Best Books of 2016

We've narrowed down the bumper crop of amazing 2016 titles to CBC Books' absolute best of the year. From Canadian to international, poetry to fiction to memoir and more, here are the books that gave us the most feels this year.


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13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl

Mona Awad

BestBooks2016
BestCDNFiction2016
Book summary
Gift2016
GillerPrize
SGP2016longlist
SGP2016shortlist
ShelaghGift2016
Summer2016
WTW2016

A Boy Named Queen

Sara Cassidy

BestBooks2016
BestMiddle2016
Book summary
Fall2016
FallYA2016
Gift2016
MiddleGift2016

A Disappearance in Damascus

Deborah Campbell

BestBooks2016
BestCDNNonfiction2016
Book summary
Gift2016
HotGift2016
BestBooks2016
HIWI

A Family Is a Family Is a Family

Sara O'Leary, illustrated by Qin Leng

BestBooks2016
BestPicture2016
Book summary
Fall2016
FallKids2016

A Good Death

Sandra Martin

BestBooks2016
BestCDNNonfiction2016
Book summary
BestBooks2016
MAGIC8
BestBooks2016
HIWI

Aluta

Adwoa Badoe

BestBooks2016
BestYA2016
Book summary
Fall2016
FallYA2016

A Mother's Reckoning

Sue Klebold

BestBooks2016
BestIntlNonfiction2016
Book summary
Gift2016
PersonalGift2016

An Olympic Dream

Reinhard Kleist

BestBooks2016
BestIntlNonfiction2016
Book summary
Gift2016
GiftEleanor2016
BestBooks2016
GGInterview
HIWI

Beware That Girl

Teresa Toten

BestBooks2016
BestYA2016
Book summary
Gift2016
Spring2016
SpringYA2016
YAGift2016

Big Kids

Michael DeForge

BestBooks2016
BestComics2016
Book summary
ComicsGift2016
Gift2016

Bird in a Cage

Rebecca Roher

BestBooks2016
BestComics2016
Book summary
WTW2016

Born a Crime

Trevor Noah

BestBooks2016
BestIntlNonfiction2016
Book summary
Gift2016
PopGift2016

Born to Run

Bruce Springsteen

BestBooks2016
BestIntlNonfiction2016
Book summary
Fall2016
FallINF2016
Gift2016
MusicGift2016

Box Kite

Baziju (Roo Borson and Kim Maltman)

BestBooks2016
BestPoetry2016
Book summary
Poetry2016

Brown

Kamal Al-Solaylee

BestBooks2016
BestCDNNonfiction2016
Book summary
GG2016
GG2016Nonfiction
Gift2016
HotGift2016
Spring2016
SpringCDNNF2016

Burning in this Midnight Dream

Louise Bernice Halfe

BestBooks2016
BestPoetry2016
Book summary
Gift2016
Poetry2016
ShelaghGift2016

By Gaslight

Steven Price

BestBooks2016
BestCDNFiction2016
Book summary
GillerPrize
SGP2016longlist
BestBooks2016
MAGIC8

Carpet Sweeper Tales

Julie Doucet

BestBooks2016
BestComics2016
Book summary
Spring2016
SpringComic2016

Charlotte Brontë

Claire Harman

BestBooks2016
BestIntlNonfiction2016
Book summary
BestBooks2016
MLIB

Closer

Sarah Barmak

BestBooks2016
BestCDNNonfiction2016
Book summary

Commonwealth

Ann Patchett

BestBooks2016
BestIntlFiction2016
Book summary
Fall2016
FallIF2016

Conjugation

Phil Hall

BestBooks2016
BestPoetry2016
Book summary
Spring2016
SpringPoetry2016
BestBooks2016
MAGIC8

Dark Money

Jane Mayer

BestBooks2016
BestIntlNonfiction2016
Book summary
BestBooks2016
MAGIC8

Dear Canada: These Are My Words

Ruby Slipperjack

BestBooks2016
BestMiddle2016
Book summary
Fall2016
FallYA2016
Gift2016
MiddleGift2016
BestBooks2016
HIWI

Do Not Say We Have Nothing

Madeleine Thien

BestBooks2016
BestCDNFiction2016
BlockbusterGift2016
Book summary
GG2016
GG2016Fiction
GG2016winner
GG80quiz
Gift2016
GiftMusic2016
GillerPrize
SGP2016longlist
SGP2016shortlist
Spring2016
SpringCDN2016

even this page is white

Vivek Shraya

BestBooks2016
BestPoetry2016
Book summary
Poetry2016

Every Hidden Thing

Kenneth Oppel

BestBooks2016
BestYA2016
Book summary
Fall2016
FallYA2016
Gift2016
YAGift2016

Exit, Pursued By A Bear

E.K. Johnston

BestBooks2016
BestYA2016
Book summary
Gift2016
YAGift2016

Firewater

Harold R. Johnson

BestBooks2016
BestCDNNonfiction2016
Book summary
Fall2016
FallCDNNonFiction2016
GG2016
GG2016Nonfiction

Flannery

Lisa Moore

BestBooks2016
BestYA2016
Book summary
Spring2016
SpringYA2016

Float

Anne Carson

BestBooks2016
BestPoetry2016
Book summary
Fall2016
FallPoetry2016
BestBooks2016
GGInterview
GillerInterviews
HIWI

Gently to Nagasaki

Joy Kogawa

BestBooks2016
BestCDNNonfiction2016
Book summary
Fall2016
FallCDNNonFiction2016

Girl Mans Up

M-E Girard

BestBooks2016
BestYA2016
Book summary
Fall2016
FallYA2016
Gift2016
YAGift2016
BestBooks2016
GGInterview
HIWI

Hillbilly Elegy

J. D. Vance

BestBooks2016
BestIntlNonfiction2016
Book summary

Homegoing

Yaa Gyasi

BestBooks2016
BestIntlFiction2016
BlockbusterGift2016
Book summary
Gift2016

Hot or Not: 20th Century Male Artists

Jessica Campbell

BestBooks2016
BestComics2016
Book summary

Hot Pterodactyl Boyfriend

Alan Cumyn

BestBooks2016
BestYA2016
Book summary
Gift2016
Spring2016
SpringYA2016
YAGift2016
BestBooks2016
GGInterview
GillerInterviews
HIWI
BestBooks2016
GillerInterviews
HIWI

How Festive the Ambulance

Kim Fu

BestBooks2016
BestPoetry2016
Book summary
Spring2016
SpringPoetry2016
BestBooks2016
GGInterview
HIWI
BestBooks2016
HIWI
BestBooks2016
HIWI
TDInterviews
BestBooks2016
GGInterview
HIWI
BestBooks2016
HIWI

I Am Not a Number

Jenny Kay Dupuis & Kathy Kacer, illustrated by Gillian Newland

BestBooks2016
BestPicture2016
Book summary

In-Between Days

Teva Harrison

BestBooks2016
BestComics2016
Book summary
ComicsGift2016
GG2016
GG2016Nonfiction
Gift2016
PersonalGift2016
ShelaghGift2016
Spring2016
SpringComic2016
WTW2016

Invisible North

Alexandra Shimo

BestBooks2016
BestCDNNonfiction2016
Book summary
Gift2016
HotGift2016
BestBooks2016
MAGIC8
BestBooks2016
HIWI
BestBooks2016
GGInterview
MAGIC8
BestBooks2016
GGInterview
BestBooks2016
HIWI

LaRose

Louise Erdrich

BestBooks2016
BestIntlFiction2016
Book summary
Spring2016
SpringIF2016
BestBooks2016
MAGIC8

Look Out for the Fitzgerald-Trouts

Esta Spalding, illustrated by Sydney Smith

BestBooks2016
BestMiddle2016
Book summary

Lucky Jonah

Richard Scrimger

BestBooks2016
BestMiddle2016
Book summary
BestBooks2016
GGInterview
GillerInterviews
HIWI

Mad Enchantment

Ross King

ArtGift2016
BestBooks2016
BestCDNNonfiction2016
Book summary
Fall2016
FallCDNNonFiction2016
Gift2016
BestBooks2016
MAGIC8

Mary Wept Over the Feet of Jesus

Chester Brown

BestBooks2016
BestComics2016
Book summary
ComicsGift2016
Gift2016
Spring2016
SpringComic2016
BestBooks2016
HIWI

Maya

Mahak Jain, illustrated by Elly MacKay

BestBooks2016
BestPicture2016
Book summary
BestBooks2016
HIWI

Mexican Hooker #1

Carmen Aguirre

BestBooks2016
BestCDNNonfiction2016
Book summary
Gift2016
PersonalGift2016
Spring2016
SpringCDNNF2016
BestBooks2016
MAGIC8

Missing Nimâmâ

Melanie Florence, illustrated by François Thisdale

BestBooks2016
BestPicture2016
Book summary
Gift2016
MiddleGift2016
TD2016

Model Disciple

Michael Prior

BestBooks2016
BestPoetry2016
Book summary
Spring2016
SpringPoetry2016
WTW2016
BestBooks2016
GillerInterviews
GillerPrize
HIWI

Moonglow

Michael Chabon

BestBooks2016
BestIntlFiction2016
BlockbusterGift2016
Book summary
Fall2016
FallIF2016
Gift2016

Nostalgia

M.G. Vassanji

BestBooks2016
BestCDNFiction2016
Book summary
Fall2016
FallCDNFiction2016
Gift2016
ShelaghGift2016

OCDaniel

Wesley King

BestBooks2016
BestMiddle2016
Book summary
Gift2016
Spring2016
SpringYA2016
YAGift2016

Once in a Town Called Moth

Trilby Kent

BestBooks2016
BestYA2016
Book summary
Fall2016
FallYA2016
GG2016
GG2016YAtext

On the Shores of Darkness, There Is Light

Cordelia Strube

BestBooks2016
BestCDNFiction2016
Book summary
GemsGift2016
Gift2016
Spring2016
SpringCDN2016

Ooko

Esmé Shapiro

BestBooks2016
BestPicture2016
Book summary
GG2016
GG2016YAillustration

Paul Up North

Michel Rabagliati, translated by Helge Dascher

BestBooks2016
BestComics2016
Book summary
BestBooks2016
MAGIC8
BestBooks2016
HIWI

Pumpkinflowers

Matti Friedman

BestBooks2016
BestCDNNonfiction2016
Book summary
Spring2016
SpringCDNNF2016
BestBooks2016
HIWI
BestBooks2016
CBCLitPtize
CBCPoetryPrize
MAGIC8

Saga: Volume 6

Brian K. Vaughan, art by Fiona Staples

BestBooks2016
BestComics2016
Book summary

Saving Montgomery Sole

Mariko Tamaki

BestBooks2016
BestYA2016
Book summary
Gift2016
Spring2016
SpringYA2016
YAGift2016

Secret Path

Gord Downie & Jeff Lemire

BestBooks2016
BestComics2016
Book summary
ComicsGift2016
Gift2016

Shrill

Lindy West

BestBooks2016
BestIntlNonfiction2016
Book summary
BestBooks2016
GGInterview
HIWI
BestBooks2016
HIWI

Stranger

David Bergen

BestBooks2016
BestCDNFiction2016
Book summary
Fall2016
FallCDNFiction2016
Gift2016
GillerPrize
SGP2016longlist
ShelaghGift2016

Swing Time

Zadie Smith

BestBooks2016
BestIntlFiction2016
BlockbusterGift2016
Book summary
Fall2016
FallIF2016
Gift2016
GiftEleanor2016
BestBooks2016
MAGIC8
BestBooks2016
GGInterview
HIWI
BestBooks2016
MLIB
Recommendation
Recommendations
TDInterviews

The Association of Small Bombs

Karan Mahajan

BestBooks2016
BestIntlFiction2016
Book summary
Gift2016
GiftEleanor2016

The Best Kind of People

Zoe Whittall

BestBooks2016
BestCDNFiction2016
BlockbusterGift2016
Book summary
Fall2016
FallCDNFiction2016
Gift2016
GillerPrize
SGP2016longlist
SGP2016shortlist
ShelaghGift2016

The Black Coat

Neamat Imam

BestBooks2016
BestCDNFiction2016
Book summary
WTW2016

The Break

Katherena Vermette

BestBooks2016
BestCDNFiction2016
Book summary
Fall2016
FallCDNFiction2016
GemsGift2016
GG2016
GG2016Fiction
Gift2016
ShelaghGift2016

The Gene

Siddhartha Mukherjee

BestBooks2016
BestIntlNonfiction2016
Book summary
Gift2016
ScienceGift2016
Spring2016
SpringINF2016

The Girls

Emma Cline

BestBooks2016
BestIntlFiction2016
BlockbusterGift2016
Book summary
Gift2016

The Hidden Keys

André Alexis

BestBooks2016
BestCDNFiction2016
Book summary
Fall2016
FallCDNFiction2016

The Little Red Chairs

Edna O’Brien

BestBooks2016
BestIntlFiction2016
Book summary
Gift2016
GiftEleanor2016
Spring2016
SpringIF2016

The Mothers

Brit Bennett

BestBooks2016
BestIntlFiction2016
Book summary

The Names

Tim Lilburn

BestBooks2016
BestPoetry2016
Book summary
Poetry2016

The Night Gardener

Terry Fan & Eric Fan

BestBooks2016
BestPicture2016
Book summary
Gift2016
PictureGift2016
Spring2016
SpringKids2016

The Parcel

Anosh Irani

BestBooks2016
BestCDNFiction2016
Book summary
Fall2016
FallCDNFiction2016
GG2016
GG2016Fiction
Gift2016
ShelaghGift2016

The Party Wall

Catherine Leroux, translated by Lazer Lederhendler

BestBooks2016
BestCDNFiction2016
Book summary
GG2016
GG2016Translation
GG2016winner
GillerPrize
SGP2016longlist
SGP2016shortlist

The Return of History

Jennifer Welsh

BestBooks2016
BestCDNNonfiction2016
Book summary
Fall2016
FallCDNNonFiction2016
Gift2016
HotGift2016

The Stone Thrower

Jael Ealey Richardson, illustrated by Matt James

BestBooks2016
BestPicture2016
Book summary
Gift2016
PictureGift2016
Spring2016
SpringKids2016

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl

Ryan North, art by Erica Henderson

BestBooks2016
BestComics2016
Book summary

The Underground Railroad

Colson Whitehead

BestBooks2016
BestIntlFiction2016
BlockbusterGift2016
Book summary
Fall2016
FallIF2016
Gift2016

The Waking Comes Late

Steven Heighton

BestBooks2016
BestPoetry2016
Book summary
GG2016
GG2016Poetry
GG2016winner

The White Cat and the Monk

Jo Ellen Bogart, illustrated by Sydney Smith

BestBooks2016
BestPicture2016
Book summary
GG2016
GG2016YAillustration
Gift2016
PictureGift2016
Spring2016
SpringKids2016

The Wonder

Emma Donoghue

BestBooks2016
BestCDNFiction2016
BlockbusterGift2016
Book summary
Fall2016
FallCDNFiction2016
Gift2016
GillerPrize
SGP2016longlist
SGP2016shortlist

This is Not My Life

Diane Schoemperlen

BestBooks2016
BestCDNNonfiction2016
Book summary
Spring2016
SpringCDNNF2016

Tokyo Digs a Garden

Jon-Erik Lappano, illustrated by Kellen Hatanaka

BestBooks2016
BestPicture2016
Book summary
GG2016
GG2016winner
GG2016YAillustration

Tomboy Survival Guide

Ivan Coyote

BestBooks2016
BestCDNNonfiction2016
Book summary
Fall2016
FallCDNNonFiction2016

Waiting for First Light

Roméo Dallaire, with Jessica Dee Humphreys

BestBooks2016
BestCDNNonfiction2016
Book summary
Fall2016
FallCDNNonFiction2016
Gift2016
HotGift2016
PersonalGift2016

We Found a Hat

Jon Klassen

BestBooks2016
BestPicture2016
Book summary
Fall2016
FallKids2016
Gift2016
PictureGift2016
BestBooks2016
HIWI

When Breath Becomes Air

Paul Kalanithi

BestBooks2016
BestIntlNonfiction2016
Book summary
Gift2016
PersonalGift2016
Spring2016
SpringINF2016

Willem de Kooning's Paintbrush

Kerry Lee Powell

BestBooks2016
BestCDNFiction2016
Book summary
GemsGift2016
GG2016
GG2016Fiction
Gift2016
GillerPrize
SGP2016longlist
WTW2016

Witness, I Am

Gregory Scofield

BestBooks2016
BestPoetry2016
Book summary
Fall2016
FallPoetry2016
Gift2016
ShelaghGift2016

Worlds of Ink And Shadow

Lena Coakley

BestBooks2016
BestYA2016
Book summary

Yiddish for Pirates

Gary Barwin

BestBooks2016
BestCDNFiction2016
Book summary
GG2016
GG2016Fiction
GillerPrize
SGP2016longlist
SGP2016shortlist
Spring2016
SpringCDN2016

You Only Live Twice

Chase Joynt and Mike Hoolboom

BestBooks2016
BestCDNNonfiction2016
Book summary
BestBooks2016
GillerInterviews
GillerPrize
HIWI
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