Open a book this minute and start reading. Don’t move until you’ve reached page fifty. Until you’ve buried your thoughts in print. Cover yourself with words. Wash yourself away. Dissolve. Carol Shields Republic of Love

Canada Reads

I’ve followed Canada Reads since the beginning, with varying degrees of emotional involvement (okay, maybe I shed a tear or two when Justin Trudeau voted against his own book, Wayne Johnston’s novel, to triumph Next Episode in 2003). Yah, I should probably get out more but, in the meantime, I still intend to catch up on the CR titles that I haven’t read yet.

Angie Abdou’s The Bone Cage (SL11)
✔Gil Adamson’s The Outlander (SL09)
Kamal Al-Solaylee’s Intolerable (15)
Hubert Aquin’s Next Episode (W03)
Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale (SL02)
Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake (LL11; SL05)
Margaret Atwood’s The Year of the Flood (LL11; SL14)

✔David Bergen’s The Age of Hope (SL12)
✔David Bezmozgis’ Natasha and Other Stories (SL07)
✔Joseph Boyden’s The Orenda (W14)
Joseph Boyden’s Three Day Road (SL06)

Age of Hope BergenWayson Choy’s The Jade Peony (SL10)
George Elliott Clarke’s Whylah Falls (SL02)
✔Leonard Cohen’s Beautiful Losers (SL05)
Douglas Coupland’s Generation X (SL10)

✔Frank Parker Day’s Rockbound (SL05)
Nicolas Dickner’s Nikolski (SL10)

✔Esi Edugyan’s Half-Blood Blues (SL14)
Marina Endicott’s Good to a Fault (10)

Terry Fallis’ The Best Laid Plans (SL11)
✔Timothy Findley’s Not Wanted on the Voyage (SL08)
✔Brian Francis’ Fruit (SL09)

Mavis Gallant’s From the Fifteenth District (SL08)

✔Rawi Hage’s Cockroach (SL14)
Paul Hiebert’s Sarah Binks (SL03)
Lawrence Hill’s The Book of Negroes (W09)
✔Nalo Hopkinson’s Brown Girl in the Ring (SL08)
✔Helen Humphreys’ The Lost Garden (SL03)

Anosh Irani’s The Song of Kahunsha (SL07)
✔Frances Itani’s Deafening (SL06)

✔Wayne Johnston’s The Colony of Unrequited Dreams (SL03)

✔Thomas King’s Green Grass, Running Water (SL04)
✔Thomas King’s The Inconvenient Indian (15)

Margaret Laurence’s The Stone Angel (SL02)
Essex County Jeff LemireJeff Lemire’s Essex County (SL11)

Ann-Marie Macdonald’s Fall on Your Knees (SL10)
✔Hugh MacLennan’s Two Solitudes (SL13)
✔Yann Martel’s Life of Pi (LL11; SL03)
Ami McKay’s The Birth House (SL11)
✔Rohinton Mistry’s A Fine Balance (02)
✔Lisa Moore’s February (LL12; W13)
Alice Munro’s The Love of a Good Woman (04)

✔Heather O’Neill’s Lullabies for Little Criminals (W07, LL11)
Michael Ondaatje’s In the Skin of a Lion (W02)

✔Jacques Poulin’s Volkswagen Blues (05)
✔Monique Proulx’s The Heart is an Involuntary Muscle (04)

✔Paul Quarrington’s King Leary (W08)

✔Al Purdy’s Rooms for Rent in the Outer Planets: Selected Poems 1962-1996 (06)

✔Raziel Reid’s When Everything Feels Like the Movies (15)
David Adams Richards’ Mercy Among the Children (09)
✔Mordecai Richler’s Barney’s Version (04)
✔Mordecai Richler’s Cocksure (06)
✔Gabrielle Roy’s Children of My Heart (07)

✔Jocelyne Saucier’s Il pleuvait des oiseaux / And the Birds Rained Down Trans. Rhonda Mullins (15)
✔Mairuth Sarsfield’s No Crystal Stair (05)
Carol Shields’ Unless (SL11)

✔Timothy Taylor’s Stanley Park (07)
Kim Thúy’s Ru (15)
✔Miriam Toews’ A Complicated Kindness (W06)
Michel Tremblay’s The Fat Woman Next Door is Pregnant (09)

✔Jane Urquhart’s Away (SL13)

✔Guy Vanderhaeghe’s The Last Crossing (LL11; W04)

Icefields Wharton✔Richard Wagamese Indian Horse (SL13)
Thomas Wharton’s Icefields (08)
✔Kathleen Winter’s Annabel (Atlantic, LL13; SL14)

Note: In 2012, Canada Reads focussed on non-fiction reads: Carmen Aguirre’s Something Fierce, Dave Bidini’s On a Cold Road, Ken Dryden’s The Game, Marina Nemat’s Prisoner of Tehran, and John Vaillant’s The Tiger.

Longlisted Titles: (Thanks to Angela for the 2011-14 lists below!)
Angie Abdou’s The Canterbury Trail (BC/Yukon LL13)
✔Caroline Adderson’s Sitting Practice (LL16)
Wayne Arthurson’s Fall from Grace (Prairie/NWT LL13)
✔Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace (Ontario, LL13)

Todd Babiak’s The Garneau Block (Prairie/NWT LL13)
✔Anita Rau Badami’s The Hero’s Walk (LL16)
✔Shauna Singh Baldwin’s What the Body Remembers (LL14)
Gurjinder Basran’s Everything was Goodbye (BC/Yukon LL13)
Chris Benjamin’s Drive-by Saviours (LL11)
✔Joseph Boyden’s Through Black Spruce (LL11; LL14)
✔Dionne Brand’s What We All Long For (LL15)
Cathy Buchanan’s The Day the Falls Stood Still (LL11; Ontario, LL13)
✔Catherine Bush’s Accusation (LL14)

Bart Campbell’s The Door is Open (LL15)
Lauren Carter’s Swarm (LL14)
Marjore Celona’s Y (LL14)
Lesley Choyce’s The Republic of Nothing (LL14)
Karen Connelly’s The Lizard Cage (LL14)
Christy Ann Conlin’s Heave (LL11)
Gil Courtemanche’s A Sunday at the Pool in Kigali (LL14)
Ivan E. Coyote’s Bow Grip (BC/Yukon LL13)
✔Michael Crummey’s Galore (LL12; Atlantic, LL13; LL14)
✔Michael Crummey’s Sweetland (LL16)

Crummey Galore✔G.A. Dargatz’s The Cure for Death by Lightening (BC/Yukon LL13)
✔Robertson Davies’ Fifth Business (Ontario, LL13; LL14)
Amber Dawn’s Sub Rosa (LL14)
Claudia Dey’s Stunt (LL14)
Sean Dixon’s The Girls Who Saw Everything (LL11)
✔Farzana Doctor’s Six Metres of Pavement (LL14)
Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother (LL14)
✔Emma Donoghue’s Room (LL11)

Kim Echlin’s The Disappeared (LL14)

✔Timothy Findley’s Headhunter (LL14)
Stephen Finucan’s The Fallen (LL11)
Brian Francis’ Natural Order (LL14)
✔Kim Fu’s For Today I Am a Boy (LL15)

Steven Galloway’s The Cellist of Sarajevo (LL14)
Bill Gaston’s The Good Body (LL14)
✔Camilla Gibb’s Sweetness in the Belly ((LL11; Ontario, LL13; LL14)
William Gibson’s Pattern Recognition (LL11)
Douglas Glover’s Elle (LL11)
✔Barbara Gowdy’s Helpless (Ontario, LL13)
Jessica Grant’s Come Thou Tortoise (LL2012; Atlantic, LL13)

✔Rawi Hage’s De Niro’s Game (Quebec, LL13)
Louis Hamelin’s 1970 (LL14)
Don Hannah’s Ragged Islands (Atlantic, LL13)
Kenneth J. Harvey’s Inside (LL11)
✔Elizabeth Hay’s Late Nights on Air (LL11; Prairie/NWT LL13)
Steven Heighton’s Afterlands (LL14)
Lawrence Hill’s The Illegal (LL6)

Truth Bright Water KingFran Kimmel’s The Shore Girl (LL14)
✔Thomas King’s Truth and Bright Water (LL14)
Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything (LL15)
✔Joy Kogawa’s Obasan (BC/Yukon LL13)
✔Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer’s All the Broken Things (LL16)

Patti LaBoucane-Benson’s The Outside Circle (LL16)
✔Dany Laferriére’s How to Make Love to a Negro (Quebec, LL13)
Vincent Lam’s The Headmaster’s Wager (LL14)
✔Shari Lapeña’s Happiness Economics (LL14)
Annette Lapointe’s Stolen (Prairie/NWT LL13)
✔Margaret Laurence’s The Diviners (Prairie/NWT LL13)
✔Mary Lawson’s Crow Lake (LL11)
✔Tracey Lindberg’s Birdie (LL6)
Billie Livingston’s Going Down Swinging (LL14)
✔Billie Livingston’s One Good Hustle (BC/Yukon LL13)
Nicole Lundrigan’s Glass Boys (Atlantic, LL13)
Annabel Lyon’s The Golden Mean (BC/Yukon LL13)

✔Ann-Marie Macdonald’s The Way the Crow Flies (LL11)
Linden MacIntyre’s The Bishop’s Man (LL11)
Alistair MacLeod’s No Great Mischief (Atlantic, LL13)
✔Rabindranath Maharaj’s The Amazing Absorbing Boy (Ontario, LL13; LL16)
✔Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven (LL16)
Lee Maracle’s Celia’s Song (LL15)
Leo McKay Jr’s Twenty-Six (LL11)
✔Anne Michaels’ Fugitive Pieces (LL14)
Felicia Mihali’s The Darling of Kandahar (Quebec, LL13)
✔W.O. Mitchell’s Who Has Seen the Wind (Prairie/NWT LL13)
✔L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables (Atlantic, LL13)

✔Riel Nason’s The Town that Drowned (Atlantic, LL13)
✔Saleema Nawaz’s Bone and Bread (LL15, LL16)
Dimitri Nasrallah’s Niko (LL16)
Mary Novik’s Conceit (LL11)

✔Alix Ohlin’s Inside (Quebec, LL13)
Michael Ondaatje’s Anil’s Ghost (LL14)
✔Michael Ondaatje’s The English Patient (Ontario, LL13)

Louise Penny’s The Beautiful Mystery (Quebec, LL13)
Alison Pick’s Far to Go (LL, 2012; Ontario, LL13)
Kate Pullinger’s Landing Gear (LL16)

Redekop Shelf Monkey✔Corey Redekop’s Shelf Monkey (LL11)
D.A. Richards’ The Bay of Love and Sorrows (Atlantic, LL13)
Mordecai Richler’s Solomon Gursky was Here (Quebec, LL13)
✔Ray Robertson’s Moody Food (LL11)
✔Eden Robinson’s Monkey Beach (BC/Yukon LL13; LL15)
✔Gabrielle Roy’s The Tin Flute (Quebec, LL13)
✔Elizabeth Ruth’s Matadora (LL14)

Doug Saunders’ Arrival City (LL15)
Antanas Sileika’s Buying on Time (LL16)
Fred Stenson’s The Trade (Prairie/NWT LL13)
Miguel Syjuco’s Illustrado (Quebec, LL13)

✔Mariko Tamaki’s (You) Set Me on Fire (LL15)
✔Mariko and Jillian Tamaki’s Skim (LL11)
Timothy Taylor’s The Blue Light Project (LL14)
Madeleine Thien’s Dogs at the Perimeter (LL14)
✔Kim Thúy’s Ru (Quebec, LL13)
✔Miriam Toews’ A Complicated Kindness (LL11)
✔Miriam Toews’ All My Puny Sorrows (LL15)

Jane Urquhart’s The Stone Carvers (LL11; LL14)

✔Guy Vanderhaeghe’s The Englishman’s Boy (Prairie/NWT LL13)

Richard Wagamese’s Ragged Company (LL14)
Dianne Warren’s Cool Water (Prairie/NWT LL13)
Zoe Whittall’s Bottle Rocket Hearts (LL11)
✔Ethel Wilson’s Swamp Angel (BC/Yukon LL13, LL16)
✔Michael Winter’s Minister Without Portfolio (LL16)
✔Richard B. Wright’s Clara Callan (LL2011; Ontario, LL13)


2 comments to Canada Reads – Fiction

  • Angela Hall

    Wow! I’m intrigued that you shed a tear over the famous/infamous Trudeau vote but that you haven’t read the book that inspired it! Myself, I tried, but found it very difficult to get into. I’ve also been inspired to read every single one of the Canada Reads contenders (going backwards when I missed the early years) but I’m not committed to reading every one of the 40 non-fiction titles. I’m a good way into that project and I wonder if I should organize it the way you have here. I think I’ve read most of the titles you have not yet read but I have yet to read 11 from 2010. Will you be adding the 40 from this year or just the top 5 (or 10?) And what about last years turf wars? I see you have listed the finalists–do you intend to read the top 10 from each province eventually?

    • Thanks, Angela, for your comment and for sharing your lists of the contenders (kudos to you for those: just terrific to have another layer to this reading project)! I, too, tried the Acquin novel and it was poor timing, but I’ve not given up. I suppose, in a general way, I do intend to read the contenders as well, but more because I am interested in all-things-Canlit rather than because they were longlisted for this event, if you know what I mean. I hope some of our reading plans coincide and leave room for some co-reads!

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