26 Canadian books that won awards in the first half of 2019
Canadian writers have been busy collecting awards this year. Here's a round-up of books that have won national and international awards in the first half of 2019.
Linwood Barclay's middle-grade novel is the second in a series about a part-robot dog named Chipper who runs away from a secret institution and forges a friendship with three preteens.
Nora Decter's novel tells the story of a 16-year-old girl named Jolene who takes solace in the fact that her dysfunctional, drunken family have a passion, and maybe a little talent, for music.
The B.C. writer's debut kicks off a series about a former pro-wrestler named "Hammerhead" Jed Ounstead, who finds himself in the clutches of Vancouver's underworld while looking for his former partner's kidnapped pet snake.
Though the Heavens Fall is the latest instalment in Anne Emery's popular Collins-Burke mystery series. The book takes place in Belfast of 1995, as the Irish Republican Army calls for a ceasefire to the violence that has ripped through the city, which lures Collins and Burke to town.
Steeped in Love by Julie Evelyn Joyce
This self-published novel follows a young entrepreneur searching for clues about her love life in tea leaves, while a nearby novelist eavesdrops on her regrettable dating experiences.
Steeped in Love won the $10,0000 Kobo Emerging Writer Prize for romance.
This cyberpunk thriller follows a doctor apprentice named Kirilow who seeks a "starfish" — a person who can regenerate their own limbs and organs — after his partner dies. The Tiger Flu is Larissa Lai's third novel.
Casey Plett's debut novel follows a 30-year-old trans woman named Wendy Reimer, who reflects back on the trials and triumphs of her life and discovers a surprising secret about her devout Mennonite grandfather.
Tanya Tagaq's celebrated first novel follows a young girl's upbringing in 1970s Nunavut, a place of mythic natural wonders as well as addiction and violence.
Joshua Whitehead's debut novel tells the story of an Indigenous cybersex worker known as "NDN glitter princess" who contemplates a trip back to his reserve for his stepfather's funeral.
Meltdown by Chris Clearfield and Andras Tilcsik
Meltdown analyzes how disasters in the transportation, medical and nuclear sectors often share common causes. The book combines real-life stories and social science research to explain how the ever-increasing complex systems we rely on are making it harder for our brains to keep up.
Meltdown won the $30,000 National Business Book Award.
Indigenous Nationals, Canadian Citizens by Thomas J. Courchene
Queen's University economics professor Thomas J. Courchene's book looks at the history of Indigenous and non-Indigenous relations over the past 150 years.
Indigenous Nationals, Canadian Citizens won the Donner Prize, a $50,000 prize for the best Canadian book on public policy.
Rachel Giese, a journalist from Toronto, delves into cultural norms around masculinity in her book and the ways it's shifted over time. As the mother of a young boy, Giese uses historical, sociological and psychological research to understand how she can help her son develop healthy relationships as he grows up.
Kate Harris's book chronicles her 10-month cycling trip on the ancient Silk Road, a 10,000 km journey that took her and her travel companion through 10 countries. Along the journey, Harris explores the political, cultural and environmental history of the places and people she encounters, weaving in personal anecdotes that inform her perspective as a contemporary explorer.
Sports journalist Cathal Kelly's memoir, Boy Wonders, uses humour to describe his hardscrabble upbringing in a single-parent household during the 1970s and 1980s in Toronto's west end.
Politicized Microfinance by Caroline Shenaz Hossein
Caroline Shenaz Hossein's book explores microbanking in Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica and Trinidad, revealing how social, historical and political prejudices have hampered its success as a tool of financial development for low-income individuals and communities.
Politicized Microfinance won the Suraj Mal and Shyama Devi Agarwal Book Prize, which is given biennially to a book in the field of feminist economics.
This book by New York journalist Sarah Weinman investigates how the kidnapping of an 11-year-old girl named Sally Horner influenced Vladimir Nabokov to write the novel Lolita.
Ekke is a debut poetry collection that explores Klara du Plessis's roots in South Africa and current life in Montreal through long, essay-like poems.
Stevie Howell's second collection is an intimate, sophisticated and wide-ranging exploration of human nature — the ways we change and stay the same, the ways violence shapes us physically or emotionally — and takes place across a spectrum of settings.
Quarrels, a slim volume of prose poems, collects a series of vivid scenes evoking both the ordinary and the fantastic. Characters drift in and out of the book without explanation or apology, but always leaving their mark.
Tess Liem's first book Obits is a collection of obituaries for people who haven't been mourned in full.
Smokii Sumac's debut book explores two years of his life as a Ktunaxa Two-Spirit person, recovering from depression, finding healing through ceremony and falling in and out of love.
100 Days in Uranium City tells the story of a northern mining town where workers spend 100 gruelling days in the mines before returning home for a two-week reprieve.
Retomber by Xiaoxiao Li
This autobiographical comic recounts 12 days of the artist's life, rendered with surrealist imagery and a text message conversation about love, roommates and art.
Retomber won the Pigskin Peters Award, which recognizes a Canadian avant-garde comic.
Young Frances follows a young, talented law clerk named Frances Scarland who struggles with the idea of work-life balance as her career at a corporate Toronto firm accelerates at a rapid pace.
The Lie and How We Told It is a comic about two estranged friends struggling to reconnect. Tommi Parrish is from Australia and now lives in Montreal.
This debut comic follows two Indigenous best friends — Miikwan is Anishinaabe and Dez is Inninew — who are coming of age in an urban environment where women from their community are disappearing.