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BOOKS of Relevance LIST Jan. 2023

Recommendations from fellow readers on worthwhile books to read this year.

-  A rather random assortment pulled from many of our community-minded contacts.

  • Many of these choices provide insight into lives that are unlike our own but which intersect with us.

  • Some of these selections are for pure escape and joy. 

  • There are books here to lead us to learning, whether it be for the self or regarding the world around us.

  • You may find deeper understanding of connection through one of these books.

Youth centered books (for adults too)

The Fog Diver, by Joel N. Ross​

About a group of kids who have come together to survive in post apocalyptic times.  I’ve read the Fog Diver and its sequel The Compass 4 times.  - W

Freestyle, by Gale Galligan

Graphic novel. A lighthearted story with an astonishing and refreshingly inclusive cast of characters.   J

Wonder, by R. J. Palacio

This amazing book is about a young boy whose face is significantly disfigured.  Both heart tugging and heart warming, I think it should be mandatory for all humans to either read this book or watch the movie. - W

It’s Kind of a Funny Story, by Ned Vizzini

This riveting, humble and very human tale, is a first hand description of what depression feels like for a high achieving teenager.  - L

Adult Fiction:

Where the Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owens

About the life of a woman, who as a young girl, is left by her family to survive in a meagre hut in swamp lands.  An outcast of society who, with the help of a few key people, survives against all odds. Sewn in a murder mystery.W and A


Five Little Indians, by Michelle Good

An eye opening, character driven story taking place in western Canada.  A valuable read for any Canadian seeking to gain understanding about the varied and pervasive impacts that the residential school system has had on the lives survivors and their families. Multi award winning novel. - L


The Nightingale, by Kristin Hannah

An outstanding story of the path of two French sisters during WWII, vividly portrayed. A book that demonstrates the strength we all have in us if we should choose to access it. - W and L

Monica phota.jpg

The Salt Path, by Raynor Winn

About a couple walking the coastal path in Wales.  Dark but pierced with beautiful moments. Includes thought provoking commentary on homelessness, the precarity of modern life that renders so many homeless, and how we react to those without homes both individually and as a society.S

Moon of the Crusted Snow, by Waubgeshig Rice

An apocalyptic tale of a ‘systems shut down’, set in northern Canada and disturbingly plausible. - P

The Tattooist of Auschwitz, by Heather Morris

A testament to the endurance of love and humanity under the darkest possible conditions.  - W


Lullabies for Little Criminals, by Heather O’Neill

A heartbreaking beautiful story based in Montreal that makes you think deeply about childhood, privileges, and the impact of addictions.  - A

The Memory Keeper of Kyiv, by Erin Litteken

A tale of pure survival of a Ukraine family pre-WWII under Stalin’s rule. – W

The Silent Patient, by Alex Michaelides

A dark psychological thriller that’s hard to put down. – A


The Overstory, by Richard Powers

An epic novel that gives you a peek into five family histories all having special connection to trees.  The intersection of eclectic characters takes place as they each face catastrophic circumstances pushing them to act. - P

Permanent Astonishment: Growing up Cree in the Land of Snow and Sky, a memoir by Thomson Highway

Highly recommended as a delightful read.  - S


What is the What, by Dave Eggers

A transformative novel based on the true life and journey of a Sudanese refugee.  Disturbing content written with deft, humour and a gentle nod to the characters.  - L

Non Fiction:

The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate, by Peter Wohlleben

A book that will give you the outmost respect for trees and vegetation. - W


Planting in a Post Wild World, by Thomas Rainer and Claudia West

An inspiring call to action dedicated to the idea of a new nature—a hybrid of both the wild and the cultivated—that can flourish in our cities and suburbs. This is both a post-wild manifesto and practical guide to creating an environment that is reflective of natural systems and thrives within our built world. (Indigo) - J


The Edible Ecosystem Solution, by Zach Loeks

A comprehensive, practical guidebook that looks at underutilized spaces to reveal the many opportunities for landscape transformation. For anyone who wants to reclaim humanity's place in a rich, abundant, edible ecosystem. (Good Reads) - J

How to Prepare for Climate Change, by David Pogue

This heavy manual will take you on a practical journey through the anticipated challenges of Climate Change. It provides the reader with tools and knowledge on how to both mitigate and then navigate our changing environment.  The author provides an American perspective and data, but it is easily translatable to much of Canada. - L

Stolen Focus by Johann Hari.

This is an amazing book on why so many of us are having difficulties maintaining our focus. - W


Meditations, by Marcus Aurelius

Yes, that’s right, the Roman emperor.  This philosophical and practical book has provided me with deep insight and pearls of wisdom.  A powerful read for those seeking clarity of mind. - N


Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle, by Emily Nagoski and Amelia Nagoski

The absolute best book for overwhelmed women and overwhelmed men who respect women. – W


Atomic Habits: Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results, by James Clear

This book makes you rethink everything you thought you understood about goal setting, and helps you change your life in simple but powerful ways. - A

The Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell

Written like an abstract, with real life examples a plenty, this author shapes an overarching understanding of how what may seem like serendipitous events and happenings, are actually the results of a connections between marketing, media, epidemics, and influencers. - L

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