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Reader Recommendation Daily: October 22

TGIF! It's been a busy week here at Canada Reads HQ, but an exciting one. Don't forget: the deadline for the top 40 has been extended to midnight on Monday, October 25, and the top 40 reveal will take place on Thursday, October 28!

Perhaps one (or more!) of the novels selected below will make the cut!


Courtney Summers recommends: One Bloody Thing After Another by Joey Comeau

Because it is awesome.

Frankie Jesty recommends: Twenty-Six by Leo McKay Jr.

This book is one of the most visual book I've ever read. It stays with you years after you've read it. Also, after meeting the writer, I doubt I will ever meet a man more deserving of any literary respect he can receive.

Carin Makuz recommends: What Happened Later by Ray Robertson

Premise: Story of a boy growing up in 1970's Southern Ontario, juxtaposed with Jack Kerouac's last road trip "back" to his roots in Canada. Love that even Kerouac wanted to "come back"...Robertson nails both POVs in language that, at times, seriously, makes you forget to breathe. There is no other book out there currently, quite like this. Why should Canada read it? It would help give a collective shake of the head in terms of what's possible with heart and passion and language. It's about "anywhere," "anybody" Canada. Not to mention a famous American who was, actually, Canadian, and who, at the end of his life thought: I want to revisit my roots.

Donna Adrian recommends: An Audience of Chairs by Joan Clark

I picked this book up at a used book sale without ever having heard of this author and feel in love with the character of Moranna. This is a beautiful and well-written story of a woman struggling with bipolar illness. We learn how this illness has affected Moranna and caused her to lose her two daughters. It is a tale of hope and redemption as Moranna struggles out of the comfort zone of the life she has fashioned for herself. A wonderful read!

Denise Sevier-Fries recommends: Clothar the Frank by Jack Whyte

Although this is another companion piece to Whyte's Dream of Eagles series, this, and its follow-up book, The Eagle, can be read without having read the preceding seven books. (But I do recommend reading the series from the beginning to heighten the flavour of this already delicious book). The story of Clothar, a Frankish knight who becomes known as The Lancer (the character in other works called Lancelot) is told through the pen of a Master Craftsman who surpasses any and all other tales of King Arthur's Court. Stunning, riveting and impossible to put down, this book, and indeed this series, is breathlessly brilliant. Jack Whyte's writing style is marvelous, weaving in historical authenticity and prose that is unequaled in Canadian literature. I guess you could say I'm a bit of a fan...

Patricia Holm recommends: The Way the Crow Flies by Ann-Marie MacDonald

I love this book because it tells of a bygone era. Not that far away in years but in a way of life. Is this good or is this bad? It is very detailed with lots of characterizations. There are lessons to be learned here. Also, it was so interesting and enjoyable. It held me enthralled and although it runs 718 pages I finished it over a weekend. A book must first of all be readable, especially one of this length. Thank you, Ann-Marie MacDonald!

Barbara McLean recommends: Crow Lake by Mary Lawson

This book is a portrait of the lives of three children who work to keep together after the sudden, accidental death of their parents. It is a story of courage, compassion and love that is more about living and learning than about the tragedy itself. As well as offering characters that are totally believable and appealing, the book creates indelible images of "Crow Lake," a fictional but not the less present location in rural Northern Ontario.

Rebecca MacLary recommends: Life of Pi by Yann Martel

A friend recommended this book to me back in 2004, and it is simply one of the best books I have ever read. Whenever I am asked for a favourite book title, this is always at the top.

Erin Armstrong recommends: The Bone Cage by Angie Abdou

It is a real, raw look into athletes lives. As a sports fan you always put athletes on a pedestal, you think they have more than you. I think you forget they are real people and go through real issues not to mention the discipline, dedication, sweat and pain training to be the best. This book encompasses it all. Even non sports fans will enjoy the well developed characters in this book. It is funny, emotional and an all around awesome read.

Cori Dusmann recommends: Before I Wake by Robert J. Wiersema

Before I Wake is unique in Canadian literature — it spans the vast gap between literary and commercial fiction, and does so very successfully. There are not many books that manage to bridge the 2 very distinctive areas of writing in Canada, and very few that are able to garner the attention of both the literati and the everyday reader. In Before I Wake, domestic drama folds seamlessly into mythic reality in beautiful and stunning ways.

Marsha Levy recommends: The Rent Collector by B. Glen Rotchin

It is a wonderful first and very literate novel that gives an insightful glimpse into the world of, and the particular culture of, the dress trade in Montreal. I loved reading about an aspect of what was an important part of Quebec society which contributed greatly to the wealth of the province.

Kimberly Smith recommends: The Birth House by Ami McKay

This was a thoroughly entertaining page turner. The characters were vividly drawn and the theme is timely. Namely women have a fundamental human right to choose whether or not to use a midwife, but there are some in our world who deny this. Ami McKay takes this tension and dramatizes it flawlessly.

Jane Advent recommends: In the Fabled East by Adam Lewis Schroeder

In the Fabled East just swept me away. First to hot sweaty lush Saigon way back in 1936, where the French were still ruling. Then back in time to Paris in the early 1900s. I was friend to Pierre Lazarie immediately when I met him in Saigon, but my heart was quickly tied to Adelie Tremier and stayed with her all the way through the book. I loved the characters, the lushness of the setting, the wonderful and complicated weaving of the plot and the dramatic yet satisfying ending. The kind of book that makes you wish your family would go out of town for a couple of days so that nothing would interrupt your total immersion.

Erin Kernohan recommends: Marvellous Hairy by Mark A. Rayner

This is a delightfully bizarre romp through the transition from life in university/post-secondary ed, and being an "all growed up" adult, set against the backdrop of twisted science shenanigans and Machiavellian mischief. Earnest and unpretentious, Mark A. Rayner's writing is a refreshing change of pace from the norm.

Lesley Grant recommends: Cockroach by Rawi Hage

Rawi Hage is the most brilliant new voice to enter the Canadian literary scene in the past decade, and Cockroach's unflinching prose and intellectual depth deliver a raw and uncompromising vision of Canada's dispossessed.

Ross Hart recommends: Governor of the Northern Province by Randy Boyagoda

I stumbled upon this web site and I happen to have a delightful book to offer by a Canadian author. Governor of the Northern Province not only tells a good story but Mr. Boyagoda made me laugh more than once. Not exactly a politically correct story actually it is quite irreverent but as I said humorous. As an American it is refreshing to read a book that critiques a government other than ours. Regardless where we live we all do delightfully comic things especially when it comes to the serious business of government. I am patiently waiting for more from Mr. Boyagoda. This book was just too good to be a one hit wonder!

Janice Davidson recommends: Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson

Gargoyles, typically unseen or regarded as immutable, cast in stone and oft not noticed in their offering no immediate insight on their life or living; yet they are present. The stone gives history and story when you choose to read/feel it,experience the stories it carries within. This book is about the many faces of love; transformation,and a kind of Nietzsche/St. Augustine/Dante-esque and Kafka type struggle of learning how to live with "self". The book is of history, spirituality, penance (perhaps chosen) and love. The best is that Andrew Davidson is Canadian! I cant wait for his next book.

Hana Pika recommends: Far to Go by Alison Pick

So many books have been written about the Holocaust but the story of the Kindertransport is a unique setting to frame this story. The book captures the emotion and impact on the different characters in the book and answers questions that often come to mind for someone who wasn't there, such as "Why didn't they leave when they knew what was going on?" and "How could so many people have betrayed their friends and neighbours?" This is a breath-catching heart-stopping novel.

Ali Grotkowski recommends: Skim by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki

An absolutely beautifully illustrated graphic novel that covers some tough topics central to the lives of teenaged Canadian girls. This books is absolutely marvelous and well worth reading for everyone, teenagers and adults alike. It is a good read, not overwhelming the plot with any one issue or talking down to the readership, but instead focusing on what is important.

Jocelyn Heisel recommends: Bottle Rocket Hearts by Zoe Whittall

A queer punk coming of age-ish story set in Montreal in the mid-90s leading up to the Quebec referendum. Brilliant, beautiful, gritty. Read it!

Don't forget to get your own recommendation in. You can send it our way via our online recommendation form, Facebook or Twitter.

Erin Balser is an associate producer with Canada Reads.

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