My 2015 Reading List

Photo of Man by Kim Thuy being read in a coffee shop

2015 was a year of two major elections, multiple trips, and a change of jobs, but I tried hard to keep my commitment to myself to watch less Netflix and instead read for fun more – meaning I read a shwack load of books, some big and some short.

People have been asking about which books I enjoyed and for recommendations, since I don’t have a goodreads account or anything fancy like that, below is a list, in no particular order besides being roughly sorted by bookstore categories and with a super high tech, highly inconsistent, 1-5 star ranking system behind them.

Beyond that if you want to know more about any of them definitely feel free to ask, although if I had to pick my top recommendations from this year they’d likely be:

Fiction: The Outside Circle, All My Puny Sorrows, Indian Horse, And the Birds Rained Down, and Lullabies for Little Criminals.

Non-Fiction: Shopping for Votes, Together: The Rituals, Pleasures and Politics of Cooperation, The Education of Augie Merasty, Broken Circle, and tackling volume one of the Final Report of the TRC

Canada Reads Books

  • Ru: A novel by Kim Thúy, translated by Sheila Fischman (2015 Winner) *****
  • When Everything Feels Like The Movies – Raziel Reid (2015 Short List) ***
  • Intolerable: A Memoir of Extremes – Kamal Al-Solaylee (2015 Short List) ***
  • And the Birds Rained Down – Jocelyne Saucier, translated by Rhonda Mullins (2015 Short List) *****
  • Indian Horse – Richard Wagamese (2013 Short List) *****
  • Nikolski – Nicolas Dickner (2010 Winner) *****
  • Lullabies for Little Criminals – Heather O’Neill (2007 Winner) *****
  • A Complicated Kindness – Miriam Toews (2006 Winner) ****
  • In The Skin Of A Lion – Michael Ondaatje (2002 Winner) ****

Other Canlit

  • All My Puny Sorrows – Miriam Toews *****
  • Mãn – Kim Thúy, translated by Sheila Fischman ****
  • The Horrors: An A to Z of Funny Thoughts on Awful Things – Charles Demers ****

Other Literature

  • The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald ****
  • Where it Happened – Poems by Benjamin Gotschall ****
  • Happiness Like Water – Chinelo Okparanta ****
  • Everyman – Philip Roth ****
  • The Room: A Novel – Jonas Karlsson *****
  • Adore – Doris Lessing ***
  • The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly – Sun-Mi Hwang ****

Indigenous Literature and Studies

  • Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Volume One – Summary – Honouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future. (No stars ranking, just read it)
  • They Came for the Children: Canada, Aboriginal Peoples and Residential Schools – The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (No stars ranking, just read it)
  • The Education of Augie Merasty: As Residential School Memoir – Joseph Auguste Merasty with David Carpenter *****
  • Speaking My Truth: Reflections on Reconciliation & Residential School – selected by Shelagh Rogers, Mike DeGagné, Jonathan Dewar ****
  • Indian Ernie: Perspectives on Policing and Leadership – Ernie Louttit ***
  • The Outside Circle: A Graphic Novel – By Patti LaBoucane-Benson. Art by Kelly Mellings. *****
  • Lightfinder – Aaron Paquette *****
  • Nationhood Interrupted: Revitalizing nêhiyaw Legal Systems – Sylvia McAdam (Saysewahum) ****
  • Our Story: Aboriginal Voices On Canada’s Past – Tantoo Cardinal, Tomson Highway, Basil Johnston, Thomas King, Brian Maracle, Lee Maracle, Jovette Marchessault, Rachel A. Qitsualik & Drew Hayden Taylor ***
  • Children of the Broken Treaty: Canada’s lost promise and one girl’s dream – Charlie Angue *****
  • From Mushkegowuk to New Orleans: A Mixed Blood Highway – Joseph Boyden ****
  • The Reason You Walk – Wab Kinew ****
  • Broken Circle: The Dark Legacy of Indian Residential Schools, A Memoir – Theodore Fontaine *****

Canadian Politics

  • Shopping for Votes: How Politicians Choose Us and We Choose Them – Susan Delacourt *****
  • Harry’s Last Stand: How the world my generation built is falling down, and what we can do to save it – Harry Leslie Smith ****
  • Strength of Conviction – Tom Mulcair ***
  • Rise Again: Nova Scotia’s NDP on the Rocks – Howard Epstein ***
  • What I Learned About Politics: Inside the Rise – and Collapse – of Nova Scotia’s NDP Government – Graham Steele ***
  • The Art of the Impossible: Dave Barrett and the NDP in Power, 1972-1975 – Geoff Meggs and Rod Mickleburgh ****
  • Tragedy in the Commons: Former Members of Parliament Speak Out About Canada’s Failing Democracy – Alison Loat & Michael MacMillan ****

Cultural Studies

  • Why People Say No: Uranium Refinery at Warman, Saskatchewan – Published by the Warman and District Concerned Citizens Group ****
  • Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations – Clay Shirky **
  • The Culture of the New Capitalism – Richard Sennett ****
  • An Ideal Prison? Critical Essays on Women’s Imprisonment in Canada – Edited by Kelly Hannah-Moffat and Margaret Shaw ****
  • Growing Resistance: Canadian Farmers and the Politics of Genetically Modified Wheat – Emily Eaton *****
  • Community Rights and Corporate Responsibility: Canadian Mining and Oil Companies in Latin America – Edited by Liisa North, Timothy David Clark, and Viviana Patroni ****
  • The End of the Suburbs – Leigh Gallagher ***
  • Work and the City – Frank Duffy ****
  • Gender Failure – Ive E. Coyote & Rae Spoon *****
  • The Great Degeneration: How Institutions Decay and Economies Die – Niall Ferguson **
  • Progress: The “Our Alberta Heritage” Series – Jacques Hamilton ***
  • We Should All Be Feminists – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie *****
  • The Age of Persuasion: How Marketing Ate Our Culture – Terry O’Reilly & Mike Tennant *****
  • The Bottom Line: The truth behind private health insurance in Canada – Diana Gibson & Colleen Fuller ****
  • Raise Shit! Social Action Saving Lives – Susan Boyd, Donald MacPherson and Bud Osborn ****
  • On Strike: Six Key Labour Struggles in Canada 1919 – 1949 – Edited by Irving Abella ****
  • Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own – Kate Bolick ****
  • Between The World And Me – Ta-Nehisi Coates *****
  • Cities Reducing Poverty – Edited by Mark Cabaj **
  • The Virtual Self: How our digital lives are altering the world around us – Nora Young ****
  • Together: The Rituals, Pleasures and Politics of Cooperation – Richard Sennett *****
  • War Crimes and the Culture of Peace – Louise Arbour ****
  • Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone – Eric Klinenberg ****

Random Airport Book

  • Bright Young Things – Alison Maloney *

Link to my: 2014 Reading List

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