Get to know the Top 40: 5 Books that will change your perspective on war

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 war.

A Sunday at the Pool in Kigali by Gil Courtemanche


A documentary filmmaker from Quebec finds himself at a hotel in Kigali in the middle of a very contentious time in Rwanda. As he gets to know the local people, the extent of the crisis and the country's difficulties are revealed, but he also finds himself falling in love with the country, despite the conflict that surrounds him.

The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway


Steven Galloway illustrates the siege of Sarajevo in the early 1990s using as a jumping-off point the real story of a cellist who braves danger every day to play an adagio in a square to commemorate the victims of an attack. The story is told through the eyes of three characters, including a sniper enlisted to protect the cellist. An evocative and poetic look at how and why to survive in grim circumstances.

Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels


A young Jewish boy named Jakob is rescued in Poland from the Nazi occupation by a Greek scientist during the Second World War. Decades later, when he is a translator and a poet living in Canada, he encounters a young professor, Ben, whose parents were survivors of the Holocaust. Ben becomes fascinated with Jakob's writing and history and begins to unearth the secrets of Jakob's past and lost family in an attempt to come to terms with his own family's wartime legacy.

Anil's Ghost by Michael Ondaatje


Anil's Ghost is about a young forensic anthropologist who returns to her home country after studying and working abroad for more than a decade. Ondaatje spins a tale of love, family, and unknown enemies as a modern mystery unfolds against the backdrop of a Sri Lanka torn apart by civil war.

Fifth Business by Robertson Davies


Robertson Davies' classic novel is about plenty more than war, but Dunstan Ramsey's experience fighting -- and almost dying -- in the First World War is crucial to his character development and the rest of the novel, and Davies writes about war and its effects with his inimitable dark wit.

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


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