Monday, October 11, 2010 |
Is everyone stuffed with turkey (or, as in my case, tofurkey) yet? What about reader recommendations? You better not be, because we've got loads more to roll out in the coming days, including the lovely list below!
Amy Wilson recommends: The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood
Margret Atwood manages to create a believable dystopia that engages with contemporary political and social issues without being preachy. The novel is compelling, entertaining and even a little bit hopeful. The essential Canadian novel by the essential Canadian novelist.
Beth Carswell recommends: Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden
Three Day Road looks at a part of Canada from a unique time and many unique perspectives — from the perspectives of First Nations families and children affected by the residential schools; the perspectives of First Nations elders living the old traditions and ways in the bush, at the edge of an ever-encroaching modernity; the perspective of being a Canadian in the trenches of WWI; and the perspective of being First Nations in the Canadian military.
Wendy Barker recommends: Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson
I suppose there is nothing definably Canadian about this book but it is written by a Canadian author and it is a great book. The storyline shows the connection between the two main characters that has existed through centuries and over continents. It's a love story but also a story of survival.
Amber Antle recommends: Lockpick Pornography by Joey Comeau
It's a perfect book. There's really not anything else to say.
Auni Amini recommends: Final Season by Wayne Arthurson
One of the best and most underrated novels about aboriginal life in Canada. It's the story covering 40 years of the life of an aboriginal fisherman and his community in Northern Manitoba. It's funny, sad, and scary at the same time. The ending just blew me away. Tomson Highway said about the author: "Wayne Arthurson gives me hope, he gives us all hope." I don't think it's in print anymore but the author now has a deal with a major US publisher for his next novel.
Janet Meisner recommends: The Sea Captain's Wife by Beth Plowning
Wonderful story of rich Canadian fabric.
Shirley Earle recommends: The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill
This book was heart wrenching, interesting, disgusting, lovely, funny and appalling all in one. The thought of what people were put through during slavery was heart breaking. I suggest that everyone read this story as the author captures the feelings of the main character perfectly. A great read that I couldn't put down.
Shannon Olliffe recommends: Smoke by Elizabeth Ruth
This is a wonderfully written novel and a really great story. Also, it truly captures a sub-culture rarely, if ever, documented in Canadian fiction, tobacco farming in South Western Ontario in the 1950's. I would say that this book, while set in rural 1950's, is actually a very urban, contemporary book. More people should read this book.
Jean Binks recommends: The Summer Between by Andrew Binks
It is so beautifully written on a very important and sensitive topic. The setting is so Canadian along with the characters, especially the aboriginal boy. It has many quiet bits of humor in it as well. A compelling read!
Erin Gibson recommends: The Winter Vault by Anne Michaels
It's beautifully crafted with all the elements that make an effective piece of literature. It's suspenseful,romantic, realistic, lyrical, layered, insightful, poetic and its setting is recognizably Canadian, a setting for which the author clearly has great affection. It resonates long after you put it down.
Sheila Potter recommends: The Outlander Gil Adamson
This book is suspenseful and full of the kind of writing that made me sit back and savor the delightful arrangements of words. The characters and scenery are as beautiful as they are distinctly Canadian and they exist in a time before urban Canada, when our wilderness was intact, remote, dangerous and isolating, but so lovely.
Steve Adams recommends: The High Road by Terry Fallis
It is so very much our Canadian, Ottawa, Political physique. To put humor to politics is always fun. Best of all, you don't stop chuckling. As we know laughter is great medicine.
Katharine Bausch recommends: Martin Sloane by Michael Redhill
Martin Sloane is the most well written and provocative Canadian book that I have read in the last decade. Redhill describes the tragic love story in a way that not only has you on the edge of your seat, but also makes you viscerally relate to the characters. I have never read a more touching and realistic story of love lost or the attempt to find it again. Far from the cheesy false emotions of many love stories, this one brings only satisfaction to its readers. I literally read it in one sitting, completely unable to tear myself away. It also represents some of the best that Canadian authors have to offer by not limiting itself to a specific group/gender/ethnicity/birth place etc. but instead speaking to the universal human experience. In short, I love it!
Aaron Brown recommends: The Bishop's Man by Linden MacIntyre
The Bishop's Man is a marvel of a book. I really do feel privileged to have had the pleasure of reading it. I look forward to reading his other two books and I have a good feeling that Linden MacIntyre will not only be known beyond his years as a great journalist but also as a great literary figure. I think his decades of experience as a reporter has conditioned him to be a great storyteller. One thing that especially impressed me about this book was that I believed it really was a priest speaking to me when I read the narration. Being a bad Catholic myself, I have spoken to a number of priests; they tend to be very reflective, jumping from one point to the next with no real linear coherency to whatever they are talking about. MacIntyre nails this. I believe that 100 years from now, when university students are studying 21st century Canadian literature, this will be one of the first books studied. I also have no doubt that in the very near future when students/scholars are looking at the Catholic churches abuse scandals, this will be a book they definitely pick up. Without a doubt one of the best books of the decade.
Ryan Ross recommends: Be Good by Stacey May Fowles
Fowles captured the voice of her generation.
Don't forget to get your own recommendation in! A new week means a new 40-book library is up for grabs. You can find the complete contest details here. Fill out the reader recommendation form and cross your fingers. That's all there is to it. And don't forget to get the momentum going for you favorite read on Facebook, Twitter or in the comments below!
Erin Balser is an associate producer of Canada Reads.