By Michela Gittens
‘Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.’ —Joseph Addison
I love to read which is surprising because when I was younger, you could not pay me enough to pick up a book. I discovered my love for reading in my teen years but oftentimes, it took a back seat to everything else that was happening in my life. Last year, I challenged myself to read 12 books. This year however, I neglected to prioritize this essential self-care activity and once again it fell to the wayside.
As this year is coming to an end and I think about all the things I want to accomplish next year, prioritizing reading is at the top of my list. Reading for me can be an escape, transporting me to a different time or exposing me to a culture I would not have otherwise experienced. It gives me perspective, insight, new ideas, encouragement and advice. Reading has also helped with my imagination and by extent improved my creativity.
Adult learning does not have to only be centered around academics and career progression. Adult learning can be in the form of reading for recreational purposes and personal growth. There is much to learn from an autobiography by The First Lady of the United States or a fiction detailing injustice and the effects it can have on a person’s life.
I encourage and challenge you to explore reading as a form of self-care and just in case your excuse is “I don’t know of any good books”, in the famous words of Issa Rae “I got you!”
I have decided to curate a reading list for a few reasons: to make informed recommendations for you to take the trial and error process out of finding a great read as well as to challenge myself to keep reading no matter how busy life gets.
Below is a list of a few of my current favourites, all of which are available at the Toronto Public Library. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. Look out for my next recommendations in the Spring Issue.
• Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
• Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
• Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
• Educated by Tara Westover
• An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
• Becoming by Michelle Obama
• The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
• We’re Going to Need More Wine by Gabrielle Union