Books

30 Canadian books coming out in November we can't wait to read

A new month means new books! Here are the novels, poetry, kids books and more coming out in November we can't wait to read.

A new month means new books! Here are the novels, poetry, kids books and more coming out in November we can't wait to read.

Autowar by Assiyah Jamilla Touré

Autowar is a poetry collection by Assiyah Jamilla Touré. (Assiyah Jamilla Touré, Brick Books)

Autowar is a collection of poems exploring kinesthetic memory and longing, inherited violence and the body as a geographical site. It is a record of the scars left from the pain we're made to think we deserve — the scars we inflict upon ourselves to mark the path. The poems remind us that even our scars have worlds and lives.

When you can read it: Nov. 1, 2021

Assiyah Jamilla Touré is a multidisciplinary artist of West African descent. She was born and raised in Vancouver, lived for many years in Montreal and is now based in Toronto. Autowar is her first full-length poetry collection.

Blue-Skinned Gods by SJ Sindu

Blue-Skinned Gods is a novel by SJ Sindhu. (Penguin Random House Canada)

Blue-Skinned Gods is about a boy, Kalki, who is born with blue skin. His father sets up an ashram, and his family makes a living off of pilgrims who believe Kalki to be the 10th human incarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu. Kalki is confronted with three trials that test his power and prove his divine status. When he seems to pass them, he questions his divinity. Over the next decade, his family unravels — and every relationship he relied on starts falling apart.

When you can read it: Nov. 2, 2021

SJ Sindu is a Tamil author and educator. She is also the author of the novel Marriage of a Thousand Lies and two chapbooks. Sindhu is an assistant professor at the University of Toronto Scarborough.

This is My Real Name by Cid V Brunet

This is My Real Name is a book by Cid V Brunet. (Arsenal Pulp Press)

In the memoir This is My Real Name, Cid V Brunet chronicles the 10 years they spent working as a dancer at strip clubs, using the name Michelle. From their very first lap dance in a small town bar to her work at high end clubs, they learn they must follow the unspoken rules that will allow them to succeed in the competitive industry. Michelle and their friends rely on each other's camaraderie and strength in an industry that is both toxic and deeply rewarding. 

When you can read it: Nov. 2, 2021

Brunet is a writer living in Montreal. This is My Real Name is their first book.

The Call of the Red-Winged Blackbird by Tim Bowling

The Call of the Red-Winged Blackbird is a book by Tim Bowling. (Wolsak & Wynn, Brick Books)

In the essay collection The Call of the Red-Winged Blackbird, Tim Bowling examines closely the common questions and beauties of life. From questions of love and money, to the search for solitude in a busy world to poetry and the place of art today, he writes thoughtfully on what it means to be alive now. 

When you can read it: Nov. 2, 2021

Bowling is the author of 21 works of poetry, fiction and nonfiction including The Dark SetThe Heavy Bear and The Lost Coast. He's won numerous awards, including two Edmonton Artist Trust Awards, five Alberta Book Awards, two Writers' Trust Prizes and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Talking to Canadians by Rick Mercer

Talking to Canadians is a book by Rick Mercer. (John Sturge, Doubleday Canada)

In Talking to Canadians, Rick Mercer has turned the spotlight on himself. When Mercer retired from his successful TV show after 15 seasons, at the peak of its popularity, everyone wondered what he was going to do next. The answer came not long after, when he became a stand-up comedian. He chronicles this journey in his new memoir, Talking to Canadians.

When you can read it: Nov. 2, 2021

Mercer was a co-creator and a resident performer on CBC's This Hour Has 22 Minutes and was co-host of The Rick Mercer Report for 15 seasons. His book Final Report, was longlisted for the 2019 Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour. Mercer currently lives in Toronto.

Original Sisters by Anita Kunz

Original Sisters is a book by Anita Kunz. (Anita Kunz, Random House Canada)

In March 2020, artist Anita Kunz began her research on women in her Toronto home studio during lockdown. She soon found an array of extraordinary women who had done amazing things — most of whom she had not heard of — and began to paint these women and write down their stories. She shares what she discovered and the art she created a sa result in Original Sisters.

When you can read it: Nov. 2, 2021

Kunz is an artist who has lived in London, New York and Toronto. Her work has been seen in Time magazine, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair and The New Yorker. She has been appointed Officer of the Order of Canada and received the Queen's Jubilee Medal of Honour.

The Shiatsung Project by Brigitte Archambault

The Shiatsung Project is a comic by Brigitte Archambault. (Conundrum Press)

The Shiatsung Project explores surveillance culture and authoritarian control, and how they disrupt our very human need for connection, intimacy and a meaningful life. A woman lives alone in a small house situated in a tidy yard surrounded by a seemingly impenetrable wall. Lonely and frustrated, the woman begins to search for answers of her own.

When you can read it: Nov. 2, 2021

Brigitte Archambault is an artist from Montreal. Her career debuted with solo and group exhibitions in galleries in Quebec. The Shiatsung Project is her first graphic novel.

Swan Song by Sonja Ahlers 

Swan Song is a comic by Sonja Ahlers. (Conundrum Press)

Swan Song revisits Sonja Ahlers's black and white photocopier aesthetic and completes her genre-bending trilogy. Part art book, part zine collection, part diary and part graphic novel, the book is the final chapter in a body of cut-and-paste work that is difficult to categorize. 

When you can read it: Nov. 2, 2021

Ahlers is a visual artist and poet from Victoria. Her book Temper, Temper attracted national attention and was followed by a sequel Fatal Distraction. Ahlers' art has been exhibited both across Canada and internationally.

Harvey and the Extraordinary by Eliza Martin, illustrated by Anna Bron

Harvey and the Extraordinary is a middle-grade book by Eliza Martin, left, and illustrated by Anna Bron, right. (Annick Press, Gaetz Photography)

Harvey and the Extraordinary is a middle-grade book about Mimi, the expert in all things extraordinary, like snow days, blue raspberry candy and her dad, who recently joined the circus. With her new hamster as her assistant, Mimi starts rehearsals for a marvellous mime show. But her moody older brother and needy ex-best-friend — plus memories of the day her dad left home — keep interfering with her plans.

Harvey and the Extraordinary is for ages 8 to 11.

When you can read it: Nov. 2, 2021

Eliza Martin is a writer, theatre artist and arts educator. She works with children and youth in Toronto, Ontario. Harvey and the Extraordinary, based on her 2018 play, is her debut novel.

Vancouver-based Anna Bron studied traditional animation at Sheridan College. She illustrated the picture book Salma the Syrian Chef by Ahmad Danny Ramadan and has animated, designed and directed commercials and short films.

The Dancing Trees by Masiana Kelly, illustrated by Michelle Simpson

The Dancing Trees is a picture book by Masiana Kelly, left, and illustrated by Michelle Simpson, right. (Inhabit Media)

The picture book The Dancing Trees is a tale of Thomas, who loves to tell big stories. Taking the challenge to spend a night alone in the forest, Thomas heads into the wilderness and has a magical encounter with dancing forest trees that he will never forget.

The Dancing Trees is for ages 6 to 8.

When you can read it: Nov. 2, 2021

Masiana Kelly is an Inuk/Dene writer based in Kugluktuk, the westernmost community in Nunavut.

Michelle Simpson is an Ontario illustrator and designer based out of Niagara Falls, Ont.

Leonard Cohen, Untold Stories: From This Broken Hill, Volume 2 by Michael Posner

Leonard Cohen, Untold Stories: From This Broken Hill, Volume 2 is a book by Michael Posner. (Etye Sarner, Simon & Schuster)

This second of three volumes in the Leonard Cohen, Untold Stories series follows Leonard Cohen from the conclusion of his first international music tour in 1971 as he continued to compose poetry, record music and search for meaning into the late 1980s. From This Broken Hill looks at Cohen's romantic relationships, his career stumbles and the start of his 40-year immersion in Zen Buddhism, which inspired some of his most profound and enduring art.

When you can read it: Nov. 2, 2021

Michael Posner is a writer, playwright and journalist. He's the author or co-author of eight previous books, including Leonard Cohen, Untold Stories: The Early Years, Vol. 1, the Mordecai Richler biography The Last Honest Man and the Anne Murray autobiography All of Me

Aggie and Mudgy by Wendy Proverbs

Aggie and Mudgy is a middle-grade book by Wendy Proverbs. (Heritage House, Geoff Proverbs)

Aggie and Mudgy is based on the true story of the author's biological mother and aunt. It traces the long and frightening journey of two Kaska Dena sisters as they are taken from their home to attend residential school. It focuses on the journey to residential school and offers a glimpse into the act of being physically uprooted and transported far away from loved ones. 

Aggie and Mudgy is for ages 9 to 12.

When you can read it: Nov. 2, 2021

Wendy Proverbs is an emerging Indigenous author of Kaska Dena descent. She holds a BA and MA in anthropology from the University of Victoria. As an infant she was caught in the sweeping scoop of Indigenous children taken from their birth families, and was reunited with biological family members as a young adult. 

The Voyage by H. Nigel Thomas

The Voyage is a poetry collection by H. Nigel Thomas. (Mawenzi House)

The Voyage is a collection of poems by H. Nigel Thomas culled from a lifetime of meditations on self, family, time and aging. It also reflects on political and social aspects of human lives, such as hubris, abuse of power, racism and oppression.

When you can read it: Nov. 4, 2021

Thomas was born in St. Vincent and has lived in Quebec since 1968. He is the author of four novels, three collections of short fiction, one poetry collection and two scholarly texts. Thomas received the Martin Luther King Jr. Achievement Award in 2020.

Essential Ingredients by Carol Rose GoldenEagle

Essential Ingredients is a poetry collection by Carol Rose GoldenEagle. (Inanna Publications)

In the poetry collection Essential Ingredients, Carol Rose GoldenEagle recalls when Creator's blessings have truly been bestowed in a parent's shared life with their children. The book examines hardship and struggle, triumph of spirit and joy, and serves as a reminder to all parents that childhood is fleeting. It is a celebration of parenthood.

When you can read it: Nov. 8, 2021

GoldenEagle is a Cree and Dene author and journalist from Saskatchewan. Her book Bearskin Diary was chosen as a national Aboriginal Literature Title for 2017. She is also the author of Hiraeth and Bone Black. GoldenEagle is the ninth poet laureate of Saskatchewan.

Rez Rules by Clarence Louie

Rez Rules is a book by Clarence Louie. (Clarence Louie, McClelland & Stewart)

Clarence Louie was elected Chief of the Osoyoos Indian Band in 1984 at 24 years old. Nineteen elections later, he has led his community for nearly four decades and transformed his community into an economic powerhouse, which he believes is the key to self-sufficiency, reconciliation and justice for First Nations people. Louie shares his remarkable journey and his lessons on leadership in the memoir Rez Rules.

When you can read it: Nov. 9, 2021

Louie has been chief of the Osoyoos Indian Band in the south Okanagan Valley of B.C., for almost four decades. He is a member of the Order of Canada and the Order of British Columbia. In 2019, he was the first First Nations person to be inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame.

The Absence of Zero by R. Kolewe

The Absence of Zero is a poetry collection by R. Kolewe. (Book*Hug Press/CBC)

The Absence of Zero is a celebration of the long poem tradition. Consisting of 256 16-line quartets and 34 free-form interruptions, this work is an example of thinking in language, a meditation that explores time and memory in both content and form.

When you can read it: Nov. 9, 2021

R. Kolewe was born in Montreal and lives in Toronto. His work has appeared online at ditch, The Puritan and Prism International. His previous poetry collections are Afterletters and Inspecting Nostalgia.

Chasing Bats and Tracking Rats by Cylita Guy, illustrated by Cornelia Li

Chasing Bats and Tracking Rats is a middle-grade book by Cylita Guy, left, and illustrated by Cornelia Li, right. (Annick Press, Travis Guy, JS Li)

Dr. Cylita Guy shows how studying urban wildlife can help us make cities around the world healthier for all of their inhabitants in Chasing Bats and Tracking Rats. In the process, Guy reveals how social injustices like racism can affect not only how scientists study city wildlife, but also where urban critters are more likely to thrive. 

Chasing Bats and Tracking Rats is for ages 9 to 12.

When you can read it: Nov. 9, 2021

Guy is a Toronto-based ecologist, data scientist and science communicator who studies bats. 

Cornelia Li is a Chinese-born illustrator based in Toronto. 

barangay by Adrian De Leon

barangay: an offshore poem is a book by Adrian De Leon. (Dylan J. Locke, Wolsak & Wynn)

barangay is a collection of poetry that gathers in and arranges the difficult pieces of a scattered history. While mourning the loss of his grandmother, Adrian De Leon skips his barangay, which is both a boat and an administrative unit in the Philippine government, over the history of both his family and a nation.

When you can read it: Nov. 9, 2021

De Leon is a writer and educator from Manila by way of Scarborough, Ont. He is the author of Rouge and co-editor of Feel Ways: A Scarborough Anthology. His poetry and nonfiction have appeared in The Puritan, Joyland Magazine and Catapult. De Leon currently lives in Los Angeles and teaches at the University of Southern California.

Wave Forms and Doom Scrolls by Daniel Scott Tysdal

Wave Forms and Doom Scrolls is a short story collection by Daniel Scott Tysdal. (Andrea Charise, Wolsak & Wynn)

From the middle-aged man who's involved in a suicide cult to the young woman writing a poem for a friend who has recently died, Wave Forms and Doom Scrolls is a collection of short stories that delves deep into the human experience. It looks unflinchingly at the darkness of society, such as suicide, internet trolls and violence. 

When you can read it: Nov. 9 2021

Daniel Scott Tysdal is the author of two books of poetry, The Mourner's Book of Albums and Predicting the Next Big Advertising Breakthrough Using a Potentially Dangerous Method. Tysdal teaches at the University of Toronto Scarborough.

The Book of Healing by Najwa Zebian

The Book of Healing is a poetry collection by Najwa Zebian. (Farrah Benni, Andrews McMeel Publishing)

The Book of Healing is a poetry collection that contains Najwa Zebian's favourite pieces from her three bestselling books. Her work explores how to ​overcome pain, heal from trauma and rebuild a strong sense of self. 

When you can read it: Nov. 9 2021

Zebian is a Lebanese Canadian author, speaker and educator. Her books include the poetry collections Mind Platter, Welcome Home and The Nectar of Pain.

Chasing Zebras by Margaret Nowaczyk

Dr. Margaret Nowaczyk is an author and clinical geneticist based in Hamilton, Ont. (Wolsak & Wynn Publishers Ltd.,Lisa Sakulensky Photography)

Margaret Nowaczyk immigrated to Canada from Poland as a teenager and was determined to become a doctor. She eventually went to med school at the University of Toronto and became a clinical geneticist. Chasing Zebras shares Nowaczyk's journey from Communist Poland to becoming a doctor in Canada while living with a long undiagnosed mental illness.

When you can read it: Nov. 9, 2021

Nowaczyk is a Polish Canadian author and clinical geneticist based in Hamilton, Ont. Her work has appeared in The New Quarterly, The Antigonish Review and Grain.

Living with Viola by Rosena Fung

Living with Viola is a middle-grade book by Rosena Fung. (Mark Medeiros, Annick Press)

Living with Viola is a graphic novel that explores mental health, cultural differences and the trials of middle school. Livy is already having trouble fitting in as the new girl at school — and then there's Viola, a shadowy twin that only Livy can see or hear. Livy tries to push back against Viola's relentless judgment, but nothing seems to work until she strikes up new friendships at school. 

When you can read it: Nov. 11, 2021

Rosena Fung is an illustrator and comic artist from Toronto. Her work has appeared in newspapers, magazines, giant murals and on TV.

Dusk in the Frog Pond and Other Stories by Rummana Chowdhury

Dusk in the Frog Pond is a short story collection by Rummana Chowdhury. (Inanna Publications, Vidur Suddul)

Dusk in the Frog Pond is a collection of eight short stories that explore the lives of immigrants as they face the challenges of migration, displacement and cultural assimilation. Readers are introduced to unique social, cultural and traditional rural lifestyles in a remote village in Bangladesh, where the women are often in arranged marriages. These stories reflect joy and sorrow — depicting culture, tradition and past history in parallel with today's modernized world.

When you can read it: Nov. 12, 2021

Rummana Chowdhury has written 43 books in both Bengali and English, including poetry, short stories, novels and essays. She's a commentator on issues of migration that affect the South Asian Diaspora. She emigrated to Canada in 1982 and now lives in Mississauga.

Ghosthawk by Matt Rader

Ghost Hawk is a poetry collection by Matt Rader. (Jessica Zais, Nightwood Editions)

Ghosthawk is a guidebook of imagination from grasslands to star fields to the weather of the poet's body. Where's home in the crises of ecological collapse and mortal illness? Where's joy with constant pain, a future blurred by smoke? Carrying these questions, Matt Rader wrote down what he learned, the directions as he can best describe them.

When you can read it: Nov. 13, 2021

Rader is a writer from Kelowna, B.C. He is the author of four volumes of poetry and the short story collection What I Want to Tell Goes Like This. His work has appeared in Best Canadian Poetry, Geist and The Walrus. 

The Sweetest Dance on Earth by Di Brandt

The Sweetest Dance on Earth is a poetry collection by Di Brandt. (Darci Adam, Turnstone Press)

The Sweetest Dance on Earth is a collection of poet Di Brandt's best work, showcasing her desire to understand, question and show the world in a new light. From her feminist work to her eco-poetics, readers will get a chance to see the breathtaking career of one of Canada's most influential poets.

When you can read it: Nov. 15, 2021

Brandt is a Canadian poet and Winnipeg's first poet laureate. She has published more than a dozen books. Her first collection of poetry, questions i asked my mother, was shortlisted for the Governor General's Literary Award for poetry and the Commonwealth Poetry Prize.

The Big Bath House by Kyo Maclear, illustrated by Gracey Zhang

The Big Bath House is a picture book by Kyo Maclear, left, and illustrated by Gracey Zhang, right. (Tundra Books)

The Big Bath House is a picture book that celebrates family, culture and bodies of all shapes and sizes. A Japanese girl, with her aunties and grandmother, relaxex and connect at a traditional bath house. The Big Bath House highlights the rituals leading up to the baths: hair washing, back scrubbing and the traditional wood barrel drumroll. 

The Big Bath House is for ages 4 to 8.

When you can read it: Nov. 16, 2021

Kyo Maclear is an essayist, novelist and author of children's books. Her books have been translated into 15 languages, won a Governor General's Literary Award and been nominated for the TD Canadian Children's Literature Award, among others. She is also the author of the memoir Birds Art Life.

Gracey Zhang is an author and illustrator from Vancouver, now based in New York. Lala's Words, her debut picture book, was published in 2021.

The Singles Table by Sara Desai

The Singles Table is a novel by Sara Desai. (saradesai.com, Berkley Publishing)

The Singles Table is a comedic romance novel about celebrity-obsessed lawyer Zara Patel who has vowed never to fall in love again after a particularly bad break-up. Zara has a knack for matchmaking at her friends's weddings, but when she meets a stubborn ex-military man named Jay the two make an arrangement that brings them together and they realize they might be what each other has been looking for.

When you can read it: Nov. 16, 2021

Sara Desai is a lawyer, historian and author based on Vancouver Island. Her other books are The Dating Plan and The Marriage Game.

The Adventures of Sgoobidoo by Cathon

The Adventures of Sgoobidoo is a comic by Cathon. (Radio-Canada, Pow Pow Press)

The Adventures of Sgoobidoo is about Sgoobidoo, a famous canine detective. The book follows him to the corner store, bingo hall and amusement park in a series of events with disappointing endings. The stories of sad adventures are gathered in the familiar format of an Archie digest.

When you can read it: Nov. 18, 2021

Cathon is an artist from Montreal who makes children's books and comics. After self-publishing a couple of critically acclaimed zines, she published her first professional book, La liste des choses qui existent, in 2013.

Spell Sweeper by Lee Edward Fodi

Spell Sweeper is a middle-grade book by Lee Edward Fodi. (HarperCollins)

Spell Sweeper is a middle-grade fantasy, featuring a failed young wizard, Cara Moone and her cleanup crew. Flunked out of wizard school, Cara is in training to be a MOP, also known as Magical Occurrence Purger. It's Cara's job to sweep up the hazardous dust a real wizard's spells leave behind. But some messes require more than magic to clean up.

Spell Sweeper is for ages 8 to 12.

When you can read it: Nov. 30, 2021

Lee Edward Födi is an author, illustrator and specialized arts educator. He is the author of several books for children, including The Secret of Zoone and The Guardians of Zoone. He is a co-founder of the Creative Writing for Children Society (CWC), a not-for-profit program that helps kids write their own books.

A Sky-Blue Bench by Bahram Rahman, illustrated by Peggy Collins

A Sky-Blue Bench is a picture book by Bahram Rahman, middle, and illustrated by Peggy Collins, left. (Pajama Press)

A Sky-Blue Bench is the story of an Afghani girl named Aria who gets a new prosthetic leg after an accident involving a landmine. When she eagerly returns to school there are no comfortable places for her to sit — so she sets out to learn to build a bench for herself so she can stay in school. The bright blue bench comes to represent Aria's courage, resilience and hope.

When you can read it: Nov. 30, 2021

Bahram Rahman is an Ontario-based author and activist who was born in Kabul and grew up during the civil war and the Taliban regime. Rahman came to Canada as a refugee in 2012 and The Library Bus, is his debut picture book.

Peggy Collins is a graphic designer and children's book author-illustrator with more than 35 titles to her name, including Hungry for Math and In the Snow.

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