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More chart-toppers: The decade in bestsellers, part two: 2001-2005

Earlier this month, we looked at the bestseller lists from the past five years.Sure, being a bestseller doesn't necessarily make a book an "essential" read, but isn't it possible that a lot of "essential" reads became bestsellers? We think so, and past chart-toppers make a great case: The Book of Negroes, Life of Pi and Oryx and Crake have all made a mark on Canadian literature, commercially, critically and culturally.



Life of Pi had a great run as "the" Canadian novel to read, but back in 2005, current Giller nominee David Bergen made his mark with his previous Giller nod (and eventual winner), The Time In Between.

Life of Pi by Yann Martel

The Time In Between by David Bergen

A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews


This year's list looks a lot like 2005, but Canada Reads had an impact — 2004 winner The Last Crossing found its way into the top three. (Life of Pi was a Canada Reads contender in 2003, but lost to Next Episode. And of course A Complicated Kindness went on to take the battle of the books in 2006.)

Life of Pi by Yann Martel

A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews

The Last Crossing by Guy Vanderhaeghe


This was the year of the woman, with three CanLit icons topping the charts. (Margaret Atwood and Ann-Marie MacDonald have both had titles in the Canada Reads spotlight.)

The Way the Crow Flies by Ann-Marie MacDonald

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood

Crow Lake by Mary Lawson


Carol Shields, arguably one of Canada's greatest writers, topped the bestseller list for the last time with her final novel, Unless. Shields would pass away the following summer.

Unless by Carol Shields

Crow Lake by Mary Lawson

The Navigator of New York by Wayne Johnston


Richard B. Wright conquered the literary world in 2001 when his novel Clara Callan took home three major awards: the Giller Prize; the Trillium Book Award; and the Governor General's Award. He topped the bestseller charts as well.

Clara Callan by Richard B. Wright

The Stone Carvers by Jane Urquhart

River Thieves by Michael Crummey

So, which of these previous bestsellers most deserves a shot at the Canada Reads 2011 title? Cast your vote below! Every vote counts.

If there's another novel that strikes your Canada Reads fancy, be sure to let us know! Send us your recommendation using this form, or via Twitter or Facebook.

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