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From the OJEN Blog

OJEN staff recommended summer reading list

From the bookshelves of OJEN staff, we’re pleased to share a selection of some of our current favourites, as well as books we’ve earmarked for our future reading enjoyment. Whether it’s a delicious escape from everyday life, or a journey into new realms of reality, there’s nothing better than losing oneself in a good book. Enjoy your well-deserved summer vacation and happy reading!



By Beverly McLachlin

From the former Chief Justice of Canada and now bestselling author comes a taut new thriller starring tough-as-nails defense attorney Jilly Truitt. Denial is a riveting thriller about the lengths we will go to for the ones we love and the truths we hold dear.

State of Terror

By Hillary Rodham Clinton & Louise Penny

Acclaimed Canadian mystery writer, Louise Penny, teams up with former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, to pen this political thriller. A young foreign services officer, a dedicated journalist and an untested secretary of state, race against time to out-maneuver international terrorists and homegrown traitors hellbent on turning the United States into a Russian satellite state.  A fun read!

Five Little Indians

By Michelle Good

This is a fictional story about the aftermath of the very real residential school system. Five Little Indians chronicles the quest of 5 residential school survivors to come to terms with their past and find a way forward. Written beautifully, this is a must read.

The Paris Apartment

By Lucy Foley

A new locked room mystery, set in a Paris apartment building in which every resident has something to hide… a beach read whodunnit.

The Last Thing He Told Me

By Laura Dave

Her husband sends a note with a neighbourhood child notifying his wife that he has probably disappeared. A quick, interesting read perfect for the backyard or beach.

With the Fire on High

By Elizabeth Acevedo

As a teen mother, Emoni Santiago’s life is about making tough decisions. With the Fire on High is about a girl with talent, pride, and a drive to feed the soul that keeps her fire burning bright.


Run Towards the Danger: Confrontations with a Body of Memory

By Sarah Polley

In this collection of six personal essays, Canadian screenwriter, director, and actor Sarah Polley explores pivotal moments in her life: child actor, new mom, concussion survivor. Aware of the ways that childhood experiences inform the adult, Polley also explores the power of her adult life to inform the relationship to her memories.


By Tara Westover

Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, Tara Westover had no formal education until she taught herself enough mathematics and grammar to be admitted to Brigham Young University at the age of 17. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her to Harvard and to Cambridge. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home.

Finding Me: A Memoir

By Viola Davis

Finding Me is a story of hope, survival and acceptance of oneself. Academy award-winning actress, Viola Davis, tells the story of running from her harrowing past until she made a life-changing decision to stop running forever.

Can you hear me now?: How I Found my Voice and Learned to Live with Passion and Purpose

By Celina Caesar-Chavannes

Can you Hear me Now was among finalists for the 2021 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing. Celina Caesar-Chavannes digs deep into her childhood and her life as a young Black woman entrepreneur and politician. As the first Black person elected to represent the federal riding of Whitby, Ontario, she offers a candid look at life in politics, showing us that leaders grow as much from their mistakes and vulnerabilities as from their strengths.

Demystifying Disability: What to Know, What to Say, and How to Be an Ally

By Emily Ladau

An approachable guide to being a thoughtful, informed ally to disabled people, with actionable steps for what to say and do (and what not to do) and how you can help make the world a more accessible, inclusive place.

The Anthropocene Reviewed

By John Green

The Anthropocene is the current geological age, in which human activity has profoundly shaped the planet and its biodiversity. In this collection of personal essays adapted from his critically acclaimed podcast, John Green reviews different facets of the human-centered planet – from the QWERTY keyboard and Halley’s Comet to Penguins of Madagascar.

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