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Books make the best gifts!

Snow man with snow flakes / Bonhomme de neige avec des flocons de neige

Tue, Dec 14, 2021

We caught up with OPL Board Chair and Councillor of Orléans, Matthew Luloff, he shared a variety of his books favourite books for 2021. Books that will introduce you to a world of imagination, feed your knowledge or broaden your worldview. We hope you'll consider gifting one of these books to others or yourself this season!

I am a voracious reader. This year, I focused a lot of my time on non-fiction, and perhaps more on psychology than ever. We live in a difficult and fascinating time and understanding the concepts that underpin our society is more important than ever as many individuals and groups challenge the status quo. I read a little over 30 books over the course of the year both in paper and audio format. I tend to have a paper book on the go and then jam every open nook and cranny of my day with audiobooks. Honestly, this year reminded me of the bookish kid I once was, often seen walking on the sidewalk on Innes Road toward the library while reading. Hey, if people can text and walk today, I guess I was a little ahead of the curve. Here’s a sampling of what I dove into this year. Each title was excellent for conversation with friends and family, as well as a few semi-reluctant and often annoyed colleagues! Challenging how and what we think is a very important aspect of growing as a person, something I feel I have done a lot of through this pandemic.

 

  1. How to have impossible conversations by Peter Boghossian and James Lindsay

 This book is wonderful for someone trying to navigate an increasingly polarized world. I am a big believer that we can disagree without being disagreeable. This is an excellent clinic on how to listen, how to be clear in your speech and how to leave a difficult discussion feeling as if it was productive.

 

  1. Maps of Meaning by Jordan B Peterson

 This is a very lengthy exploration of the morals and values that underpin modern society and a strong argument for moderate over radical change. Difficult at times, you will want to ensure you give yourself an opportunity to digest as you read. As Edmund Burke said, “reading without contemplation is like eating without digesting.”

 

  1. Liberalism by Ludwig von Mises

 For anyone interested in economics, Mises is required reading. His often eloquent but easily-digestible treatise on free market economics is an absolute staple of classical liberal thought.

 

  1. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

 I try to read something fun every year, and this was such an excellent choice. Thoughtful, funny and playful, Douglas Adam’s book spawned a major following and led to namesakes like Ottawa’s storied Zaphod Beeblebrox nightclub.

 

  1. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

 An in depth and fascinating look at the guilty mind, I couldn’t put this one down. Humanity, criminality, and the gritty world of 19th century Russia is explored.

 

  1. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand

 Easily one of the best novels I have ever read, Rand uses her characters to paint the picture of her ideal human being. Too many themes to mention individually, however morality, perseverance and the constant betterment of one’s character are prevalent.

 

  1. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

 What can I say? It was a year for dystopian novels, and I embraced it. Huxley’s classic is one of the best.

 

  1. The Parasitic Mind by Gad Saad

 Canadian Professor Gad Saad is one of our leading public intellectuals. In this book, he presents a compelling case against ideology and for intellectual freedom.

 

  1. Little Elephant’s Big Heart

My children share my love of reading, and this board book is a favourite of both of my daughters. Short and sweet, it’s a great read before bed.

 

  1. 5-minute Peppa Stories

This little collection is based, mainly, on episodes of Peppa Pig, my daughter Libby’s favourite. It is a great book because kids feel a sense of accomplishment reading through an entire book in a week at story time and Libby can’t get over how she’s reading a book on actual paper (now that she isn’t liable to rip the pages out!)