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We Recommend

Kim Echlin, novelist, current writer in residence at North York Public Library

Kim Echlin's books include Under the Visible Life, Elephant Winter, Dagmar's Daughter, Inanna, and The Disappeared, a Giller short-list and winner of the Barnes and Noble award, translated into 17 languages. She won first prize in the CBC Literary Prize for Creative Non-fiction and the Torgi Award. She has been a documentary-maker at the CBC, a fiction editor at The Ottawa Citizen and has taught writing at the University of Toronto's School for Continuing Studies. She has travelled widely, including Pakistan, Iceland, Europe and Central America. She is currently researching the International Criminal Court in The Hague for a new novel.

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Sachs, Albie, 1935-
This book describes the philosophy of law, and the life story of Albie Sachs, an important activist for justice in South Africa. It is compelling and profound and provides an interesting counterpoint to our Canadian work with reconciliation.
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Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, author, issuing body.
This may well be the most important non-fiction Canadians can read. It is a very important part of our national collective story, and includes history, testimony and directions for the future. It is compellingly written and available to everyone. A very important work.
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Woolf, Virginia, 1882-1941.
I return to this to read in bits, usually the later ones, tracing the conversations that a great writer had with herself as she reflected on her writing, her relationships and literature.
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Tolstoy, Leo, graf, 1828-1910.
When I was an undergraduate, I studied with a wonderful professor, Father Belyea, at the University of Toronto. He told us that we should reread great books periodically throughout our lives, and that this was the best way to understand them and to reflect on our own lives. With him, we closely read T.S. Eliot's Four Quartets, Bernanos' The Country Priest, and Dostoyevsky's The Brothers Karamazov. While I have reread these books, I also return to Anna Karenina. It is interesting and important to return to the books that are important to us. My favourite English teacher in high school always returns to the short stories of William Trevor which are excellent. I would suggest finding the books one loves and reading and rereading, and sharing them with others. This is the mystery of why we read.