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National Read a Book Day!

September 6th is National Read a Book Day! With the upcoming Canadian election in mind, the Centre for Public Dialogue has compiled this great list of books for you to read on Sept 6th, or any other day this fall. These titles have been read and enjoyed by our staff and board members as they endeavor to speak hope to elected officials, and to engage our families, neighbourhoods, and church communities in doing justice. 

The Art of the Possible: A Handbook for Political Activism by Amanda Sussman gives simple yet detailed instructions on how to do effective advocacy; from navigating the Canadian Parliamentary system, to devising a clear advocacy strategy, to step-by-step outlines on how to plan out communications and meetings with elected officials. If you want your voice to be heard by your provincial or federal leaders, this is the handbook that will help you do it! It was so good that our staff used it as the main source material for our newest workshop, Faith in Action: Practicing Biblical Advocacy.

Romans Disarmed: Resisting Empire, Demanding Justice by Sylvia Keesmaat and Brian Walsh offers an in-depth biblical study of the book of Romans, uncovering how the early Roman church dealt with issues of race, class, economics, idolatry, sexuality, and imperial violence. By exploring the context of ancient Rome and the secular culture that early Christians both suffered under and subverted, we can learn more about how to confront injustice and to find hope today. (There’s even this handy study guide to help you follow along with each chapter!) 

21 Things you may not know about the Indian Act by Bob Joseph illustrates the reality that government policies are not neutral. This book illustrates the ongoing impact of the Indian Act,1876 and how it oppressed Indigenous people. Joseph shows us that structural political change is necessary to seeing racism dismantled in our country. For example the Indian Act was used to prevent Indigenous peoples from selling farm produce without a permit, effectively cutting them out of any market.  

The Other Face of God: When the Stranger Calls Us Home by Mary Jo Leddy shares first-hand stories of living with refugees at Toronto’s Romero House. With so much political and media rhetoric swirling around refugee claimants crossing the border into Canada in the past few years, Leddy’s invitation to ‘see them with the eyes of Christ and begin to know our true selves,’ helps to humanize newcomers to Canada, and to replace fear and othering with empathy and welcome. 

Live (Canadian Version) was created in partnership between World Renew and Micah Challenge as an in-depth scriptural and practical study to help people live justly in 6 key areas of life: advocacy, prayer, consumption, generosity, creation care, and relationships. Whether reading it on your own, or as part of a small group, Live shares short stories, biblical principles, and reflection questions to help you make justice a part of your daily life. 

From Nature to Creation: A Christian Vision for Understanding and Loving Our World by Norman Wirzba answers the question ‘why should Christians in particular care about creation?” In conversation with various environmentalists and philosophers, Wirzba uncovers some of the problematic myths that have caused our modern society to see natural resources as something to be dominated and consumed rather than cultivated and stewarded. While any of Wirzba’s books are a treasure of theological reflection on land and creation, this book emphasizes our responsibility as image bearers and Christ-followers to reimagine what it could look like for us to take responsibility for caring for creation. 

All Our Relations: Finding the Path Forward and Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death, and Hard Truths in a Northern City are both written by Tanya Talaga, an Anishnaabe Canadian woman and phenomenal journalist and writer. The first book, All Our Relations, explores the history of colonization in Canada and its harmful results on today's Indigenous youth, and in Seven Fallen Feathers, Talaga investigates the heartbreaking story of the deaths of seven young Indigenous students in Thunder Bay.

Turning Parliament Inside Out: Practical Ideas for Reforming Canada's Democracy was written with contributions from members of all of Canada’s major political parties. If you’ve ever wondered what actually goes on ‘behind the scenes’ of our government, and what is needed for it to better function, this book proposes cross-partisan solutions that could make things better for everyone. Along these same lines, if you’ve ever thought that there are serious problems in our political system, you’re not alone! In Tragedy in the Commons: Former Members of Parliament Speak Out About Canada's Failing Democracy the co-founders of thinktank Samara Canada hear from former leaders about their experiences in the House of Commons, both the good and the bad, and their opinions on how our system could be improved to better serve Canadians. 

*Note, when possible, we’ve linked the titles above to a source to purchase these books from a not-for-profit used reseller or directly from their publishers.

Photo by Thais Ribeiro on Unsplash


The Reformed family is a diverse family with a diverse range of opinions. Not all perspectives expressed on the blog represent the official positions of the Christian Reformed Church. Learn more about this blog, Reformed doctrines, and our diversity policy on our About page.

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