Thursday, October 7, 2010 |
Anna Camara recommends: Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden
Three Day Road is a gripping WWI tale that explores the roots and nature of addiction (among other universal themes) with honesty and compassion. Boyden's portrait of young native men at war — with themselves and each other — set in both Western and native societies, also makes this a coming of age story of uncommon depth. Boyden's writing shimmers with detail and emotional truth. Unputdownable!
Joy Mudler recommends: Divisadero by Michael Ondaatje
Longtime fan of him, and he doesn't disappoint.
Natalie Mudri recommends: Life of Pi by Yann Martel
It's just the most enchanting story I have ever read — and it's destined to become a true classic.
Shauna Lancit recommends: Your Mouth Is Lovely by Nancy Richler
It's a beautiful book. Its mouth is lovely. It should have received more attention than it did when it came out.
Roxanne Richard recommends: The Stone Carvers by Jane Urquhart
The Stone Carvers is a beautiful and touching story of love, loss and history. It allows a glimpse into WWI with just the right amount of distance to be accessible to the average reader. I don't normally read historical fiction, preferring contemporary themes and styles, but this novel gripped me and I found myself recommending it to friends. The language is typically (for Urquhart) poetic and the plot is engaging. Its nominations for the Governor General's Award, the Giller Prize and the Man Booker Prize should be testament to its critical success.
Andrew MacPherson recommends: A Sunday at the Pool in Kigali by Gil Courtemanche
The definitive Canadian perspective of the Rwandan genonide and civil war. Documents the horrors of this conflict where outsiders were irrelevant.
Lori Watson recommends: Watch by Robert J. Sawyer
This book was excellent, and it covered lots of places in Ontario — Kitchener and RIM, Toronto, etc. But it was Scifan/fiction i really enjoyed. It included real with fiction. I liked reading about places I've been while reading the story. The author is from Mississauga. He also wrote the Flashforward series.
Corey Redekop recommends: Elle by Douglas Glover
Douglas Glover, recently chosen as one of Canada's most underrated writers by the National Post, is a fearless, sardonic and effortlessly sharp prose stylist who breathes life into Canada's history as few ever have. Raunchy and ribald, brave and hallucinogenic, Elle is easily one of the finest Canadian novels of the past decade.
Noelia Garcia recommends: The Birth House by Ami MacKay
The Birth House has all the elements of a great story — Canadian setting, historical setting, adventure, discrimination, persistence, herbal medicine. It keeps the reader intrigued and offers insight into the harsh living conditions at that time.
I'm recommending In the Place of Last Things because, cliched as this may sound, it truly has everything. Helm's prose is beautiful, yet remains precise and accessible, never becoming overblown or flowery. Thematically all the CanLit classics are here: memory, history, family, the divide between rural and urban living, but they are all in service of a plot in which things actually happen, characters take real risks, and there is often even the threat of violence. In the Place of Last Things marries an exciting (and sometimes violent and mysterious) road novel to philosophical inquiry about memory, history, and identity in a way that is never condescending or oblique. Truly on of Canada's all-time great novels.
Mariko Tamaki recommends: Joyland by Emily Schultz
This is an incredible work of Canadian fiction by an incredible writer. Schultz is part A.M. Holmes, part Alice Munro. This work is an amazing complex picture of the summer world of small-town teens.
It's stunning, creepy, perfectly pitched to comment on the most central issues of our age. But, it's also a fine, fine piece of storytelling...
Scout Cianfarani recommends: Bottle Rocket Hearts by Zoe Whittall
A beautiful book by a poetic writer. Inspiring to queer coming of agers with canadian history included!!
The (Montreal) Gazette said it best: "Joan Clark evokes the profound sense of place we associate with the best Canadian writing. Her writing exudes the salty, fishy, bracing air of Newfoundland.... Absorbing and thick with detail....as rich and sustaining as a figgy duff."
Lauraine Armstrong recommends: The Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis
I picked this book, originally, for my book club to read because I heard an author interview on CBC Radio and the fact that Terry Fallis had to self-publish the book and only had it picked up by McClelland & Stewart after it won the Leacock Prize for Humour really appealed to my perverse sense of humour. I'm picking the book for the Canada Reads Top 40 because I think Canadians would enjoy it and might get out there and give their MPs a kick in the butt.
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Erin Balser is an associate producer of Canada Reads.