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World Book Day 2022: CODE Staff’s Recommended Reading List

CODE supporters, staff and partners share a beautiful common interest: a love of reading and great books. In celebration of World Book Day, a number of CODE staff shared their favourite books and recommendations.

Lynn O’Rourke, Publications Manager

Medicine Walk by Richard Wagamese

A beautifully written story from one of Canada’s finest novelists. Richard Wagamese was an award-winning author of twelve books, a respected storyteller and teacher.

This novel is set in the BC interior and is about the journey of a father and son toward forgiveness, and the power of love and compassion. I read this book in one day, I was drawn into the story by the compelling writing and the depth of the characters; after the first few pages I was on the journey with them.

"A masterpiece, a work of art that explores human interconnectedness with a level of artistry so superb that the personal becomes eternal." National Post


Johanna Kuyvenhoven, Literacy & Education

Stolen Focus, Why You Can't Pay Attention—And How to Think Deeply Again by Johann Hari

This is a fully researched effort to answer the question about our diminishing abilities to sustain attention. It applies to reading, getting a good answer to a question, staying with a discussion and so on. Some of the findings are stunning.  Did you know that 57% of Americans do not read even one book in a year? Or that the average person touches their phone 2,617 times in a 24 hour period? The author shows that most adults are working in systems that permit or demand constant interruption and attention switching. The price is creativity, comprehension, and quality of engagement.


Deborah Simpson, Evaluative Learning Manager

Butter, Honey, Pig, Bread by Francesca Ekwuyasi

This book follows the lives of 3 generations of Nigerian women between Lagos, London, Halifax and Montreal and back to Lagos. It’s a beautifully written book that gives an amazing insight into historical and contemporary life and culture in Nigeria.



Marija Shaw, Individual Giving and Marketing Manager

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451 follows a “fireman” whose work involves setting fires rather than fighting them. For 10 years he had burned books that had been hidden away by people rebelling against a society that controls and limits the information people have access to.  He never questioned his job or the destruction of books until he meets a 17-year-old girl and a professor who show him another option.

Fahrenheit 451 was assigned reading in the first literature class I ever took and ultimately led me to get a bachelor’s degree in Literature. I find such a beautiful poetic justice to the path this story led me on – that a book about book burning launched me into a lifelong pursuit to absorb as many books and learn from as many different perspectives as I can.

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