Getting to the ‘Heart’ of his passions

Read. Watch. Listen. introduces you the personal side of our faculty, staff and alumni. Participants are asked to answer three simple questions about their reading, viewing and listening habits – what one book or newspaper/magazine article is grabbing your attention; what one movie or television show has caught your eye; and what album/song, podcast or radio show are you lending an ear to.

Jon Deeks is the Knowledge Mobilization & Impact Manager for BrainsCAN.

Today, he takes a turn on Read. Watch. Listen.

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I really enjoy reading, but it only seems to be a vacation indulgence these days unfortunately. Any of the Rebus series by Ian Rankin are great page-turners when I have the opportunity. I’m also a sucker for graphic novels, although it tends to be stuff I used to read when I was younger – Akira, Rogue Trooper, ABC Warriors, V for Vendetta, things like that.

The book that has stayed with me the most after reading (and rereading), though, is The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressell. Written in the early part of the 20th century, the injustice of class and inequality are painfully laid bare and the Great Money Trick explained. It was the most political novel I’d ever read when I received it from my wife in my early 20s and it was very affecting.


We loved binging on the British TV crime drama Shetland on Netflix recently, watching the first four seasons back to back. Just a wonderfully engaging drama in a small community setting and idyllic surroundings. Now, if you don’t have experience with a strong Scottish accent, you may find it a little heavy-going – as ex-pat Brits, we weren’t phased at all but I have heard that feedback. And season five is on in the U.K. right now.


I’ve always listened to a lot of talk radio, either CBC 1 or BBC Radio 4, particularly the latter with plays and comedy that are hard to beat, and Gardeners Question Time which is bizarrely engaging to me as a limited-to-non-gardener. For music, KD Lang’s Hymns of the 49th Parallel is one of the most beautiful albums I own. But Frank Turner’s Tape Deck Heart would be worn out if I still listened on vinyl. All of his stuff is awesome, but that album is a particular go-to – something like Four Simple Words just makes me want to leap around (and I have done seeing him live with my daughter twice).

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