Books·Father's Day

16 Canadian books to get dad this Father's Day

Is your father an avid reader? These books should be next on his reading list.

Is your father an avid reader? Check out the 16 books that should be next on his reading list!

If your dad likes punchy fiction involving mixed martial arts:

Kevin Hardcastle is the author of In The Cage. (Biblioasis/Katrina Afonso)

In the Cage, the debut novel by Kevin Hardcastle, follows Daniel, a former mixed martial artist, who is reluctantly pulled into the criminal underworld when he starts working for a local gangster. Hardcastle was named by CBC Books as a writer to watch in 2017, won the Trillium Book Award in 2016 and the 2017 ReLit Award for short fiction for his short story collection Debris

If your dad geeks out over comic books:

Ho Che Anderson is a comic book creator based in Toronto (Fantagraphics)

Ho Che Anderson is a Toronto-based graphic novelist whose latest book, Godhead, is a gritty sci-fi graphic novel about how society reacts after a powerful corporation creates a device to communicate with God.

If your dad is game for a quirky crime thriller:

Marry, Bang, Kill is Andrew Battershill's second novel. ( Lane)

Andrew Battershill's sophomore novel, Marry, Bang, Kill, is a crime thriller involving a low level thief named Tommy Marlo and the trouble he gets into after stealing from the daughter of a high-ranking member of a motorcycle gang.

If your dad likes discussing the politics of race:

I've Been Meaning to Tell You is David Chariandy's latest book. (McClelland & Stewart, Joy van Tiedemann)

David Chariandy, author of the novels Brother and Soucouyant, contemplates, in an epistolary nonfiction format, how to talk to his young daughter about the politics and history of race. In I've Been Meaning to Tell You, Chariandy shares their family's story and his personal experience as the son of Black and South Asian immigrants from Trinidad.

If your dad loves novels penned by comedians:

Charles Demers is a comedian and the author of the novel Property Values. (Charlie Demers, Arsenal Pulp Press)

Charles Demers is a Juno Award-nominated comedian and author. His crime novel, Property Values, uses comedy to explore themes of urban gentrification, gang violence and the challenges of purchasing a new home in the modern world. 

If your dad reads fiction involving morally complex, real world issues:

Sharon Bala is the author of The Boat People. (Nadra Ginting/McClelland & Stewart)

The Boat People tells the story of a group of refugees who survive a perilous ocean voyage to reach Canada — only to face the threat of deportation and accusations of terrorism in their new land. It was defended by Mozhdah Jamalzadah on Canada Reads 2018 and was on the shortlist for the 2018. First Novel Award.

If your dad appreciates novels that delve into the artistic process:

Tom Rachman's latest novel is The Italian Teacher. (Penguin Random House)

Tom Rachman, whose debut novel, The Imperfectionists, was an international bestseller, returns with the novel The Italian Teacher. The book tells the story of a man who spends his life struggling to gain his father's approval and live up to his artistic legacy, while also seeking closeness and connections with those around him.   

If your dad likes to sit down with a darn good mystery yarn:

Thomas King is the author of several books, including the mystery novel Cold Skies. (Trina Koster, HarperCollins Canada)
  Thomas King returns to mysteries with  Cold Skies, the third DreadfulWater mystery. Thumps DreadfulWater is finally retired and living a quiet life in a small town. But when a body turns up, the sheriff department turns to DreadfulWater for help, and even though he'd rather stay out of it, he finds himself immersed in something bigger than he could have ever imagined. 

If your dad is intrigued by books about potential planetary threats:

Alanna Mitchell is an award-winning Canadian science journalist. (Viking, Chloë Ellingson)

The magnetic North Pole and South Pole have traded places in the past — and it will happen again. When it does, it might mean the end of modern civilization as we know it. Award-winning Toronto-based science writer Alanna Mitchell's book The Spinning Magnet looks at the science behind how and why this happens.

If your dad is hip to Canadian rock band biographies:

Michael Barclay is a music journalist and and author of The Never-Ending Present: The Story of Gord Downie and the Tragically Hip. (Liz Sullivan/ECW Press)

In The Never-Ending Presentmusic writer Michael Barclay chronicles how five high school students from Kingston, Ont., became Canadian music legends. The Tragically Hip, fronted by the late enigmatic lyricist Gord Downie, sold more than eight million albums and won 16 Juno Awards over their storied career playing songs about Canada.

If your dad likes true stories about organized crime in Canada:

Trevor Cole is the author of Whisky King. (Fehn Foss/HarperCollins Canada)

The Whisky King tells the remarkable true story one of Canada's most notorious organized crime figures, Rocco Perri. Trevor Cole's nonfiction book looks at Perri, who was one of Canada's leading mobsters and was famous across the country. But then one day, in 1944, Perri disappeared — and to this day, no one knows what happened. 

If your dad enjoys novels with unreliable narrators:

Rabindranath Maharaj is a Trinidadian-Canadian novelist, short story writer and editor. (Glenn Lowson/Wolsak & Wynn)

Novelist and short story writer Rabindranath Maharaj — whose last novel was 2010's The Amazing Absorbing Boy — returns with Adjacentland. The dream-like tale revolves around a former comic book writer who one day awakens in a strange institution called the Compound with no memory of his past.

If your dad likes books about Indigenous identity, sexuality and healing:

Jonny Appleseed is a novel by Joshua Whitehead. (sweetmoon photography, Arsenal Pulp Press)

Jonny Appleseed by Joshua Whitehead is a debut novel about a Two-Spirit Indigiqueer young man who has left the reserve and becomes a cybersex worker in the big city to make ends meet. But he must reckon with his past when he returns home to attend his stepfather's funeral. 

If your dad is on the hunt for books on human behaviour:

Dr. Brian Goldman is a physician and the author of White Coat, Black Art. (HarperCollins/CBC)

Dr. Brian Goldman, host of CBC Radio's White Coat, Black Artquestions his own empathy as a veteran ER physician.  His nonfiction book The Power of Kindness takes readers on a search for kindness inside his own brain circuits, and on an around the world journey to meet the most empathic people on the planet, including those who are putting empathy into robot companions. 

If your dad enjoys reading gripping medical fiction: 

Melissa Yi is the author of the Hope Sze medical mystery series . (Melissa Yi/Windtree Press)

Melissa Yi is the author of the Dr. Hope Sze medical mystery series. Human Remains involves the good doctor in Ottawa doing research at a stem cell lab when she stumbles upon a dead body in the snow. And this man's death is just the first of many. Hope must figure out what is happening and who is responsible, before it's too late. 

If your dad is a fan of books like Dexter and The Talented Mr. Ripley:

Nathan Ripley is the author of the thriller Find You in the Dark. (Simon & Schuster)

In his debut thriller, Find You in the Dark, Toronto-based author Nathan Ripley — the pseudonym of writer and journalist Naben Ruthnum — tells the story of Martin Reese, a family man who has an obsession with digging up the bodies of serial killer victims. When a crooked cop goes missing, Reese, better known as the Finder to law enforcement, is wanted by the police and hunted by a real killer.


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