Happy Holidays from GCC

In its tradition of sharing holiday favourites, GCC staff share their favourite reads. The selection features great books to curl up with over the holidays or give as a gifts.

Executive Director Clifford Maynes recommends Eminent Hipsters, by Donald Fagen of Eminent HipstersSteely Dan fame. “First few chapters are great jazz music journalism mixed with autobiography; later chapters are grumpy accounts of touring in the present day,” says Clifford.

Canada Walks Director Jacky Kennedy is a voracious reader, always looking for light-hearted fare to escape work. Among her favourites are the many series by Alexander McCall Smith. “They are entertaining, don’t contain any violence or other depressing stuff, and lift the spirits,” says Jacky.

A God that could be realA God That Could be Real, by Nancy Ellen Abrams is the choice of Sharyn Inward, Director of Water Programs. Abrams examines the notion of God in the context of the scientific universe.

Claudia Foung’s pick is 365 Inspirational Quotes: A Year of Daily Wisdom From Great Thinkers, Books, Humorists, and More. GCC’s RAIN Home Visit Information Manager says “reading simple quotes from great people has been helping me get through all the ups and downs in life” and hopes this book inspires you too.

Wallace Beaton, Active and Safe Routes to School Program Coordinator – Ottawa & Eastern Ontario, and Jessica Sheridan, Active and Safe Routes to School Facilitator – Ottawa, both chose Born to Walk, by Ottawa-based author and parent Dan Rubinstein. Full disclosure: Wallace and Jessica are both quoted in it.

Detailed descriptions of the landscape in northern Scotland and Iceland made The Flight of Gemma Hardy, by Margot Livesey, a favourite of Kate Hall, Program Manager, WALK Friendly Ontario.

Clara Blakelock, Coordinator of Water Programs, says the best book she read this year is Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. “It’s a novel with lots of thought-provoking things to say about love, race, immigration and life in general – but one that you actually want to read.”

Pilgrim at Tinker CreekPilgrim at Tinker Creek, by Annie Dillard, is a feast, according to Director of Finance Sé Keohane. “I read it over 20 years ago and images and passages from it still live with me.”

Tanya Stuart, Canada Walks Communications Coordinator, says The Poisonwood Bible is the perfect book to get lost in over the holidays. “It’s a different coming-of-age novel, and also offers a clever look at language and cultures.”

The Day the Falls Stood Still, by Cathy Marie Buchanan, is recommended by Executive Assistant Mary Anna Zakula. “I grew up in Niagara Falls, so reading this book is like going home for the holidays.” It’s a (non-sappy) love story woven around the birth of hydroelectric power in Niagara.

Happy holidays and good reading from GCC.


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