Canada Day is only a couple days away, Savvy Readers! And while we’re all about the fireworks, bonfires, and cold beer this weekend, we’re about great books ALWAYS! Read on for a roundup of all the incredible, brilliant Canadian authors and books that make us proud to be Canadian all year long!
Washington Black by Esi Edugyan
From the blistering cane fields of Barbados to the icy plains of the Canadian Arctic, from the mud-drowned streets of London to the eerie deserts of Morocco, Washington Black teems with all the strangeness of life. This electrifying, Giller Prize and Rogers Writers Trust award winning novel follows eleven-year-old Washington Black from a Barbados sugar plantation across a strange and hostile world, asking: What is Freedom? And can a life salvaged from ashes ever be made whole? Now we ask: What better way to kick off the long weekend than with this absolute POWERHOUSE in Canadian Fiction?
Born Into It by Jay Baruchel
If there’s anything more Canadian than the bitter, hockey-centric rivalries of Jay Baruchel’s childhood – spent first as a homer in Montreal and then as the enemy in the Maple Leaf stronghold of Oshawa, Ontario – I don’t know what it is! This Canadian actor, director, comedian, writer and die-hard Montreal Canadiens fan’s memoir is exactly the kind of hilarious, heartfelt, and almost too Canadian read to get us into that fireworks-cracking, bonfire-blazing Canada Day spirit this weekend!
Mourning Has Broken by Erin Davis
But maybe you’re not planning a big shindig for Canada Day at all! Life is not always upbeat, and we need to be honest about that. Maybe this heartbreaking, honest, and ultimately hopeful memoir from Erin Davis, one of Canada’s most beloved radio personalities, is the Canada Day read for you! On the morning of May 11, 2015, Erin suffered a devastating blow when she learned her daughter, Lauren, had died in the night. Gripped with the conviction that honest, open discussion was the only way she could endure this terrible loss, Erin began her journey of grieving out loud with family, friends, and listeners across Canada, speaking truly to their soul.
The Art of Leaving by Ayelet Tsabari
Ayelet Tsabari was 21 when she left Tel Aviv. For nearly a decade, she travelled through India, Europe, the US, and Canada as though her life might go stagnant without perpetual motion. But when a series of dramatic events force Tsabari to examine her Jewish-Yemeni background and the Mizrahi identity she had once rejected, she uncovers a family history that deeply resonates with her own immigrant experience and struggles with new motherhood. Beautifully written, frank and poignant, this unforgettable memoir is a courageous exploration of identity, belonging, family, and homes both inherited and chosen. There’s NOTHING we’d rather celebrate this Canada day.
Heartbreaker by Claudia Dey
Seventeen years after falling from a stolen car into a remote northern town, Billie Jean Fontaine is still an outsider. She may follow the stifling rules of this odd place, but no one will forget that she came from elsewhere. When Billie Jean vanishes one cold October night, those closest to her begin a frantic search, each holding a different piece of this strange puzzle. With her luminous prose, wry humour and dead-on cultural observations, Canadian author Claudia Dey has created a storytelling tour de force about what it means to love and done her country proud.
The Quintland Sisters by Shelley Wood
Reluctant midwife Emma Trimpany is just 17 when she assists at the harrowing birth of the Dionne quintuplets – the first quintuplets in history to survive birth – in hardscrabble Northern Ontario. She cares for them through their perilous first days – and the bizarre events that turn them into a tourist attraction, drawing 6000 visitors a day in the depths of the Great Depression! Steeped in research, The Quintland Sisters is a novel of love, resilience, and enduring sisterhood. Who other than Canada’s own Shelley Wood could weave together this beautiful coming-of-age story with one of the strangest true stories from Canadian history?
The Home for Unwanted Girls by Joanna Goodman
Canadian author Joanna Goodman works magic in this provocative, heart-wrenching novel inspired by true events straight out the annals of Canadian history – 195Os Quebec, to be exact, where Maggie’s English-speaking father has ambitions for his daughter that don’t include marriage to the poor French boy on the next farm over. When she becomes pregnant at fifteen, her parents force her to give baby Elodie up for adoption and get her life ‘back on track’. The stories of Maggie and Elodie intertwine but never touch, until Maggie realizes she must take what she wants from life and go in search of her long-lost daughter, finally reclaiming the truth that has been denied them both.
The Chai Factor by Farah Heron
Thirty-year-old engineer Amira Khan has set one rule for herself: no dating until her grad-school thesis is done. Nothing can distract her from completing a paper that is so good her boss will give her the promotion she deserves when she returns to work in her Toronto. But she arrives home to find that her grandmother has rented the basement to . . . a barbershop quartet. Seriously? This hilarious rom-com is filled with Toronto scenery and more charm than it has a right to – a perfect Canada Day read from the witty and wonderful Farah Heron!
Ayesha At Last by Uzma Jalaluddin
Ayesha Shamsi has a lot going on in this modern-day Pride and Prejudice set right here in Toronto’s Muslim community. Her dreams of being a poet have been set aside for a teaching job so she can pay off her debts to her wealthy uncle. She lives with her boisterous Muslim family and is always being reminded that she is close to rejecting her one hundredth marriage proposal. Though Ayesha is lonely, she doesn’t want an arranged marriage. Then she meets Khalid, and he is just as smart and handsome as he is conservative and judgmental… Smart, witty, romantic and utterly charming, Ayesha At Last is the perfect summer read and an EVEN better pick for this Canada Day weekend!
Canada by Collins Canada
We couldn’t wrap up this Canada Day round up without mentioning this stunning, 320-page photo book! Home to the majestic Rocky Mountains, vibrant cities, pristine wilderness and the world’s longest coastline, Canada is a spectacular country to call home – and a photographer’s paradise! With more than 300 spectacular images from award-winning photographers, Canada is the ultimate celebration of this country’s rugged beauty bound up in one timeless treasury. This book will inspire you to see more of this country we’re celebrating. Tell us in the comments below: which Canadian sites are your favourite to visit on a long weekend like this one? Where do you want to hit next?
That’s it from me Savvy Readers! Which Canadian treasures are you planning to dip into this weekend? Tell us how YOU like to celebrate in the comments below or over on twitter @SavvyReader!
Happy Canada Day and happy reading!!
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