Recommended by: Joann Garbig When Stella, a young Métis mother, looks out her window one evening and spots someone in trouble on the Break — a barren field on an isolated strip of land outside her house — she calls the police to alert them to a possible crime. A powerful intergenerational family saga, The Break showcases Vermette’s abundant writing talent and positions her as an exciting new voice in Canadian literature.

Atlantic: Great Sea Battles, Heroic Discoveries, Titanic Storms, and a Vast Ocean of a Million Stories Simon Winchester Recommended by Axle Dorscht

The Dark Flood Rises Margaret Drabble Recommended by Sharon Sholzbertrg-Gray Not necessarily a happy book, but a good look at aging by a prominent feminist writer

All the Light We Cannot See Anthony Doerr Recommended by Judy McCarthy
The Glass Castle

Jeannette Walls Recommended by Judy McCarthy

I, Eliza Hamilton Susan Scott Recommended by Judy McCarthy

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