During the day, staff at the Public Policy Forum spend a lot of time reading everything from research papers to draft documents, background material to under-construction reports. So, guess what happens at the end of the workday? Yup, even more reading – because after work we can really wonk out on our sometimes-obscure-but-always-endearing enthusiasms.

To better inform gift-buying for the wonk in your life, we asked staff for their favourite reads of 2022. Here’s a list of our communal recommendations:

Douglas Sanderson and Andrew Stobo Sniderman

“A retelling of Canadian history from two communities and families who went in different directions due to government policies. Gets to your heart and your head.” – Jonathan Perron-Clow, Project Lead, PPF Academy and Action Canada Fellowship 


Tom Murphy 

“In addition to being fabulously elaborative and eloquent for learning basic concepts of the world of energy and climate like an academic textbook, it gave me a very new and genuine perspective on how to think about relationships between growth, energy, climate change, and environmental justice. In short, this book taught me how to ask relevant and critical questions in its area of focus.” – Arash Golshan, Policy and Project Assistant 


Michael Booth 

“Very funny, captivating, page-turner on how things the good, the bad, the ugly of Scandinavian policy, traditions and history. Instructive read with a solid dose of humor.” – Catherine Corriveau, Partnership Liason 


Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson 

“A great analysis of why some rich countries have most of their population in poverty.” – Rodrigo Barbosa, Policy and Project Assistant 


Yu Hua 

“Yu Hua, one of the most celebrated Chinese writers, offers an insightful, funny and fascinating peek into life in China from the Cultural Revolution to today. A great read to gain deeper understanding of the context shaping the news out of China today.” – Sara-Christine Gemson, Executive Director, PPF Academy and Action Canada 


Ethan Kross 

“It’s a highly readable explanation and operator’s manual for your mind and consciousness.” – Brian Bohunicky, Vice-President of Policy  


Margaret MacMillian 

“An amazing amount of information in one text. Analysis from a number of perspectives on how war had and continues to shape our society. Emphasized how we in the west need to continue to consider conflict and war, given our general complacency after what we consider a long period of time where conflict has not been something we have had to contend with in our daily lives.” – Katherine Feenan, Director of Policy and Content Programming 


Stephanie Land and Barbara Ehrenreich

“Maid follows the story of a young mother doing everything she can to make ends meet and leave an abusive relationship. This memoir provides insight into what it’s like to crawl your way out of poverty while people, inadequate systems and the everyday struggles of motherhood stand in the way.” – Alishya Weiland, Project Associate 


Tim Marshall 

“Think of any recent event of geopolitical significance and this book can give you the answer to why a country reacted the way it did! It all comes back to geography and neighbours. This is surely a book you can keep going back to!” – Shweta Menon, Policy Associate