Best Reading of 2015

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Maria Papova, writer and brilliant curator of thought-provoking content, has created a beautiful place to explore humanity. She offers up a rare grace and effortlessness that is compelling and void of ego. For this reason I enjoy most of what she posts. But nothing more than this post on poet Mary Oliver, whom her and Papova appear to share many of the same attributes – grace and humility . Mary Oliver on What Attention Really Means

      2. –

Marion Nestle is a power house in the nutrition and public health world. She is a professor at New York University and was the impetus behind NYU starting a masters program in food studies. She’s a seasoned voice of reason when it comes to food politics in the US. She’s radical in thought and research, and pragmatic in executing her educated opinion. I love her work for the impact she has created within the food industry over the years. I’ve been following her since 2011 and you can still stay up-to-date with current food issues by plugging into her blog, titled Food Politics.

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Guernica is an online magazine on art and politics that couldn’t be more aptly titled. Named after Picasso’s political, antiwar painting, Guernica – which was commissioned for and painted by Picasso during the Spanish Civil War – it is considered one of the most important political pieces of art to assert antiwar sentiment. This not-for-profit magazine is a pleasure to read, whether you have penchant for poetry, fiction, or non-fiction. What still stands as one of my favourite articles, is an excerpt from Rebecca Solnit’s book, Men Explain Things to Me. She’s a prolific writer; I’m enamoured by her clarity in voice and opinion.



  1.  Lullabies  for Little Criminals by Heather O’Neill.Canadian author, O’Neill creates characters you want to learn from, encourage and protect. The protagonists are children swept up by a life that could only choose them. Bobbing in and out of foster care, bullied by the streets only their socioeconomic demographic could place them into, and partially embraced by the wavering love of parents trying to grow up themselves. This book looks at the systems involved in social services and foster care, but also, without forgiveness, reveals the gaps present in our Canadian social system when it comes to accessibility to the social determinants of what gives us health. This book is not new. In 2007, Lullabies for Little Criminals won CBC’s Canada Reads competition and was the recipient of the Hugh MacLennan Price for Fiction. It is a heavy, truly heart-wrenching, and important read.


  2. When Women Were Birds: fifty-four variations on voice by Terry Tempest Williams.

    On mornings when cozying up to a blanket and cup of coffee is the only thing I want to make room for, I can always be warmed to invite a few readings of Terry Tempest Williams. There is a lightness, but sincerity, to her words that I appreciate. More of a poet and observer of the natural world than acclaimed novelist, there are bits and pieces of wisdom to this book that I am in love with. She writes about nature, conservation, voice and womanhood. 

    “Once upon a time, when women were birds, there was the simple understanding that to sing at dawn and to sing at dusk was to heal the world through joy. The birds still remember what we have forgotten, that the world is meant to be celebrated.”  ~ When Women Were Birds: fifty-four variations on voice.