Books

17 Canadian books coming out in June we can't wait to read

A new month means new books! Here are some titles coming out in June you should check out.

A new month means new books! Here are some Canadian titles coming out in June you should check out.

The Creep by Michael Lapointe

The Creep is a novel by Michael Lapointe. (Alex Warrender, Random House Canada)

In The Creep, journalist Whitney Chase grapples with a mysterious compulsion to enhance her coverage with intriguing untruths and undetectable white lies. She calls it "the creep" — an overpowering need to improve the story in the telling. And Whitney has a particular genius for getting away with it.

Set against the ramp-up to the US invasion of Iraq and the decline of print journalism, The Creep portrays an increasingly unequal 21st century — exploring how deceitfulness, self-enhancement and confidently delivered lies can be transfused into fact and constitute a broader violence against the social fabric and public trust.

When you can read it: June 1, 2021

Michael LaPointe is a writer and critic from Toronto. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, The New Yorker, The New York Times and the Times Literary Supplement.

Welcome Home by Najwa Zebian

Welcome Home is a book by Najwa Zebian. (Penguin Canada, Farah Benni)

Najwa Zebian is a poet who has gained a loyal following online for her moving and inspirational poems. Zebian's personal story is as powerful as her poetry. She came to Canada from Lebanon when she was 16 years old, and was faced with the challenge of figuring out who she was in a new country and who she wanted to be, while also dealing with racism and societal pressures. Welcome Home is her first work of nonfiction, and it combines Zebian's personal story with poetry and writing to inspire readers to live with vulnerability and authenticity.

When you can read it: June 1, 2021

Najwa Zebian is a Lebanese Canadian activist, educator and writer. Her books include the poetry collections Mind Platter, The Nectar of Pain and Sparks of Phoenix.

The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream by Dean Jobb

The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream is a book by Dean Jobb. (HarperAvenue, Nicola Davidson)

In The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream, Dean Jobb tells the story of Dr. Thomas Neill Cream, a Canadian doctor who was stalking and murdering women in London, England, in the late 1800s, and who was also suspected of murders in Canada and Chicago. The press called him the Lambeth Poisoner and he was one of most prolific serial killers in history. In this true story of a notorious murderer, Jobb looks at who Cream was and why it took so long to catch and convict him.

When you can read it: June 1, 2021

Dean Jobb is a journalism professor and writer living in Halifax. He is the author of several nonfiction books, including Empire of Deception and Calculated Risk. Empire of Deception won the Arthur Ellis Award for best true crime book.

Astra by Cedar Bowers

Astra is a novel by Cedar Bowers. (Michael Christie, McClelland & Stewart)

Born and raised on a remote British Columbia commune, Astra Brine has long struggled to find her way in the world. As her path intersects with others over the years, she uncovers difficult truths about who they are and what they yearn for. 

Astra explores what we're willing to give and receive from others — and how well we ever really know the people we love the most. It reminds us of the profound impact that a woman can have on those around her and the power struggles at play in all our relationships. 

When you can read it: June 1, 2021

Cedar Bowers's fiction has been published in Joyland and Taddle Creek. Astra is her first novel. Bower divides her time between Victoria and Galiano Island.

Bonnie Jack by Ian Hamilton

Bonnie Jack is a novel by Ian Hamilton. (House of Anansi Press, Iden Ford)

Bonnie Jack is a novel about a search for lost family and the cost of keeping secrets. As a boy, Jack Anderson was abandoned by his mother in a Glasgow movie theatre. Now living in the United States and facing his impending retirement, Jack and his wife Anne travel to Scotland to track down his long-lost sister. Along the journey, Jack gets entangled in local affairs and must confront the truth about his family, legacy and the wife he thought he knew.

When you can read it: June 1, 2021

Ian Hamilton is a Canadian mystery writer, a former journalist and civil servant. He is the author of both the Ava Lee series and the Uncle Chow Tung series.

This Eden by Ed O'Loughlin

This Eden is a novel by Ed O'Loughlin. (House of Anansi Press)

This Eden is a techno thriller about a man named Michael. He gets caught up with a spy named Aoife and a wargamer named Towse when his girlfriend, a coder who was headhunted by a dangerous tech mogul, dies. The unlikely threesome end up on a chase around the world for the truth — and for their lives.

When you can read it: June 1, 2021

Ed O'Loughlin is a Canadian author and journalist who currently lives in Dublin. His other books include the novels Not Untrue and Not Unkind and Minds of WinterMinds of Winter was a finalist for the 2017 Scotiabank Giller Prize.

Pure Flame by Michelle Orange

Pure Flame is a book by Michelle Orange. (HarperCollins Canada)

Pure Flame is a reckoning with feminism, family, and motherhood. Michelle Orange learns about Jerome, one of her mother's many alter egos, and about her mother's midlife choice to leave her husband and children to pursue career opportunities in a bigger city. Through a blend of memoir, social history and cultural criticism, Pure Flame traces the forces that helped transform the world and what a woman might expect from it. Orange's account of her mother's life and their relationship results in a meditation on becoming, selfhood, freedom, mortality, storytelling and what it means to be a mother's daughter now.

When you can read it: June 1, 2021

Orange is a contributing editor to VQR and the author of This is Running for Your Life: Essays. Her writing has appeared in Harper's, the New York Times and other publications.

Letters in a Bruised Cosmos by Liz Howard

Letters in a Bruised Cosmos is a poetry collection by Liz Howard. (McClelland & Stewart, Ralpha Kolewe)

Letters in a Bruised Cosmos is the second collection from Griffin Poetry Prize winner Liz Howard. Letters in a Bruised Cosmos brings together Western and Indigenous astrophysical science to explore the nature of needing and connecting with, others. It's a collection that explores family, tragedy, triumph, love and the meaning of life.

When you can read it: June 8, 2021

Howard is a poet from Ontario. Her debut poetry collection, Infinite Citizen of the Shaking Tent, won the 2016 Griffin Poetry Prize.

Memory's Shadow by Gail Benick

Memory's Shadow is a novel by Gail Benick. (Inanna Publications, Melanie Gordon)

In the tumultuous 1970s while marginalized communities march for equality, three sisters wrestle with the legacy of their family's Holocaust past. Memory's Shadow is a story of sisterly conflict and loyalty, the broader politics of sisterhood, and the power of the human spirit to rise when faced with the unimaginable, recurring tragedy.

When you can read it: June 3, 2021

Gail Benick is a Toronto author and educator. She taught in the faculty of humanities and social sciences at Sheridan College for over 30 years. Benick also wrote the novella, The Girl Who Was Born That Way.

Care Of by Ivan Coyote

Care Of is a book by Ivan Coyote. (McClelland & Stewart, Ivan Coyote)

Care Of is a collection of moving correspondence Ivan Coyote wrote in the early days of the COVID-19 lockdown, in response to letters and communications they had received, some of which dated back to 2009. The correspondence ranges from personal letters to Facebook messages to notes received after performing onstage, Coyote told CBC Radio host Dave White on Airplay. 

When you can read it: June 8, 2021

Ivan Coyote is a writer, storyteller and performer from Yukon. They have written more than a dozen books, created four short films and released three albums combining storytelling with music, and are known for exploring gender identity and queer liberation in their writing. Their other books include Tomboy Survival GuideRebent SinnerGender FailureOne in Every Crowd and the novel Bow GripCoyote won the 2020 Freedom to Read Award, in recognition of their body of work that examines class, gender identity and social justice.

Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch by Rivka Galchen

Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch is a novel by Rivka Galchen. (HarperCollins Canada, Sandy Tait)

The story begins in 1618, in the German duchy of Württemberg. Plague is spreading and the Thirty Years' War has begun. In the small town of Leonberg, Katharina Kepler is accused of being a witch. Katharina is an illiterate widow, known by her neighbours for her herbal remedies and the success of her children — enough to make anyone jealous. Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch is a story of how a community becomes implicated in collective aggression and hysterical fear is a tale for our time. It illuminates a society and a family undone by superstition, the state and the mortal convulsions of history.

When you can read it: June 8, 2021

Rivka Galchen is a Canadian American writer. She is also the author of the novel Atmospheric Disturbances. She lives in New York City.

Bramah and the Beggar Boy by Renée Sarojini Saklikar

Bramah and the Beggar Boy is a poetry collection by Renée Sarojini Saklikar. (Nightwood Editions, Allison Taylor)

Poet Renée Sarojini Saklikar kicks off a multi-part series about survivors of ecological destruction with Bramah and the Beggar BoyInspired by fairy tales, the first instalment is about a woman named Bramah and a beggar boy living in an abandoned village. They find fragments of an ancient text, and slowly piece together the story of what happened to the planet, and why they live the way they do. 

When you can read it: June 12, 2021

Saklikar is a lawyer and writer born in India who now lives in Vancouver. She is also the author of the poetry collection children of air india and the nonfiction book Listening to the Bees, which she co-authored with Dr. Mark Winston.

Malaria Memoirs by Zul Premji

Malaria Memoirs is a book by Zul Premji. (Mawenzi House Publishers)

Zul Premji's passion has been science and its use for the benefit of his fellow citizens. From a background of abject poverty in a village in Tanzania, he rose to become a laboratory technician, a medical doctor, and finally a malaria expert and professor of pathology in a public university. In his practice, he observed the clash between tradition and modernization, between "the Ipod and the mullahs." What he discovered is that more important than drugs and vaccines in combating widespread disease is the human spirit. 

When you can read it: June 14, 2021

Premji was born in Iringa, Tanzania. He pursued multiple degrees including an MSc in medical parasitology from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and a doctorate in infectious diseases. He now lives in Calgary.

And Miles to Go Before I Sleep by Jocelyne Saucier, translated by Rhonda Mullins

And Miles to Go Before I Sleep is a novel by Jocelyne Saucier (pictured), translated by Rhonda Mullins. (Ariane Ouellett, Coach House Books)

Gladys is an old woman determined to end her life on her own terms. She's lived in the Ontario town of Swastika for the past 50 years. She leaves the town and her daughter behind when she takes the train north. But where did she go? An unnamed narrator tells Gladys' story in And Miles to Go Before I Sleep.

When you can read it: June 15, 2021

Jocelyne Saucier is a novelist from New Brunswick. Three out of her four novels have been finalists for the Governor General's Literary Awards. Dancer and presenter Geneviève Guérard championed her fourth novel, Il pleuvait des oiseaux, during the 2013 edition of Le combat national des livres. Two years later, the novel's English translation, And the Birds Rained Down, was defended by folk singer Martha Wainwright on Canada Reads.

Rhonda Mullins is a writer and translator living in Montreal. She won the 2015 Governor General's Literary Award for French-to-English translation for Jocelyne Saucier's Twenty-One Cardinals. She has also translated Louis Carmain's Guano, Élise Turcotte's Guyana, Hervé Fischer's The Decline of the Hollywood Empire and Julie Demers's Little Beast.

Last Hummingbird of West Chile by Nicholas Ruddock 

Last Hummingbird of West Chile is a novel by Nicholas Ruddock. (Breakwater Books)

Last Hummingbird of West Chile spins a is tale of murder, privilege, and servitude – of both humans and nature. Through the exploits of a young sailor born in questionable circumstances. a pair of murderous servants and an assortment of other 19th century regulars, the vital subjects of today — race, religion, sexuality, environment — are framed in history and culture.

When you can read it: June 15, 2021

Nicholas Ruddock is a Canadian physician and writer. His first novel, The Parabolist, was shortlisted for the Toronto Book Award and the Arthur Ellis Award. He was longlisted for the 2016 CBC Poetry Prize.

Home of the Floating Lily by Silmy Abdullah

Home of the Floating Lily ia novel by Silmy Abdullah. (Dundurn Press)

Home of the Floating Lily is a short story collection about the lives of Bangladeshi immigrants living in Toronto, exploring the love, loss, displacement and connection that comes with making a new country home. A newly married woman, an international student, a domestic helper, and a working-class single mother are just a few of the characters who come to life in these dynamic and vibrant stories.

When you can read it: June 22, 2021

Silmy Abdullah is a lawyer and author who lives in Toronto. Home of the Floating Lily is her first book.

29 Leads to Love by Salimah Valiani

29 Leads to Love is a poetry collection by Salimah Valiani. (Inanna Publications, salimahvaliani.wordpress.com)

In the poetry collection 29 Leads to LoveCalgary poet Salimah Valiani looks at the meaning of love from 29 different perspectives. It's about love on the grand, global scale. It explores romantic love, familial love and self love, and how love can be the catalyst for change.

When you can read it: June 24, 2021

Valiani is a poet, activist and researcher from Calgary. Her other poetry collections include breathing for breadth, Letter Out: Letter In, land of the sky and Cradles.

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