Books

 
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While there are many ways to borrow, purchase or listen to books, we recommend supporting your local library or independent bookstore or borrowing from friends to enjoy these titles.


A More Beautiful Question

Warren Berger (March 2014)
Lee’s Pick

“One of the most powerful forces for igniting change in business and in our daily lives is a simple, under-appreciated tool—one that has been available to us since childhood. Questioning—deeply, imaginatively, "beautifully"—can help us identify and solve problems, come up with game-changing ideas, and pursue fresh opportunities. So why are we often reluctant to ask "Why?"

Berger's surprising findings reveal that even though children start out asking hundreds of questions a day, questioning "falls off a cliff" as kids enter school. In an education and business culture devised to reward rote answers over challenging inquiry, questioning isn't encouraged—and, in fact, is sometimes barely tolerated. And yet, as Berger shows, the most creative, successful people tend to be expert questioners. They've mastered the art of inquiry, raising questions no one else is asking—and finding powerful answers.” — Bloomsbury


Embers: One Ojibway's Meditations

Richard Wagamese (October 2016)
Alexander’s PICK

Life sometimes is hard. There are challenges. There are difficulties. There is pain. As a younger man I sought to avoid them and only ever caused myself more of the same. These days I choose to face life head on—and I have become a comet. I arc across the sky of my life and the harder times are the friction that lets the worn and tired bits drop away. It’s a good way to travel; eventually I will wear away all resistance until all there is left of me is light. I can live towards that end.
— Richard Wagamese, Embers

“In this carefully curated selection of everyday reflections, Richard Wagamese finds lessons in both the mundane and sublime as he muses on the universe, drawing inspiration from working in the bush--sawing and cutting and stacking wood for winter as well as the smudge ceremony to bring him closer to the Creator. Embers is perhaps Richard Wagamese's most personal volume to date. Honest, evocative and articulate, he explores the various manifestations of grief, joy, recovery, beauty, gratitude, physicality and spirituality--concepts many find hard to express. But for Wagamese, spirituality is multifaceted. Within these pages, readers will find hard-won and concrete wisdom on how to feel the joy in the everyday things. Wagamese does not seek to be a teacher or guru, but these observations made along his own journey to become, as he says, "a spiritual bad-ass," make inspiring reading.” — Douglas & McIntyre


Emergent Strategy

adrienne maree brown (March 2017)
TEAM CKX’s PICK

“Inspired by Octavia Butler's explorations of our human relationship to change, Emergent Strategy is radical self-help, society-help, and planet-help designed to shape the futures we want to live. Change is constant. The world is in a continual state of flux. It is a stream of ever-mutating, emergent patterns. Rather than steel ourselves against such change, this book invites us to feel, map, assess, and learn from the swirling patterns around us in order to better understand and influence them as they happen. This is a resolutely materialist ‘spirituality’ based equally on science and science fiction, a visionary incantation to transform that which ultimately transforms us.” — AK Press


In The Blood

Suzan-Lori Parks
KELSEY’s PICK

“In this modern day riff on The Scarlet Letter, Hester La Negrita, a homeless mother of five, lives with her kids on the tough streets of the inner city. Her eldest child is teaching her how to read and write, but the letter ‘A’ is, so far, the only letter she knows. Her five kids are named Jabber, Bully, Trouble, Beauty and Baby, and the characters are played by adult actors who double as five other people in Hester's life: her ex-boyfriend, her social worker, her doctor, her best friend and her minister. While Hester's kids fill her life with joy—lovingly comical moments amid the harsh world of poverty—the adults with whom she comes into contact only hold her back. Nothing can stop the play's tragic end.” — Dramatists Play Service


The Lorax

Dr. Seuss (1971)
Lee’s Pick

“Long before going green was mainstream, Dr. Seuss’s Lorax spoke for the trees and warned of the dangers of disrespecting the environment. In this cautionary rhyming tale we learn of the Once-ler, who came across a valley of Truffula Trees and Brown Bar-ba-loots, and how his harvesting of the tufted trees changed the landscape forever.” — Random House


The Truth About Stories

Thomas King (November 2003)
KelseY’S PICK

“ ‘Stories are wondrous things,’ award-winning author and scholar Thomas King declares in his 2003 CBC Massey Lectures. ‘And they are dangerous.’

Beginning with a traditional Native oral story, King weaves his way through literature and history, religion and politics, popular culture and social protest, gracefully elucidating North America's relationship with its Native peoples.

Native culture has deep ties to storytelling, and yet no other North American culture has been the subject of more erroneous stories. The Indian of fact, as King says, bears little resemblance to the literary Indian, the dying Indian, the construct so powerfully and often destructively projected by White North America. With keen perception and wit, King illustrates that stories are the key to, and only hope for, human understanding. He compels us to listen well.” — House of Anansi Press


They Called Me Number One: Secrets and Survival at an Indian Residential School

Bev Sellars (2012)
Kelsey’s PICK (Recommended to her by Alexander)

“Like thousands of Aboriginal children in Canada, and elsewhere in the colonized world, Xatsu'll chief Bev Sellars spent part of her childhood as a student in a church-run residential school.

These institutions endeavoured to ‘civilize’ Native children through Christian teachings; forced separation from family, language, and culture; and strict discipline. Perhaps the most symbolically potent strategy used to alienate residential school children was addressing them by assigned numbers only—not by the names with which they knew and understood themselves.

In this frank and poignant memoir of her years at St. Joseph's Mission, Sellars breaks her silence about the residential school's lasting effects on her and her family—from substance abuse to suicide attempts—and eloquently articulates her own path to healing. Number One comes at a time of recognition—by governments and society at large—that only through knowing the truth about these past injustices can we begin to redress them.”  — Talonbooks

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