Welcome to The Charity Report Book Shop featuring the titles curated especially for people working in the nonprofit sector. From Biography and Memoirs to Trends and Theory, our Review Panel, made up of a diverse group of people working in the sector, has read and reviewed them all for you. The Book Shop is organized by 2021 releases and any books published prior to 2021 are organized by category. Each book is linked to its review and to buy the book, simply click on the title or the book cover. Happy browsing!
Resilient: The Portraiture of Wayne Simpson
Review Gail Picco, December 16, 2021: Resilient is a shining example of the talent operating beneath the radar in this country. Every photograph on every page is a piece of the poetry of everyday life. I loved this book, Wayne Simpson for devoting his life to the chronicling of people who are worth our love and care, and for Rocky Mountain Books who continue to ferret out the best of our country and preserve it for all of us to see.
Review Gail Picco December 16, 2021: For people not familiar with Belcourt’s work, Christi Belcourt, the book, is a gift for yourself. For Belcourt fans, it’s a validation of an artist whose body of work is brilliant and whose best may well be yet to come. Yay Christi. Yay Belcourt. And yay to Goose Lane Editions and all the people who contributed to this remarkable volume.
The Rebel Christ
Review Kathleen Adamson, November 26, 2021: Nowadays, we associate close readings and adherence to scriptural traditions with fundamentalism, regardless of the religion. Christianity in North America has become defined by Biblical literalists and fundamentalists, who are often more identifiable by their ring wing politics than their spiritual tradition. In The Rebel Christ, Coren is not the first to point out the (to a modern eye) absurd rules proscribed in the Bible that even fundamentalists ignore, but the argument has a different sense when marshalled by someone other than a Richard Dawkins or Christopher Hitchens-style cynic. Indeed, he points out that, in addition to the trivial regulations on menstruating women and blended fabrics, there are other, more central Biblical injunctions ignored by conservative fundamentalists.
Raise It! The Reluctant Fundraiser’s Guide to Raising Money without Selling your Soul
Review Yvonne Harding, November 3, 2021: Raise It! will allow you to shift the way you perceive your donors, enabling you to attract more donors than you can imagine.Whether you are a reluctant fundraiser or whether you want to reengage your inner spark and further hone your fundraising practices this book is for you. But, be prepared to do roll up your sleeves and do a little work along the way.
Dancing is the Best Medicine: The Science of How Moving to a Beat Is Good for Body, Brain, and Soul
Review Wanda Deschamps October 25, 2021: Dance, as it turns out, has a lot to do with science.And Dancing is the Best Medicine answers the questions “What happens in our brains when we dance, and why does it make us so happy? Can dance increase our health and well-being? Make us smarter? Help us make new friends?”
What Comes from the Spirit
Review Kathleen Adamson October 18, 2021: No book has all the answers, but Wagamese’s reflections present a hopeful and compassionate set of values. They feel like a nourishing meal for the heart, with all five flavours present—sweet, bitter, salty, sour, and something umami, important but hard to pin down. He flows through many topics—the importance of children’s education, his brutal encounters with the police, retellings of traditional Ojibwe tales that do not end with the European settlement of Canada, hilarious riffs on how to dress like an Indigenous person, his sadness at the lost traditions of Indigenous people in Canada
The Greater Good: Social Entrepreneurship for Everyday People Who Want to Change the World
Review Ginelle Skerritt, October 18, 2021:In the context of unprecedented shifts in our collective conscience, The Greater Good is a timely, introspective account that addresses the need for a fundamental shift in the way we think about business start-up, innovation, profit- making and the premise for doing business.
How we give now: A philanthropic guide for the rest of us
Reviewed by Gail Picco, October 14, 2021: Lucy Bernholz’s biggest contribution with this book is the demonstration of how much generosity is happening outside the transaction of writing a cheque to a charity, and how much oxygen is taken up in the charity sector by this narrow framework. The linear definition has a problematic history, she says, and reflects the commodification of giving that has been going one since “Carnegie and Rockefeller were sold on the concept by a lawyer.”
Call Me Indian: From the Trauma of Residential School to Becoming the NHL’s First Treaty Indigenous Player,
Reviewed by Gail Picco, October 12, 2021:Born on Christmas Day in 1933, the first seven years of Sasakamoose’s life were lived within the closeness of his family, in a home “full of song, dance, and tradition. It was full of wonder and mystery. It was full of family, love and community,” he writes. They spoke Cree at home, travelled miles by sled with his mother to visit family, Sasakamoose was nurtured by his moosum, a man who couldn’t hear or speak, but communicated using hand gestures, a man of whom Sasakamoose writes,
“Moosum and I didn’t need to talk to understand each other. He would look over at me and smile, and I immediately knew what he was thinking. We’d often go for long walks together. He’d hold my hand or rest his palm on my back, and with each footstep I felt as if what was on his mind was floating through the air to me.”
Deep Diversity: A Compassionate, Scientific Approach to Achieving Racial Justice
Reviewed by Roger Ali, October 12, 2021:Choudhury may have broadened the views of what undergirds racism in Deep Diversity in a holistic and satisfying way, but he still suffers its devastating effects. Deep rooted issues of white supremacy and segregation support the foundation of his explanation for why power is a force that divides us. “This fuels my anger and helplessness. Part of me just wants to go back to bed,” he says.
Jigging for Halibut with Tsinii
Reviewed by Kathleen Adamson September 24, 2021: Jigging for Halibut with Tsinii is a tour de force. Written by Sara Florence Davidson, it is based on memories of her father Robert Davidson Jr’s memories of fishing with his grandfather Robert Davidson Sr. Tsinii is grandfather in the Haida language. The book’s balanced ‘away and back again’ structure is the ideal container for the story, which is rich with well-chosen, suggestive details. And Janine Gibbons’ illustrations provide an ideal ocean for the boat of the story to travel on.
Reviewed by Gail Picco September 13, 2021: Part of a journal Habiba Cooper Diallo kept when she attended high school in Halifax, Nova Scotia, #BlackinSchool establishes how ideas about the nature of Black people, specifically Black bodies, has been baked into the consciousness of children from a very early age, often from a school system we’d want to help erode racism as opposed to re-enforce it.
Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism
Reviewed by Kathleen Adamson September 8, 2021: Now that the COVID pandemic is entering its 18th month, we can observe the larger ripple effects reaching out from its epicentre. The danger to human life from the pandemic is accompanied by danger from pollution and the effects of climate change- and we know, anecdotally and through official polling, that people, in general, are in a lot of pain. In the United States, this was the case even before the pandemic- reported levels of pain and emotional dissatisfaction have been rising for years. But what does it mean to be in pain? Why do Americans report higher pain levels than other rich countries? How does emotional pain translate into physical health outcomes? In this grim but enthralling book. Anne Case and Angus Deaton weave dense and difficult statistics into a narrative with rare clarity.
Effective Fundraising: Let’s Talk Boards
Reviewed by Roger Ali September 3, 2021: Effective Fundraising is an indispensable guide to help boards and executives new to fundraising and asking for money. The book is a blueprint on everything you need to know from governance to the major fundraising programs and information management. McFarlan has deep knowledge and experience in research and board service and shows the steps and strategies to develop a strong revenue development plan for sustaining your organization.
They said this would be fun: Race, Campus Life, and Growing Up
Reviewed by Kathleen Adamson August 31, 2021: As students across the globe prepare to begin university terms, it is an excellent time to review Eternity Martis’ memoir, They said this would be fun. As a Black university student in London, Ontario, she deals with sexual assault, abusive relationships, evolving friendships, difficult family dynamics, and, of course, racism, which affects every part of her life. Here, she describes the experience in uncompromising terms, with clarity, force, and wit.
Care of: Letters Connections and Cures
Reviewed by Kathleen Adamson August 30, 2021:Ivan Coyote knows our relationship with communication technology has drastically changed over the past decade. Online interactions have become the norm. First, because it was fashionable, and now, because it is necessary. While a few have welcomed this shift, many others mourn it. The question persists. What is the best way to foster restorative, true connection at a distance? Is it an online wine tasting, a religious service over the radio? For Ivan Coyote, the answer was writing letters.
You Have a Hammer: Building Grant Proposals for Social Change
Reviewed by Gail Picco August 25, 2021: In You Have a Hammer, Barbara Floersch, who assumes the grantwriter knows how to fill in an application, is more interested in how charities and grantwriters are positioning themselves in relation to those with the money to make or break their missions.
The Conversation: How Seeking and Speaking the Truth About Racism Can Radically Transform Individuals and Organizations
Reviewed by Wanda Deschamps, August 13, 2021: In the wake of the most significant anti-racism protests since the 1960s arrives Dr. Robert W. Livingston’s The Conversation. Masterfully written and expertly researched, the book explores racism and bias from a “science-based approach” and provides a map for individuals and organizations to combat it through answering three questions: What is racism? Why should everyone be more concerned about it? What can we do to eradicate it?
Likeness: Fathers, sons, a portrait
Reviewed by Gail Picco – In Likeness, an achingly sad and sometimes hilarious memoir, David Macfarlane uses a portrait of himself created by preeminent Canadian painter John Hartman as a vehicle to access his memory.
On Time and Water
Reviewed by Kathleen Adamson – According to Andri Snær Magnason, we need stories. In his excellent book Of Time and Water, the award-winning Icelandic fiction author turns his hand to a nonfiction climate change narrative, braiding family memories with scientific reporting and poetic literary association.
Meditations: The Annotated Edition
Reviewed by Kathleen Adamson July 9, 2021 The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, emperor of Rome from 161-180CE, make up one of the most popular and enduring works of philosophy of all time, although they were never intended for public consumption. The texts, divided into 12 notebooks, consist of personal reflections, intentions to do better, and affirmation of the basic principles of Stoicism. But Aurelius was no abstracted ponderer—according to editor Robin Waterfield, he was ‘a man who longed to do good and to love all humanity, while… his status as an emperor impeded his achievement of these goals.’
Information: A Historical Companion
Reviewed by Kathleen Adamson, June 28, 2021, We live in a sea of information, but it surrounds us so completely that the word ‘information’ itself is difficult to define. Nowadays we might say ‘data,’ thinking of the vast swathes of personal details, financial records, satellite photos, and security photographs that pile up like sand on servers all over the world.
Unravelling Canada: A Knitting Odyssey
Reviewed by Gail Picco, June 22, 2021: Canadian poet Lorna Crozier said of Unravelling Canada by Sylvia Olsen that “This book knits us together, not only with strands of wool but with compassion, intelligence, caring and storytelling of the most appealing kind.” All that is true. Unravelling Canada is a page turner of a travelogue. But Sylvia Olsen manages—through delivering knitting workshops to 40 communities from one end of the country to the other—to cover an incredible amount of historical and sociological ground as she pulls at the stitches of Canadian history.
Diary of a Young Naturalist
Reviewed by Wanda Deschamps (June 14, 2021): Diary of a Young Naturalist is a year-long chronicle of Dara McAnulty’s perspective on nature as a teenager from the age of fourteen to fifteen, originally published in the UK. Through his journey, including his family’s relocation from the west of Northern Ireland in County Fermanagh to the east in County Down, to his encounters at school we learn about an extraordinary young autistic environmentalist living his life as his true self empowered by his family and deeply connected to insects, birds, plants, and other aspects of nature he loves.
Saga Boy: My Life of Blackness and Becoming
Reviewed by Roger Ali, June 11, 2021: Saga Boy is a memoir of love, loss, and pain, of self-actualization and acceptance. It is a beautiful, raw story about Antonio Michael Downing’s life-long search for his black identity as he approaches each stage of life with vulnerability and courage. In the four-part memoir, with each act referencing a specific period of his life, he masks as a different person, his alter egos—Tony, Michael, Mic Dainjah, Molasses and John Orpheus.
On Love and Tyranny: The Life and Politics of Hannah Arendt
Reviewed by Kathleen Adamson (May 23, 2021): Anne Heberlein’s new biography of Hannah Arendt sparkles with energy and clarity. Hannah Arendt’s brilliance as a writer and political thinker has long been overshadowed by the controversial elements of her career. But with lively and personal style, Heberlein places each of Arendt’s major works in a biographical context that makes its relevance clear.
Road Allowance Era: A Girl called Echo, Vol 4
Reviewed by Gail Picco (May 10, 2021): Road Allowance Era, a powerful conclusion to The Girl called Echo series of four graphic novels written for Highwater Press by Canadian novelist and Métis writer Katherena Vermette, is a singular accomplishment that combines vivid Métis history with what it’s like growing up as a Métis teenager in Canada today.
Unwinding Anxiety: New Science Shows How to Break the Cycles of Worry and Fear to Heal Your Mind
Reviewed by Wanda Deschamps (May 6, 2021): Unwinding Anxiety speaks from both the brain and the heart. Author Dr. Judson Brewer has experiential knowledge and education in the topic of mental health and writes in a style that places him in the book alongside the reader. “My own history with anxiety goes back much further. I’m a doctor – a psychiatrist, to be precise. Only after years of struggling to help my patients overcome their anxiety and continually feeling like I was missing something important in their treatment did I connect the dots between anxiety, my lab’s neuroscience research on habit change, and my own panic attacks.”
The 5 Disciplines of Inclusive Leaders: Unleashing the Power of All of Us
Reviewed by Ginelle Skerritt (May 3, 2021): I am noticing a trend. We seem to be going through a period where Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) training, books and gurus are like the haute couture of organizational fitness. It’s in. Like the fads we chased in my youth, DEI policy and training seem to be on everyone’s must-have list. Inclusion is officially hot.
The 100 Year PR Plan: A Guide for Advocates
Reviewed by Kathleen Adamson (May 13, 2021): Like the legal system, the language of academic discourse has become so complex that it sometimes requires an interpreter — someone like Benjamin Miller. But that does not mean nothing important is there. Revisiting theoretical works to update concepts based on the history that has occurred since their first hatching may seem like a luxury that these urgent times do not afford us. Yet to fail to do so is to ignore a great many things that could help us on our way. However, very rarely does an author take political theory, apply and interpret it with the relevance and clarity of Benjamin Miller. Miller’s first book, The 100 Year PR Plan, is a breathtaking antidote to much of the overexposed, repetitive jargon and histrionic search for novelty that characterizes a great deal of modern political commentary and the news cycle.
The Case for Basic Income: Freedom, Security, Justice
Reviewed by Ginelle Skerritt (May 21, 2021): You may recognize author Jamie Swift from his work as a documentary producer for Ideas on CBC radio. He is also a writer and has been a business professor. His latest book, The Case for Basic Income: Freedom, Security, Justice is co-authored with Elaine Power, whose research focuses on poverty, class, food, and health. They have come together to present the facts that show why Basic Income is an important part of any honest attempt to address the growing gap between the haves and the have nots. They tell the story of decades of political and social activism across the political spectrum to champion basic income in Canada.
Green Green: Reflections on 51 Years of Raising Money for Nature
Reviewed by Gail Picco (April 30, 2021) It was a sort of epiphany says David Love. He and his wife Ann, who helped found Pollution Probe, were working up north setting up an independent school in Yukon. At the same time, one of the first “environmental CEOs” Monte Hummel, who went to Woodstock for his honeymoon, had just taken over World Wildlife Federation (WWF) as its executive director. He asked David to come onboard as an educator. Love quickly made the not-so-big-a-leap to fundraising and has been committed to fundraising for the environment ever since.
Neglected No More: The Urgent Need to Improve the Lives of Canada’s Elders in the Wake of a Pandemic
Reviewed by Roger Ali (March 30, 2021): Neglected No More by André Picard is a compelling read about the urgent need to improve the lives of Canada’s elders in the wake of the pandemic. He makes a heartfelt plea to stop dehumanizing elders, to reimagine long-term care and to fix a broken system. Sadly, it took a coronavirus pandemic to open our eyes to the deplorable state in long-term care homes.
Books (2019 & 2020)
Biography & Memoir
How to lose everything: A memoir
Review by Wanda Deschamps.Full disclosure: I wasn’t going to read How to Lose Everything by Christa Couture. I heard a bit about the content: childhood cancer, the death of an infant followed by the loss of her one-year old baby, then divorce and thought: “No. This one is not for me.” For some reason (and I cannot quite remember why), I changed my mind and read it. And I am so glad I did.
Soul Full of Coal Dust – A Fight for Breath and Justice in Appalachia
Reviewed by Sharon Broughton: Soul Full of Coal Dust is a riveting account that is part memoir, part medical and legal thriller, part underdog takes on the Goliath of systemic injustice. With devastating clarity, it exposes the corruption, fraud, and medical, legal, and corporate malpractice that has denied miners and their families the life support and medical care that is their due.
The Power of Disability: 10 Lessons for Surviving Thriving and Changing the World
Reviewed June 9 2020 by Wanda Deschamps: “It is perplexing that the world still suffers from such a limited understanding of disability.
Taking a Break from Saving the World: A Conservation Activist’s Journey from Burnout to Balance
Reviewed June 2 2020 by Maryann Kerr: “If you have suffered burnout you will find some solace wisdom and practical advice on how to avoid it from this sysmpathetic title by Legaullt”
I Overcame My Autism: And All I Got Was This Lousy Anxiety Disorder
ReviewedApril 28 2020 by Wanda Deschamps: “By publishing her memoir Sarah sets herself apart within the autistic community and its allies. And a voice she is–biting humorous insightful and candid. She bills her book as an ‘anti-instruction guide.’”
Had I Known: Collective Essays
Reviewed March 18 2020 by Diane Hill: “… an overview of political and social problems in the U.S: including the growing anti-science movement the false safety of gated communities class and race issues within a broken mental health system and more.
Rachel Maddow: A Biography
Reviewed May 8 2020 by Gail Picco: “Make no mistake, the Joan of Arc of cable news, the one challenger to Fox’s top spot is Rachel Maddow, a lesbian woman whose only nod to being on a prime time television is a swish of eye shadow, a dot of lip gloss, a sweep of mascara and a “$20 jacket” over her usual t-shirt and jeans.”
The Skin We’re In: A Year of Black Resistance and Power
Reviewed February 26 2020 by Gail Picco: “Desmond Coles’ The Skin We’re in is a must-read for anyone interested in … how racism permeates our political and social structures from former Toronto Star columnist.”
Shame on Me: An Anatomy of Race and Belonging
Reviewed February 26 2020 by Gail Picco: “Tessa McWatt’s story is a singular tour through the lives of generations of men and women who contributed to McWatt’s racial identity. She calls her background “the forced intimacy of four continents of which I was the symbolic child the miscarriage of colonialism.”
The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life
Reviewed October 29 2019 by Juniper Locilento: “David Brooks who describes himself as a cross between a journalist and an academic has set for his topic nothing less than the meaning of life.”
Maid: Hard Work Low Pay and a Mother’s will to Survive
Reviewed July 25 2019 by Gail Picco: “When 28-year-old Stephanie Land unexpectedly becomes pregnant she decides to have the baby. As she used food stamps at the grocery store customers pointedly say ‘you’re welcome’ as if they were themselves paying for her groceries.”
How to forget: A Daughter’s Memoir
Reviewed August 29 2019 by Maryann Kerr: “Mulgrew as one of eight children and the eldest daughter tells a compelling and captivating story about growing up Irish and Catholic in middle America where her large boisterous family was led by a charming iconic patriarch and a mother who was unlike any other in Iowa.”
Well, that Escalated Quickly: Memoirs and Mistakes of an Accidental Activist
Reviewed December 20 2019 by Nicole Salmon: “The rise from a modest online following to being internet famous”
Let Her Fly: A Father’s Journey
ReviewedAugust 29 2019 by Roger Ali: “As a liberal and progressive son husband father and leader Yousafzai breaks all the norms of his time profoundly impacting on his family students country and people around the world.”
Conversations with Buddha: A Fictional Dialogue Based on Biographical Facts
Reviewed February 14 2020 by Lucy White: “Practically speaking the Buddha’s teachings are about training the mind.”
Conversations with Dickens: A Fictional Dialogue Based on Biographical Facts
Reviewed February 7 2020 by Katherine Verhagen Rodis: “Dickens was one of the few authors to use orphans and convicts as lead narrators or prominent figures in his novels (e.g.Oliver Twist) or to explicitly mock prevailing economic philosophy of his time.”
Out of the Shadows
Reviewed August 29 2019 by Juniper Locilento:”When I thought of human trafficking I pictured lost young women. Glassy eyed. Too thin. But I pictured it as an ‘elsewhere’ problem not one that was happening in my own backyard literally. But the author wrote about locations I’m familiar with – Highway 27 Richmond Hill Brampton.”
Mistakes to Run With
Reviewed July 25 2019 by Katherine Verhagen Rodis: “Mistakes to Run With Yasuko Thanh’s first non-fiction book is a brave self-examination into her journey from an underage sex worker on the streets of Vancouver to an acclaimed full-time fiction writer.”
Environment & Health
What Bears Teach Us
Reviewed by Gail Picco: In What Bears Teach Us, Sarah Elmeligi explains where bears live, how they live, how they learn and what brings them pleasure (scratching is involved). “Every moment of every day, a bear makes a decision based on its learning or the present circumstances and its estimation of what may happen next.” Elmeligi’s encounters with individual bears tell us more than we can imagine we might know, and after reading the book and lingering over its photos, we do learn a lot, about ourselves and about bears—all without leaving the couch. She’s generous and lays down the framework of a true co-existence between humans and our animal cousins.
Takaya: Lone Wolf
Reviewed by Gail Picco: “Takaya’s life was very odd for a wolf,” writes Carl Safina in his forward to Takaya: Lone Wolf. “Wolves are very social. They usually live in families, just as we humans do. Takaya came, alone, to a small island without food or reliable fresh water. Yet this unusual, mysterious, different wolf found his way to survive, for years.”
Covid-19: The Pandemic that Never Should Have Happened and How to Stop the Next One
Reviewed by Roger Ali: Covid-19 is a hot topic, and living through a pandemic, during unprecedented times, has heightened our awareness and growing concerns about the virus, when it will end and what worse threats may come next. Debora MacKenzie, an award winning veteran journalist, draws our attention to what warnings were ignored, outlining a compelling history of significant recent outbreaks and how we can be better prepared for the next one.
Do Androids Dream of Electric Cars Public Transit in the Age of Google Uber and Elon Musk?
Reviewed April 8 2020 by Adya Afanou: “In this war public transit is losing and in turn we all are. But the issue goes beyond the simplistic ‘bus and train vs car’ or ‘privileged vs under-privileged’ rhetoric and goes to the heart of a debate about transportation.”
Heads Up: Changing Minds on Mental Health
Reviewed May 1 2020 by Katherine Verhagen Rodis “hildren and youth with multiple adverse childhood experiences
like physical or emotional neglect. She sees young people at their most vulnerable and shares their stories as well as her lived experience………………..”
The Geography of Risk: Epic Storms Rising Seas and the Cost of America’s Coasts
Reviewed on October 9 2019 by Katherine Verhagen Rodis: “The high cost of disaster capitalism.
On Fire: The Burning Case for a Green New Deal
Reviewed on October 9 2019 by Katherine Verhagen Rodis: “Klein’s book is alarmist. But it’s an alarm that many of us have been ignoring as our house is crumbling around us on fire and burning.”
No one is too small to make a difference
Reviewed January 21 2020 by Gail Picco: “It’s the kind of book we can keep in our back pocket and look at every day to help us see the difference between right and wrong. You can open No one is too small to make a difference to any page and find an epistle for the future.”
The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming
Reviewed October 9 2019 by Juniper Locilento: “We like to think we are the smartest species to have roamed the Earth the actions outlined in this book strongly suggest otherwise.”
If I Go Missing
Reviewed April 15 2020 by Evan Adamson: “Emotive writing and beautiful imagery aside if you know anyone who has a lack of empathy for Indigenous communities please ask them to read this book.”
Northwest Resistance: A Girl Called Echo
Reviewed March 6 2020 by Gail Picco: “Echo Desjardin is no ordinary 13-year-old Métis girl. She is a time traveller. And though Echo’s time travel doesn’t lighten her load she does get a front row seat in her own history…”
This Place: 150 Years Retold
Reviewed by Gail Picco October 4 2019: “a beautiful resource that as an opportunity for Canadians to see Indigenous children and youth as the heroes of their own stories. The graphic format underlines their valour.”
A Mind Spread Out on the Ground
Reviewed August 15 2019 by Diane Hill: “White Canadians who harrumph at the use of the word ‘genocide’ to describe our country’s treatment of Indigenous communities ignore the historic proofs all around us. In A Mind Spread Out on the Ground Alicia Elliott’s description of the process is devastating…”
Decolonizing Wealth: Indigenous Wisdom to Heal Divides and Restore Balance
Reviewed October 4 2019 by Gail Picco: “Edgar Villanueva argues that at its core philanthropy is colonialism. There’s the haves and the have-nots the us and them with us being mostly “white saviours” with money.
Indigenous Relations: Insights Tips and Suggestions to Make Reconciliation a Reality
Reviewed October 4 2019 by Christopher Barry: “A practical guide to respecting cultural differences improving personal relationships and organization interaction.”
From the Ashes: My Story of being Metis Homeless and Finding My Way
Reviewed August 15 2019 by Sharon Broughton: “It took 37 years and more hardships than most will ever experience for Jesse Thistle to be reunited with his Metis-Cree heritage culture language and traditions a connection lost when he was three years old.”
Carpe Fin: A Haida Manga
Reviewed April 15 2020 by Evan Adamson: “While the wording is deceptively simple the images coupled with the narrative drives a story that makes Alice in Wonderland seem like a trip to the grocery store.”
Sorted: Growing Up Coming Out and Finding My Place (A Transgender Memoir)
Reviewed December 18 2019 by Katherine Verhagen Rodis: “Throughout high school and early university Jackson dealt with his gender dysphoria by presenting as a popular “pretty girl” the “best girl that [he] could be” dating heterosexual boys. But though he felt socially accepted it felt like he was playing a deceptive game“a game that I was winning.”
Stonewall: The Definitive Story of the LGBTQ Rights Uprising That Changed America
Reviewed December 18 2019 by Krishan Mehta: “While there are a plethora of films and resources about Stonewall Duberman’s book occupies a special place in the canon because it uniquely and deliberately draws on the perspective of six individuals to create a personal and nuanced account of what happened that morning.”
Management & How-To
Building Unity: Leading a Non-Profit from Spark to Succession
Reviewed by Sharon Broughton: As author Michael Prosserman reveals his story of creating the hip-hop-inspired UNITY charity, impacting more than a quarter-million young people across Canada, leading a non-profit from spark to succession captures the essence of this remarkable book. It’s a story of his transition from the role of founder and executive director to new leadership.
Unleashed: The unapologetic leader’s guide to empowering everyone around you
Reviewed September 2 2020 by Sharon Broughton “For nonprofit leaders Unleashed offers a compelling blueprint for successful leadership in a methodical way
Crisis Ahead: 101 Ways to Prepare for and Bounce Back
Reviewed May 12 2020 by Sharon Broughton: “This book would be a great tool to help leaders prevent prepare for respond to manage and bounce back from a crisis. Consider it as a gift for your senior team and workshop some of the ideas with your staff group … to help build confidence .”
Joy at Work: Organizing Your Professional Life
Reviewed April 24 2020 by Roger Ali: “By painting a picture of a messy desk piled with paper unopened letters unread books Kondo starts with what many of us can relate to—a mad search for a file and being unable to find it.”
The Unwritten Rules of Managing Up
Reviewed October 25 2019 by Maryann Kerr: “The bosses Brownlee is hoping to help with are those who are well-intentioned but perhaps just average managers. Brownlee calls them “difficult” and points out this is a relative term.”
The Complete Project Manager
Reviewed Sept 20 2019 by Christopher Barry: “an important reference for every project manager in the charity sector.”
Nonprofit Management 101: A complete and practical guide for leaders and professionals – 2nd edition
Reviewed September 20 2019 by Sharon Broughton: “‘Earned wisdom from 55 leading experts’ this 576 page tome is non-profit management boot camp in a book.”
The Intelligent Leader: Unlocking the 7 Secrets to Leading Others and Leaving Your Legacy
Reviewed November 18 2019 by Gail Picco: “Mattone would like you to consider your character and your values as you consider your leadership– courage loyalty honesty and gratitude.”
So You Want to Start a Podcast: Finding Your Voice Telling Your Story and Building a Community That Will Listen
Reviewed September 26 2019 by Cindy Wagman “it’s like sitting down with a trusted mentor … and getting the real lowdown on how to be successful in podcasting. She’s both friendly and frank. She tells you what to do and very clearly what not to do.”
Winning Grants Step by Step
Reviewed September 26 2019 by Joanne Linka: “… a must read for anyone starting out as a grant writer and for anyone who feels daunted and overwhelmed by the task of writing a grant.”
The Busy Leader’s Handbook: How to lead people and places that thrive
Reviewed November 18 2019 by Roger D. Ali MBA CFRE: “Studer provides practical tips that resonates with my own leadership journey to be a good follower and influence others.”
Believership The Superpower Beyond Leadership Volume 1: The Experience
Reviewed February 4 2020 by Maryann Kerr: “The root of Vacanti’s approach is in imagining the sense of belonging you might feel when you are able to express your full and unique humanity at work.”
Reviewed June 5 2019 by Gail Picco: “Chang writes that while she understood that she wasn’t an expert on poverty healthcare or human rights she firmly believed “the same techniques for innovation [that] have fueled dramatic progress in Silicon Valley can be the basis for creating radically greater social good.”
Gwynne’s Grammar: The Ultimate Introduction to Grammar and the Writing of Good English
Reviewed January 29 2020 by Diane Hill: “Grammar as blood sport.”
The Only Grant-Writing Book You’ll Ever Need 5th ed.
Reviewed January 28 2020 by Joanne Linka: “A comprehensive guide like this one that covers the grant writing process from the inception to the final report with a multitude of tips definitions and guidelines for how you can be most successful.”
Noise: Living and Leading When Nobody Can Focus
Reviewed by February 11 2020 Nicole Salmon: “The point of this book is to set off an alarm: the world is going deaf. We’ve gone far beyond the promise of the information age and are now so consumed by it that is threatens our existence.”
Bedtime Stories for Managers
Reviewed October 25 2019 by Mo Waja: “In Bedtime Stories Mintzberg uses short pointed narratives to drive home realties of the nature of management practices that too many experience and far too few question in a work that approaches the concept of ‘Management’ with an ironic humour that at times tastes a little more bitter than sweet.”
The Intrepid Nonprofit
Reviewed July 4 2019 by Maryann Kerr: “Plumptre takes us on a journey that encompasses both a 30000-foot view of the non-profit sector and a granular one. Bringing more than three decades of experience to the task he has filled several roles at all levels.”
The Talent Revolution: Longevity and the Future of Work
Reviewed February 4 2020 by Maryann Kerr: “Taylor and Lebo’s Future of Work is not the future at all. It is our present reality a testament to the idea that the future has arrived.”
Media & Marketing
Undercurrents: Channeling Outrage to Spark Practical Activism
Reviewed by Lucy White: Steve Davis has a bold and timely proposition for his readers: We can channel our outrage about persistent systemic inequities and injustices into practical activism to improve the world we live in. In Undercurrents: Channeling Outrage to Spark Practical Activism, Davis lays out a process for doing just that.
Trampled by Unicorns: Big Tech’s Empathy Problem and How to Fix It
Reviewed by Wanda Deschamps: In this, her first book, released in October, she asserts that Big Tech’s empathy problem is largely because its leaders are ethically vacuous at a time when setting an example from the top is desperately needed.
The Conscious Creative: Practical Ethics for Purposeful Work
Reviewed by Wanda Deschamps: Given our collective heightened sense of awareness for self-improvement during the 2020 pandemic, The Conscious Creative is timely. Author Kelly Small draws from their years of experience as a creative director in advertising to build an argument that the creative industry is long overdue for an ethical detox. This guide of practical and actionable steps, however, has application well beyond current or formerly employed creative professionals.
A for Anonymous: How a Mysterious Hacker Collective Transformed the World
Reviewed May 4 2020 by Evan Adamson: “The Guy Fawkes masks made popular by V for Vendetta are used as a tool to obfuscate the identity of the hacker and a symbol of the unity of the collective.”
Stop Being Reasonable: How We Really Change Our Minds
Reviewed November 28 2019 by Cindy Wagman: “… equal parts story-telling and philosophy [this book uses] stories of those who have changed their minds or beliefs to explore what can (and what doesn’t) compel us to do so. At the heart of it is the simple truth that humans are not rational.”
Helping the Good Do Better: A White Hat Lobbyist’s Winning Strategies from the Front Lines of Social Change
Reviewed on July 4 2019 by Gail Picco: “Given charities are now able to spend as much as they feel necessary on non-partisan political activities the timing is right for anyone working in a charity who would like to hone their advocacy and government relations skills.”
Communication: How to Connect with Anyone
Reviewed November 28 2019 by Christopher Barry: “[Hasson’s focus is assertive communication] that encourages each person to take part in a shared process; one that helps promote a genuine connection between people; a connection that involves respect and trust confidence and sympathy between individuals.”
The reputation of philanthropy since 1750: Britain and beyond
Reviewed by Gail Picco: From the oil-soaked Rockefeller fortune generated by “Standard Oil, infamous for its monopolistic practices” to the opioid-peddling, museum-naming Sackler Family, the history of philanthropy from the turn of the twentieth century is, Cunningham reports, at least in part a history of the growth of the philanthropic foundations.
Giving Done Right: Effective Philanthropy and Making Every Dollar Count
Reviewed November 28 2019 by Cindy Wagman: “Phil Buchanana’s main thesis is that for businesses to thrive they need to build an authentic relationship and understand community impact.”
Cap in Hand: How Charities are Failing the People of Canada and the World
Reviewed by John English: “Having spent most of her life involved with the sector Gail Picco knows the problems and senses the opportunities. Her book is an eloquent plea to establish a Canadian charitable sector that is “modern problem-solving and dynamic” rather than the “moribund” status quo oriented and tax-break driven model that disappoints and disillusions all of us.”
Just Giving: Why Philanthropy is Failing Democracy and How It Can Do Better
Reviewed July 4 2019 by Juniper Locilento MPNL CFRE: “While he concedes that “private funding of what individuals believe to be in the public interest is legitimate … Reich objects to the current design of most tax-subsidized giving in perpetuity and rigid respect for donor intent.”
Successful Philanthropy: How to Make a Life by What You Give
Reviewed February 7 2020 by Gail Picco: “The book gives us an insight into a segment of philanthropists that is not necessarily the newly-minted trope of the ultra-wealthy business man wading in to fix the problems that rampant capitalism has created.”
Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World
Reviewed on June 5 2019 by Gail Picco: “In a world conquered by market thinking Giridharadas writes that we’ve come to a point where philanthropy has to be a “win-win” for the donor and the recipient.”
Empowerment Dialogue: A New Approach to Fundraising
Reviewed November 7 2019 by Joanne Linka: “Empowerment Dialogue a terrific book for fundraisers who have just started their careers and for veterans too. It is helpful for those fundraisers who are terrified of “the ask” this approach gives the steps leading up to the ask that make the actual ask almost redundant… certainly not the big scary beast of a conversation that some fundraisers think that it is.”
Decolonizing Wealth: Indigenous Wisdom to Heal Divides and Restore Balance
Reviewed October 4 2019 by Gail Picco: “Villanueva discusses how as wealth accumulates at the top 1% of society the motives of philanthropists trying to whitewash their reputations by giving away small portions of their wealth are being questioned.”
Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and the Urgent Lessons for our Own
Reviewed by Gail Picco: But what Glaude today—and Baldwin in his time—both understand is that the commitment to take down the structures of racism cannot overestimate the generosity of white people and their willingness to change white structures that benefit them every day of their lives. It will take sheer numbers of Black Americans, Indigenous Americans, people of colour, and coalitions with supporters to gain the political power to make the necessary gains.
Collecting Courage: Joy, Pain, Freedom, Love
Reviewed by Krishan Mehta: In Collecting Courage fourteen Black writers – charity and fundraising leaders from across Canada and the United States – come together to speak truth to power. Or perhaps better yet, to reveal a powerful truth. [It] is the first and only book that is brave enough to expose the poison that pervades our institutions, corrupts the corridors of power, fuels hate amongst its people, and allows injustice to flourish. But that’s not its endgame. Each writer, by laying bare their pain, also expresses a special resilience through which they find love for oneself and community, create a space for healing, and invite everyone to rebuild a sector that sees its own truth and potential.
Black Fatigue: How Racism Erodes the Mind Body and Spirit
Reviewed by Ginelle Skerritt: As a Black woman, the title of this book, Black Fatigue: How Racism Erodes the Mind Body and Spirit, sparked intrigue, relief, hope and strangely, joy. It is the joy of anticipating the appearance of an oasis in the desert; the joy of hoping that at long last, the deeply personal and painful truths that have been hiding inside, will be exposed and resolved. In this case, it is revealing the simple truth that Black folks are tired.
No Justice in the Shadows: How America Criminalizes Immigrants
Reviewed by Evan Adamson “A hard but necessary read No Justice in the Shadows by NYU law professor Alina Das uses perusal stories to encourage empathy while also stressing the fundamental rights for immigrants under American constitutional law.”
Hostile Environment: How Immigrants Became Scapegoats
Reviewed March 6 2020 by Joanne Linka: “Maya Goodfellow explores how racism was woven into British society and how there is a collective denial about the bloodiness of its empire .”
Conversations in Black: On Power Politics and Leadership
Reviewed February 26 2020 by Gail Picco: “US TV personality Ed Gordon is conductor for this impressive choir a book started in 2012 just after Treyvon Martin had been killed by a “neighbourhood watchman.” He noted when he started the book Michael Brown Laquan McDonald and Sandra Bland were still alive..”
Reviewed June 19 2020 by Gail Picco. “Ellison takes Juneteenth’s name from the day when news of the end of the Civil War finally reached Galveston Texas via arrival of the Union Army in 1865”
Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women that a Movement Forgot
Reviewed March 29 2020 Nicole Salmon: ‘[Kendall] provides a prescriptive call to action on how feminism can shift from focusing exclusively on a narrow list of issues where the benefits largely accrue to white women…”
Reviewed February 25 2020 by Gail Picco: “Ellison proffers indelible insight on the surgical nature of racism and the hardening of manhood in a world where urban sidewalks are trenches and the air is filled with metaphorical mustard gas. Being invisible saves you just as it erases you.”
Diversity Beyond Lip Service: A Coaching Guide for Challenging Bias
Reviewed January 23 2020 by Joanne Linka: “She clearly defines what diversity and inclusion are and how privilege unconscious bias intersectionality micro aggressions and code-switching and covering are all parts of the conversation.”
Diversity Inc.: The Failed Promise of a Billion-Dollar Business
Reviewed January 23 2020 by Roger Ali: “Pamela Newkirk shines a bright light on the diversity industry gives examples of successes and asks tough questions about what has been effective and why progress has been slow. She has devoted a significant portion of her life to journalism and higher education both fields in which people of colour are radically.”
The 1619 Project
Reviewed February 26 2020 by Gail Picco: “The sweep of The 1619 Project is extraordinary. It reframes the growth of the “greatest country on earth” from one built on the idea of freedom natural rights and equality to one built on the back of the slave trade from which continue white people continue o benefit.”
We Live for the We: The Political Power of Black Motherhood
Reviewed August 15 2020 by Nicole Salmon: “McClain’s page-turning narrative reveals the fear joy and hope associated with raising a black child in a world designed to strip away at their very humanity by painting a picture of them as dangerous aggressive and criminal in need of being controlled and tamed.”
Trends & Theory
The Art of Logic in an Illogical World
Reviewed by Wanda Deschamps, January 29, 2021. In a world where there is no shortage of pointless debates, Eugenia Cheng asks us to focus on how we know what we know. The Art of Logic in an Illogical World, her fourth book, engages the reader in lessons about reason versus emotion, drilling down the points of an argument to their core and presenting them convincingly.
The Reality Game: How the Next Wave of Technology Will Break the Truth
Reviewed by By Gail Picco (January 14, 2020) The Reality Game: How the Next Wave of Technology Will Break the Truth, Samuel Woolley, Public Affairs, January 7, 2020, 272 pp., $35.00 A friend told me the other day that if I wanted to see something good happen in 2020, I should plant a flower. In this context, I couldn’t help see Samuel Woolley’s new book The Reality Game: How the Next Wave of Technology Will Break the Truth as an unlikely metaphorical flower. Woolley is a professor and journalist whose research is focused on how emergent technologies are used in and around global political communication.For the past 10 years he has been researching “the ways in which propagandists leverage our technology and media systems.” I have seen a rapid shift in how we perceive social media,” he writes, “once seen as exciting tools for connecting, communicating, and organizing, they are now often thought of as malicious platforms for spreading false news, political misinformation, and targeted harassment.”
Calling Bullshit: The Art of Skepticism in a Data-Driven World
Reviewed by Wanda Deschamps: Are there any positives to the BS story? Yes. The fact we are talking about it is a good thing. Beyond that, the book’s concluding chapter Refuting Bullshit is a step-by-step guide on how to challenge BS, with instructions on how to do it nicely. “Be charitable. Admit fault. Be clear and Be pertinent are some of the suggestions.”
Upstream: The Quest to Solve Problems Before They Happen
Reviewed January 28 2020 by Gail Picco: “Heath wants to convince us we ‘should shift more of our energies ‘upstream’: .And how we can—and we should—stop dealing with the symptoms of problems again and again and start fixing them’ in a systemic way……………”
Good Economics for Hard Times
Reviewed Dec 20 2019 by Christopher Barry: it argues that slow growth is nothing new but what makes it particularly worrying is the fraying of the social contract that we see across all affected countries. We seem to be back in the Dickensian world of Hard Times with the haves facing off against the increasingly alienated have-nots with no resolution in sight.”
Why We’re Wrong About Nearly Everything: A Theory of Human Misunderstanding
Reviewed December 5 2019 by Cindy Wagman: “Duffy explores some very common misbeliefs and uncovers the [mental shortcuts] behind them to help us uncover our own biases and how they shape our perception of the world.”
Ingenious: The Unintended Cost of Human Innovation
Reviewed February 14 2020 by Gail Picco: “Will we wait passively to see where technology takes us? Or do we want to be more deliberate in the controls we apply to it—and if so how do we do this individually and collectively? How do we get the best from technology and restrict its worst efforts?”
When you Kant figure it out ask a philosopher
Reviewed December 20 2019 by Mo Waja: “A delightfully modern take on philosophical theory … where abstract philosophy meets real world scenarios. Lessons to overcome adversity applicable across career industry and lifestyle–all in less than pocket-size 200 pages.”
Hivemind: Thinking Alike in a Divided World
Reviewed October 31 2019 by Sharon Broughton: “Hivemind is a fascinating and ultimately optimistic exploration by psychologist Sarah Cavanagh who leads us on a journey through human development across the ages helping us understand our collective selves through the lens of today’s ever-present individualized online reality.”
Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don’t Know
Reviewed September 12 2019 by Maryann Kerr: “When Gladwell shares details from two high profile child sexual assault cases you will find yourself stunned and you will ask yourself – would I have been fooled too?
Blowout: Corrupted Democracy Rogue State Russia and the Richest Most Destructive Industry on Earth
Reviewed November 5 2019 by Gail Picco: “Maddow’s book like her work on television is a n engagly-told meticulously-researched story of how the old and gas sector rules the worlds demanding you pay attention or miss a captivating piece of the puzzle.”
The Reality Bubble
Reviewed September 12 2019 by Christopher Barry: “It is a thoughtful and thought provoking book and discusses so much that is interesting and useful about our physical world in the 21st century. Anyone would be wise to buy it and read it and you’ll be even wiser if you apply its contents and insights to the way you live your life.”
When More Is Not Better: Overcoming America’s Obsession with Economic Efficiency
Reviewed by Ginelle Skerritt: The middle class is shrinking. Jobs are disappearing. The gap between the wealthy and the poor is widening. Fewer and fewer people control and possess a higher percentage of the available wealth. After reading When More is not Better by top ranked economist, Roger Martin, I understand the root causes of these phenomena from a new perspective. It isn’t all about greed spiraling out of control as I had imagined even though, undeniably, greed has played a significant role.
The System: Who Rigged It How We Fix It
Reviewed April 20 2020 by Mal Warwick: “Everyone who follows politics in the United States is aware that the American system is rigged. In their presidential campaigns … Robert Reich wants to explain to all of us how things have gotten so far out of kilter. And that’s the timely task he’s taken up in his latest book.”
The Economists’ Hour: False Prophets Free Markets and the Fracture of Society
Reviewed September 12 2019 by Diane Hill: “[Appelbaum] shows how between 1969 and 2008 the U.S. government handed the keys over to free market thinkers. Not only did they crash us into a financial ditch they’ve left liberal democracy teetering on the brink of collapse.”
Beyond Shelters: Solutions to Homelessness in Canada from the Front Lines
Reviewed February 22 2020 by Katherine Verhagen Rodis: “… a collection of essays written by experienced shelter and transitional housing managers wanting to see an end to chronic homelessness. The contributors range from executive directors to frontline program staff from British Columbia to Newfoundland.”
On Our Street: Our First Talk About Poverty
Reviewed February 22 2020 by Gail Picco: “Children’s and young adult writers have so much to offer in terms of how we understand and discuss our issues and causes…[offering] us a world of understanding.
Fear of Falling The Inner Life of The Middle Class
Reviewed February 4 2020 by Maryann Kerr: “Ehrenreich shows how what she called the professional middle class created barriers to entering the middle class such as post-secondary education requirements and then found itself unable to support these same things when their own children reached that age.”
The Age of Increasing Inequality: The Astonishing Rise of Canada’s 1%
Reviewed February 18 2020 by Sharon Broughton: “…a rigorous account of our uniquely Canadian reality proving increasing inequality is the new normal in Canada. Post-World War II middle class growth in Canada ended in 1980.”
Tomboy: The Surprising History and Future of Girls Who Dare to Be Different
Reviewed by Wanda Deschamps: “That’s a girl who has short hair and likes sports” explained Lisa Selin Davis’s daughter as she made the announcement of her identity to her mother by relaying this explanation from her grade one classmate. Selin Davis was curious about her daughter’s description yet could have left it there. The seeds, however, for Selin Davis’s non-fiction contribution – Tomboy: The Surprising History and Future of Girls Who Dare to Be Different – released this August had been planted.
She Proclaims: Our Declaration of Independence from a Man’s World
Reviewed by Gail Picco: Palmieri’s business is politics and that’s the world she describes. At 208 pages, it’s almost a pocket size book and a breezy read, written by a political insider. Given the pandemic, the clarion call from Black Lives Matter, and the apparent disintegration of our powerhouse neighbour to the south—and the very environment in which Palmieri is working—it is advisable for us to keep on top of what she lays out in She Proclaims.
Power Shift: The Longest Revolution
Reviewed May 15 2020 by Joanne Linka: “[Armstrong] takes a difficult topic – the centuries-old oppression of women – and deconstructs it with insight wisdom and most of all hope.”
Had It Coming: What’s Fair in the Age of #MeToo?
Reviewed November 22 2019 by Katherine Verhagen Rodis: “[Doolittle] credits the #MeToo movement as essential in changing social conditions so that more people experiencing sexual assault can come forward. But she sees social media as an inadequate tool alone to foster “reasoned debate.”
The Moment of Lift
Reviewed June 5 2019 by Gail Picco: “Melinda Gates explains how the road to her belief in ‘women’s empowerment as the single most important thing we can do to reduce inequity’ was not a direct route. But she feels her current path is sure. and using the confident analogy of an airplane leaving the tarmac and taking flight as comparable to the power of an informed analysis.”
Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women that a Movement Forgot
Reviewed March 29 2020 Nicole Salmon: ‘[Kendall] provides a prescriptive call to action on how feminism can shift from focusing exclusively on a narrow list of issues where the benefits largely accrue to white women to embracing a broader list of issues reflective of the experiences of women of colour transgendered women and women with non-binary sexual identities.”
The Undying: Pain, vulnerability, mortality, medicine, art, time, dreams, data, exhaustion, cancer, and care
Reviewed December 13, 2019 by Katherine Verhagen Rodis: “In [Anne Boyer’s] experience of having cancer the medical establishment ate away at her personal identity…she argues there is no space for your own agency in the cancer pavilion.”
Catch and Kill: Lies Spies and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators
Reviewed December 20, 2019 by Gail Picco: “…Ronan Farrow has provided us with a stellar work of investigative journalism. It’s a true story about truth and lies and power versus justice. And, frankly, it remains entirely unclear about which side is winning.”
She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement
Reviewed November 22, 2019 by Juniper Locilento: “Kantor and Twohey are heroes for giving these women back their voices after having been silenced for so long. We won the battle, but it’s clear that we are far from winning the war.”
Sabotage to Support: A new Vision for Feminist Solidarity in the Workplace
Reviewed November 12, 2019 by Maryann Kerr: “Throughout the book Joy Wiggins and Kami Anderson provide opportunities for the reader to move from systems thinking to self-reflection and individual action. It is a journey in understanding that the personal is political and that our individual actions matter.”