Photo: Courtesy of Tanya Sam
Historical Fiction Is Always on Venture Capitalist Tanya Sam’s Must-Read List
The business woman and former Real Housewife of Atlanta has a soft spot for romance titles, but would love to have dinner with a certain writer of fantasy fiction / BY Shinan Govani / May 12th, 2023
Tanya Sam is no one thing. And neither are the books on her shelf. A one-time nurse who studied biology at McGill University and later worked at Princess Margaret Hospital in her hometown of Toronto — one of the many hematology and oncology units she has toiled in — this lady proudly owns both her Ghanaian and British roots. Canadian, too!
Reinventing herself in the venture capital space, she marked her ground at TechSquare Labs, based in Atlanta. Amazingly, she even managed to sneak in a stint in reality television — spending a couple years as part of the ensemble of The Real Housewives of Atlanta. Her love of reading has always endured, though — something she enthusiastically spreads through her virtual Tanya Time Book Club! on Instagram.
What’s the best book you’ve read this year?
The House of Eve by Sadeqa Johnson. I feel like reading is the best way to walk in other people’s shoes and get a glimpse into their lives, so historical fiction takes me to some really interesting times. Sadeqa Johnson’s book was a gripping tale and exploration of motherhood, female ambition and determination. Set in the 1950s the book explored maternity homes and fertility through the voices of two very different Black women.
Also: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab. This is the type of story that catches your soul and attaches it to string so that with every page turn you become more and more in love with the beautiful prose, the characters’ fates and love in general. It’s just that good. I have actually read this book three times alone because its so lyrical I keep coming back for more.
What book can’t you wait to dive into?
Five Little Indians by Michelle Good. It is the debut novel by Indigenous Canadian author Michelle Good in which she describes the horrors of the Indian residential school system in Canada. I love to read diverse authors and was intentional about seeking a spine by an Indigenous author, and Michelle Good’s book has come highly recommended.
What’s your favourite book of all time?
The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger I LOVE this book. It has been adapted to screen several times but the book is the best! Always a softie for romance, this sci-fi tale is about a guy with a rare genetic disorder that causes him to jump uncontrollably back and forth throughout his own lifetime. On one of his sojourns, he meets the love of his life and their story unfolds from there. The story just leads you to believe in true love and soul mates and kooky genetic traits.
What book completely changed your perspective?
Becoming Supernatural by Joe Dispenza. I was given this book during the pandemic and it was such a diversion from what I normally choose to read. Dispenza helped me to see how we can unlock the power of our minds, consciousness and power potential. It was the perfect combination of science and modern-day mysticism that I needed during those crazy COVID days to unlock and inspire my own level up!
If you could have dinner with any author, living or dead, who would it be?
George R. R. Martin (Game of Thrones). I love fantasy and science fiction because it requires the author to masterfully weave storylines often throughout other worlds or dimensions. I am awestruck at the creativity it takes to create and dream up new worlds, paradigms, magical beings and occurrences. I would love to sit and explore how he does this.