12 Canadian books coming out in May we can't wait to read

A new month means new books. Here are the titles coming out in May to check out.

A new month means new books. Here are 12 Canadian titles coming out in May to check out.

War at the Snow White Motel and Other Stories by Tim Wynne-Jones

War at the Snow White Motel is a middle-grade book by Tim Wynne-Jones. (, Groundwood Books)

War at the Snow White Motel and Other Stories is a collection by Tim Wynne-Jones featuring six new and three previously published stories. In the titular tale, War at the Snow White Motel, Rex is on vacation with his family in Vermont when a careless act pulls him into war with an older teenager at their motel. The story unfurls as a much bigger, more costly conflict — the Vietnam War — looms.

War at the Snow White Motel and Other Stories is for ages 9 to 12.

When you can read it: May 1, 2020

Wynne-Jones has written over 35 books — including The Starlight ClaimThe Ruinous Sweep and The Maestro —and is a two-time winner of the Governor General's Literary Award. He has also received the Edgar Award, the Vicky Metcalf Award and was made an Officer to the Order of Canada in 2012.

Alone: A Love Story by Michelle Parise

Alone: A Love Story is a book by Michelle Parise. (Pascal Chiarello, Dundurn)

Alone: a Love Story is a successful CBC podcast about learning to love yourself in the wake of an unexpected breakup. CBC Radio producer Michelle Parise had it all: a career, a house, a husband, a kid. But when her husband ends things, Parise's world is turned upside down and she questions everything she knew about life, love and success. Alone: A Love Story is the unpublished book that inspired the podcast, now available for the first time.

When you can read it: May 2, 2020

Parise has worked at CBC, in radio and television for more than 20 years. The film and TV rights to Parise's story were sold to Sienna Films in 2018Alone is her first book.

Michelle Parise answers 10 questions about Alone: A Love Story

3 years ago
Duration 6:48
Michelle Parise answers 10 questions about Alone: A Love Story

The End of Me by John Gould

The End of Me is a book by John Gould. (Freehand Books, Sandy Mayzel)

The End of Me contains 56 "very short" stories about mortality. John Gould captures moments of ecstasy and vulnerablilty as characters come into contact with the inevitable. An astronaut strikes up a friendship with a cat, kids throw plums at a funeral procession and a woman has dreams of a new age of extinction across these tales of fate.

When you can read it: May 2, 2020

Gould is a writer mostly of short stories. Kilter, a collection of short stories, was shortlisted for the Giller Prize in 2003.

Watershed by Doreen Vanderstoop

Watershed is a novel by Doreen Vanderstoop. (Courtney Barr, Freehand Books)

Watershed is set in a dystopian future, where water is a precious resource in Alberta due to glacial melting. All of the province's gas pipelines have been turned into water pipelines and "water terrorists" threaten to cut off supplies. Among this turmoil, Willa tries hard to keep her family's goat farm afloat. When her son, Daniel, agrees to work for a water corporation, splits threaten to fracture the desperate family. 

When you can read it: May 2, 2020

Doreen Vanderstoop is a musician and writer based in Alberta. Watershed is her first book. 

I Know You Rider by Leslie Stein

I Know You Rider is a comic by Leslie Stein. (Drawn & Quarterly)

Leslie Stein's memoir, I Know You Riderbegins at an abortion clinic and takes readers through a year in her life, as she questions the decision to reproduce. Stein speaks to a childhood friend about raising twins in an environmentally-conscious household, to a man undergoing a vasectomy so his wife can stop using birth control and to her mother, who longs to be a grandmother.

When you can read it: May 5, 2020

Stein is a Canadian creator based in New York. Her previous books include Present and Bright-Eyed at Midnight. She's been featured in The New Yorker and the Best American Comics anthology.

How I Survived by Serapio Ittusardjuat, illustrated by Matthew K. Hoddy

How I Survived: Four Nights on the Ice is a graphic novel by Serapio Ittusardjuat and illustrated by Matthew K. Hoddy. (Inhabit Media)

In How I Survived, Serapio Ittusardjuat shares the traditional skills he depended on to survive when his snowmobile broke down halfway across the sea ice on a trip home from a fishing camp. The illustrated story is a first-person account of four nights spent on open sea ice in the harsh Arctic climate, with few supplies and no water.

How I Survived is for ages 12 and up.

When you can read it: May 5, 2020

Ittusardjuat is a residential school survivor, a certified journeyman mechanic and comes from a long line of walrus hunters. 

Matthew K. Hoddy is a Toronto-based illustrator and comic book author from Australia.

Take Back the Tray by Joshna Maharaj

Take Back the Tray is a book by Joshna Maharaj. (@joshnamaharaj/, ECW Press)

Joshna Maharaj is a chef on a mission: to make the food offers at institutions — schools, hospitals, cafeterias — better, healthier, more nourishing, more sustainable and more delicious. She's been doing it for over a decade. Take Back the Tray is Maharaj's story about how she became an activist-chef, but it's also a manifesto for why we should make institutional food better and a blueprint for how we can go about making it happen.

When you can read it: May 5, 2020

Maharaj is a chef, food expert and activist who has appeared on CBC and TVO. Take Back the Tray is her first book.

Toronto chef Joshna Maharaj tells us how thinking differently about our lunches could help change our lives.

Langosh and Peppi: Fugitive Days by Veronica Post

Langosh & Peppi is a comic by Veronica Post. (Conundrum Press)

Veronica Post's debut graphic novel, Langosh and Peppi: Fugitive Days, follows a transient man named Langosh and his loyal dog Peppi through the streets, alleys and undersides of Hungary. Langosh and Peppi discover traces of the country's war-torn history in these rarely-tread places and meet people who have been forced out of their countries only to encounter hostility rather than refuge.

When you can read it: May 5, 2020

Post is a furniture maker and educator in Halifax. Langosh and Peppi is her first book.

You Are Not What We Expected by Sidura Ludwig

You Are Not What We Expected is a short story collection by Sidura Ludwig. (Astoria/House of Anansi)

You Are Not What We Expected is a linked short story collection that covers a Jewish family and their community in Thornhill, Ont., over 15 years. When Isaac moves back to Thornhill from Los Angeles, he becomes entangled in more family and neighborhood drama than he could have ever imagined, but also develops relationships that change everything.

When you can read it: May 5, 2020

Sidura Ludwig is a fiction writer from Toronto. She is also the author of the novel Holding My Breath.

The Last High by Daniel Kalla

The Last High is a book by Daniel Kalla. (Simon & Schuster Canada,

The Last High is a thriller inspired by the opioid crisis. Dr. Julie Rees is shocked when a number of teenagers from the same party arrive at the ER. She suspects the adolescents took fentanyl, but this case is unusual. Teaming up with Detective Anson Chen, Rees is determined to tackle the underground drug world and find out the source of these dangerous drugs. 

When you can read it: May 12, 2020

Daniel Kalla is an emergency room doctor, as well as an international bestselling author of 10 books, including We All Fall Down.

Daniel Kalla talks to Shelagh Rogers about his new book, We All Fall Down.

Ridgerunner by Gil Adamson

Ridgerunner is a novel by Gil Adamson. (Boréal, House of Anansi Press)

Ridgerunner is a novel about William Moreland, the notorious thief known as Ridgerunner, as he moves through the Rocky Mountains, determined to secure financial stability for his son. His son, Jack Boulton, is trapped in a life not of his own making. Semi-orphaned and under the care of a nun, Sister Beatrice, Jack has found himself in a secluded cabin in Banff, Alta. Little does he know, his father is coming for him. 

When you can read it: May 12, 2020

Gil Adamson is a writer and poet. Her first novel, The Outlander, won the First Novel Award and was a Canada Reads finalist in 2009, when it was championed by Nicholas Campbell. She has published several volumes of poetry, including Primitive and Ashland

What I Remember, What I Know by Larry Audlaluk

What I Remember, What I Know is a book by Larry Audaluk. (Inhabit Media)

Larry Audlaluk was born in Inukjuak in northern Quebec, but his family was relocated to Grise Fiord in the High Arctic in the 1953, where they found a polar desert not fit to build a community. Audlaluk was sent to residential school, survived and returned to his community to become a leader and advocate for it in the face of colonialism and lack of resources. He finally shares his remarkable story in What I Remember, What I Know.

When you can read it: May 19, 2020

Audlaluk is a community leader for Grise Fiord and for the High Arctic. What I Remember, What I Know is his first book.

Add some “good” to your morning and evening.

A variety of newsletters you'll love, delivered straight to you.

Sign up now


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?