NWT Literacy Council Staff’s 2023 reading list

NWT Literacy Council Staff’s 2023 reading list

To complete our holiday book blogs, we are happy to share what we are looking forward to reading in 2023. To see our 2022 holiday book selections, check out the blogs here and here.  

Conversations with a Rattlesnake by Theo Fleury and Kim Barthel

The NWT Literacy Council recently attended a workshop in Vancouver run by one of the authors of Conversations with a Rattlesnake, Kim Barthel. The other author, Theo Fleury, is a former NHL hockey player who I remember watching play as kid. I read the first book by Theo Fleury, Playing with Fire, and am eager to read this next biographical book. It gives an in depth look at Theo’s life, the trauma he experienced, and his road to healing. I believe it will be a very powerful book and I’m excited to read it over the coming months.

  • Jeremy Mousseau, Community Literacy Coordinator

In November 2022 eight members of our team had the great opportunity to participate in a Trauma-Sensitive Practice training with Kim Barthel and the Relationship Matters team along with our colleagues from Ilitaqsiniq and the Yukon Literacy Coalition. During the training we learned many invaluable tools for creating safer spaces, and for supporting each other and participants in our programs. As a special gift, we were each given a copy of Conversations with a Rattlesnake that Kim wrote along with NHL star Theo Fleury. I look forward to reading this book and furthering my learning in the coming months.

  • Katie Johnson, Program Director

A Trick of the Light by Louise Penny

A book that I am recommending is A Trick of the Light by Canadian author, Louise Penny. This is my second Louise Penny book and I am thoroughly enjoying it. With the lead up to Christmas, I haven’t read it as quickly as I would like, but I find myself thinking about the book and the characters quite a bit. The books do not have to be read in sequence, but the characters in them grow and relationships change as the books move along. If you enjoy mysteries and would like to start a series that gives you familiar characters to read about, there are currently 18 books in the series. 

  • Kathryn Barry Paddock, Executive Director

Sincerely, Your Autistic Child: What people on the Autism Spectrum wish their parents knew about growing up, acceptance and identity by Emily Paige Ballou

As I work to learn more about Autism Spectrum Disorder, and the ways that, as a parent, I can support my Autistic son, I am always looking for resources from Autistic voices. From children’s story books that we share as a family to non-fiction books, it is so important to me to ensure that the information is from Autistic authors with lived experience. It is also very important to me to read these books in a self-reflective way, and recognize the ways that I can change and grow as a parent. I look forward to reading this collection of personal stories in 2023.

  • Katie Johnson, Program Director

Pachinko by Korean American author Min Jin Lee

There is something about stories about generations of hard-working people experiencing hardship that gets me right from the beginning of a novel. This story begins in 1910 and follows four generations of a Korean family, who lived through both WWI and WWII. I liked this novel because it brought me right into the lives and culture of people experiencing the effects of war, classism and racism in Korea and Japan, and the complex relationship between the two countries and all their people. What I loved most were the characters and how, as readers, we are brought along for their life journey from infancy to adulthood and then on to the next generation of family. Anyone who values family, tradition and culture would appreciate this book.

  • Christine Lewandowski-Shannon, Family and Community Literacy Coordinator

Station Eleven by Canadian author Emily St. John Mandel

After going through years of pandemic life are you secretly wanting more? Station Eleven centres around a travelling symphony in a post-pandemic world. For some reason, I couldn’t stop reading this book. It explores themes of resilience, unity, and religious fanaticism and shows us a glimpse of what “could have been” from our very real pandemic experience. It left me feeling grateful for how our story ended up. It would make a great read for anyone from teens to adults while cooped up inside at -40 during the winter.

  • Christine Lewandowski-Shannon, Family and Community Literacy Coordinator



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