Pat Deakin

What’s on their nightstands?

From city hall to the port authority, here's what's being read around Alberni this season.

Pat Deakin, Port Alberni economic development manager (above)

Pat Deakin is a busy man whether on or off the job. In between compiling reports on how to attract people to the city, Deakin’s got three books on the go all at once.

“Most of the books I read are related to my work.”

On his radar currently? Million Dollar Habits by Brian Tracy which struck him with one line about why some business flop and others flourish; “businesses succeed because of high sales; fail because of low sales, all else is commentary.”

That line has helped him pare down his approach to attracting new residents; he either sells them on Port Alberni or not, all else is commentary.

He’s also got Influence Marketing by Danny Brown and Sam Fiorella, a book that inspired him with a story of a company that went from having a great product but no distribution channel and seemingly insurmountable obstacles to a company with that same great product but national recognition and sales to match. The metaphor here is obvious.


Mike Ruttan, Mayor of Port Alberni

“The style of my reading right now is stuff to do with the (city) budget, community charter, bylaws; keeping up with those things.

I’m just about to start Naomi Klein’s book This Changes Everything, which we bought a while ago.

I love historical fiction, particularly historical fiction that’s set during the Middle Ages or during early Chinese or early Mongolian era.

My favourite author is Conn Iggulden, who wrote a series on Genghis Khan. He brings to life events of that time. Because it’s a series you get the sequence of generations.

My oldest son enjoys reading it as well so it’s something we have in common.”



Maggie Hodge-Kwan, librarian, Vancouver Island Regional Library

“A title I’m reading right now is What We See When We Read: A Phenomenology, by Peter Mendelsund. A true pleasure to read—it’s all about the pictures we paint in our head when we read fiction.”

One chapter takes a description of Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy, written in 1873 and gives it to a police artist, asking them to recreate their impression of Anna Karenina. “It’s not what I thought it would be,” Hodge-Kwan said.

“I just finished Yes Please, by Amy Poehler (celebrity memoir), Life in Motion by Misty Copeland (great book about the first African American ballet soloist at the American Ballet Theatre) and Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy (the third Bridget Jones book—totally funny and light holiday reading).



Charmead Schella, executive director, Literacy Alberni

“I’m re-reading The Unbearable Lightness of Being, by Milan Kundera. It’s a favourite. It’s a book of hope.

It’s set in Prague 1968, which was Prague Spring. It’s set just before the Russians came and occupied, just before Czechoslovakia became two republics.

It’s historical fiction because it’s backdropped with the story of a marriage that is going through the struggle of time and boredom.”

Schella lived in Prague in one of the places featured in Kundera’s novel, and the city still holds a place in her heart.



Dave McCormick, director of public relations and business development, Port Alberni Port Authority

“I always have a coffee table book on the go and it’s always a sports one,” says McCormick.

He likes books from different cities, the “then and now” ones but “with the passing of Jean Beliveau, “I pulled Canadien Legends: Montreal’s Hockey Heroes out. I like sports and history so it’s perfect.”

He’s currently rereading The Dixon Cornbelt League by W.P.  Kinsella. A life-long Chicago Cubs fan, McCormick likes the metaphor that Kinsella makes with baseball; unlike any other sport, the sidelines in baseball aren’t clearly defined. Instead, “the first base line and the third base line extend forever.”

But when he’s not reading about baseball, he always has a little time to wander down memory lane and with his little nephew here for Christmas, he pulled out the original French version of the classic The Hockey Sweater.

“It’s such a great little story and I like to practice my French.”



What book do you have on your nightstand? E-mail us at if you’d like to share a book (send us a selfie, too!) you’re enjoying.

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