29 Canadian books we can't wait to read in August

A new month means new books! Here's a collection of new Canadian titles you can get in August.

A new month means new books! Here's a collection of new Canadian titles you can get in August.

C is for Carnival by Yolanda T. Marshall, illustrated by Daria Lavrova

C is for Carnival is a picture book by Yolanda T. Marshall (left) and illustrated by Daria Lavrova (not pictured). (Submitted by Yolanda T. Marshall, Chalkboard Publishing)

C is for Carnival is a celebration of Canada's Caribbean Carnival by Canadian children's author Yolanda T. Marshall. The rhyming alphabet book highlights diversity, colourful costumes and Caribbean music as it showcases the magic of dance and the historical importance of emancipation. 

C is for Carnival is for ages 4 to 8.

When you can read it: Aug. 1, 2021

Marshall is a writer of children's books. She is also the author of My Soca Birthday Party. Marshall was born in Guyana and grew up in Scarborough, Ont. The children's books she writes are full of her love and appreciation for that culture and food is a big part of it.

Daria Lavrova is a children's book illustrator and painter based in Amsterdam.

Sunny Days Inside by Caroline Adderson

Sunny Days Inside is a middle-grade novel by Caroline Adderson. (Groundwood Books)

Sunny Days Inside is a middle-grade short story collection set during the COVID-19 pandemic. A group of kids living in an apartment building are forced to deal with the effects of isolation and rules pertaining to life in a pandemic. The collection of stories explore how the school children respond to each other and the world around them while in lockdown. 

Sunny Days Inside is for ages 9 to 12.

When you can read it: Aug. 1, 2021

Caroline Adderson is the author of five novels, including The Sky is Falling, Ellen in Pieces and A Russian Sister. Adderson is also a three-time winner of the CBC Literary Prizes. She has published two short story collections, including the 1993 Governor General's Literary Award finalist Bad Imaginings.

The Second History by Rebecca Silver Slayter

The Second History is a novel by Rebecca Silver Slayter. (Doubleday Canada)

In The Second History, Eban has lived in hiding all his life without ever understanding why. After his mother dies, he goes to live in the northern Appalachians with Judy, the only other woman he's ever known. But after multiple years and multiple miscarriages, Judy wonders about the fate of the cities their parents fled where a strange sickness supposedly spread among those who stayed behind. To stop her from leaving the safety of the hills, Eban convinces her to journey to the fabled colony of the original mountain settlers, promising her the answers she seeks. 

When you can read it: Aug. 3, 2021

Rebecca Silver Slayter is the author of In the Land of Birdfishes, which was shortlisted for the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing. She is also the director of the Cabot Trail Writers Festival and an editor of the literary journal Brick. She lives in Nova Scotia.

The Wild Ones by Nafiza Azad

The Wild Ones is the second YA novel by Nafiza Azad. (Jasdeep Deol, Margaret K. McElderry Books)

The Wild Ones is a YA novel featuring magic powers — and a team of girls who are forced to solve a mystery, challenge the patriarchy and save the day from dangerous forces. Paheli is a leader and original Wild One, someone who overcame abuse and reclaimed her power. She is now on a mission to help girls use their own special abilities to save others in need.

The Wild Ones is for ages 14 and up.

When you can read it: Aug. 3, 2021

Nafiza Azad is a Canadian YA novelist who was born in Fiji. Her previous YA novel, The Candle and the Flame, was shortlisted for the William C. Morris Award for debut YA fiction. The writer of children's literature identifies as Indo-Fijian Muslim Canadian and is now based in B.C. 

All's Well by Mona Awad

All's Well is a novel by Mona Awad. (Hamish Hamilton, Brigette LaCombe)

In the novel All's Well, the accident that ended Miranda Fitch's acting career has made her life a living nightmare. She has excruciating, chronic pain, a failed marriage, a dependence on painkillers and she's on the verge of losing her job as college theatre director. She's still determined to put on Shakespeare's All's Well That Ends Well, even though her cast wants Macbeth. She meets three strange benefactors who know a little too much about her past and are promising her the future she wants. 

When you can read it: Aug. 3, 2021

Mona Awad is the author of 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl, which won the Amazon Canada First Novel Award, the Colorado Book Award and was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. She currently lives in Boston.

Lurch by Don McKay 

Lurch is a poetry collection by Don McKay. (Marlene Creates, McClelland & Stewart)

The poems in this collection are what happens when you stay out on the dance floor instead, dancing the staggers. Throughout Lurch, language dances its ardent incompetence as a translator of "the profane wonders of the wilderness." And there's the complex of lurches as we contemplate our complicity in the sixth mass extinction.

When you can read it: Aug. 3, 2021

Don McKay is the author of 13 books of poetry, including Angular Unconformity, Camber and Strike/Slip, which won the Griffin Poetry Prize. McKay has taught poetry in universities across the country. He currently lives in St. John's.

The Hunter and the Old Woman by Pamela Korgemagi

The Hunter and the Old Woman is a novel by Pamela Korgemagi. (House of Anansi Press)

In The Hunter and the Old Woman, the "old woman" is a cougar who lives, raises her cubs and searches for food in the wild. She avoids the two-legged creatures who come into her territory — but she is more than an animal. She is a mythical creature who haunts the lives and dreams of men. One day, Joseph Brandt goes into the forest to seek her out, having been captivated by the legend since he was a kid. 

When you can read it: Aug. 3, 2021

Pamela Korgemagi is a writer living in Toronto. The Hunter and the Old Woman is her first novel.

Work for a Million by Amanda Deibert and Eve Zaremba, illustrated by Selena Goulding 

Work for a Millions is a comic by Amanda Deibert and Eve Zaremba, illustrated by Selena Goulding. (McClelland & Stewart)

Work for a Million is a detective noir graphic novel set in the urban 1970s. Helen Keremos, a private detective, is hired by Sonia Deerfield, a rising pop star who has just won a million dollar lottery prize and is currently being blackmailed. The two women are drawn closer together through the twists and turns of the blackmailer's dangerous pursuit. 

When you can read it: Aug. 10, 2021

Eve Zaremba is the author of six mystery novels featuring detective Helen Keremos, first introduced to readers in 1978. She was a founding member of the Broadside Collective, which produced a monthly feminist paper in Toronto from 1979 to 1989. Born in Poland, Zaremba emigrated to Canada in 1952 after a stint in the U.K.

Amande Deibert is a comic book and television writer based in Los Angeles.

Selena Goulding is a Canadian illustrator and comic book artist from Vancouver Island, currently living in Toronto. Susanna Moodie was her first full-length graphic novel. Her illustration work has also been showcased in the Dark Horse Comics anthology The Secret Loves of Geek Girls.

The Winter Wives by Linden MacIntyre

The Winter Wives is a novel by Linden MacIntyre. (Tom Zsolt, Random House Canada)

The Winter Wives is the story of two men with a long history: Allan and Bryan. Allan was a football star who got the girl and built a successful business. Byron is quieter, lost the girl he loved to Allan (but married her sister) and is a modestly successful lawyer. But when Allan suffers a stroke, all his secrets start to come out. It turns out his life wasn't as charmed or as successful as it seemed — and Byron is left to pick up the pieces, while figuring out what this all means for his own life.

When you can read it: Aug. 10, 2021

Linden MacIntyre is a former CBC journalist and novelist. His novel The Bishop's Man won the Scotiabank Giller Prize in 2009. His other books include the novels Why Men Lie, The Only Cafe and the nonfiction book The Wake.

The Perfect Family by Robyn Harding

The Perfect Family is a novel by Robyn Harding. (Simon & Schuster Canada, Tallulah Photography)

The Perfect Family is the latest thriller from Robyn Harding. In The Perfect Family, the Adlers seem perfect: happy and successful parents, a charming house and two happy and healthy teenage kids. But when vandals start attacking their house, this facade unravels. Who is attacking their home, and why? The answer lies in a dark secret that could change everything.

When you can read it: Aug. 10, 2021

Harding is a writer and filmmaker from Vancouver. Her thrillers include The PartyHer Pretty Face and The Swap. Harding also wrote the screenplay for the independent film The Steps, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Velvet Was The Night by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Velvet Was the Night is a novel by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. (Del Ray, Martin Dee)

In the historical noir Velvet Was The Night, it's the 1970s in Mexico City. Maite is a secretary who loves reading the magazine Secret Romance. When her next-door neighbour, Leonora, disappears under suspicious circumstances, Maite searches for her, uncovering Leonora's secret life of student radicals and dissidents. But Elvis, an eccentric criminal, is also looking for Leonora. As Maite and Elvis come closer to finding out the truth behind Leonora's disappearance, they can no longer escape the danger that threatens to consume their lives. 

When you can read it: Aug. 17, 2021

Silvia Moreno-Garcia is a Canadian writer born and raised in Mexico. She's the author of novels Mexican GothicGods of Jade and ShadowSignal to NoiseCertain Dark Things and The Beautiful Ones. She has previously won the Goodreads Readers Choice Award and the Copper Cylinder Award.

Sweet Tooth: The Return by Jeff Lemire

Sweet Tooth: The Return is a comic by Jeff Lemire and José Villarrubia. (Jamie Hogge, DC Comics)

Sweet Tooth: The Return re-imagines Jeff Lemire's Sweet Tooth mythology, taking elements of the original series and remixing them into something familiar, but totally new. At the centre of a divided world and a planet long ago past the point of devastation, a child who didn't ask to be born into any of this has no choice but to try and forge some life for himself.

When you can read it: Aug. 17, 2021

Lemire is a comics artist whose work includes RoughneckEssex CountyThe Underwater Welder and Gord Downie's Secret PathEssex County was defended by Sara Quin on Canada Reads in 2011. Lemire lives in Toronto.

Undersong by Kathleen Winter

Undersong is a novel by Kathleen Winter. (Knopf Canada, Roger LeMoyne)

The novel Undersong explores the lives of the Wordsworth family. Dorothy Wordsworth is the sister of famous Romantic era poet William Wordsworth. She has lived an unconventional life as William's collaborator and has created a seemingly idyllic existence for herself. But when family friend James Dixon is urged by William to take on more chores, he realizes his true responsibility is to care for increasingly frail Dorothy. 

When you can read it: Aug. 17, 2021

Kathleen Winter is a writer who was born in the U.K. and is now living in Montreal after many years in Newfoundland. She is best known for her debut novel Annabel, which was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Governor General's Literary Award, the Writers' Trust Fiction Prize and the Amazon First Novel Award. Her other books include the memoir Boundless and the novel Lost in September.

Stories of Métis Women, edited by Bailey Oster and Marilyn Lizee

Stories of Métis Women is an essay collection edited by Bailey Oster and Marilyn Lizee. (Bailey Oster, Durvile Publications, Marilyn Lizee)

Stories of Métis Women is a collection of stories about culture, history and nationhood as told by Métis women. Few really know the story of the Métis. They are a people with a unique and proud history and Nation. In this era of reconciliation, this book explains the story of the Métis Nation from the perspective of several Métis women.

When you can read it: Aug. 15, 2021

Bailey Oster is a Métis woman with roots in the Red River Settlement and St. Paul des Métis. She was elected as the youngest ever vice-president of New Dawn, the Métis Women's Organization within Alberta at 19 years old and still currently holds the position.

Marilyn Lizee is a consultant for the Métis Nation of Alberta, creating cultural training programs for the general public as well as for the Métis Nation. 

Missed Connections by Brian Francis

Missed Connections is a book by Brian Francis. (McClelland & Stewart)

In 1992, Brian Francis, a 21-year-old university student, placed a personal ad in a local newspaper. He was still in the closet and looking for love. He received 25 responses, but only responded to half of them. There were 13 letters that went unanswered and spent years forgotten in a cardboard box. Now, almost three decades later, he has written replies to those letters. Missed Connections uses these letters as a starting point to reflect on everything that has changed for him as a gay man, exploring body image, aging, desire, the price of secrecy and the courage it takes to be unapologetically yourself. 

Missed Connections was inspired by Francis's play, Box 4901.

When you can read it: Aug. 17, 2021

Francis is the author of novels Fruit, Natural Order and Break in Case of Emergency. He is a writer and columnist for The Next Chapter on CBC Radio and lives in Toronto.

The Listeners by Jordan Tannahill

The Listeners is a novel by Jordan Tannahill. (Yuula Bernivolski, HarperCollins Canada)

In the novel The Listeners, Claire Devon is one of a disparate group of people who can hear a low hum. No one in her house can hear it, and this sound has no obvious source or medical cause, but it starts upsetting the balance of Claire's life. She strikes up a friendship with one of her students who can also hear the hum. Feeling more and more isolated from their families and colleagues, they join a neighbourhood self-help group of people who can also hear the hum, which gradually transforms into something much more extreme, with far-reaching and devastating consequences. 

When you can read it: Aug. 17, 2021

Jordan Tannahill is a playwright, filmmaker, author and theatre director. He has twice won the Governor General's Literary Award for drama: in 2014 for Age of Minority and in 2018 for Botticelli in the Fire & Sunday in Sodom. He is also the author of the novel Liminal.

The Wherewood by Gabrielle Prendergast

The Wherewood is a YA novel by Gabrielle Prendergast. (Orca Book Publishers, Erika Forest)

The middle-grade novel The Wherewood is the second book in the Faerie Woods series, following The Crosswood. The book continues the adventures of a human teen named Blue Jasper and his newfound magical friends Salix and Finola. The Wherewood is an adventure back into the Faerieland where the friends encounter magic, mystery and danger. 

The Wherewood is for ages 9 to 12

When you can read it: Aug. 17, 2021

Gabrielle Prendergast has written a number of books for young people, including Audacious, which won the Westchester Award, and Zero Repeat Forever, which won the Sheila A. Egoff Prize for Children's Literature. She lives in British Columbia.

The Most Precious Substance on Earth by Shashi Bhat

The Most Precious Substance on Earth is a novel by Shashi Bhat. (Olivia Ali, McClelland & Stewart)

Shashi Bhat's newest novel, The Most Precious Substance on Earth, is a coming-of-age take about Nina, a present-day high school teacher. When she was 14, she preferred to keep quiet about quite a few things, such as her crush on her English teacher, her mother's attempts to match her up with local Halifax Indian boys, her best friend pulling away and her worried father reciting Hindu prayers outside her bedroom door. She also won't talk about a life-changing incident in high school. Over the years, she discovers that the past is never far behind her. 

When you can read it: Aug. 24, 2021

Bhat is a writer who lives in New Westminster, B.C. She is also the author of the novel The Family Took Shape.

Probably Ruby by Lisa Bird-Wilson

Probably Ruby is a novel by Lisa Bird-Wilson. (Doubleday Canada, Julie Cortens)

The novel Probably Ruby is about the life of Ruby, a young girl who grows up knowing very little about her Indigenous heritage. Her parents' separation sparks a chain reaction of events — and her life is beset by alcohol, drugs and bad relationships. Left with no support network, Ruby searches for her unknown roots in the most destructive of places. 

When you can read it: Aug. 24, 2021

Lisa Bird-Wilson is a Saskatchewan Métis and nêhiyaw writer. Her book Just Pretending won four Saskatchewan Book Awards. She is also the author of the poetry collection The Red Files.

The Spectacular by Zoe Whittall

The Spectacular is a novel by Zoe Whittall. (HarperCollins Canada, Ali Eisner)

The novel The Spectacular is about three generations of women and how the choices they make shape the rest of their lives. Missy is a rock star, touring across America in 1997 as the only girl in a hard-partying band. Her mother, Carola, had been largely absent from her life and works at a retreat helping other women improve their lives. Missy's grandmother, Ruth, wants to return home to Turkey one last time, but not before she brings Carola and Missy back together.

When you can read it: Aug. 24, 2021

Zoe Whittall is a novelist and screenwriter from Toronto. Her other books include The Best Kind of People, which was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and is currently being adapted for limited series by Sarah Polley, Holding Still for as Long as Possible and Bottle Rocket Hearts. She has also written for Schitt's Creek and the Baroness Von Sketch Show

The Madness of Crowds by Louise Penny

The Madness of Crowds is a novel by Louise Penny. (Raincoast Books, Jean-Francois Berube)

The Madness of Crowds is the latest book in Louise Penny's popular Armand Gamache series. This time, the Chief Inspector's family holiday is interrupted by a simple request. He's asked to provide security for a visiting Professor of Statistics who will be giving a lecture at a nearby university. But he soon discovers the professor's agenda, one so repulsive he begs the university to cancel the lecture, to no avail. They accuse Gamache of censorship and intellectual cowardice. Before long, the professor's views start seeping into conversations and it becomes nearly impossible to tell truth, reality and delusion apart.

When you can read it: Aug. 24, 2021

Penny is the author of the bestselling Armand Gamache mystery novels. She's won two Arthur Ellis Awards, seven Agatha Awards, five Anthony Awards and three Macavity Awards. In 2017, she received the Order of Canada for her contributions to Canadian culture. Penny lives in Knowlton, Que., a small village outside of Montreal.

Fight Night by Miriam Toews

Fight Night is the latest novel by Canadian author Miriam Toews. (Knopf Canada, Carol Loewen)

Fight Night is a novel about a young girl trying to make sense of the world. Nine-year-old Swiv lives in Toronto with her pregnant mother, who is raising Swiv while caring for own elderly mother. When Swiv is expelled from school, Grandma gives Swiv the task of writing to her absent father about what life is like in the house during her mother's final trimester. In turn, Swiv tells Grandma, who knows what it costs to survive the world, to write a letter to her unborn grandchild. 

When you can read it: Aug. 24, 2021

Miriam Toews is the author of seven novels, including Women TalkingAll My Puny SorrowsA Complicated Kindness and The Flying Troutmans. She has won the Governor General's Literary Award for fiction, Writers' Trust Fiction Prize and the Writers' Trust Engel Findley Award. A Complicated Kindness won Canada Reads in 2006, when it was defended by John K. Samson. Toews lives in Toronto.

Life in the City of Dirty Water by Clayton Thomas-Muller

Life in the City of Dirty Water is a book by Clayton Thomas-Muller. (Allen Lane, Thelma Young Lutunatabua)

Life in the City of Dirty Water is a memoir by Cree activist Clayton Thomas-Muller. It covers his entire life, from a childhood playing with toy planes a way to escape from domestic and sexual abuse and endured the intergenerational trauma of Canada's residential school system to becoming a young man who fought against racism and violence but also spent time in juvenile prison to becoming a committed activist. Along the way, Clayton remained tied to his Cree heritage and spirituality. Tying together personal stories of survival that bring the realities of the First Nations into focus, Life in the City of Dirty Water is a narrative and vision of healing and responsibility. 

When you can read it: Aug. 24, 2021

Thomas-Muller is a member of the Treaty #6 based Mathias Colomb Cree Nation located in Northern Manitoba. He's campaigned on behalf of Indigenous peoples around the world for more than 20 years, working with numerous organizations. Life in the City of Dirty Water is his first book.

Music, Late and Soon by Robyn Sarah

Music, Late and Soon is a book by Robyn Sarah. (Biblioasis)

After 35 years as an "on-again, off-again, uncoached closet pianist," poet and writer Robyn Sarah called her old piano teacher, whom she had last seen decades ago. Music, Late and Soon is the story of Sarah's return to studying piano with the mentor of her youth. She also reflects on a decade spent at Quebec's Conservatoire de Musique, studying clarinet, preparing for a career as an orchestral musician, but already a writer at heart.

When you can read it: Aug. 24, 2021

Sarah is the author of 11 collections of poems, two books of short stories and a book of essays on poetry. My Shoes Are Killing Me won the 2015 Governor General's Literary Award for poetry. Her poetry has appeared in several anthologies. She lives in Montreal.

The Snow Line by Tessa McWatt

The Snow Line is a novel by Tessa McWatt. (Christine Mofardin, Random House Canada)

In the novel The Snow Line, a wedding in India brings four unlikely people together: a yoga instructor named Yosh, a cousin of the bride named Monica, a childhood friend of the bride named Reema and an elderly guest named Jackson, who has brought his wife's ashes with him. As the wedding festivities unfold, the characters come together in unexpected and moving ways. They end up travelling together to scatter the ashes, complicating the dynamics and revealing even more secrets.

When you can read it: Aug. 24, 2021

Tessa McWatt is the author of several works of fiction. Her novels include Dragons CryVital Signs and Higher Ed. She is also the co-editor of the anthology Luminous Ink: Writers on Writing in Canada and is the author of the memoir Shame on Me.

Both Sides Now by Peyton Thomas

Both Sides Now is a debut YA novel by Peyton Thomas. (Penguin Teen Canada)

Both Sides Now is the debut YA novel by Canadian author Peyton Thomas. It's about Finch Kelly, a teen who is on the high school debate team and dreams of a career as the first trans congressman. But when the annual national speech and debate tournament rolls around, Finch is worried about his odds of winning — all while having feelings for Jonah, his debate partner who happens to be gay and is already in a relationship. 

Both Sides Now is for ages 14 and up.

When you can read it: Aug. 24, 2021

Thomas is an author and freelance journalist from Toronto. His work can be seen in Pitchfork, Billboard and Vanity Fair. He was a 2016 Lambda Literary Fellow. 

Oracule by Nicole Raziya Fong 

Oracle is a poetry collection by Nicole Raziya Fong. (Talonbooks)

Oracule is a book that exists at the intersection of poetry and theatre. Influenced by Friedrich Nietzsche's The Birth of Tragedy, the writings of Plato, the films of Pier Paolo Pasolini, and The OdysseyOracule approaches self and identity through a fractal, performative lens, subverting Socratic dialogue.

When you can read it: Aug. 26, 2021

Nicole Raziya Fong is a poet living in Montreal. She is also the author of the poetry collection Perfact.

Red X by David Demchuk

Red X is a novel by David Demchuk. (, Strange Light)

In the novel Red X, men are disappearing from the gay village in Toronto, one by one. Their disappearances are ignored by the police and media, but they rock the community — the same community dealing with the HIV/AIDS crisis, police brutality and homophobia. This story unfolds alongside author David Demchuk's own story, as he explores the relationship between queerness and horror and how the scariest monsters that move through his community aren't imaginary, they are all too real.

When you can read it: Aug. 31, 2021

Demchuk is a writer and a CBC communications officer. His first book, The Bone Motherwas longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize.

Operation Angus by Terry Fallis

Operation Angus is a novel by Terry Fallis. (McClelland & Stewart, Tim Fallis)

A follow up to the comedic novels The Best Laid Plans and The High RoadOperation Angus continues to follow the adventures of Angus McLintock, a politician who accidentally became a Member of Parliament, won re-election and is now the junior global affairs minister. After his Chief of Staff Daniel Addison receives a cryptic late-night text and goes to a secret meeting at a pub, the two of them are thrown into a race against the clock to save the Russian president.

When you can read it: Aug. 31, 2021

Terry Fallis is the author of six novels, including One Brother ShyThe Best Laid PlansThe High Road and Up and Down. He is a two-time winner of the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour. The Best Laid Plans won Canada Reads in 2011, when it was defended by journalist Ali Velshi.

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