Reading list

100 novels that make you proud to be Canadian

Literary or mystery, comic or graphic, historical or out of this world, the 100 novels on our list are must-read books.

Canada has a wealth of writers telling today's tales, revisiting our past and imagining our future. Literary or mystery, comic or graphic, historical or out of this world, the 100 novels on our list are must-read books. 

CBC Books considered everything from cultural impact and critical reception to reader response to choose these titles. The authors all call or once called Canada home, and the novels are all in print. Enjoy!

  1. 419 by Will Ferguson
  2. A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews
  3. ​A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
  4. A Season in the Life of Emmanuel by Marie-Claire Blais, trans. Derek Coltman
  5. A Sunday at the Pool in Kigali by Gil Courtemanche, trans. Patricia Claxton
  6. A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
  7. Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood
  8. Annabel by Kathleen Winter
  9. Away by Jane Urquhart
  10. Barney's Version by Mordecai Richler
  11. Bear by Marian Engel
  12. Beautiful Losers by Leonard Cohen
  13. Bone and Bread by Saleema Nawaz
  14. Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson
  15. By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept by Elizabeth Smart
  16. Cereus Blooms at Night by Shani Mootoo
  17. Certainty by Madeleine Thien
  18. Come, Thou Tortoise by Jessica Grant
  19. Creation by Katherine Govier
  20. Crow Lake by Mary Lawson
  21. De Niro's Game by Rawi Hage
  22. Elizabeth and After by Matt Cohen
  23. Essex County by Jeff Lemire
  24. Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald
  25. February by Lisa Moore
  26. Fifth Business by Robertson Davies 
  27. Forty Words for Sorrow by Giles Blunt
  28. Fruit by Brian Francis
  29. Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels
  30. Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai
  31. Galore by Michael Crummey
  32. Generation X by Douglas Coupland
  33. George & Rue by George Elliott Clarke
  34. Green Grass, Running Water by Thomas King
  35. Half-Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan
  36. Holding Still for as Long as Possible by Zoe Whittall
  37. How to Make Love to a Negro without Getting Tired by Dany Laferriere, trans. David Homel
  38. In the Skin of a Lion by Michael Ondaatje
  39. Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese
  40. Kamouraska by Anne Hébert, trans. Norman Shapiro
  41. Kiss of the Fur Queen by Tomson Highway
  42. Kit's Law by Donna Morrissey
  43. Late Nights on Air by Elizabeth Hay
  44. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
  45. Lives of the Saints by Nino Ricci
  46. Lost Girls by Andrew Pyper
  47. Lullabies for Little Criminals by Heather O'Neill
  48. Mercy Among the Children by David Adams Richards
  49. Monkey Beach by Eden Robinson
  50. Neuromancer by William Gibson
  51. No Great Mischief by Alistair MacLeod
  52. No Time for Goodbye by Linwood Barclay
  53. Obasan by Joy Kogawa
  54. Room by Emma Donoghue
  55. Ru by Kim Thuy, trans. by Sheila Fischman
  56. Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life by Bryan Lee O'Malley
  57. Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda
  58. Six Metres of Pavement by Farzana Doctor
  59. Skim by Mariko & Jillian Tamaki
  60. Spin by Robert Charles Wilson
  61. Still Life by Louise Penny
  62. Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town by Stephen Leacock
  63. Swamp Angel by Ethel Wilson
  64. Sweetness in the Belly by Camilla Gibb
  65. The Amazing Absorbing Boy by Rabindranath Maharaj
  66. What We All Long For by Dionne Brand
  67. The Antagonist by Lynn Coady
  68. The Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis
  69. The Birth House by Ami McKay
  70. The Bishop's Man by Linden MacIntyre
  71. The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill
  72. The Book of Secrets by M.G. Vassanji
  73. The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway
  74. The Colony of Unrequited Dreams by Wayne Johnston
  75. The Cure for Death by Lightning by Gail Anderson-Dargatz
  76. The Double Hook by Sheila Watson
  77. The Englishman's Boy by Guy Vanderhaeghe
  78. The Golden Mean by Annabel Lyon
  79. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
  80. The Hero's Walk by Anita Rau Badami
  81. The Jade Peony by Wayson Choy
  82. The Lesser Blessed by Richard Van Camp
  83. The Little Girl Who Was Too Fond of Matches by Gaétan Soucy, trans. Sheila Fischman
  84. The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
  85. The Mistress of Nothing by Kate Pullinger
  86. The Orenda by Joseph Boyden
  87. The Outlander by Gil Adamson
  88. The Polished Hoe by Austin Clarke
  89. The Romantic by Barbara Gowdy
  90. The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt
  91. The Stone Angel by Margaret Laurence
  92. The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields
  93. The Time in Between by David Bergen
  94. The Wars by Timothy Findley
  95. The Wives of Bath by Susan Swan
  96. Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden
  97. Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay
  98. Two Solitudes by Hugh MacLennan
  99. Whale Music by Paul Quarrington
  100. What the Body Remembers by Shauna Singh Baldwin

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