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  • Writer's pictureCarmen Lansdowne

Hiatus from Consulting, Not Reading

So if you follow me, you'll know that earlier this year I was elected as The Moderator of The United Church of Canada. That meant winding up the contracts I had through Sála so that I could focus on the work ahead of me through summer 2025. I also had a major disruption when our family was evicted from the upper floor of a house we rented in the Lynn Valley neighbourhood of North Vancouver. We had planned a summer family vacation to Germany - all paid for in February - and we left June 30 not knowing where we were going to live August 1.

Church and friends spent a lot of effort and we got word while in Germany we were offered a place at the new development of Como Lake United Church: Mountainview Suites. So we got home from Germany July 12 and moved 4 days later. July 23 I was elected Moderator, and my installation was August 7. Between August 11 and November 22 the longest number of consecutive nights I was home was 9. You can follow my flight paths and outrageous carbon footprint by clicking here.

So needless to say, and despite my learning sabbatical earlier in the year, I didn't get nearly all the reading I wanted to get done, done. I basically didn't read between June and November. But I still managed 32 books and a total of 8,756 pages. I think I may have read more, but I also wasn't as organized about it as usual. So now set up with a GoodReads profile, I look forward to tracking my reading stats a bit more carefully.

Here's the list of what I read in 2022. I have divided into Top 5 and everything else (both lists in no particular order).

The Top 5:

  • See No Stranger: A Memoir and Manifesto of Revolutionary Love by Valerie Kaur

  • Facilitating Breakthrough: How to Remove Obstacles, Bridge Differences, and Move Forward Together by Adam Kahane

  • Imaginable: How to See the Future Coming and Feel Ready for Anything―Even Things that Seem Impossible Today by Jane McGonigal

  • Love + Work: How to Find What You Love, Love What You Do, and Do It for the Rest of Your Life by Marcus Buckingham

  • Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Honorable Mention goes to Julian Chapman for The Managerial Leadership Journey: An Unconventional Business Pursuit which is really my sort of bible, but it's more a utilitarian read for me. It will be well dog-eared and coffee stained over time, I'm sure.

The Rest:

  • Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond (a re-read from 2021)

  • Call Us What We Carry by Amanda Gorman

  • Not Quite Fine: Mental Health, Faith, and Showing Up for One Another by Carlene Hill Byron

  • Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences by Nancy Duarte

  • The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive: The Four Disciplines at the Heart of Making Any Organization World Class by Patrick Lencioni

  • Invisible Boy: A Memoir of Self-Discovery by Harrison Mooney

  • Stars and Scars: Poems by Jesse Thistle

  • Rest Is Resistance: A Manifesto by Tricia Hersey

  • Winning the Story Wars: Why Those Who Tell (and Live) the Best Stories Will Rule the Future by Jonah Sachs

  • Subdivided: Building Inclusion into the Global City edited by Jay Pitter

  • Humankind: A Hopeful History by Rutger Bregman

  • The Art of Rest: How to Find Respite in the Modern Age by Claudia Hammond

  • Underground Airlines by Ben Winters

  • Paris, 1919: Six Months that Changed the World by Margaret MacMillan

  • Net Positive: How Courageous Companies Thrive by Giving More Than They Take by Paul Polman & Andrew Winston

  • Phishing for Phools: The Economics of Manipulation and Deception by George Akerlof

  • Hunting By Stars by Cheri Dimaline

  • Empire of Wild by Cheri Dimaline

  • Jameela Green Ruins Everything by Zarqa Nawaz

  • People, Power, and Profits: Progressive Capitalism for an Age of Discontent by Joseph Stiglitz

  • Social Reproduction Theory: Remapping Class, Recentring Oppression edited by Tithi Bhattacharya

  • Expulsions: Brutality and Complexity in the Global Economy by Saskia Sassen

  • Life in the City of Dirty Water by Clayton Thomas-Muller

  • Five Little Indians by Michelle Good

  • Unreconciled: Family, Truth, and Indigenous Resistance by Jesse Wente

  • A Wild Love for the World: Joanna Macy and the Work of Our Time edited by Stephanie Kaza

I'm also still reading Washington Black by Esi Edugyan but nowhere close to finishing.

My other big news is that this little bug will be traveling with me in 2023 and beyond - she's leaving the public school system and starting February 1, she'll be homeschooling with me. I'm sure there will be all kinds of books on my list (like our current read: A Comet in Moominland, which is hilarious) that wouldn't have been there otherwise. Looking to a whole new boatload of books and a happy 2023 for everyone! Happy New Year, all...

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