Most of the books that I read come out of the United States. Some of this is due to awareness; most book bloggers and reviewers that I follow come from the United States so they are promoting the books that are close to them, also many books from the USA get a lot more money and promotion from their publishers which means that I will see ads, or hear about them more than books coming out of my own country.
It may take a little bit more work, but I really enjoy reading books written by Canadian and books that take place in my own country. This not only supports local authors and publishers (and hopefully local bookstores and libraries as well), but also helps you to see voices of the people in your own community and the stories that you may not have known about.
Today I am going to share some of the ways you can find out about Canadian books and some of my favourite Canadian books that I have read. Let me know some of your favourites in the comments!
Canadian Book Awards can help you to see what the publishers and reviewers are talking about in terms of books each year. These may not be the most popular books, but usually after winning their popularity skyrockets. Some famous Canadian Book Awards Include:
- Scotiabank Giller Prize (2019 Winner: Reproduction by Ian Williams)
- Governor General’s Award for Fiction (2019 Winner: Five Wives by Joan Thomas)
- Red Maple Award (2020 Winner: No Fixed Address by Susin Neilsen)
- TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award (2019 Winner: Ebb and Flow by Heather Smith)
- Roger’s Writers Trust Award (2019 Winner: Days by Moonlight by Andre Alexis)
See a full list of Canadian book awards HERE
The biggest Canadian book competition is Canada Reads. This is a televised competition through CBC where famous Canadians each defend a Canadian book that they think deserves to be the best Canadian book of the year.
2020 Winner: We Have Always Been Here by Samra Habib (personal recommendation)
Following Canadian Publishers on social media is a great way to find out new books that are coming out as they are being promoted. There are of course Canadian subsidiaries of big publishing houses such as Harper Collins and Penguin Random House, but there are so many smaller and local Canadian publishers. Some of my personal favourites are:
- Dundern Press
- Orca Books
- Tundra Books
- House of Anansi Press
Favourite Canadian Books
Now that you know a few ways to find new Canadian books I am going to share some of my personal favourites. Some of these were found through award winners and others were found through reading challenges I have set for myself. In 2018 I read 12 different Canadian books that were well known that I hadn’t read and in 2019 I read one book set in each Province and Territory to read across the Country. I have tried to include a few classics as well as some recent favourites.
- Forgiveness by Mark Sakamoto
- The Inconvenient Indian by Thomas King
- Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese
- The Birth House by Ami Mckay
- Brother by David Chariandy
- One Day We’ll All be Dead and None of This Will Matter by Scaachi Koul
- Come From Away by Genevieve Graham
- Here is Where We Disembark by Clea Roberts
- The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
- Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
- Fifteen Dogs by Andre Alexis
- The Skin We’re In by Desmond Cole
- The Lottery’s Plus One by Emma Donoghue
- The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline
- When We Were Alone by David A. Robertson
That is just a sample of some of the amazing Canadian Literature out there (and I barely even touched the surface of non-fiction). I definitely want to continue my journey of reading more Canadian (and am thinking of another Canadian book challenge for 2021). Let me know some of your favourites in the comments section below!