It’s time for our annual must-reads roundup – but this year, given the craziness of the pandemic, we’re opening it up to include vital viewings because let’s face it, sometimes we just need some guilty pleasure TV to get us through tough times. Below is our list of what we’ve been reading – and watching – in 2021. If you’re looking for a last-minute stocking stuffer, or in need of a personal escape, we hope you find your fit below!
For me, an escape is stories that make me think about new and different places:
Codebreaker, by Walter Isaacson
In the time of COVID vaccines you’ve probably heard the refrain, “how did they develop it so quickly?” This is how. Learn how the scientific community pivoted to focus on and cooperate towards vaccination efforts. So timely and a standout for me this year.
A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles
An excellent fiction novel – perhaps just what’s needed for a holiday read? Beautiful and heartwarming, the story has just enough threat of danger to keep you flipping the pages!
For me, an escape is thinking about making beautiful family traditions modern:
The Finnish Way, by Katja Pantzar
This is a glimpse into life in Finland and the hot/cold practice of the sauna and cold plunge enjoyed throughout the winters.*
(*PSST – have you heard about Marci’s latest endeavour? While still Principal at ZINC – check out her new venture in Victoria, opening soon! ritualnordicspa.com)
Winterlust: Finding Beauty in the Fiercest Season, by Bernd Brunner
Discover all the interesting facts and history about our coldest season + groovy historic images.
For me, an escape is falling down the rabbit hole of a good story, whether real or fiction:
9 Perfect Strangers, by Liane Moriarty
A bizarre, side splittingly funny, sweet and somewhat magical tale of how far we’ll go to better ourselves. FYI, the Prime series does not even remotely capture this hilarious and wild read.
Song of the Earth: The Life of Alfred Joseph, by Alfred Joseph & Ross Hoffman
Follow the epic life and often fraught journey of Witsuwit’en hereditary chief Alfred Joseph told to (my stepfather) UNBC Professor Emeritus, Ross Hoffman. From salmon fishing on the Bulkley River, to leading groundbreaking court cases for the First Nations people of northwest BC.
For me, an escape is an easy-to-watch show shared with good people near and far:
Coronation Street, CBC
My husband introduced me to this old classic and – while I’m not usually a soap opera watcher – I’ve enjoyed the characters who more every day/blue collar people. A good break that my husband and I can talk and laugh about.
90 Day Fiance, TLC
The past two years have been information overload so I’ve found myself drawn to mindless television to unwind – and sharing it with people who keep me laughing is even better. I “watch” 90-Day Fiance with my best friend in Saskatchewan and It’s become a great way for us to keep in touch and have a laugh.