On The Page: LMPR’s Most Inspiring Books

Each member of the LMPR team shares two particular qualities: striving for excellence and a dedication to furthering culture in society. These traits influence our work, our ambitions, and our personal lives.

Despite these similarities, our inspirations come from a variety of sources – one of the many reasons we enjoy working with such a diverse group of people. We share the books that have most inspired our team and the lessons we have taken from them:

Laura Murray – Writing in the Dark, Dancing in The New Yorker, by Arlene Croce

This book of dance criticisms has inspired and impacted my writing throughout my career. I am a fan of Arlene Croce’s critical intellect, her passionate engagement with the art form of dance, and her ability to craft beautifully written reviews and essays. Considered the pre-eminent dance critic of her generation, Croce’s astute observations are poetic and thoroughly engrossing, albeit oftentimes biting and controversial. I have always admired her articulate, vivid critiques and her undeniable gift of prose (whether I’m in agreement with her reviews or not). Throughout my career I have happily referred to this book as a resource and reminder of the power of language.

Consequently I have spent, and will no doubt continue to spend, hours agonizing over the selection of the ‘right’ words when describing, announcing, or expressing emotion in marketing materials, press releases, or otherwise.

Brian Paterson – Into Thin Air, by John Krakauer

This might seem like an odd choice initially, as Into Thin Air is the author's personal account of one of the most devastating disasters to ever occur on Mt. Everest; a storm that took five lives in a single night.

What inspires me about the work however, are the remarkable individuals who were on that mountain – and the pursuit of mountaineering itself. Committing oneself to climbing Everest demands absolutely staggering amounts of passion, vision, and dedication, tempered by strategy, insight, and planning. The individuals on that mountain possess an abundance of our very best traits.

On another level, Krakauer’s writing the book is a deeply inspiring act unto itself. He was witness to terrible things on Everest and the weight of survivor’s guilt he carries is readily evident in his words. The author shows an enormous amount of bravery, exposing those darkest and painful corners of his memory to light in order to tell his story with honesty and authenticity.

To see a creator be so transparent, when the very act of creation must have hurt deeply, is a very inspiring thing.

Angela Poon – The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood
My career inspiration was not so much a book, but rather a person who loved words and encouraged me to love them, too. As a high school senior going through the motions of tests and essays, I had no idea what I wanted to pursue in life. It was my English teacher, Mrs. Hay, who set me on my current path with a simple, five-minute conversation in the hallway. “Angela, you are a good writer. Don’t take that for granted.” The next month I applied to Langara College to study journalism.
But perhaps more importantly, Mrs. Hay inspired many of her students to challenge themselves in their reading and analysis of books. A book we read in her class – Margaret Atwood’s award-winning The Handmaid’s Tale – will stick with me forever as one of the first books I read that challenged, moved, and scared me. And left me wanting more.
Zoe Grams – Salamander, by Thomas Wharton
From when I first took it from a shelf at 15 years old, this novel has been well thumbed, re-absorbed and cherished. Copies have been replaced, yet it remains one of my favourite celebrations of words, books, adventure and love, in both the crafting of the text itself and its subject matter.

In its essence, Salamander documents the quest for an infinite book. But just as the tale begins in a revolving, changing, never-sleeping castle, so Salamander unfolds within itself to provide stories within stories. From war torn bookshops, to automaton subterfuge in ancient cities, to the invention of limitless ink, Wharton creates a narrative of complexity and beauty that places storytelling, and the form of the book, at its heart.

Salamander is the literary equivalent exploring a beautiful new city on foot with your favourite hot drink. Beautiful, expansive and uplifting, it inspires me to read, to work harder, and to see the world in its brightest possibilities.

Categories: MPMG