Get to know the Top 40: 4 Books that will change your perspective on sexuality

There are 40 books on the Canada Reads longlist. Where should you begin? How should you cast your precious votes? Don't worry: we're here to help.

Each one of the books on this list will change your perspective on some aspect of the world, and all week, we'll be exploring which is which. So check back with us every day and pretty soon you'll know the Top 40 like the back of your hand.

Today: Books that will change your perspective on relationships and sexuality.

Annabel by Kathleen Winter

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In a remote Labrador town in the late 1960s, a woman gives birth to a baby who is both male and female at the same time. Raised as a boy in a masculine hunting culture, he finds himself haunted throughout his life by the girl he might have been. In Annabel, Kathleen Winter challenges conventional notions about gender and identity within the context of a rigid society.

Natural Order by Brian Francis


Joyce Sparks, an 86-year-old woman in a nursing home, ponders and regrets the awful choices she made as a mother out of fear of her son's homosexuality, choices that led to tragic consequences. But when a young nursing home volunteer named Timothy appears, Joyce finds he reminds her of her long lost son, and wonders if it's not too late to make amends, of sorts, after all. A beautiful meditation on acceptance and coming to terms with your own tragic mistakes.

Monoceros by Suzette Mayr


The suicide of a bullied and heartbroken gay 17-year-old has devastating and unexpected effects on his family, friends, and his Catholic school community, including the school principal and guidance counsellor (both men), who are actually in a long-term relationship that they keep secret in order to keep their jobs. A tragicomic masterpiece about secrets and identity.

Six Metres of Pavement by Farzana Doctor


Farzana Doctor's second novel, Six Metres of Pavement, is an examination of grief and addiction. Twenty years after a young father makes the tragic mistake of forgetting his baby daughter in the car, he is middle-aged and alone and trying to drown his memories in alcohol and sex with strangers. Chance connections with a troubled queer rights activist and his widowed neighbour, a woman who has eschewed all sexual contact since she lost her husband, lead to hope and renewal.

Do any of these books get your vote? Or are you waiting to hear about the other 35? Vote now!


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