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Living Library

2015 Books


Book Title Description
Queer Did you know that in Canada many LGBT people suffer discrimination throughout their lives despite the laws protecting them? Did you know that much of the imagery and activity associated with LGBT culture in North America—the rainbow flag, drag queens, the annual parades—has roots in a struggle against discrimination that has lasted more than a century? This book, now a scholar of LGBT history and culture, has experienced both the good and bad sides of queer identity while growing up in rural Canada. 
The F-Word “Feminist” really is the other “F” word: it is a loaded term that many avoid. To some, a feminist might refer to a hairy-legged, man-hating, makeup-free, in-your-face arguing lesbian. To others, it might be about the past – laws and societal changes that have come and gone. Where did those stereotypes come from, anyway? Why should we bother with feminism now? Who can be a feminist? This book explores what feminism is, why it matters today (what does Beyonce say?), and how, even if you don’t know it, feminism has impacted your life as you know it.  
Finding my Vision in my Lack of Sight: My Journey from Blindness to International Gold Medalist 

Growing up as typical as any child, I started losing my vision at age 10. 19 surgeries later, I was completely blind by my 17th birthday.

I’ll be offering a candid look at my experiences as I was losing my sight, the struggles I faced from school to University to finding jobs, and what motivated me throughout my journey to make myself the best human being I could be through higher education, sports and fitness and being a strong voice for the blind community. All questions are encouraged, from general to personal, so you have a chance to see (or not!) the world through my eyes to discover that lack of sight doesn’t mean lack of vision 

(Reprinted in 2018)

Nîsopimitisahkîwin: Walking in Two Worlds  What does it feel like to “walk in two worlds”? In one world it feels like the brain and the heart are both in harmony, and in the other it seems that the brain is more important than the heart. It is difficult at times. I have walked in two worlds as an aboriginal student, having come from the small First Nations community of Little Buffalo where my first language was Cree, through my school years, dropping out in grade 9, and eventually returning to upgrade here at NorQuest (back when it was still AVC!). I have held a variety of positions and roles over the years but my work and education have led me back to NorQuest in my role as Counsellor. I am also close to completing my Master’s in Counselling Psychology.  
Progress Rather Than Perfection  Alcoholism has been a part of my life since birth.  As a result there were many years of grief and loss. The depth of multiple bottoms can teach one to stop digging only if one has supports in place to distract, if nothing else, from the digging.  Acceptance, tolerance, forgiveness, humility, honesty, open mindedness and ability to be teachable, are all skills that I was only able to begin to grasp in the past five years of my adulthood.  Recovery has become far reaching into my life encompassing all aspects of my previous understanding. I love my life today.  I love myself today. I have come very far.   
My Twisted Fate This book was a typical, active child. But when she was seven years old her life changed dramatically. Generalized dystonia (dystonia musculorum deformans) turned her muscles against her. 
This is a story of resilience in the face of a little-known, confusing, and debilitating condition. The author takes you on a journey from skating rinks to surgical suites, from bicycles to wheelchairs, from doubt to determination. Brenda’s quirky sense of humour makes this candid account of life with dystonia a thought-provoking and an entertaining read. 
Grunts and Shrugs: How My Life with Tourette Syndrome Taught me Empathy 

Although you may not immediately notice it when you meet him, this book has Tourette Syndrome. He feels that his experience with this disorder has taught him resilience and acceptance. In short, Tourette Syndrome has made him the person he is. 

Not sure what Tourette Syndrome is? Wonder what it has to do with resilience and acceptance? Check out this book and experience how I view having a neurological disorder as one of the positives in my life. 

(Reprinted in 2018)

From Refugee to Global Citizen  I want you to know and believe that all is possible, but you have to put in the work. Many people expects everything to come easy in life or expects to be done for them and they do not recognize that the tools have been provided. I did not feel sorry for myself having a Refugee background but I knew that with hard work and great determination, the future is determined by what I do now. So how will you use the tools that are you're given?
A World Without Gods  Atheists, those who reject the idea of the existence of god(s), have been acknowledged, though persecuted by religious states, since Classical Greece and Rome. Though the population of atheists worldwide is growing, there are still far fewer atheists than people who identify as religious. This book will discuss the world– in all its beauty, pain, science, and imperfection – and all those “big questions” – although rarely provide an answer – through the lenses of natural phenomena, evolution, and humanity’s own creation.  
Am I “not homeless”?  Alcoholism and hopeless anger led to my being kicked out of my house in 2005. I was without my own home until 2012, transitioning between various missions downtown, Roman Catholic communities across Alberta and Canada where I lived as a “working guest”, and several years’ of seasonal live-in employment at a youth camp near Red Deer and an organic herb farm north of Westlock. Even after I settled into a shared apartment near downtown Edmonton to attend the NorQuest College Social Work Program, and up until now, homelessness has lingered with me. Help me explore whether I’ve become “not homeless”, as I relate my tale and we together compare homelessness and community. 
HerStory: Victim to Victorious  This is the soul baring story of a lost little girl that was physically, mentally, and sexually victimized both inside and outside of her home as a small child. That abuse then continued on throughout her teens and into her adult life by various different people. She had acquired her addictions of choice as a pre teen based on behaviours being taught at home, which lead to an unhealthy and unsavory lifestyle as a teen and young adult, leading her down all the right paths to self destruction. Despite all of the obstacles that she faced on her journey through life, she has found that through the healing power of love from certain special people throughout different stages of her life, she has been able to overcome the self hate and loathing that comes from multiple traumas, long enough to get her mind set on the right track, and live her life today, no longer a victim, but victorious.