Misfit by Andreas Souvaliotis (188)

This is a memoir about an autistic gay, immigrant who is a changemaker!  The memoir is sad yet inspiring and invigorating. It is a story about triumph in the face of challenges and coming out victorious!  I just love memoirs like this!

Andreas grew up knowing he was different. People are usually unkind to people who are different and who they don’t understand.

But Andreas’ testament showed over and over that there are plenty of kind people out there who care and who are drawn not by outside appearances but by the heart and connection.

I love inspiring memoirs like this. And this one doesn’t disappoint. There is a possibility of transformation and growth in all of our lives. Andreas showed me that in this book over and over.

And even when there is hopelessness, grace and fulfillment are around the corner. If all of us believed that, we would be so much further in our lives.

This is an unforgettable memoir, one that will make you want to come back to over and over again.

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Posted in Author from Ottawa, Immigrant | Leave a comment

Being Prime Minister by J.D.M Steward (187)

This is a book about who is the prime minister of Canada. Politically, he or she is a member of Parliament and leader of the Government of Canada. In the past, the occupant of this position has been described as “first among equals” in relation to the Cabinet he leads, but in practice the PM is, by far, the most powerful figure in Canadian politics.

This is despite the fact that the primer minister has no formal constitutional power. As the late political scientist and McGill University Professor J.R. Mallory noted  “The office of prime minister, the most important single office in the government, is, while not unknown to the law, entirely lacking in a legal definition of its powers.”

Unlike the President of the United States, whose powers are specifically spelled out in that country’s constitution, the prime minister has no clearly defined constitutional authority. And yet the PM has enormous control over the government of Canada. He appoints and direct the Cabinet, which is at the heart of the executive branch, leads the direction of the government in the House of Commons, and outside of it, and appoints justices to the court system, including the Supreme Court, part of the judicial branch.

The PM also effectively appoints the governor general, senators, heads of the military, deputy ministers, and ambassadors. He is also the country’s leader in its foreign relations. Now that is a lot of responsibility for one person, isn’t it?

But how well do we know our prime ministers? How well do we really understand the nature of his job?

Most Canadians really don’t understand much of what the PM does. This book is important therefore to dispel all the mysteries of being prime minister.

It is an inclusive book, and it is easy to understand. It is a book that we all should read as Canadians.

 

Posted in Author from Ontario, Canadian Politcs, Prime Minister | Leave a comment

The Garden Going on Without Us by Lorna Crozier (186)

This is yet another poetry book for our Canadian Book Review Challenge this month!  I just really enjoy reading Lorna Crozier’s works.  And this poetry book is no exception.

This book is Crozier’s sixth collection of poems, and is a book of rare virtuosity. Her poetry is sensual, pragmatic, and linked to the woman and men around her. hey are people who live rather than simply name their lives.

She writes about the Prairies quite often in her poetry. It is a vast land that bleaches human and animal bones alike, but one that contains gardens in which people and plants are cultivated. Houses are places of love-making, warmth and rage. Her keen ironic tone is balanced by a certain romanticism.

Crozier is a lyric poet like no other. She has a wide range of tone and style, which makes her the only poet that I know who writes like she does. She has depth and breath like no other poet.

I will definitely be recommending this book to all the people who I know in my midst.

 

 

Posted in Author from Saskatchewan, Poetry | Leave a comment

Trust: Twenty Ways to Build a Better Country by David Johnston (185)

This is a much-needed book in our time of political and cultural upheaval. Trust and honesty seem to be gone right by the wayside which is why we are having immense problems now. Even our politicians are not trustworthy and it seems that one or more of them are accused of some horrendous things.

This book is a restorative book.  It is meant to get us on another new path to political and personal wholeness. But we need to start with ourselves first. Unless we are honest and trustworthy ourselves, we will never be able to be honest with others. Instead, we will manipulate and force others to see our ways. Some of these way will be corrupt because the politicians themselves never took stock of the kind of people they are.

Trust is a much-needed manual for the repair and restoration of the social quality on which all democracies rely.  One of Canada’s most revered governors general, David Johnston mines his long life and varied career to give Canadians twenty ways to make themselves, their institutions, and their country more worthy of trust.

Many of these habits, attitudes, and approaches stem from is experiences serving as the representative of the head of state in Canada for seven years. Some ways are individual–listen first, never manipulate, be consistent in public and private. Some are geared towards leaders at all levels and of all stripes–be barn-raisers, tell everyone your plans, depend on those around you. And some are societal–apologize, cherish teachers, invite others to dance.

Ever person who cares about their democratic way of life is wise to heed Johnston’s polite yet pressing call. We can all become more worthy of trust. We can do so by daring to be true to ourselves and living an exemplary life, one that others will be able to learn from.

This is our call, and each one of us can make a big difference in this regard.

I loved this book!  And I will be recommending this book to my family and friends.

Posted in Author from Ontario, David Johnston, Governor General | Leave a comment

The Memory Illusion by Dr. Julia Shaw (184)

This is an eye-opening and startling book. None of us want to think that we may not be who we think we are. That is a surprising thesis one that we don’t want to accept. However, after reading the book, I must say that I am more convinced than ever that this may be case.

When we define ourselves, we may think of our gender, ethnicity, occupation, and education as well as whether we are homeowners, have children, our marital status, and much more. We may also think of our personality traits, whether we’re optimistic or pessimistic, funny or serious, selfish or selfless as part of who we are as well. But is it really?

Our personal memories help us understand our life trajectories. We can remember the inspiring conversations we had with our professors, mother, relatives over the years and much more. Therefore, our memories can form the bedrock of our identities.

This book explains the fundamental principles of our memories, diving into the biological reasons why we forget and remember.

Dr. Shaw explains how our social environments play a pivotal role in the way we experience and remember the world. Dr. Shaw also explains how the self-concept shapes our memories.

I found her thesis astounding that our memories are subject to errors, alterations, and misapprehensions. However, after reading this book, it left me wondering how much I truly know about the world and even myself. I wonder also if we are enigma’s to ourselves. If we are, what we think we know about ourselves is faulty and leaves more questions and answers about ourselves.

 

Posted in Author from British Columbia, Memory | Leave a comment

Who Will Cry When you Die by Robin S. Sharma (183)

This a book that is full of life lessons on how to live in our fast-paced world. I have reviewed all of Sharma’s books and loved every one of them. I even have some on my home shelf.

Many of us live quick, unconscious lives. We work, come home, purchase, overuse our technological gadgets to the point where we don’t connect with others and much more! In the end, we end up losing touch with our humanity. And we lose touch with our purpose. We also lose sight of things that are most important to us.

We must live at our lives so that we matter to others and ourselves. And we have to allow ourselves to manifest our highest potential while valuing those around us.

We should also always try to maintain our perspective. We can do this by starting our day right, taking a weekly sabbatical, journal, and watch what we say to ourselves. There should also be room for silence in our lives.

We should also practise wholesome habits, master our time, master our emotions, connect with nature often, build our talents and much more.

But what really resonated with me is the principle of becoming the CEO of our lives. Unless we take this position seriously, we will just be drifting aimlessly through life. So, its time to take back your life. Its time to live more fully so that when you die you will have no regrets.

I loved this book!

Posted in Author from Toronto, Published in Canada | Leave a comment

A Girl Named Lovely by Catherine Porter (182)

This is a wonderful book about survival through love and connection. I just love books with this theme.

In January, 2010, a devastating earthquake hit Haiti, killing hundreds of thousands of people and paralyzing the country. There are many people who wanted to do something to help these people as they saw the footage over their television. Catherine Porter was one such person. So, she decided to make the trip to Haiti herself to see the devastation.

Minutes after arriving to Haiti, Catherine who was a new foreign correspondent with the Toronto Star found her first story in that of a miracle child. A two-year-old girl survived six days under the rubble and emerged virtually unscathed. Her name was lovely.

Lovely was reunited with her family. Catherine went to see them. It was a dismal scene. Her parents, brother, and four other family members were living in a dark, crudely built shed that flooded whenever it rained. Lovely wanted to go to school. But she couldn’t because the tuition money her parents have been saving was lost in the disaster, including all their possessions.

The cardinal rule of journalism is to remain objective when you are writing a story about some event. But Catherine broke that rule right away when she met the family. She enrolled Lovely in school and paid for it with money she and readers of the Toronto Star donated.

Over the next five years, Catherine continued to pay the family’s medical bills and paid for the family’s education. The family eventually moved to a new home. They were setbacks. But she continued to help Lovely and her family. This gave the family hope. Catherine vowed to make a difference in one family’s life and gave hope to many others.

I loved this book!  It is possible to rebuild after a devastation like the one in Haiti, one day at a time and one kind gesture at a time.

Posted in Haiti, Relief and Hope | Leave a comment