February 2016

Louise Rennison, author of Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging, has died

Louise Rennison, an international bestselling author of young adult books, has died....

Quantum Night

More than just his age and professorial status had changed since I'd started being his student; he'd also lost his sight. Although he happened to be diabetic, and blindness was a common side effect of that condition, that wasn't the reason. Rather, he'd been in a car accident in 2001, and while the airbag had kept him from being killed, its impact had shattered his beloved antique glasses, and shards had been thrust into his eyeballs. I'd once or twice seen him without the dark glasses he now wore. His artificial blue eyes were lifelike, but didn't track. They just stared blankly forward from beneath silver eyebrows.

From Quantum Night by Robert J. Sawyer ©2016. Published by Viking. ... Read More »

12 Canadian books that could change the world

Imagine if more people read these amazing books. The world could be a better place.... Read More »

Brie Larson wins Academy Award for her role in Room

Brie Larson won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of Joy "Ma" Newsome in Room, a film based on the 2010 novel of the same name by Emma Donoghue.... Read More »

13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl

Despite my better judgment, I'm in the fitting room wrestling with the von Furstenberg again. I've thrown it over my head and I'm attempting to wedge my arms through the armholes even though it's got my shoulders and rib cage in a vise grip. The fabric's stretched tight over my face so I can't see and it's blocking my air supply but I'm doing my best to breathe through twill. This is the moment of deepest despair. This is the moment she always chooses to knock on the door.

I can hear the slow-approaching clicks of her heels. Three light raps on the door with her opal-encrusted knuckles. I brace myself for the sound of her voice, all of my nerve endings like cats ready to pounce. When she speaks, I hear her disdain, bright as a bell.

"How are we doing in here?"

We. She means me and the von Furstenberg. The von Furstenberg and I. She saw me out of the corner of her exquisitely lined eye going to the back of the store to retrieve it between the frigid Eileen Fishers and the smug Max Azrias and she disapproves. She knows the von Furstenberg is a separate entity, that it and I will never be one.

From 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl by Mona Awad ©2016. Published by Penguin Canada.... Read More »

Bruce Poon Tip shares 7 life-changing books

Canada Reads panellist Bruce Poon Tip, defender of Birdie by Tracey Lindberg, walks us through seven titles that shaped his life.... Read More »

10 black trailblazers every Canadian should know

10 black Canadians who left their marks on the struggle against slavery, racism and discrimination....

James Patterson will co-write a book with winner of new contest

The James Patterson Co-Author Writing Competition is open to students of Patterson's MasterClass, available online.... Read More »

The Sellout

I suppose that's exactly the problem - I wasn't raised to know any better. My father was (Carl Jung, rest his soul) a social scientist of some renown. As the founder and, to my knowledge, sole practitioner of the field of Liberation Psychology, he liked to walk around the house, aka "the Skinner box," in a laboratory coat. Where I, his gangly, absentminded black lab rat was homeschooled in strict accordance with Piaget's theory of cognitive development. I wasn't fed; I was presented with lukewarm appetitive stimuli. I wasn't punished, but broken of my unconditioned reflexes. I wasn't loved, but brought up in an atmosphere of calculated intimacy and intense levels of commitment.

From The Sellout by Paul Beatty ©2015. Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.... Read More »

10 Canadian BookTubers you should be watching

YouTube channels that are all about books? Yes, please!... Read More »

Cover and title revealed for Margaret Atwood's modern retelling of The Tempest

Margaret Atwood is one of many novelists who have been commissioned to rewrite Shakespeare's plays, in honour of the 400th anniversary of his death.... Read More »

Emma Donoghue shares her favourite books

From Emily Dickinson to Margaret Atwood, here are the books that shaped the life of Emma Donoghue.... Read More »

Nineteen Eighty-Four

It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. Winston Smith, his chin nuzzled into his breast in an effort to escape the vile wind, slipped quickly through the glass doors of Victory Mansions, though not quickly enough to prevent a swirl of gritty dust from entering along with him.

From Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell ©1954. Published by Penguin....

A Thousand Splendid Suns

Mariam was five years old the first time she heard the word harami.

It happened on a Thursday. It must have, because Mariam remembered that she had been restless and preoccupied that day, the way she was only on Thursdays, the day when Jalil visited her at the kolba. To pass the time until the moment that she would see him at last, crossing the knee-high grass in the clearing and waving, Mariam had climbed a chair and taken down her mother's Chinese tea set. The tea set was the sole relic that Mariam's mother, Nana, had of her own mother, who had died when Nana was two. Nana cherished each blue-and-white porcelain piece, the graceful curve of the pot's spout, the hand-painted finches and chrysanthemums, the dragon on the sugar bowl, meant to ward off evil.

From A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini ©2008. Published by Penguin RandomHouse....

A Long Way Gone

My high school friends have begun to suspect I haven't told them the full story of my life.

"Why did you leave Sierra Leone?"

"Because there is a war."

"Did you witness some of the fighting?"

"Everyone in the country did."

"You mean you saw people running around with guns and shooting each other?"

"Yes, all the time."


I smile a little.

"You should tell us about it sometime."

"Yes, sometime."

From A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah ©2007. Published by Penguin....

Invisible Man

It goes a long way back, some twenty years. All my life I had been looking for something, and everywhere I turned someone tried to tell me what it was. I accepted their answers too, though they were often in contradiction and even self-contradictory. I was naive. I was looking for myself and asking everyone except myself questions which I, and only I, could answer. It took me a long time and much painful boomeranging of my expectations to achieve a realization everyone else appears to have been born with: That I am nobody but myself. But first I had to discover that I am an invisible man!

From Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison ©1980. Published by Vintage. ...


He lay there early in the morning and watched the high small window above the bed; dark gray gradually became lighter until it cast a white square on the opposite wall at dawn. He watched the room grow brighter then, as the square of light grew steadily warmer, more yellow with the climbing sun. He had not been able to sleep for a long time - for as long as all things had become tied together like colts in single file when when he and Josiah had taken them to the mountain, with the halter rope of one colt tied to the tail of the colt ahead of it, and the lead colt's rope tied to the wide horn on Josiah's Mexican saddle.

From Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko ©1977. Published by Penguin....

The Things They Carried

First Lieutenant Jimmy Cross carried letters from a girl named Martha, a junior at Mount Sebastian College in New Jersey. They were not love letters, but Lieutenant Cross was hoping, so he kept them folded in plastic at the bottom of his rucksack. In the late afternoon, after a day's march, he would dig his foxhole, wash his hands under a canteen, unwrap the letters, hold them with the tips of his fingers, and spend the last hour of light pretending. He would imagine romantic camping trips into the White Mountains in New Hampshire. He would sometimes taste the envelope flaps, knowing her tongue had been there.

From The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien ©1990. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt....

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

They're out there.

Black boys in white suits before me to commit sex acts in the hall and get it mopped up before I can catch them.

They're mopping when I come out the dorm, all three of them sulky and hating everything, the time of day, the place they're at here, the people they got to work around. When they hate like this, better if they don't see me. I creep along the wall quiet as dust in my canvas shoes, but they got special sensitive equipment detects my fear and they all look up, all three at once, eyes glittering out of the black faces like the hard glitter of radio tubes out of the back of an old radio.

From One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey ©1962. Published by Signet....

Song of Solomon

Mr. Smith didn't draw as big a crowd as Lindbergh had four years earlier - not more than forty or fifty people showed up -because it was already eleven o'clock in the morning, on the very Wednesday he had chosen for his flight, before anybody read the note. At that time of day, during the middle of the week, word-of-mouth news just lumbered along. Children were in school; men were at work; and most of the women were fastening their corsets and getting ready to go see what tails or entrails the butcher might be giving away. Only the unemployed, the self-employed, and the very young were available - deliberately available because they'd heard about it, or accidentally available because they happened to be walking at that exact moment in the shore end of Not Doctor Street, a name the post office did not recognize. Town maps registered the street as Mains Avenue, but the only colored doctor in the city had lived and died on that street, and when he moved there in 1896 his patients took to calling the street, which none of them lived in or near, Doctor Street. Later, when other Negroes moved there, and when the postal service became a popular means of transferring messages among them, envelopes from Louisiana, Virginia, Alabama, and Georgia began to arrive addressed to people at house numbers on Doctor Street. The post office workers returned these envelopes or passed them on to the Dead Letter Office. Then in 1918, when colored men were being drafted, a few gave their address at the recruitment office as Doctor Street. In that way, the name acquired a quasi-official status. But not for long. Some of the city legislators, whose concern for appropriate names and the maintenance of the city's landmarks was the principal part of their political life, saw to it that "Doctor Street" was never used in any official capacity. And since they knew that only Southside residents kept it up, they had notices posted in the stores, barbershops, and restaurants in that part of the city saying that the avenue running northerly and southerly from Shore Road fronting the lake to the junction of routes 6 and 2 leading to Pennsylvania, and also running parallel to and between Rutherford Avenue and Broadway, had always been and would always be known as Mains Avenue and not Doctor Street.

From Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison ©1977, 2004. Published by Vintage Books. ...

The Scarlet Letter

The door of the jail being flung open from within, there appeared, in the first place, like a black shadow emerging into sunshine, the grim and grisly presence of the town-beadle, with a sword by his side, and his side, and his staff of office in his hand. This personage prefigured and represented in his aspect the whole dismal severity of the Puritanic code of law, which it was his business to administer in its final and closest application to the offender. Stretching forth the official staff in his left hand, he laid his right upon the shoulder of a young woman, whom he thus drew forward; until, on the threshold of the prison door, she repelled him, by an action marked with dignity and force of character, and stepped into the open air, as if by her own free will. She bore in her arms a child, a baby of some three months old, who winked and turned aside its little face from the too vivid light of day; because its existence, heretofore, had brought it acquainted only with the grey twilight of a dungeon, or other darksome apartment of the prison.

From The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne ©1850. Published by Ticknor and Fields....

East of Eden

The Salinas Valley is in Northern California. It is a long narrow swale between two ranges off mountains, and the Salinas River winds and twists up the center until it falls at last into Monterey Bay.

I remember my childhood names for grasses and secret flowers. I remember where a toad may live and what time the birds awaken in the summer - and what trees and seasons smelled like - how people looked and walked and smelled even. The memory of odors is very rich.

From East of Eden by John Steinbeck ©1952. Published by Penguin Books....

Canada Reads authors answer questions from the competition

Lawrence Hill, Tracey Lindberg, Michael Winter, Saleema Nawaz and Anita Rau Badami answer each other's questions.... Read More »

Richard Van Camp, Julie Flett win American Indian Library Association Award for best picture book

Two Canadian children's books received American Indian Library Association honours this year.... Read More »

Ava DuVernay directing adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time

Ava DuVernay is the director of the Academy Award-nominated film Selma.... Read More »

Michael Winter: How I wrote Minister Without Portfolio

Michael Winter explains how he wrote Minister Without Portfolio, a Canada Reads 2016 finalist.... Read More »

How well do you know Infinite Jest?

David Foster Wallace's American classic turns 20 this year.... Read More »

Mohamed Fahmy wins Freedom to Read Award

Journalist Mohamed Fahmy, who was imprisoned in Egypt for his work, has won the 2016 Freedom to Read Award....

Dreaming in Indian

Emerging and established Native artists, including acclaimed author Joseph Boyden, renowned visual artist Bunky Echo Hawk, and stand-up comedian Ryan McMahon, contribute thoughtful and heartfelt......

Infinite Jest

I am seated in an office, surrounded by heads and bodies. My posture is consciously congruent to the shape of my hard chair. This is a cold room in University Administration, wood-walled, Remington-hung, double-windowed against the November heat, insulated from Administrative sounds by the reception area outside, at which Uncle Charles, Mr. deLint and I were lately received.

I am in here.

Three faces have resolved into place above summer-weight sportcoats and half-Windsors across a polished pine conference table shiny with the spidered light of an Arizona noon. These are three Deans - of Admissions, Academic Affairs, Athletic Affairs. I do not know which face belongs to whom.

I believe I appear neutral, maybe even pleasant, though I've been coached to err on the side of neutrality and not attempt what would feel to me like a pleasant expression or smile.

From Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace ©2016. Published by Little, Brown and Company....

Vine Awards for Canadian Jewish Literature re-launch with 5 prizes worth $10K

Canadian writers take note - The Helen and Stan Vine Canadian Jewish Book Awards has resurfaced with a new name and a much larger prize amount. ... Read More »

Those Girls

We'd only been on the road for an hour but we were almost out of gas. The white line of the highway blurred in front of my eyes, my lids drooping. It was three in the morning and we'd barely slept for days. Dani was driving, her face pale, her long dirty- blond hair pulled under a baseball cap and out the back in a makeshift ponytail, her eyes staring straight ahead. Her name was Danielle, but we just called her Dani. The oldest at almost eighteen, she was the only one who had her license. She'd barely said a word since we left Littlefield.

On my right, Courtney was also staring out the window. When her favorite country song, "Wide Open Spaces" by the Dixie Chicks, came on the radio, she turned it off, then stared back out into the dark night. She brushed at her cheeks and I could tell she was crying. I gave her hand a squeeze, and she gripped it back. Her hair was down, one side pushed forward, trying to hide the burn that had left an angry red mark along her jawline.


Fahrenheit 451

The last few nights he had had the most uncertain feelings about the sidewalk just around the corner here, moving in the starlight toward his house. He had felt that a moment prior to his making the turn, someone had been there. The air seemed charged with a special calm as if someone had waited there, quietly, and only a moment before he came, simply turned to a shadow and let him through. Perhaps his nose detected a faint perfume, perhaps the skin on the backs of his hands, on his face, felt the temperature rise at this one spot where a person's standing might raise the immediate atmosphere ten ten degrees for an instant. There was no understanding it. Each time he made the turn, he saw only white, unused, buckling sidewalk, with perhaps, on one night, something vanishing swiftly across a lawn before he could focus his eyes or speak.

From Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury ©1951, 1953, 1967, 1979, 1981, 1995. Published by Simon & Schuster....

The Joy Luck Club

"I dreamed about Kweilin before I ever saw it," my mother began, speaking Chinese. "I dreamed of jagged peaks lining a curving river, with magic moss greening the banks. At the tops of these peaks were white mists. And if you could float down this river and eat the moss for food, you would be strong enough to climb the peak. If you slipped, you would only fall into a bed of soft moss and laugh. And once you reached the top, you would be able to see everything and feel such happiness it would be enough to never have worries in your life ever again."

From The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan ©1989. Published by Penguin Books....

Join the CBC Literary Prizes for live storytelling events in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal

CBC Literary Prizes join forces with local storytelling collectives in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal for a series of live events in March.... Read More »

Carry Me

Going up to Ally Pally on visiting days, we rode buses with other internee families. If they forgot themselves and started speaking German or Yiddish, Eilin would shush them. If they kept it up, we'd move as far away as possible. Sometimes we'd get off at the next stop.

But I began muttering secret, gobbledygook German to myself while walking to school along Muswell Hill Broadway. I couldn't speak a word of real German, but had no trouble generating guttural grunts and vowels that sounded, to me, defiant and subversive. Whispering ersatz German was like uttering a charm, allowing me to feel, in a small, secret way, untouchable.

From Carry Me by Peter Behrens ©2016. Published by House of Anansi Press.... Read More »

Assassin's Creed video game to become a YA book series

Scholastic and Ubisoft have announced a series of YA historical adventure novels based on the popular video game franchise.... Read More »

Italian author Umberto Eco dead at 84

The author of The Name of the Rose died on Friday....

Shift Work

For all of the fights I have had in my life, both on and off the ice, I have only been in the back of a cop car once. It happened during my Junior B season after one of our games against Tillsonburg.

I beat up a chicken. A six-foot, six-inch Tillsonburg chicken mascot, to be precise.

This mascot stood behind the penalty box through most of the game. So every time I went in the penalty box, he was right behind me. He was huge and dressed like a real chicken, and he spent the whole time flapping his arms and mocking my big head. The stuff this guy said really got on my nerves, so while I was in the box, I yelled over the glass, "I'll see you after the game." As soon as the game finished, I took off my skates, threw on my running shoes, and a bunch of my teammates followed me out of the dressing room. I found the chicken waiting for me in the concourse, and we started throwing punches right away. He had no chance.

From Shift Work by Tie Domi ©2015. Published by Simon & Schuster Canada....

Across Canada by Story

Canada is a country rich in stories, and few take as much joy as Douglas Gibson in discovering them. As one of the country's leading......

Go Set a Watchman

Since Atlanta, she had looked out the dining-car window with a delight almost physical. over her breakfast coffee, she watched the last of Georgia's hills recede and the red earth appear, and with it tin-roofed houses set in the middle of swept yards, and in the yards the inevitable verbena grew, surrounded by whitewashed tires. She grinned when she saw her first TV antenna atop an unpainted Negro house; as they multiplied, her joy rose.

Jean Louise Finch always made this journey by air, but she decided to go by train from New York to Maycomb Junction on her fifth annual trip home. For one thing, she had the life scared out of her the last time she was on a plane: the pilot elected to fly through a tornado. For another thing, flying home meant her father rising at three in the morning, driving a hundred miles to meet her in Mobile, and doing a full day's work afterwards: he was seventy-two now and this was no longer fair.

From Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee ©2015. Published by HarperCollins....

The Wonder

All Matron at the hospital had said was that an experienced nurse was required for two weeks, in a private capacity. The costs of keep and travel to and from Ireland to be furnished, as well as a daily consideration. Lib knew nothing about the O'Donnells except that they had to be a family of means if they were cosmopolitan enough to send all the way to England for a better class of nurse. It occurred to her only now to wonder how they could know that the patient would need her services for no more nor less than a fortnight. Perhaps Lib was a temporary replacement for another nurse.

From The Wonder by Emma Donoghue ©2016. Published by HarperCollins.

... Read More »

Celebrating Harper Lee's legacy

Legendary American novelist Harper Lee has died at the age of 89....

Read an excerpt from Emma Donoghue's new novel

The Oscar-nominated writer's new book is called The Wonder. ... Read More »

Taking Back Our Spirits: Indigenous Literature, Public Policy, and Healing

From the earliest settler policies to deal with the "Indian problem," to contemporary government-run programs ostensibly designed to help indigenous people, public policy has played......

Saleema Nawaz on homemade cards, vampire killers and crowded cafés

The author of Bone and Bread, a Canada Reads 2016 finalist, answers nosey questions from eight of her fellow Canadian authors.... Read More »

Creative Nonfiction Prize - Facebook Q&A Recap

Your burning CBC Creative Nonfiction Prize questions answered in a Facebook Q&A!... Read More »

David Suzuki

David Suzuki is a Canadian scientist, environmentalist and broadcast personality. He has written over 50 books for children and adults. ...

Judy Batalion: How I wrote about my mother's hoarding

The author of White Walls on the difficult but rewarding process of delving into the mess of childhood.... Read More »

Henry David Thoreau's Walden getting 21st century revamp

A Kickstarter campaign has been launched to make Thoreau's 1854 memoir more accessible to 21st century readers.... Read More »

The Life of Elves

Maria lives in a remote village in Burgundy, where she learns that she has a gift for communicating with nature. Hundreds of miles away in......

Vinay Virmani on 5 books he couldn't live without

A lifetime of reading has prepared Canada Reads panellist Vinay Virmani for this year's battle of the books.... Read More »

Charlaine Harris novel to become an interactive story game

An independent games studio in Barrie, Ont., is working with the True Blood author to turn one of her books into an interactive game. ... Read More »

Three Wishes

In a rehabilitation centre for disabled children, twelve-year-old Nora says she loves the colour pink and chewing gum and explains that the wheels of her......

Got writer's block? Check out the CanLit Premise Generator

The CanLit Premise generator combines familiar themes in Canadian literature - with hilarious results.... Read More »

Viola Desmond's Canada: A History of Blacks and Racial Segregation in the Promised Land

Canadians usually associate extreme forms of racism such as slavery and segregation with the history of the United States. These are seen as part of an historical narrative that extends from slavery, the Civil War and Jim Crow laws to the civil rights movement of the 1960s. Although it is still not widely acknowledged, much of this historical narrative also applies to Canada.

From Viola Desmond's Canada by Graham Reynolds ©2016. Published by Fernwood Publishing....


Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, which has turned my life into one long night, seven times cursed and seven times sealed. Never shall I forget that smoke. Never shall I forget the little faces of the children, whose bodies I saw turned into wreaths of smoke beneath a silent blue sky.

Never shall I forget those flames which consumed my faith forever.

Never shall I forget that nocturnal silence which deprived me, for all eternity, of the desire to live. Never shall I forget those moments which murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to dust. Never shall I forget these things, even if I am condemned to live as long as God Himself. Never.

From Night by Elie Wiesel ©1956. Published by Simon & Schuster Canada. ...

Shatner + Nimoy: a match made in Vulcan

William Shatner pays tribute to his friend and Star Trek co-star Leonard Nimoy in his new book.... Read More »

The Glass Castle

I was sitting in a taxi,wondering if I had overdressed for the evening, when I looked out the window and saw Mom rooting through a Dumpster. It was just after dark. A blustery March wind whipped the steam coming out of the manholes, and people hurried along the side-walks with their collars turned up. I was stuck in traffic two blocks from the party where I was heading.

Mom stood fifteen feet away. She had tied rags around her shoulders to keep out the spring chill and was picking through the trash while her dog, a black-and-white terrier mix, played at her feet. Mom's gestures were all familiar - the way she tilted her head and thrust out her lower lip when studying items of potential value that she'd hoisted out of the Dumpster, the way her eyes widened with childish glee when she found something she liked. Her long hair was streaked with gray, tangled and matted, and her eyes had sunk deep into their sockets, but still she reminded me of the mom she'd been when I was a kid, swan-diving off cliffs and painting in the desert and reading Shakespeare aloud. Her cheekbones were still high and strong, but the skin was parched and ruddy from all those winters and summers exposed to the elements. To the people walking by, she probably looked like any of the thousands of homeless people in New York City.

From The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls ©2005. Published by Simon & Schuster Canada. ...

Tracey Lindberg on her dream moose meat dinner party

Gearing up for CBC's annual battle of the books, Tracey Lindberg takes questions from some of Canada's best authors.... Read More »

Notes from Underground

Dostoevsky's most revolutionary novel, Notes from Underground marks the dividing line between 19th and 20th century fiction, and between the visions of self each century......

Man's Search for Meaning

We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.

From Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl ©1959. Published by Beacon Press....


By this river I want to stay, thought Siddhartha, it is the same which I have crossed a long time ago on my way to the childlike people, a friendly ferryman had guided me then, he is the one I want to go to, starting out from his hut, my path had led me at that time into a new life, which had now grown old and is dead - my present path, my present new life, shall also take its start there!

From Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse ©1922. Published by Simon & Schuster Canada....

To Kill A Mockingbird

When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow. When it healed, and Jem's fears of never being able to play football were assuaged, he was seldom self-conscious about his injury. His left arm was somewhat shorter than his right; when he stood or walked, the back of his hand was at right angles to his body, his thumb parallel to his thigh. He couldn't have cared less, so long as he could pass and punt. When enough years had gone by to enable us to look back on them, we sometimes discussed the events leading to his accident. I maintain that the Ewells started it all, but Jem, who was four years my senior, said it started long before that. He said it began the summer Dill came to us, when Dill first gave us the idea of making Boo Radley come out.

From To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee ©1960. Published by Harper Collins Publishers Canada. ...


I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day in January of 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of 1974.

From Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides ©2002. Published by Vintage Canada....

Brave New World

A squat grey building of only thirty-four storeys. Over the main entrance the words, Central London Hatchery and Conditioning Centre, and, in a shield, the World State's motto, Community, Identity, Stability. The enormous room on the ground floor faced towards the north. Cold for all the summer beyond the panes, for all the tropical heat of the room itself, a harsh thin light glared through the windows, hungrily seeking some draped lay figure, some pallid shape of academic goose-flesh, but finding only the glass and nickel and bleakly shining porcelain of a laboratory. Wintriness responded to wintriness. The overalls of the workers were white, their hands gloved with a pale corpse-coloured rubber. The light was frozen, dead, a ghost. Only from the yellow barrels of the microscopes did it borrow a certain rich and living substance, lying along the polished tubes like butter, streak after luscious streak in long recession down the work tables.

From Brave New World by Aldous Huxley ©1932. Published by Penguin Random House Canada....

Canadians Jon Klassen, Sydney Smith and Susin Nielsen longlisted for Carnegie, Kate Greenaway Medals

Author Susin Nielsen and illustrators Jon Klassen and Sydney Smith have made the longlist for the U.K.'s most prestigious children's literary prizes.... Read More »

Lynn Coady on the power of Grease and good snacks

We subjected Coady to the curiosity of eight fellow Canadian writers in our Magic 8 Q&A.... Read More »


All this happened, more or less. The war parts, anyway, are pretty much true. One guy I knew really was shot in Dresden for taking a teapot that wasn't his. Another guy I knew really did threaten to have his personal enemies killed by hired gunmen after the war. And so on. I've changed all the names. I really did go back to Dresden with Guggenheim money (God love it) in 1967. It looked a lot like Dayton, Ohio, more open spaces than Dayton has. There must be tons of human bone meal in the ground.

From Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut ©1969. Published by Dell Publishing. ...

The Kite Runner

I became what I am today at the age of twelve, on a frigid overcast day in the winter of 1975. I remember the precise moment, crouching behind a crumbling mud wall, peeking into the alley near the frozen creek. That was a long time ago, but it's wrong what they say about the past, I've learned, about how you can bury it. Because the past claws its way out. Looking back now, I realize I have been peeking into that deserted alley for the last twenty-six years.

From The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini ©2003. Published by Riverhead Books. ...

5 books that inspired Michael Winter to become a writer

The author of Minister Without Portfolio, a Canada Reads 2016 book, shares the books that inspired him to become a writer.... Read More »

25 great Canadian #BlackGirlBooks

25 Canadian kids' books that feature black girls as the main character.... Read More »

Have questions about entering the CBC Creative Nonfiction Prize? Join us for a Q&A!

You've got questions about the CBC Literary Prizes? We've got answers!... Read More »

Gill Deacon to host Canada Reads 2016

The bestselling author and host of CBC Toronto's Here and Now will host CBC's battle of the books.... Read More »

5 all-star basketball reads

NBA All-Star weekend is taking place in Canada for the first time, and we've got 5 books to get you up to speed.... Read More »

Green for Life

My mother taught me to recycle long before the trucks came to the curb, because makes sense. My father taught me that you put on a sweater when you're cold instead of turning up the heat, because it makes sense. And when I came to realize that by doing simple things, economical things usually, I could help preserve the clean air, fresh water and wildlife that, like so many Canadians, I felt defined by - well that did it. I was sold.

From Green for Life by Gillian Deacon ©2008. Published by Penguin Canada....

50 shades of grey...cats

"'This is mine,' he whispers aggressively. 'All mine. Do you understand?'" - Cat or Christian Grey?... Read More »

There's Lead in Your Lipstick

During this protracted pampering session my husband will occasionally glance up from his reading with a slightly perplexed look, as if to say, "Are you still rubbing stuff on your face? I've been immersed in the intricate details of an architectural reimagining of the Detroit skyline and you're still standing right where you were a page and a half ago. How many creams does one face need?"

I ignore his curious gaze and continue my way through my tinctures and vials. Finally, I apply just a dab of night cream under each eye and pat in a light staccato motion with each of my fingertips. This is the final flourish, the icing on the cake of my facial preparations. Now I am ready for...not my primetime close-up, not the podium at the Oscars. No, now I am ready to spend eight hours in pitch darkness, in a horizontal position with my eyes closed.

From There's Lead in Your Lipstick by Gillian Deacon ©2011. Published by Penguin Canada....

Where Are You, Bear?

Where Are You Bear excerpt
From Where Are You, Bear? by Frieda Wishinsky, illustrated by Sean L. Moore ©2010. Published by Owlkids....

Trap Jam

Olivia is living a double life - high-school student by day, drummer by night. Her bandmates Eddie and Lucas think she is older, and Olivia keeps......

Tracey Lindberg: How I wrote Birdie

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15 past winners on why you should enter the CBC Literary Prizes

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Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi issues poetry challenge to Canada's mayors

Nenshi says Canadian cities can use council chambers "as a platform to encourage, uplift and promote the art of poetry."... Read More »

Beloved Gordon Korman book hitting the small screen in April

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Aaron Sorkin bringing To Kill a Mockingbird to Broadway

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New Harry Potter book to be published this summer

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Anita Rau Badami on talking to Oscar Wilde... and her houseplants

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Shade and Sorceress

Eliza's heart was pounding but she too wanted a better look at the shining creatures lying about the square. They crept to the door, and Nell said, "Hi," causing the baker and his daughter to startle and scream. At the noise, one of the dragons lifted his head, swivelled it about and considered the onlookers with brilliant, awful eyes. Then he put his head down again, as if he was bored. The great leathery wings folded on his back twiched slightly. Nell and Eliza edged along the square, eyes fixed on the dragons. Rapt, hypnotized, they did not notice that the townsfolk were looking at something else now; they did not hear the hum of rising whispers. A light touch on the top of their heads made them spin around. They looked up at the bright-eyed, golden being towering over them, and screamed in unison.

The being smiled wryly. "Eliza Tok?" he said.

From Shade and Sorceress by Catherine Egan ©2012. Published by Coteau Books....

Our Canadian Girl: Rachel

Part of the Our Canadian Girl series. For Rachel, the best thing about freedom is the chance to learn to read and write. But her family's......

Anna Carries Water

Anna fetches water from the spring every day, but she can't carry it on her head like her older brothers and sisters. In this charming......

Asha's Mums

Young Asha has two mums, and she stands up for herself when she faces curiosity or criticism from her teachers or classmates.......

Canadian historian Susan Pedersen shortlisted for Lionel Gelber Prize

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Who Needs Books?: Reading in the Digital Age

What happens if we separate the idea of "the book" from the experience it has traditionally provided? Lynn Coady challenges book lovers addicted to the...... Read More »

Lawrence Hill: 11 books that shaped my life

As Lawrence Hill makes his second run for the Canada Reads crown, he shares 11 of the books that have impacted his life and writing.... Read More »

Looking at the Environment

Looking at the Environment is one book in a series of "Looking at" books for children written by David Suzuki in the 1980s. The books tackle...... Read More »

12 Canadian novels to give your lover this Valentine's Day

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This One Summer removed from 3 Florida high schools

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Oscar Lives Next Door

Oscar Lives Next Door Excerpt

From Oscar Lives Next Door by Bonnie Farmer, illustrated by Marie Lafrance ©2015. Published by Owlkids Books....

Hoop Dreams

The applause died down and I sucked in a deep breath. I shook out my legs, tucked in my jersey, and adjusted my purple headband so my wild Afro hair was slicked off my face. I exhaled. I was next, and the last one on my basketball team to run onto the court like a star for the visiting parents in the stands. This was our second and final Parents Weekend. To me this was over-the-top Hollywood stuff.

Most parents loved it, though.

Don't cry. Don't cry.

From Hoop Dreams by Lorna Schultz ©2014. Published by Lorimer....

The Chaos

I looked at the new questionnaire, and groaned under my breath. This one read, "Five Things That Scare You." I sighed and started filling it out...

What else was I really scared of? I gave the classroom a quick scan. It looked perfectly normal at the moment. Whew. On the lavender sheet, I wrote;

None of your damned business.

If I'd been being honest, I would have written, People finding out about me.

From The Chaos by Nalo Hopkinson ©2012. Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books....

Mayann's Train Ride

Nine-year-old Mayann Francis and her family are travelling from their home in Cape Breton to New York City by train. Everything is exciting to young......

In a Cloud of Dust

In a Cloud of Dust Alma Fullerton

From In a Cloud of Dust by Alma Fullerton, illustrated by Brian Deines ©2015. Published by Pajama Press....

The Inside Game

Wayne Embry went from being an All-Star basketball player at Miami University to an NBA Executive of the Year. In his autobiography The Inside Game, Embry......

The Miracle of St. Anthony

After the final buzzer, the Elizabeth High School players wouldn't stop tugging at Bob Hurley's heart. One by one, they shook his hand, called him "Mr. Hurley," and told him it was an honor to compete against St. Anthony. Wonderful. The St. Anthony kids must have been wondering why the Elizabeth players didn't bring Hurley an apple, too.

As the coaches passed, Hurley told Elizabeth's coach Donnie Stewart this had been the first time all season that an opposing team had played harder than his own. Once Elizabeth returned to its locker room, Stewart told his players what Hurley had said, and everyone cheered. Elizabeth had lost by nineteen points, suffered through twenty-three straight St. Anthony points, and Stewart told his kids he had never been prouder of them.

Without a word, next door, the St. Anthony players sat on the benches and floor in the cramped locker room, waiting for the assistants and Hurley to file in and close the door behind them. It wasn't long before Hurley stood before them, tapping the toe of his right shoe and saying nothing. His eyes darted from player to player.

The kids would've rather stared back into an eclipse than into those rabid eyes.

From The Miracle of St. Anthony by Adrian Wojnarowski ©2005. Published by Avery Books....

Raise the Roof

Jordan, as everyone knew, was an acute businessman, and an increasingly interested fan of the women's game. What's more, he was preparing to launch a line of women's athletic gear for Nike, including a sneaker. Meanwhile, Chamique's stature was growing daily, and Michael was interested in meeting her. Michael and I spoke. The whole team, I suggested, would love to meet him.

Michael agreed. So the next afternoon, we all traipsed over to Michael's headquarters in downtown Chicago. We walked into a suite of offices, and there he was, sitting behind his desk. He had on a muscle shirt and sweats, and looked just like a poster. Then he stood up.

Kellie Jolly just stared at him, open-mouthed. I won't forget the look on her face. She, Semeka, and LaShonda were bashful to the point of speechlessness, but Ace, Kyra, and Niya descended on him. Niya sat in his chair. Ace put her arms around him. They besieged him with photos and T-shirts to sign. Then Michael saw Chamique, sort of hanging back.

"Hey, Chamique!" he said. "I heard about you. How you doing? You and me need to play some one-on-one."

What do you say when the most recognizable man on the planet recognizes you?

From Raise the Roof by Pat Summitt with Sally Jenkins ©1999. Published by Three Rivers Press....

Dream Team

But whatever revisionist history might eventually be written, remember this: the Dream Team resulted from the vision of Boris Stankovic. It was not a secret plot hatched by David Stern to "grow the game," one of the commissioner's favorite phrases. It was not the result of a crusade by the NBA's marketing demons to sell $200 Authentics in Europe, even though that was an eventuality. It was not frustration built up by the increasing reality that inroads were being made on the United States' claim of basketball supremacy. The idea germinated in the mind of the Inspector of Meat from Belgrade.

From Dream Team by Jack McCallum ©2012. Published by Ballantine Books....

Up Home

Happy memories sparkle in this journey through poet Shauntay Grant's childhood visits to North Preston, Nova Scotia. Her words bring to life the sights, sounds,......

Apples and Butterflies: A Poem for Prince Edward Island

I want to rest inside a sunrise dream
an endless stretch of sea and sand and foam.
I want to go
go where butterflies dance like children.

From Apples and Butterflies by Shauntay Grant ©2013. Published by Nimbus Publishing....

Music from the Sky

Music from the Sky Excerpt

From Music from the Sky by Denise Gillard, illustrated by Stephen Taylor ©2011. Published by Groundwood Books....

Morning Star

Flower followed dutifully but reluctantly, still sleepy and confused. They crept out of the bunkhouse and passed by the back kitchen and laundry, the places where Cleo toiled daily preparing food and scrubbing linens, with Flower as her nimble helper. Once outside, Flower tugged at her mother's sleeve. They both stopped. Cleo bent down and whispered into her daughter's ear. "Your Pa's taking us away from this place. It's going to be a long road. You must be brave and strong, and quiet as a cat." Cleo straightened and they resumed walking.

From Morning Star by Judith Plaxton ©2011. Published by Second Story Press....

The Bite of the Mango

My name is Mariatu, and this is my story. It begins in the year I was 11, living with my aunt and uncle and cousins in a small village in Sierra Leone.

I'd lived with my father's sister Marie and her husband, Alie, since I was a baby. I called them Ya for mother and Pa for father, as terms of endearment. It was common in my country for children in the rural areas to be raised by people other than their birth parents.

From The Bite of the Mango by Mariatu Kamara, with Susan McClelland ©2008. Published by Annick Press....

The Republic of Love

I've had lots of happy moments. I've been lucky. But I always think the happiest moment hasn't happened yet. I'm talking about the queen of happy moments. The biggie. The unfathomable. The epitome of happiness. The only thing is, I worry that when it comes along I won't recognize it. It'll be flashing away there at the edge of my vision and I'll be looking so hard that I'll just let it float right by.

From The Republic of Love by Carol Shields ©1994. Published by Vintage Canada....


It was like wanting ice cream instead of meat loaf, and being told that children in refugee camps would be grateful for the meat loaf. Yes, of course she had nothing to complain about, compared to so many people, but when had that ever stopped anyone from complaining? Happiness was a balloon that always hovered just out of arm's reach.

From Landing by Emma Donoghue ©2007. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt....

British writer Margaret Forster dies at 77

The award-winning author had been struggling with cancer. In 1997, she spoke to Eleanor Wachtel for Writers & Company....

20 future Canadian classics

20 Canadian books so good, we hope they'll be taught, read and loved 30, 50, even 100 years from now.... Read More »

The Blue Dot

Thirty years ago, we saw important environmental victories: we stopped acid rain, revived rivers, and saved old-growth forest. But today, we're fighting the same battles....... Read More »

White Walls

All I wanted to do was go home.

To be picked up from school by a mom who played doubles at the Hampstead tennis club, stuffed into OshKosh winter couture, and escorted into a luxury-car-pool that would whisk me westward to the airy suburbs with shiny built-ins and lemon-lime scents. To do my homework, watch Video Hits, and eat SpaghettiOs and thinly sliced carrots before being bathed in bubbles and tucked into my pink trundle bed that hosted matching throw pillows with embroidered JUDYS.

From White Walls: A Memoir About Motherhood, Daughterhood, and the Mess In Between by Judy Batalion ©2016. Published by Penguin Random House Canada. ... Read More »

Rosemary Sullivan wins BC National Book Award for Stalin's Daughter

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10 globe-trotting books that influenced Anita Rau Badami

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Their Promised Land: My Grandparents in Love and War

Jewishness was often a topic of conversation in the family. I have no idea where the family code word "forty-five," meaning Jewish, came from or when it was first used. But my grandmother in particular was always keen to find out whether a new friend or acquaintance was "forty-five." It was a neutral term, which bestowed no special merit, or indeed demerit, to the person under scrutiny.

To be Jewish, then, was not a source of shame. My grandparents just didn't want to make a fuss about it, lest others might be tempted to do so. They were born in England, were educated in the usual manner of the English upper middle class: public school, in his case, and Oxford and Cambridge. They were British and had the perfect right to insist on it, and yet their sense of belonging was never simply to be taken for granted.

From Their Promised Land by Ian Buruma ©2016. Published by Penguin Press....

Yann Martel on why Life of Pi didn't make him a better writer

Guess what - a whack of money doesn't make things that much easier. At least, if you're Yann Martel.... Read More »

Everything Under the Sun

Good conservation planning requires efforts by local communities and governments at all levels to base decisions on an understanding not just of each species in isolation but of ecosystems as a whole. And we must keep in mind that we're a part of that whole, even though our relationship with nature is often as complex and tricky as the relationship between the hyacinth macaw and the toco toucan.

From Everything under the Sun by David Suzuki & Ian Hanington ©2012. Published by Greystone Books.... Read More »

The Legacy

Only by confronting the enormity and unsustainability of our impact on the biosphere will we take the search for alternative ways to live as seriously as we must. As an elder, I am impelled by a sense of urgency that comes from the recognition that my generation has induced change and created problems that we all bequeath to my children and grandchildren and all generations to come. That is not right, but I believe it is not too late to take another path.

From The Legacy by David Suzuki ©2010. Published by Greystone Books.... Read More »

Declaration of Interdependence

This we know
We are the earth, through the plants and animals that nourish us.
We are the rains and the oceans that flow through our veins.
We are the breath of the forests of the land, and the plants of the sea.
We are human animals, related to all other life as descendants of the firstborn cell.
We share with these kin a common history, written in our genes.
We share a common present, filled with uncertainty.
And we share a common future, as yet untold.

From Declaration of Interdependence by David Suzuki & Tara Cullis ©2010. Published by Greystone Books.... Read More »

More Good News

Although people must continue acting to save the planet's failing ecosystems, it is just as vital to distinguish actions that are theoretically helpful from actions that truly benefit natural systems.

From More Good News by David Suzuki & Holly Dressel ©2010. Published by Greystone Books.... Read More »

The Big Picture

As powerful and useful as it is, science is one-dimensional. It is elegant but imperfect. It offers us a way of thinking and a logical method of observation and repetition that give us insight into the world around us. But because of its reductionist nature, science can never provide us with a complete understanding of how the world works. One of the hallmarks of science is that experiments must be repeatable. So when performing experiments, we remove all confounding factors that could influence or confuse the results. But nature doesn't work that way. Nature does not operate in a vacuum. Interconnections among the various parts of the natural world are what actually drive it. When we pull it apart, we lose context - and that can mean everything.

From The Big Picture by David Suzuki & Dave Robert Taylor ©2009. Published by Greystone Books.... Read More »

There's a Barnyard in My Bedroom

"We can take our hike in the house," says Dad.

Jamie's eyes fly open. "How can we do that?"

"We can start right here, with the sheets and blankets on your bed. Where did they come from?"

"Oh, I know!" says Megan. "The sheets are made of cotton, and the blanket is made of wool. Cotton comes from a plant, and wool is sheep fur. Right, Dad?"

From There's a Barnyard in My Bedroom by David Suzuki ©2000. Published by Greystone Books.... Read More »

David Suzuki's Green Guide

"What can I do?" This is the question people inevitably ask when thinking about today's environmental problems - the climate crisis, declining biological diversity, and toxic pollution. It's a short and simple question, but there's no easy answer (which is why we wrote this book). Everything we do has some kind of impact, but some decisions and actions are more important than others. Nearly all of us want to do the right thing when it comes to the environment, but few of us have the time or the specialized knowledge necessary to sift through the competing claims and mountains of information about the greenest choices.

From David Suzuki's Green Guide by David Suzuki & David Boyd ©2008. Published by Greystone Books.... Read More »

The Sacred Balance

Since the 1960s, when I became involved in environmental issues, I have seen that in the battles over clearcut logging, mega-dams, chemical pollution, and so on, one side is invariably pitted against another. Each side demonizes the other so that whatever the outcome, there is always a loser. In each conflict, the beliefs and values espoused by opposing sides are fervently held but strikingly different. Under these conditions, the choice becomes spotted owls or loggers, jobs or parks, the environment or the economy. But if we are struggling for the future of our grandchildren and all coming generations, we can't afford losers.

From Sacred Balance (Updated & Expanded) by David Suzuki, with Amanda McConnell & Adrienne Mason ©2007. Published by Greystone Books....

David Suzuki: The Autobiography

As my aging body imposes limits and tells me to slow down, I spend more time in reflection, trying to put my most memorable experiences into a kind of order. It's the way scientists write up a research report or paper: we follow different avenues of inquiry, going down blind alleys, hitting a fast lane or taking a shortcut, zigzagging along as we probe an interesting observation or phenomenon. Then, when it's time to "write it up," we shuffle through the experiments, tossing some out and organizing the remainder into an order that creates the illusion that a direct path was taken from the initial question to the final results.

From David Suzuki: The Autobiography by David Suzuki ©2006. Published by Greystone Books.... Read More »

When the Wild Comes Leaping Up

I was dumbstruck. Nature had always been my touchstone, but I had spent much of my life in Ontario, where forests had been heavily affected and altered by people. There trees had been extracted, creeks rerouted, and the soil cultivated or developed. This was a forest shaped by the forces of nature for ten thousand years, a community of life where death gave birth to new life in an endless recycling of nutrients through the countless species that make up a forest. We had stepped into it from the edge of industrial logging, which would soon transform it into something infinitely simplified and unrecognizable. In those few minutes that my children and I had entered into the forest temple, I had recognized the terrible hubris of the human economy. To transform this matrix of life-forms, soil, water, and air into a war zone where soil, air, water, and life were so degraded was a travesty of stewardship and responsibility to future generations.

From "Catching an Epiphany" by David Suzuki, When the Wild Comes Leaping Up, David Suzuki, editor ©2003. Published by Greystone Books. ... Read More »

Tree: A Life Story

Rooted securely in the earth, trees reach toward the heavens. All across the planet, trees - in a wonderful profusion of form and function - literally hold the world together... Trees are among Earth's longest-lived organisms; their lives span periods of time that extend far beyond our existence, experience, and memory. Trees are remarkable beings. Yet they stand like extras in life's drama, always there as backdrops to the ever-changing action around them, so familiar and omnipresent that we barely take notice of them.

From Tree by David Suzuki & Wayne Grady ©2004. Published by Greystone Books....

Living with germs: 5 tips to keep your microscopic friends close, and enemies at bay

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we come shinin from the tray as real as fleshed-out fine-boned forms

even our shoes flashin, we are some fun jokers

are not coarse, cannot lie, do not limp or bleed

are kind & funny, desperately in love

we are you but better, no denyin

fix us there, that moment when you like us, want to be like us

From Careen by Carolyn Smart ©2015. Published by Brick Books....


The first thing she did after Bianca died was pour herself a drink and close the blinds. Never mind that it had been ten years without a single sip. The steadiness of her hand as she poured surprised her. The sequence of events had actually been: Bianca's final hour at the palliative unit, a teary haze of paperwork, a taxi ride to the grocery store nearest the ferry docks. Groceries procured in an exhausted blur - she had happened to have string bags with her at the hospice - why? And whereas Bianca had always loved a good Merlot, in moderation, Joss opted for a stockpile of cold boxed white and a carton of cigarettes.

From Heyday by Marnie Woodrow ©2015. Published by Tightrope Books. ...

The Germ Files

Here's an easy experiment to better understand the impact of microbes on our lives. Head to a mirror and stand before it. How many living organisms do you see in your reflection? Most people will say, "One." Humans have a tendency to think of themselves as individuals

Now, as the same question of a cellular biologist and the reply will be quite different: about 37 trillion. For that person, every cell in the body is a living organism, capable of surviving and thriving on its own. The human body is a collection of these cells, all working together to form who we are.

As a microbiologist - like me - and the answer nearly quadruples, to 137 trillion. To us, human cells make up only a fraction of the living organisms co-habiting with the person in the mirror. Most of the residents - up to 100 trillion - are microbial organisms, including bacteria, viruses, fungi, amoebae, and worms.

From The Germ Files by Jason Tetro ©2016. Published by Doubleday Canada....

The 20 most romantic cities in Canada, according to Amazon.ca

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Rosemary Sullivan's Stalin's Daughter shortlisted for PEN Literary Award

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Leonardo DiCaprio to produce film adaptation of YA novel The Sandcastle Empire

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The Salmon Forest

Kate and Dad crouch by the river.

"Feel the water," says Dad.

"Brrr. It's cold!"

"Yes," says Dad. "That's good for the salmon eggs. They need cool water. Know what keeps it cool?"

Kate looks up into the trees. "Shade?"

"That's it. The forest is like a hat for the river, blocking the sun and keeping the river cool. That's one reason salmon need the forest."

From The Salmon Forest by David Suzuki & Sarah Ellis ©2006. Published by Greystone Books.... Read More »

The David Suzuki Reader

After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, twenty thousand Japanese Canadians, most Canadian citizens by birth or naturalization, were rounded up under the iniquitous War Measures Act, which legitimizes the suspension of all rights of citizenship at times of ill-defined threat. So my Canadian-born parents and siblings and I were rounded up and shipped out of Vancouver with seventy pounds of luggage each. Dad was sent to a "road camp," where he worked on the Trans-Canada Highway, while my mother, my two sisters, and I were evacuated to the interior of British Columbia.

From The David Suzuki Reader by David Suzuki ©2014. Published by Greystone Books.... Read More »


Recommended by Curriculum Services Canada, Eco-Fun is a collection of almost 50 science-based environmental activities for kids ages 8-11. The activities include experiments that can be...... Read More »

You Are the Earth

I wrote this book to show what we need to survive - clean air, water, soil, the sun's energy, our wonderful variety of plant and animal life, love, and spirit. The challenge is to create societies and ways of life based on fulfilling those needs.

I hope that by reading this book you discover what you can do to meet those needs and learn some interesting things about yourself and the Earth. Open your eyes, mind, and heart to the beauty of the world. Then you can help make it a better place for yourself and all the other children who will inherit it.

From You Are the Earth by David Suzuki & Kathy Vanderlinden ©2010. Published by Greystone Books.... Read More »

From Naked Ape to Superspecies

When we began work on the first edition of this book at the very end of the twentieth century... "globalization" was still a relatively new term that was being heralded as a social and economic salvation of the world, and most people were still unaware of the massive giveaway of national regulatory rights that had taken place at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.

Most people were also blissfully ignorant of the fact that genetically engineered foods had entered their diets and that the biotechnology industry was releasing commercial products that were beginning to have frightening impacts on the environment. Creating genetically altered organisms to serve our own whims and purposes also raises some of the most serious ethical and social concerns our species has ever had to face.

From From Naked Ape to Superspecies by David Suzuki & Holly Dressel ©2004. Published by Greystone Books.... Read More »

It's a Matter of Survival

More than any other time in history, the 1990s will be a turning point for human civilization. Not only are we facing ecological disasters that could affect our ability to survive, but the crisis is forcing us to reexamine the value system that has governed our lives for at least the past 2000 years.

From It's a Matter of Survival by Anita Gordon & David Suzuki ©1992. Published by Harvard University Press.... Read More »

The Japan We Never Knew

David Suzuki, a Canadian biologist and environmentalist of Japanese descent, and Keibo Oiwa, an anthropologist raised in Japan but of Korean descent, journeyed through Japan...... Read More »

Wisdom of the Elders

The wisdom inherent in ancient knowledge provides a framework within which to understand and apply the powerful but fragmented insights acquired by modern science. Respect for other ways of knowing, humility about the potential of our technologies, and love for each other and all other life-forms are all essential in searching for a way to live and flourish in balance with the natural world.

From Wisdom of the Elders by Peter Knudtson & David Suzuki ©2006. Published by Greystone Books.... Read More »


Genethic Principle: The development of biological weapons is a misapplication of genetics that is morally unacceptable - as is the air of secrecy that often surrounds it.

Biological warfare can be defined as the deliberate use of microorganisms or toxic substances derived from living cells for hostile purposes - that is, to kill, injure or incapacitate human beings or the animals or plants on which they depend. It has aptly been called "public health in reverse," for it is founded on this dark premise: that the very pathogens against which medicine has waged endless battle - disease-causing viruses, bacteria, fungi and other microorganisms - can be used to military advantage by harming the health of political foes.

From Genethics by David Suzuki & Peter Knudtson ©1989. Published by Harvard University Press.... Read More »

Michael Winter on swanky sunglasses and underground semicolons

Michael Winter, author of the Canada Reads 2016 title Minister Without Portfolio, takes our Magic 8 Q&A.... Read More »


David Suzuki's 1987 autobiography tackles the questions of why he became a scientist and why he decided to go into television. He later wrote a...... Read More »

Lawrence Hill on editing his sister's novel, Café Babanussa, after her death

Lawrence Hill speaks candidly about publishing his sister's posthumous novel.... Read More »

Ex Nihilo


Because chiaroscuro

is where I belong.

That and I was once Pushkin's wife.

O, my darling octoroon

your Russia is doing alive and well,

but your Ethiopia is still squinting into the sun, blind and full of light

trying to find empire in uptown Harlem

but all we get is

gentrification petrification talk

about holy war, race war, war on war

while the Church of Nazareth on 144th stands a burned-out shell, waiting.

From "English Literature" by Adebe D.A., Ex Nihilo ©2010. Published by Frontenac House....

Terra Incognita

unchartered seas/skins unknown


regions unmapped

bodies undocumented

do not search for us in the ancient texts

or paraphernalia, we are terres inconnues,

have always been a people

to be discontinued

our body parts unknown,

thrown down to the mare incognitum,

we make our way to the remote corners

of the cosmos, worlds reserved

for the other, redraw maps

though we do not want to be fully explored

we want only to be remembered

instead of forced to enter the realm of incognito

gnosis, the realm of knowledge

that is merely teaching cognizance

of difference

of terra pericolosa,

of blackness, the trans-atlantic sea sickness

when our ghosts left Rome,

or the Pythagorean gore that preceded

our haunting and our lives

the middle passage where I was born

where once upon a time maps

like skin meant nothing, the endangered species

was all of us, the mystery

not degradable, the Spirit

never sharp.

From "terra incognita" by Adebe DeRango-Adem, Terra Incognita ©2015. Published by Inanna Publications....

Lawrence Hill, George Elliott Clarke pick young black authors to watch

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Gill Deacon

Gill Deacon is the host of Canada Reads 2016. Gill replaces former host Wab Kinew, whose recent decision to enter politics required him to step...... Read More »

Andrew Kaufman wins ReLit Award for The Tiny Wife

Andrew Kaufman, Sina Queyras and Megan Gail Coles have won 2015 ReLit Awards.... Read More »

Order Canada Reads posters!

If you would like a poster for Canada Reads 2016 to hang in your bookstore, library or classroom, please fill the form out below!......

The Tiny Wife

She sighed deeply as she put the calculator in the thief's outstretched hand. "Any way I can get it back?" she asked.

"I'm afraid not. How long?"

"I got it in first year."

"No, your husband."

"Seven years."

"And you still love him?"

"I think so."


"Just one."

The thief nodded. He waved his gun, and Stacey joined the others lying face down on the floor.

The thief worked through the rest of the line. Daniel James gave him his wife's parents' wedding photo, which he'd been taking to get restored. Jennifer Layone gave him a dog-eared copy of The Stranger by Albert Camus. Sam Livingstone, the assistant manager, who'd stood last in line, handed over the paystub from his recent promotion.

When he'd collected an item from everyone in the room, the thief backed toward the door. At the exit, he paused.

"Ladies and gentlemen, your attention please," he said. No one got up, but everyone raised his or her head. "It has come to my attention that the vast majority of you, if you even believe you have a soul, believe it sits inside you like a brick of gold.

"But I'm here to tell you that nothing could be further from the truth. Your soul is a living, breathing, organic thing. No different than your heart or your legs. And just like your heart keeps your blood oxygenated and your legs keep you moving around, your soul gives you the ability to do amazing, beautiful things.

"It's a strange machine, constantly needing to be rejuvenated. Normally, this happens simply by the doing of these things, like a car battery recharging by driving."

The thief stopped, put his arm into his sleeve, and sneezed. "Excuse me," he said. He looked at his watch.

"I'm really using a lot of metaphors today. Listen, I'm in a bit of a rush, so let me conclude. When I leave here, I will be taking 51 percent of your souls with me. This will have strange and bizarre consequences for your lives. But more importantly, and I mean this quite literally: learn how to grow them back, or you will die."

The bank was quiet. The thief threw his hat into the air and was through the doors before it landed on the floor.

From The Tiny Wife by Andrew Kaufman ©2014. Published by Cormorant Books.... Read More »


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