Torr Haglund: Trustee for CSSD Ward 1, 2 & Cochrane

Books Read – Current, Past and Favourites


Instead of talking about my various volunteer activities, I thought I’d talk about some of the books I’m reading and have read. I love reading and if there are a few things that I hope that I’ve passed onto my children this would be pretty high on the list.


Currently reading


  1. Engineering in the Ancient World – Landels. After 500 years of domination, one of Rome’s legacies is engineering. Very cool stuff.
  2. Inferno – Dante. Second time I’m reading this. I must admit a lot went over my head the first time. Hoping maturity helps this time.


Just finished reading. (Since November 2012, I may have forgot one or two)


  1. War and Peace – Tolstoy. Finished at the beginning of September. Just read in the weekend post that the three books people claim to have read too appear intelligent are 1984 by Orwell, War and Peace by Tolstoy and Great Expectations by Dickens. I have read all three, but Mary Anne says it’s not working. 1984 is a great book but should be posthumously renamed 2024. War and Peace, loved this book, Tolstoy had a lot to say and I like where he went with it. Great Expectations, enjoyed, but surprised to see on this list. I liked Pickwick Papers, Bleak House, David Copperfield and A Tale of Two Cities better.
  2. Swerve - Greenblatt. Just finished mid September. The author seems very intelligent and I love the subject matter, rescue of ancient Roman and Greek manuscripts in the early 14th Century. However, definitely did not like the authors writing style.
  3. Foundation – Ackroyd. History of England up to the Tudors.
  4. Great Gatsby – Fitzgerald. Reread to get ready for the movie.
  5. Mansfield Park – Austen. Who doesn’t enjoy gossip and intrigue when it comes to the English upper class.
  6. The Madman and the Butcher – Cook. Struggles between Canada’s War Minister Sam Hughes and Commander of Canadian Forces in Europe General Arthur Currie during WW I. When the CBC ran a contest on the greatest Canadian several years ago I thought Arthur Currie would be in the top five.
  7. Masters of the Planet – Tattersall. History of human development. Dr. Tattersall is Director Emeritus at the AmericanMuseum of Natural History and a wonderful person.



Favourite Books.


  1. A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens. I laughed and I cried. What more can you ask. Dickens was way ahead of his time using a doppelganger in the mid 19th century.
  2. War and Peace – Tolstoy. See above. Also just found out on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s must read list.
  3. David Copperfield – Dickens. A young person experiences a lot of set backs and missteps in life, but through perseverance becomes the person he is destined to become. You learn a lot about want you want to do, by learning what you don’t want to do.
  4. Dune – Frank Herbert. Thoroughly enjoyed reading this book on a great family holiday to the Maritimes.
  5. Histories – Herodotus. Ancient Greek history, it just doesn’t get any better.
  6. Godel, Escher, Bach - . Hofstadter. Uses the music of Bach, the art of Escher and a little bit of Alice in Wonderland to end up at Godel’s Incompleteness Theorem. OK. I have a degree in Physics, and have a very high geek Q.
  7. Slaughter House 5 – Vonnegut. A great read and his best work.
  8. All Quiet on the Western Front – Remarque. A classic.
  9. Pickwick Papers – Dickens. You are probably noticing a theme here. Dickens really first commercial success, I laughed the whole way through.
  10. The Hardy BoysDixon. Probably the books I remember most from my childhood. So when one daughter showed interest in Nancy Drew, ended up reading all 53 Nancy Drew books with her. That was an enjoyable couple of years of bedtime reading!