My Life in Books

6 books that inspired CBC Olympics reporter Perdita Felicien

The Olympian and CBC Sports host on the books that she loved reading.
CBC Sports host Perdita Felicien is a two-time Olympian and World Champion. (CBC )

Perdita Felicien is a part of the CBC broadcast team for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, which take place Feb. 9-25, 2018. Felicien is a two-time Olympian in track and field, and is currently working on a memoir slated for 2019.

In her own words, Felicien shares six books that fuelled her love of literature. 

The Color Purple by Alice Walker 

Alice Walker is the Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Color Purple. (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

"Is it cheating if I fell in love with the movie first? Hopefully not, because by the time I read Walker's book in high school, I loved the story even more. This was the first time I read a book and hated and loved some of the characters on the page with passion.

"The hatred I felt for the character of Mister felt real to me. (To this day I can't stand actor Danny Glover who played the role in the film.) The devotion I felt for Celie was so visceral, that even once I had put the book down, I still felt it. Also, I hadn't read anything where a character's dialect was written phonetically. That pulled me in and allowed me to know Walker's characters even more."

Charlotte's Web by E.B. White

E.B. White is the author of Charlotte's Web. (HarperCollins)

"I was in elementary school when I read this book. E.B. White got me deeply invested in this friendship between a spider and a pig. But what does he do? He kills one of them off. Like, dude? It was devastation to my itty bitty heart. (I cry silently inside even thinking about it today.) That book made me feel things, and for that I simply love it."

A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah

Ishmael Beah is a Sierra Leonean author and human rights activist. (Penguin/John Madere)

"The experience of being a child soldier and living in the midst of a civil war in Sierra Leone are far removed from my everyday life in North America. This true story took me to a place and through horrors I didn't know existed. I could not put down this story, in which Beah turns from tragedy into personal triumph."

The Color Of Water by James McBride 

James McBride is a musician and author. (Wikimedia Commons/Riverhead)

"Memoir is one of my favourite genres. McBride pulled me in with his story of being a Black man in America who was raised by a white mother. Not only is his mother extremely entertaining and smart, but she is hiding a part of herself that her children know nothing about. I could not stop turning each delicious page."

The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck

Pearl Sydenstricker Buck was an American writer and novelist. (Wikimedia Commons/Simon & Schuster)

"I read this book over 10 years ago. I was pulled in by the plight of the main character Wang Lu, a poor, determined farmer. Buck won a Pulitzer Prize for it in 1932. I'll be picking it back up very soon so I can get reacquainted."  

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

Chinua Achebe is the author of Things Fall Apart. (Penguin)

"This book, set in Nigeria in the 1890s amidst pre- and post-colonial life in West Africa, is filled with adventure. Achebe tackles complex themes like identity, colonialism and socio-political issues through rich and multi-layered characters. This work is a gem."

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