The staff at the NWT Literacy Council has some help with your Christmas giving. Here are the books that we’re giving, hope to receive as gifts, or plan to curl up with over the holidays. Our executive director, Kathryn Barry Paddock, couldn’t choose just one!
Drive, by Daniel Pink and Voice in the Wild, by Laurie Sarkadi.
Drive - The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, by Daniel Pink, has been recommended at a few professional development sessions that I’ve attended this year. I want to see what it has to offer. The back cover states: "The secret to performance and satisfaction - at work, at school, and at home —is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world." I look forward to delving into Daniel Pink’s ideas for home and work.
Voice in the Wild, by Laurie Sarkadi, has been on my "to read list" for a while, and I am happy that I recently purchased it from the author and had an opportunity to chat with her. Voice in the Wild is a memoir that "...explores a more than two-decade long physical and spiritual journey into the wild spaces of northern Canada, around the globe and deep within."
The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well, by Meik Wiking
I heard about hygge from a friend. She brought it up while I was lighting candles for the supper table one night. I am curious to know more. It seems like it is about the small things that we can do to slow down, such as appreciating the little things in life. For example, appreciating those crisp blue mornings when the light through your window is just right, or drinking hot chocolate by candle light.
With so much to do, I like the idea of simple reminders of how to take greater pleasure in everyday aspects of life. Maybe the holidays are a good time to introduce hygge into our lives.
The Tickle Monster, by Josie Bissett
One of the books I’m giving this Christmas is The Tickle Monster, by Josie Bissett. It’s about a delightful monster from Planet Tickle. The monster’s mission is to tickle any child who is reading the book. The person reading the story to a child tickles them as they are reading. Children love this book, and laugh and laugh at it!
How Raven Returned the Sun, by Christal Doherty
This children's story is written in English, illustrated by Carla Taylor, and translated into Sahtúot’ ı̨nę Yati (North Slavey) by Jane Modeste. How Raven Returned the Sun is a legend about Bear arguing with people. In retaliation for being called weak, he steals the sun. The people, living in darkness, consult with Raven who cleverly devises a way to return the sun to the sky. This book will be a great gift for the little people on my Christmas list.
#NotYourPrincess, edited by Lisa Charleyboy and Mary Beth Leaherdale
#NotYourPrincess Voices of Native American Women, edited by Lisa Charleyboy and Mary Beth Leatherdale, is a collection of poems, essays, interviews, and art that illustrate what it is to be an Indigenous woman in today’s world. As an Indigenous Dene woman from the north, I am always fascinated and empowered with a good read that inspires and speaks about the truth of triumphs and overcoming hardships.
The Soil Will Save Us, by Kristin Ohlson
I would give this book to anyone who feels hopeless about the health of Mother Earth, or who is an avid gardener. If we pay more attention to natural processes rather than trying to “manage” nature, we will have a healthier planet and produce healthier food. In turn, people will be happier, all while saving time, money, and energy. As individuals we can help save or help destroy the planet with our food choices. This book is a call to support farmers who use regenerative farming approaches as they produce better quality food.
The Clothesline Swing, by Ahmad Danny Ramadan
The Clothesline Swing is the story of two lovers as they navigate the aftermath of the Arab Spring and eventually make their way to Canada. The novel unfolds in a series of flashbacks and fables inspired by One Thousand and One Nights. The Hakawati, or storyteller, weaves together stories of his childhood in Damascus, experiences of homophobia, of leaving home, war, and of their relationship to comfort his dying partner.
Good stories give me a window into the lives and experiences of others. I haven't decided yet if I'm getting this book for myself, or if it will be a gift — maybe both!