The latest in our series of quarantine reads features Sonia Beeksma. ETALK, Canada’s top-rated entertainment news TV show, has added her fresh new voice to the mix. Since 2016, the talented broadcast journalist has been at CTV Morning Live covering everything from traffic to entertainment and fashion. Now, she’s parlaying her decade of experience and her interest in the entertainment world into her new role on a team of seasoned veterans led by anchors Ben Mulroney and Lainey Lui. Beeksma is also an active contributor to community events and initiatives, and sits on the board for Room to Read, a non-profit organization that focuses on building schools and libraries for girls in developing countries.
Here are five of Beeksma’s favourite books:
The Heart of a Woman by Maya Angelou
I’ve always been intrigued by graceful, yet strong women who have helped shape our history. Here’s a woman who took on many roles: she was a poet, writer, filmmaker, actor, dancer, and civil rights activist. Reading her story was the most empowering thing I could’ve done for myself during a very difficult time in my own life. This book gave me the courage to be at peace with my life.
“A woman in harmony with her spirit is like a river flowing. She goes where she will without pretense and arrives at her destination prepared to be herself and only herself.” — Maya Angelo
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
I love this book so much that I’ve read it a few times. Have you ever asked yourself how Bill Gates became a billionaire? Was Mozart really just gifted? I’ve certainly asked myself these questions about the geniuses who have inhabited our planet and who continue to be standouts. This book is not only historically factual but Gladwell does an incredible job showcasing cultural advantages and customs. Brilliant.
The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma
I read this book at a time in my life when I was facing dramatic uncertainty (at the time I thought it was dramatic but our current situation is far more uncertain). I’ve never been really into self-help books but after a few people recommended this one, I decided to pick it up and, let’s just say, I couldn’t put it down. I mean, who doesn’t want a fulfilling, exciting, purposeful life? The way Sharma illustrates this attainable way of life is very clever and resonating.
The Power of I Am by Joel Osteen
I’m a huge believer in the idea that what you speak is what you will see manifest in your life. Words are powerful and they can make or break us. I’m a person of faith and I don’t normally read many preacher books but I was particularly drawn to this one, however, because of the title, The Power of I Am. What we say about ourselves to ourselves matters the most at the end of the day. I’ve always spoken words of affirmation over my life but this book taught me to do that in a lot of areas I didn’t realize needed a breath of encouragement.
Leaving Microsoft to Change the World by John Wood
This book has changed my life. First of all, who would leave Microsoft during its glory days? Well, John Wood did, but in the most respectful and honourable way. He didn’t just leave a lucrative career to follow his passion for himself but ended up creating Room to Read, a nonprofit organization that has now existed for more than 25 years and has built schools and libraries in developing countries. From Nepal to India to Zambia, more than 18 million kids have benefited from this organization. In fact, I was so moved by John’s story that I’m now a sitting member on the board with Room to Read.