As the weather turns colder and the days get shorter, it is a great time to cozy up with a good book. If you are looking for your next literary escape, or for some gift ideas, we have the list for you! Here is a selection of the favourite books of Power To Be staff from the past year.
The Rosie Result by Graeme Simsion was my favorite book of 2020. It is the 3rd book of the adventure of Don Tillman, an Australian genetic professor who is raising his son and face the same challenges he faced as a child in having a hard time understanding social norms in our society. – Manue, Program Facilitator, Vancouver
The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben is an incredibly interesting read about what trees feel and how they communicate. Untamed by Glennon Doyle is also a good read, very interesting story and some good end of year inspiration. – Carolyn, Head of Programs, Victoria
Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer beautifully blends her Indigenous knowledge and experience with the natural world. It has allowed a shift in my perspective of our relationship with the earth, how to listen and observe its intricate systems and the animacy of nature taught by Indigenous cultures. – Andrea, Program Adventures Lead, Vancouver
Sapiens – A brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari is a fascinating account of human history (in the context of creation) that is well informed, insightful, deep, and somewhat distressing. It helps me understand the evolution of humanity and how we have affected the planet, and its wellbeing, to this day. – Paul T, Program Facilitator, Victoria
At Home in Nature by Rob Woods. Rob has a wonderful way of storytelling, has lead an interesting and adventurous life, but there’s also the deeper unspoken connection that we both came from North Yorkshire, have an Outdoor Education background, and now live on the BC Coast. The Dark Materials Trilogy by Phillip Pullman has been a long time favourite. I am on to my 4th re-read of the Golden Compass and have almost finished it ready for the next book. Finally, They Called Me Number One by Bev Sellars. A sad yet educational biography of a young girl’s experience in a Residential School and more. – Paul B, Program Facilitator, Victoria
The Testaments by Margaret Atwood. I really liked it! This book brought back a lot of memories of reading the Handmaid’s Tale years ago in school. Interesting that one was written in 1985 and the other in 2019. Also, The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd had such an interesting story line. – Sarah, Director of Advancement.
Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport and The Everyday Philanthropist: A Better Way to Make a Better World by Dan Pallotta, because they will change the way you can focus in a more effective way, and help you learn to give better. – Tim, CEO
Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo. I found this to be a fascinating read and certainly provided great insight into the complexities of race, gender, sex, identity, love, and friendship in the UK. It shared The Booker Prize in 2019. Each storyline played out on its own timeline, lending a unique voice, personal struggle and perspective which left me wanting to explore further each of the specific character(s) within that chapter. There is a level of connectedness between most, if not all the voices and storylines that are eventually tied together in the final chapter – I found myself flipping back and forth reconnecting with earlier characters as they were reintroduced at a different (historical) time throughout the novel. Very imaginative, rich, and extremely well written. – Graham, Program Facilitator, Vancouver
The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris. This was a very different perspective of the war and treatment of people at Auschwitz, and as there was also a love story woven into the narrative there was beauty within trauma. Plus, my grandparents met in a concentration camp so there were ways I felt I could learn about what made them the resilient humans they were. – Carinna, Director of Programs and Impact
Born a Crime by Trevor Noah. South Africa is a place I would love to visit, and it was interesting learning more about the apartheid through the eyes of someone who lived it. The book was well written, made me smile and laugh, but was also educational. – Katie, Director of Finance