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OJEN’s Summer Reading List

Summer is a great time to slow things down and recharge your batteries. If you’ve been waiting for this time to catch up on some reading but don’t know where to start, look no further.  Whether you’re looking for inspiration, information or just plain fun, OJEN staff picks can get you started.  So get out your lawn chair and favourite summertime drink and enjoy your well-deserved vacation! 

In no particular order…

Book TitleFull Disclosure

Author: Beverley McLachlin

Description: From the former Chief Justice of Canada comes a riveting thriller starring Jilly Truitt, a rising, young defense attorney faced with a case that hits close to home. A searing look at what justice means in the courts and on the streets, Full Disclosure is perfect for fans of Kathy Reichs, Louise Penny, and Lisa Scottoline.

Book Title: The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court

Author: Jeffrey Toobin

Description: Acclaimed journalist Jeffrey Toobin takes us into the chambers of the most important—and secret—legal body in the Unites States, the Supreme Court, revealing the complex dynamic among the nine people who decide the law of the land. An institution at a moment of transition, the Court now stands at a crucial point, with major changes in store on such issues as abortion, civil rights, and church-state relations. Based on exclusive interviews with the justices and with a keen sense of the Court’s history and the trajectory of its future, Jeffrey Toobin creates in The Nine a riveting story of one of the most important forces in American life today.

Book Title: In Search of a Better World

Author: Payam Akahavan

Description: Based on the 2017 Massey Lectures, this is a most remarkable and moving autobiography, which immediately reached number one for non-fiction on the Canadian best-seller list upon its publication in September. The author, himself a religious refugee as a child from the persecution of the Baha’is in Iran, went on to become a distinguished human rights lawyer, UN investigator of genocide in Bosnia, Cambodia, Guatemala, Rwanda and Timor-Leste, UN Prosecutor at The Hague, a member of the International Court of Arbitration, and now Professor of International Law at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. It is an essential analysis of the major human rights struggles of our times.

Book Title: Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death, and Hard Truths in a Northern City

Author: Tanya Talaga

Description: In 1966, twelve-year-old Chanie Wenjack froze to death on the railway tracks after running away from residential school. An inquest was called and four recommendations were made to prevent another tragedy. None of those recommendations were applied. More than a quarter of a century later, from 2000 to 2011, seven Indigenous high school students died in Thunder Bay, Ontario. The seven were hundreds of miles away from their families, forced to leave home and live in a foreign and unwelcoming city. Five were found dead in the rivers surrounding Lake Superior, below a sacred Indigenous site. Jordan Wabasse, a gentle boy and star hockey player, disappeared into the minus twenty degrees Celsius night. The body of celebrated artist Norval Morrisseau’s grandson, Kyle, was pulled from a river, as was Curran Strang’s. Robyn Harper died in her boarding-house hallway and Paul Panacheese inexplicably collapsed on his kitchen floor. Reggie Bushie’s death finally prompted an inquest, seven years after the discovery of Jethro Anderson, the first boy whose body was found in the water. Using a sweeping narrative focusing on the lives of the students, award-winning investigative journalist Tanya Talaga delves into the history of this small northern city that has come to manifest Canada’s long struggle with human rights violations against Indigenous communities. A portion of each sale of Seven Fallen Feathers will go to the Dennis Franklin Cromarty Memorial Fund, set up in 1994 to financially assist Nishnawbe Aski Nation students’ studies in Thunder Bay and at post-secondary institutions.

Book Title: Old City Hall

Author: Robert Rotenberg

Description: The murder of a Toronto radio host’s wife engulfs the lives of cops, lawyers, and a journalist in this sprawling legal thriller. In the tradition of defence lawyers turned authors like Scott Turow and John Grisham, Robert Rotenberg delivers a legal thriller rich with his forensic skill and insider knowledge, taking readers on a tour of Toronto from the Don Jail to the towers of Bay Street and into the shadowy corridors of the Old City Hall courthouse.

Book Title: To Kill a Mockingbird

Author: Harper Lee

Description: Compassionate, dramatic, and deeply moving, To Kill A Mockingbird takes readers to the roots of human behavior – to innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos. Now with over 18 million copies in print and translated into forty languages, this regional story by a young Alabama woman claims universal appeal. Harper Lee always considered her book to be a simple love story. Today it is regarded as a masterpiece of American literature.

Book Title: I’ll Be Gone in the Dark

Author: Michelle McNamara

Description: I’ll Be Gone in the Darkthe masterpiece McNamara was writing at the time of her sudden death—offers an atmospheric snapshot of a moment in American history and a chilling account of a criminal mastermind and the wreckage he left behind. It is also a portrait of a woman’s obsession and her unflagging pursuit of the truth. Utterly original and compelling, it has been hailed as a modern true crime classic—one which fulfilled Michelle’s dream: helping unmask the Golden State Killer.

Book Title: The City and the City

Author:  China Mieville

Description: Brainy, surreal urban fiction that reads like a noir detective story. Follow Inspector Tyador Borlu as he tracks a murderer through the streets of Beszel and into Ul Qoma – a second city that shares the same geographical space. This is a fascinating and deeply weird ode to city life, and a terrific meditation on law, rules, and cultural taboos, and the mundane ways we bend and break them.

Book Title: The Magpie Murders

Author: Anthony Horowitz

Description: This is a murder/mystery novel within a murder/mystery novel! This book is an easy beach or couch read. Not too dark or scary but entertaining and makes you want to flip to the end… just to know! (*I may or may not have flipped to end…the suspense was too much!*)


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