Earlier this month, we put a call out to the Savvy Reader community and, in typical SR-fashion, the response we received was tremendous! Our question was simple: we wanted to know what everyone’s favourite Canadian books and authors were. Below is the full list of responses, so if you’re looking for some great new Canadian reads, look no further!
Donna: Kelley Armstrong is who I recommend to everyone. Her Outerworld series and Rockton series are enjoyable, suspenseful, and you’ll be unable to put it down once started.
Margaret: Lawrence Hill, Esi Edugyan, Emma Donoghue, Elizabeth Hay, Ami McKay… Wow we are so fortunate to have these and many other amazing authors.
Dianne: Favourite author, Louise Penny and her who series. Also really like Giles Blunt and, of course, Michael Ondaatje.
Chrissy: Anne of Green Gables for a classic! Any Chevy Stevens for a current Canadian author.
Jennifer: I simply adore the incredible and important storytelling of Lawrence Hill. The Illegal should be required reading for all – I didn’t want the book to end. Spotting him here in Hamilton occasionally brings out my inner fangirl!
Freda: Carol Shields, Thomas King, Margaret Atwood, Marina Endicott, Louise Penny, Gail Bowen, Sandra Gulland, and many more!
Kate: Jennifer Robson, Jennifer Hillier, Simone St. James, Chevy Stevens, Kelley Armstrong, Kristi Charish, and Karma Brown
Jennifer: Jennifer Robson is such a brilliant writer and the in-depth research she does for each book is evident, transporting you to the time period so clearly. I had never read historical fiction before I read her first book, Somewhere in France, and now it is my favourite genre.
George: Margaret Atwood, Pierre Burton, Charles De Lint, Thomas King, Farley Mowat, and Robert Munsch.
NancyLynn: Eden Robinson’s Son of a Trickster series, Waubgeshig Rice’s Moon of the Crusted Snow, and anything by Margaret Atwood
Keven: I love any books written by Robert Munsch
Jen: I’m currently re-reading Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden. One of my favourites – what a way with words! And Emily St. John Mandel – incredible. And miriam Toews – such heartbreaking but beautiful stories.
Rebecca: I love Helena Hunting’s books. They are, for the most part, laugh-out-loud worthy and the main characters alone are completely lovable.
Elizabeth: Linden Macintyre’s The Bishop’s Man, Joseph Boyden’s The Orenda, Katherena Vermette’s The Break, Miriam Toews’s A Complicated Kindness, Lawrence Hill’s The Book of Negroes, L.M. Montgomery’s The Blue Castle, Heather O’Neill’s The Lonely Hearts Hotel, and Michael Crummey’s The Innocents.
Lorraine: My favourite books are Life of Pi, Washington Black, Witches of New York, The Library of Legends, and Heart Berries. My favourite authors are Ami McKay, Stuart McLean, Yann Martel, Susin Nielsen, Terese Marie Mailhot, Jennifer Robson, Ian Williams, Janie Chang, and Esi Edugyan
Becky: Heather O’Neill!
Ann: Terry Fallis
Diana: Chares de Lint, Tanya Huff, Tomson Highway, and Wab Kinew
Darlene: Chevy Stevens
Becky: Andre Alexis, Rawi Hage, Vincent Lam, Heather O’Neill, Zoe Whittall, Kim Thúy, Anne Carson, Lynn Coady, Douglas Glover, Claude Lalumière, Martine Delvaux… I could go on and on and on. Canada has some of the most incredible literary talent in my opinion.
Angela: I’ve really enjoyed all of the Genevieve Graham books that I’ve read in the last year.
Marti: I would add Esi Edugyan, Elizabeth Hay, Lawrence Hill, Paul Covello, Eden Robinson, and of course the great Margaret Atwood
Sandra: My favourite Canadian authors are Alan Bradley, Ian Hamilton, and Louise Penny. They all have terrific mystery series with terrific and well-defined characters in setting so completely different from each other. I love them equally.
Dana: Heather O’Neill, Margaret Atwood, and Emma Donoghue
Melissa: Mary Lawson, Lawrence Hill, Lucy Maud Montgomery, Louise Penny, and Gabrielle Roy, whose book, The Tin Flute, I read almost 40 years ago. I reread it every summer.
Jenn: Susanna Kearsley, Linwood Barclay, Lucy Maud Montgomery, and I also enjoyed reading Pierre Berton
Lisa: Robyn Harding and Emma Donoghue are the two that immediately come to mind!
Barbara: Louise Penny
Kelly: I love reading anything by Guy Gavriel Kay and Kelley Armstrong. Also, Lawrence Hill should be on this list.
Jennifer: My favourite Canadian books and author would be Anne of Green Gables book series and Lucy Maud Montgomery. She is a true inspiration and to know how her struggles of putting Anne into the hands of many around the world and to create a reason to discover beautiful PEI. Even after 100 years people are still reading the books. A true Canadian classic.
Freda: Chevy Stevens
Karen: Linwood Barclay, Ami Mckay, Patricia Johns, Brenda Harlen, Jean Oram, Karma Brown, and Kelley Armstrong. I am sure I am missing a few.
Ashley: Ann-Marie Mcdonald
Bhavna: Genevieve Graham, Robyn Harding, Rohinton Mistry
Heather: Margaret Atwood, Douglas Coupland, Timothy Findley, Heather O’Neil, Miriam Towes, Alice Munro, Michael Crummey, Kathleen Winter, Emily St. John Mandel… My list is endless.
Patricia: Linwood Barclay, Joy Fielding, Cathie Marie Buchanan, Robert Rotenberg, Diane Bator…
Kathy: I am only going to list my #1 favourite Canadian author: Richard Wagamese.
Olivia: Lawrence Hill (The Book of Negroes & The Illegal), LM Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables) and Eden Robinson (Son of a Trickster).
Judith: Margaret Atwood, Esi, Eduguyan, Lawrence Hill, Rohinton Mistry, and Rupi Kaur to name a few. Oh, and David Chariandy!
Harriet: Lucy Maud Montgomery and Farley Mowat
Cherie: Ami McKay-The Birth House and The Virgin Cure; LM Montgomery- Anne of Green Gables; but my absolute fave is Robert Munsch, thanks to him I’ve shared the love of reading with my 3 grown boys and now with my grandson Ezra
Nikki: Kelley Armstrong is definitely my favourite Canadian author, hands down!
Melanie: I really enjoy Giles Blunt!
Brenda: Genevieve Graham, Jennifer Robson, Timothy Findley, Anita Rau Badami, Alan Bradley, Susanna Kearsley to name a few. My favourite Canadian book is Pilgrim by Timothy Findley.
Lisa: So many have been mentioned already but Mary Lawson who wrote Crow Lake and those amazing authors from Newfoundland: Donna Morrissey, Michael Crummy, Wayne Johnson… so many great Canadian authors!
Susan: Andrew Pyper – have loved all of his books, but especially The Killing Circle. Joseph Boyden – especially Through Black Spruce. Giles Blunt – all of the Cardinal series books. Richard Wagamese – everything he wrote, but especially Medicine Walk. Timothy Findley – everything he wrote, but especially Not Wanted on the Voyage.
Carolynn: And remember: while members of this group are reading amazing adult Canadian authors like Susanna Kearsley, Esi Edugyan, Molly Fader, and Hannah Mary McKinnon (yes, I’m claiming Hannah Mary as 🇨🇦 lol), our kids can also be reading outstanding Canadian fiction 😁 Mary-Louise Gay, Linda Bailey, Eric Wilson, Eric Walters, and Gordon Korman just to name a few personal favourites from my childhood. We can read and promote Canadian literature at any age 🥰
Cindy: Quite a few years ago now I started attending author events and festivals, and living in Ontario many of these events have featured Canadian authors. As a result, a lot of my favourite authors now are Canadian, and many have already been mentioned above. I would like to call attention to one book that for some reason doesn’t get mentioned very often but is one of the best books I have ever read in my life. It is The Clay Girl by Heather Tucker, and I can’t recommend it highly enough!
Kathy: Childhood favourite author Lucy Maude Montgomery. Adult favourite has to be (because his 1995 masterpiece is my favourite book ever) Rohinton Mistry.
Samreen: The Home for Unwanted Girls!
Jan: The Clay Girl by Heather Tucker is one of my favourites.
There you have it, Savvy Readers – a comprehensive list of Canadian authors, as crafted by you! If anyone’s missing, feel free to drop us a line in the comments or on Twitter @SavvyReader!
Happy Canada Day!