21 Canadian books we can't wait to read in July

A new month means new books! Here's a collection of new Canadian titles — from picture books to thrillers — you can get in July.

A new month means new books! Here's a collection of new Canadian titles — from picture books to thrillers — you can get in July.

The Almost Wife by Gail Anderson-Dargatz

The Almost Wife is a novel by Gail Anderson-Dargatz. (, HarperCollins Canada)

In this thriller by novelist Gail Anderson-Dargatz, a woman named Kira is living the life she's always dreamed. Her fiancé is handsome, wealthy and a great dad to his 13-year-old daughter Olive and their baby Evie. When Kira takes the girls to her childhood summer home, she realizes that her fiancé's ex-wife has followed them.

When you can read it: July 6, 2021

Anderson-Dargatz is a writer from B.C. Her first novel, The Cure for Death by Lightningwas a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. Her other books include A Recipe for Bees, The Spawning Grounds and Turtle Valley. 

Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead by Emily Austin

Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead is Emily Austin's debut novel. (Bridget Forberg, Atria Books)

Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead follows the misadventures of Gilda, a 20-something atheist hired at a local Catholic Church to replace their recently deceased receptionist, Grace. When Gilda receives email messages from the old receptionist's friend, she takes on Grace's identity to avoid breaking the sad news. Things unravel when the police show up at the church's door, investigating Grace's suspicious death.

When you can read it: July 6, 2021

Emily Austin is a writer based in Ottawa. Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead is her debut novel.

Lala's Words by Gracey Zhang

Lala's Words is a picture book by author and illustrator Gracey Zhang. (Scholastic Inc.)

Lala's Words is a picture book that follows a little girl on her journey to water a tiny patch of weeds, sprouting through concrete. She carries a pot of water with her and speaks sweet words to encourage the little plants.

When you can read it: July 6, 2021

Gracey Zhang is an author and illustrator from Vancouver, now based in New York. Lala's Words is her debut picture book. 

Bleeding Light by Rob Benvie

Bleeding Light is a book by Rob Benvie. (Invisible Publishing)

Bleeding Light is a work of fiction from musician Rob Benvie. It's about how we are all connected, mystically, spiritually, symbolically and randomly, telling the stories of four seemingly unconnected characters, each with searching for what's missing.

When you can read it: July 6, 2021

Benvie is a Toronto-based musician and writer originally from Nova Scotia. He has performed with the musical acts Thrush Hermit and The Dears, among others. He is also the author of the novels Safety of War and Maintenance.

Race with Me! by Andre De Grasse and Robert Budd, illustrated by Joseph Osei Bonsu

Race With Me! is a children's book by Canadian sprinter Andre De Grasse, writer Robert Budd and illustrator Joseph Osei Bonsu. (Scholastic Canada, Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Canadian sprinter Andre De Grasse inspires young kids to lace up their sneakers and run as fast as they can in Race with Me! , an illustrated book for middle grade readers. The athlete talks about what motivates his training and how it feels to be an underdog at the highest levels of sport.

When you can read it: July 6, 2021

De Grasse is a three-time Olympic medallist, winning one silver and two bronze medals at the Rio 2016 games. He will compete in Tokyo this July.

Robert Budd is a bestselling children's writer based in Victoria. He's a frequent collaborator of the artist Roy Henry Vickers. Their books include Raven Brings the Light, Cloudwalker and Orca Chief.

Joseph Osei Bonsu is an illustrator and animator from Mississauga, Ont.

A Boring Wife Settles the Score by Marie-Renée Lavoie, translated by Arielle Aaronson

A Boring Wife Settles the Score is a novel written by Marie-Renée Lavoie, pictured, and translated by Arielle Aaronson. (Martine Doyon, House of Anansi Press)

A sequel to Autopsy of a Boring Wife, this novel picks up on divorcée Diane, as she decides not to waste any more of her 40s on the end of her marriage. She gets a job and starts looking for romance in her "typically chaotic and hilarious manner."

When you can read it: July 6, 2021

Marie-Renée Lavoie is the author of three other books, including Mister Roger and Me (La petite et le vieux in French), which won Radio-Canada's Les combat des livres in 2012. Lavoie lives in Montreal.

Arielle Aaronson is a translator from Montreal.

The Hunted by Roz Nay

The Hunted is a thriller by Roz Nay. (Simon & Shuster Canada)

The Hunted is a thriller that takes place on a beautiful island off the coast of Tanzania. The main character, Stevie, is still reeling from the death of her grandmother when she decides to follow her boyfriend Jacob on a work trip. As her relationship with Jacob worsens, Stevie finds herself fending off attacks on her life.

When you can read it: July 6, 2021

Roz Nay is a thriller writer from British Columbia. Her other books include Our Little Secret and Hurry HomeOur Little Secret, won the Douglas Kennedy Prize for best foreign thriller.

The Bone Code by Kathy Reichs

The Bone Code is Kathy Reichs's 20th Bones novel. (Marie-Reine Mattera, Simon & Schuster)

Kathy Reichs' latest mystery, The Bone Code, follows forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan to Montreal. When two bodies wrapped in plastic sheets and electrical wire wash up on the shores of South Carolina, Temperance is reminded of an unsolved case in Quebec years earlier and heads north.

When you can read it: July 6, 2021

Reichs is a forensic anthropologist, academic and bestselling crime writer with more than 20 novels to her credit. Her bestselling mystery series about forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan was adapted into the hit television show Bones.

Nanuq's Baby Brother by Nadia Sammurtok and Rachel Rupke, illustrated by Ali Hinch

Nanuq's Baby Brother is a picture book in Inuktitut and English by Nadia Sammurtok (above) and Rachel Rupke, illustrated by Ali Hinch. (Inhabit Education Books)

In this picture book, written in Inuktitut and English, Nanuq is so excited to become a big sister. But when her baby brother is born, Nanuq is annoyed with how much attention he gets from her parents. Nanuq's friends teach her about all the best things about becoming a big sister.

When you can read it: July 13, 2021

Nadia Sammurtok is an Inuk writer who lives in Iqaluit. She's written several picture books inspired by Inuit life and stories, including, The Owl and the Two Rabbits and Siuluk: The Last Tuniq.

Rachel Rupke is a teacher and education consultant based in Toronto.

Ali Hinch is a Toronto-based illustrator whose previous children's books include Simonie and the Dance Contest and Kamik Takes the Lead.

The Retreat by Elisabeth de Mariaffi

The Retreat is a novel by Elisabeth de Mariaffi. (HarperCollins, George Murray)

The Retreat tells the story of a former principal dancer, Maeve Martin, who arrives at a snowy mountain retreat called High Water Center for the Arts. Maeve's plans to start her own dance company are derailed after an avalanche traps everyone inside and guests start dropping one by one.

When you can read it: July 13, 2021

Elisabeth de Mariaffi is a writer from St. John's. Her debut collection of stories, How to Get Along with Women, was a finalist for the 2013 Scotiabank Giller Prize. Her other books include Hysteria and The Devil You Know.

The Rehearsals by Annette Christie

The Rehearsals is Annette Christie's debut novel. (Little, Brown and Company,

The Rehearsals novel follows the unusual fate of lovebirds Megan Givens and Tom Prescott on their wedding weekend on San Juan Island. Megan and Tom call off their nuptials after a decade's worth of grudges and secrets, combined with two explosive families, come to light at the rehearsal dinner. The couple wake up the next morning only to discover they are trapped in a time loop, destined to relive their worst day over and over again.

When you can read it: July 13, 2021

Annette Christie is a writer based in Alberta. The Rehearsals is her debut novel. She's also published work on Audible, The Guardian and HelloGiggles.

Ghost Forest by Pik-Shuen Fung

Ghost Forest is Pik-Shuen Fung's debut novel. (, Strange Light)

The unnamed protagonist of Ghost Forest struggles to process the death of her father, in the face of her family's silence. Her father was one of Hong Kong's "astronaut fathers," a man who worked in Hong Kong while his family started a new life in Vancouver. 

When you can read it: July 13, 2021

Pik-Shuen Fung is a Canadian novelist based in New York City. Ghost Forest is her debut book.

Iskotew Iskwew: Poetry of a Northern Rez Girl by Francine Merasty

Iskotew Iskwew: Poetry of a Northern Rez Girl is a poetry collection by Francine Merasty. (Bookland Press, @blazingfire3945/Twitter)

Francine Merasty began writing Iskotew Iskwew: Poetry of a Northern Rez Girl, a poetry collection, while working as Counsel to the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in 2017. Her poetry explores growing up as an Indigenous woman on Pelican Narrows Reserve in the 1980s.

When you can read it: July 15, 2021

Merasty is a member of Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation and lives in Saskatoon. She was the recipient of an Indigenous Voices Award in 2019.

What Strange Paradise by Omar El Akkad

What Strange Paradise is a novel by Omar El Akkad. (Kateshia Pendergrass, McClelland & Stewart)

What Strange Paradise is a novel that tells the story of a global refugee crisis through the eyes of a child. Nine-year-old Amir is the only survivor from a ship full of refugees coming to a small island nation. He ends up with a teenage girl named Vanna, who lives on the island. Even though they don't share a common language or culture, Vanna becomes determined to keep Amir safe.

When you can read it: July 20, 2021

Omar El Akkad is a Canadian journalist and author who currently lives in Portland. He is also the author of the novel American War, which was defended on Canada Reads 2018 by actor Tahmoh Penikett.

Linked by Gordon Korman

Linked is a middle-grade novel by Gordon Korman. (, Scholastic Canada)

Linkeda middle-grade novel, follows three young friends in a sleepy town. One evening, Michael rushes back to school to find his forgotten phone and is shocked to discover a swastika painted on the wall. Students put pressure on Link, the most popular guy in school, to find the real culprit. Meanwhile, Dana, the only Jewish kid in town, feels more like an outcast than ever. 

When you can read it: July 20, 2021

Gordon Korman is a New York Times bestselling author of over 70 middle-grade and young adult books. His books have sold 16 million copies worldwide and been translated into 25 languages. Some of his other books include the 39 Clues mysteries, The Hypnotists adventure series and Macdonald Hall books. 

Her Turn by Katherine Ashenburg

Her Turn is a novel by Katherine Ashenburg. (Joy von Tiedemann, Knopf Canada)

Katherine Ashenburg's novel Her Turn follows a journalist named Liz, a 40-something single mom still recovering from her ex-husband's extra-marital affair. Liz is the editor of a column called "My Turn," which publishes personal essays by readers. When Liz receives a submission from her ex-husband's mistress, now his wife, she grows increasingly unhinged.

When you can read it: July 27, 2021

Ashenburg is a writer, journalist who has worked for the Globe and Mail and CBC. She is also the author of the nonfiction books Going to Town, The Mourner's Dance, The Dirt on Clean and the novel Sofie & Cecilia.

Current, Climate by Rita Wong, edited by Nicholas Bradley

Current, Climate is a collection of Rita Wong's poetry, edited by Nicholas Bradley. (Wilfrid Laurier University Press, Allan Hughes)

Current, Climate is a collection of Rita Wong's poetry by editor Nicholas Bradley. Wong is a social justice advocate and environmentalist. Her work traverses land and water, exploring colonialism and climate disaster on both local and global scales.

When you can read it: July 27, 2021

Wong is an award-winning Canadian poet and author of four books, including undercurrent, perpetual and forage. Wong was born and raised in Calgary. 

Bradley is an associate professor at the University of Victoria. He is the author of the poetry collection Rain Shadow.

Not a Happy Family by Shari Lapena

Not A Happy Family is Shari Lapena's sixth thriller. (Tristan Ostler, Doubleday Canada)

In Shari Lapena's new thriller, Not a Happy Family, the wealthy residents of Brecken Hill are shaken by the murders of their neighbours, Fred and Sheila Merton. The suspicion turns on Fred and Sheila's three adult children, who stand to inherit millions.

When you can read it: July 27, 2021

Lapena is an internationally bestselling author of thrillers like The Couple Next DoorSomeone We Know and The End of Her. She lives in Toronto.

I Am Not Starfire by Mariko Tamaki

I Am Not Starfire is a comic written by Mariko Tamaki (above) and illustrated by Yoshi Yoshitani. (Penguin Random House, DC Comics)

I Am Not Starfire is a comic book that follows Mandy, a 17-year-old girl who couldn't be more different than her sparkly, superhero mother Starfire. Mandy has no powers, loves to wear black and only cares about her best friend. But when Starfire's past returns to haunt her, Mandy must decide what kind of path she wants to forge.

When you can read it: July 27, 2021

Mariko Tamaki is an award-winning Canadian comics writer, contributing to Marvel and DC Comics, based in California. She was named comics writer of the year at the 2020 Eisner Awards. Her other books include the YA novel (you) Set Me On Fire and the graphic novels Laura Dean Keeps on Breaking Up With Me, illustrated by Rosemary Valero-O'Connell, Skim and This One Summerwhich were both illustrated by Jillian Tamaki.

Yoshi Yoshitani is an illustrator based in California. She's worked for Disney, DC Comics, Valiant, Image, Dreamworks and Netflix.

We Want What We Want by Alix Ohlin

We Want What We Want is a short story collection by Alix Ohlin (Emily Cooper, House of Anansi Press)

We Want What We Want is a short story collection by Giller Prize-nominated writer Alix Ohlin. These stories explore parenthood, lost loves, wasted potential and more, showcasing life's humour, discomfort and beauty.

When you can read it: July 27, 2021

Ohlin is a writer from Vancouver and the current chair of the creative writing program at the University of British Columbia. Her books include the novels Inside, Dual Citizens and the short story collection Signs and Wonders. Both Inside and Dual Citizens were finalists for the Scotiabank Giller Prize.

The Rebellious Tide by Eddy Boudel Tan

The Rebellious Tide is a novel by Eddy Boudel Tan. (Dundurn Press)

The Rebellious Tide is a novel about a young man named Sebastien who is determined to discover the truth about his family. His mother always told Sebastien that his father was a sailor who got her pregnant and disappeared. When Sebastien's mother dies, he decides to find his father, and find out why he left all those years ago.

When you can read it: July 31, 2021

Eddy Boudel Tan is a writer from Vancouver, where he co-founded the Sidewalk Supper Project. He is also the author of the novel After Elias. He was named a rising star by the Writers' Trust of Canada in 2021.

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