40 Canadian books coming out in May we can't wait to read

A new month means new books! Here are some of May's most anticipated Canadian titles.

A new month means new books! Here are some of May's most anticipated Canadian titles.

You Still Look the Same by Farzana Doctor

You Still Look the Same is a poetry collection by Farzana Doctor. (Freehand Books)

In her debut poetry collection, Farzana Doctor dives into the tumultuous decade of her forties. She explores mid-life breakups and dating, female genital cutting, racism, misogyny, sex, love and the ways in which human relationships are never how we expect them to be.

When you can read it: May 1, 2022

Doctor is an Ontario author and social worker. Her books include the novels Seven, All Inclusive, Six Metres of Pavement and Stealing Nasreen. She won the 2011 Dayne Ogilvie Prize from the Writers' Trust of Canada for an emerging lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender writer.

Featured VideoFarzana Doctor tackles taboo subjects in her new novel Seven.

Sun Wishes by Patricia Storms, illustrated by Milan Pavlović

Sun Wishes is a picture book by Patricia Storms, illustrated by Milan Pavlovic. (Groundwood Books)

The duo behind 2019's bedtime story Moon Wishes now turns to a daytime tale. This colourful picture book is a celebration of the sun as it shines around the world, lighting up the gloomiest skies, celebrating the harvest and delighting in the diversity of life all over the globe.

Sun Wishes is for ages 3 to 6.

When you can read it: May 1, 2022

Patricia Storms has worked as a short-order cook, a library technician, and a graphic designer, but her favourite thing to do by far is to make books for kids! She wrote and illustrated The Pirate and the Penguin and the much-loved Never Let You Go. She is the author of The Dog's Gardener, illustrated by Nathalie Dion, and collaborated with her husband, Guy Storms, to write Moon Wishes, illustrated by Milan Pavlović. 

Milan Pavlović is a Toronto-based illustrator, graphic artist and educator. He is the illustrator of several children's books in Canada, including The Boy Who Invented the Popsicle by Anne Renaud.

Lizzy and the Cloud by Eric Fan and Terry Fan

Lizzy and the Cloud is a picture book by the Fan Brothers (Eric Fan, Simon & Schuster, Terry Fan)

Lizzy and the Cloud is a picture book about a girl named Lizzy and the pet cloud named Milo that she loves and cares for. But as Milo continues to grow and grow, the time is fast approaching when Lizzy has to let her pet go free. 

Lizzy and the Cloud is for ages 3 to 8.

When you can read it: May 3, 2022

Eric Fan and Terry Fan are brothers and frequent collaborators on children's books. Their books include The Night Gardener and Ocean Meets SkyThey also illustrated The Darkest Dark by astronaut and author Chris Hadfield.

Shelterbelts by Jonathan Dyck 

Shelterbelts is a graphic novel by Jonathan Dyck. (Conundrum Press)

Shelterbelts tells the story of a Mennonite community breaking open, as traditional beliefs and modern values collide. The schisms in the community reach a turning point when a non-denominational mega-church opens on the edge of the rural village. Shelterbelts weaves together scenes from the community — a pastor and his queer daughter contend with lost parish members, a librarian writes prescriptive notes in books for her patrons and young activists fight with a farmer over pipeline construction on his land.

When you can read it: May 1, 2022

Jonathan Dyck is a cartoonist from Winnipeg. He's received several provincial prizes for his illustrations, including a silver medal at the 2021 Alberta Magazine Awards and the Manuela Dias Book Design and Illustration Award at the 2018 Manitoba Book Awards.

Night in the World by Sharon English

Night in the World is a book by Sharon English. (Freehand Books)

When their mother dies abruptly, brothers Justin and Oliver each set out to make things right in their own lives. Oliver, a former environmental reporter, sets out to reclaim a beloved home, while Justin, a successful restaurant owner, works to save a home that's falling apart. Intersecting their journey is Gabe, a budding biologist enchanted by the underappreciated beauty of moths.

Night in the World explores the need to end our separations from each other and from nature and how journeys into darkness are sometimes necessary to see through catastrophe.

When you can read it: May 1, 2022

Sharon English is the author of two collections of short stories, Zero Gravity and Uncomfortably Numb. Currently, she is the director of the Writing and Rhetoric Program at Innis College at the University of Toronto. 

Wan by Dawn Promislow

A beige book cover with W-A-N written vertically down the centre in a pastel artistic font. A smiling woman with long brown hair resting her chin on her first.
Wan is a book by Dawn Promislow. (Freehand Books)

Wan tells the story of Jacqueline, a privileged artist in 1970s South Africa. After an anti-apartheid activist comes to hide in her garden house, Jacqueline's carefully constructed life begins to unravel.

When you can read it: May 1, 2022

Dawn Promislow is a writer originally from South Africa. She is the author of the collection Jewels and Other Stories, which was longlisted for the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award in 2011. Her writing has appeared in places like the Maple Tree Literary Supplement, Berfrois, Munyori Literary Journal, StoryTime and Hazlitt. Promislow lives in Toronto.

The Most Cunning Heart by Catherine Graham

The Most Cunning Heart is a book by Catherine Graham. (Palimpsest Press, Portrait Boutique)

Grieving the loss of her parents, Caitlin Maharg leaves Canada for Northern Ireland to live by the sea and pursue her love of writing poetry. When Caitlin befriends a well-known poet named Andy Evans, their attraction soon leads to an affair. 

The Most Cunning Heart is a novel about how a quiet heroine learns to navigate deception, love and loss.

When you can read it: May 1, 2022

Catherine Graham is the author of seven collections of poetry, including the recent Æther: An Out-of-Body Lyric, which was shortlisted for the 2021 Toronto Book Awards. Her debut novel, Quarry, won an Independent Publisher Book Awards gold medal for fiction. Graham lives in Toronto, where she teaches creative writing and leads the Toronto International Festival of Authors Book Club.

We Were Dreamers by Simu Liu

A book cover of a man sitting on a stool. The same man poses staring at the camera with his hand on his temple.
We Were Dreamers is a book by Simu Liu. (HarperCollins Publishers)

Simu Liu details his journey from China to Canada to Hollywood, where he becomes the star of Marvel's first Asian superhero film, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Born in China, Liu's parents brought him to Canada when he was just four years old. As he grows up, he gets top marks in school, participates in national math competitions and makes his parents proud. But less than a year out of college and disillusioned with the life laid out for him, Liu is determined to carve out his own path.

When you can read it: May 3, 2022

Liu is an actor and writer best known for his work on Marvel's Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and the CBC sitcom Kim's Convenience. He lives in Los Angeles and Toronto.

Featured VideoSimu Liu will be hosting the 2022 Juno Awards in Toronto this May. Ahead of the show, he sat down with Tom Power to chat about the big gig, what it was like hosting Saturday Night Live and how his life has changed since the release of Marvel's Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.

Runs with the Stars by Darcy Whitecrow and Heather M. O'Connor, illustrated by Lenny Lishchenko

Run with the Stars is a picture book by Darcy Whitecrow and Heather M. O’Connor, illustrated by Lenny Lishchenko. (Second Story Press)

Runs with the Stars is a picture book featuring the Ojibwe Horses that used to roam the forests of northwestern Ontario. The horses once ran wild and free, but when Grandfather was a boy, they almost disappeared. Now he is the caretaker of his own small herd, keeping the breed alive for future generations and teaching his grandchild about the loving bond between humans and animals. 

Runs with the Stars is for ages 6 to 8.

When you can read it: May 3, 2022

Author Darcy Whitecrow is Ojibwe and Dakota; he is a member of the Seine River First Nation band in Northwestern Ontario, where he lives. Whitecrow practices traditional lifestyles like trapping, fishing, and ricing, as well as traditional spirituality in both the Midewiwin and Sundance traditions. 

Heather M. O'Connor is a children's author and freelance writer based in Peterborough, Ont. She first learned about Ojibwe Horses while writing for the Ontario Parks blog and quickly became obsessed.

Lenny Lishchenko is an Ontario illustrator, graphic designer and comics maker who will never give up the chance to draw a good birch tree. Ukrainian-born and Canadian-raised, she's interested in telling stories that people remember years later in the early mornings, when everything is quiet and still.

Good Mom on Paper edited by Stacey May Fowles & Jen Sookfong Lee

Good Mom on Paper is a book edited by by Stacey May Fowles, middle, and Jen Sookfong Lee, right. (Book*Hug Press, N. Maxwell, Kyrani Kanavaro)

Good Mom on Paper is a collection of twenty essays from writers like Heather O'Neill, Lee Maracle, Jael Richardson, Alison Pick and more. The collection is an honest and intimate exploration of the complicated relationship between motherhood and creativity. These essays pick at the often-invisible challenges of literary life as a parent and celebrate the systems that nurture writers who are mothers.

When you can read it: May 3, 2022

Stacey May Fowles is an award-winning journalist, essayist and the author of four books. Her writing has appeared in the Globe and Mail, The National Post, Elle Canada, The Walrus and elsewhere. Fowles lives in Toronto, where she is working on a children's book and her fourth novel.

Jen Sookfong Lee is a writer from Vancouver. Her books include The Conjoined, which was nominated for the International Dublin Literary Award and was a finalist for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, The Better Mother, which was a finalist for the City of Vancouver Book Award, The End of EastThe Shadow List and Finding Home.

This is How We Love by Lisa Moore

The book colour is a an abstract, multi-coloured water colour image with the title, "This is how we love" in white font across the cover.
This is How We Love is a book by Lisa Moore. (House of Anansi Press, Ritche Perez)

This is How We Love is the latest novel from award-winning writer Lisa Moore. The novel is set in St. John's, delves into the complexities of familial relationships — asking questions about what makes a family, how family shapes us and whether we really choose who we love. 

When you can read it: May 3, 2022

Moore is a writer from Newfoundland. Her other books include Caught, February, Alligator, Open and Something for Everyone. She has been nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize three times: in 2002 for Open, in 2005 for Alligator and in 2013 for Caught. Her novel February won Canada Reads in 2013, when it was defended by comedian Trent McClellan.

Mansions of the Moon by Shyam Selvadurai

Toronto-based author Shyam Selvadurai's latest novel is Mansions of the Moon. (Kevin Kelly, Knopf Canada)

Mansions of the Moon traces the life of Siddhartha Gautama, otherwise known as the Buddha, and his marriage to the intelligent and spirited Yasodhara. From their early life together to their crumbling partnership as Siddhartha's spiritual calling takes over, Mansions of the Moon paints a rich portrait of a marriage and illuminates a woman who has remained in the shadows of history.

When you can read it: May 3, 2022

Shyam Selvadurai is an award-winning Sri Lankan Canadian novelist. His books include Funny Boy, which won the 1995 Books in Canada First Novel Award, now known as the Amazon Canada First Novel Award. It was also adapted into a film by Indian Canadian filmmaker Deepa Mehta, which is available on CBC Gem. His other books include The Hungry Ghosts and Swimming in the Monsoon Sea.

Why I Write: Shyam Selvadurai

5 years ago
Duration 2:34
Featured VideoIn this CBC Books video series, author Shyam Selvadurai speaks about the need for authentic and diverse perspectives in Canadian literature.

Face by Jaspreet Singh

Face is a book by Jaspreet Singh. (Touchwood Editions, Jaspreet Singh)

When Lila, an Indian-born science journalist, meets a writer named Lucia at a creative writing workshop in Calgary, the two women find their paths entangled. As they work through Lila's story, the women follow the links between a fossil fraud in India, an ice core archive in Canada, the Burgess Shale quarry and a climate change laboratory in Germany. Through their detective work, Lila and Lucia come face to face with ecological grief and today's most fascinating science.

When you can read it: May 3, 2022

Jaspreet Singh is the author of the novels Chef and Helium, the story collection Seventeen Tomatoes and the poetry collection November. His nonfiction has been published in Granta, Brick: A Literary Journal and the New York Times. Singh lives in Calgary.

Wish Upon a Satellite by Sophie Labelle

Wish Upon a Satellite is a book by Sophie Labelle (Second Story Press, Julie Artacho)

The adventure of non-binary teen Ciel and their friends continue in this latest YA book. Ciel is growing up and into their own — but the world is filled with challenges, including climate change, social media and complex relationships. When Ciel becomes romantically entangled with their best friend, they must cope with new questions about loyalty and identity.

Wish Upon a Satellite is for ages 13 and up.

When you can read it: May 3, 2022

Sophie Labelle is a trans cartoonist, public speaker and writer from Montreal. She is the creator of the webcomic Assigned Male and has illustrated several comic books.

The Queen of Junk Island by Alexandra Mae Jones

The Queen of Junk Island is a book by Alexandra Mae Jones. (Annick Press)

Set in the mid-2000s, The Queen of Junk Island is a YA novel about gender identity and trauma. A teen named Dell is staying at the family cabin for the summer after a traumatic event. But things take a turn for the worse when they discover the area is filled with trash left by the previous tenant and her mother's boyfriend's irreverent daughter has been invited to stay with them. But for Dell, the trip also becomes a time for self-discovery and uncovering past family secrets that come to light. 

The Queen of Junk Island is for ages 16 and up.

When you can read it: May 3, 2022

Alexandra Mae Jones is a queer writer based in Toronto. Her short fiction has been published in several literary magazines, and she is a freelance reporter for She is the 2020 Prairie Fire Fiction Contest winner.

Ezra's Ghosts by Darcy Tamayose

A composite of a pink and gold, cloudy book cover and its smiling author, with round glasses and brunette hair.
Ezra's Ghosts is a book by Darcy Tamayose. (NeWest Press)

In this collection of fantastical stories, Darcy Tamayose introduces a cast of characters whose lives intersect in a quiet prairie town called Ezra. From a seeker of truth trapped in Ezra after her violent death, to the oldest man in town who came to Canada to escape imperial hardships, the stories in Ezra's Ghosts are linked by language, culture and grief.

When you can read it: May 10, 2022

Tamayose is a writer and graphic designer from southern Alberta. Her work includes the novel, Odori, which received the Canada-Japan Literary Award, and the YA book, Katie Be Quiet. Tamayose lives in Lethbridge, Alta.

Help! I'm Alive by Gurjinder Basran

Help! I’m Alive is a book by Gurjinder Basran. (ECW Press, Karolina Turek)

When video footage of Jay's death is shared on social media, a Vancouver community tries to make sense of what happened. The four people closest to Jay — his girlfriend, mother, brother and former best friend — begin to question who they have been and how they should deal with the loss, as feelings of guilt, loneliness and anxiety surface. 

Help! I'm Alive explores what happens in the aftermath of a death and how moments can bring us together and drive us apart. 

When you can read it: May 10, 2022

Gurjinder Basran is a writer living in Delta, B.C. Her debut novel, Everything Was Goodbye, was the winner of the BC Book Prize and the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize in 2011.

God Isn't Here Today by Francine Cunningham

To the left is an image of the book God Isn't Here Today, and to the right is author Francine Cunningham.
God Isn’t Here Today is a book by Francine Cunningham. (Invisible Publishing)

The characters in Francine Cunningham's latest short story collection are driven by desperation and presented with moments of choice. From a woman who discovers she is the last human on earth to a man who goes to God's downtown office in search of advice, these stories flirt with the fantastic and highlight the dualities in human nature. 

When you can read it: May 10, 2022

Cunningham is a Cree and Métis author, artist and educator from Calgary. Her work includes the book of poems On/Me, which was a finalist for the 2020 Indigenous Voices Awards. Cunningham's writing has appeared in places like The Malahat Review, Joyland Magazine and The Puritan Magazine. 

Taobao by Dan K. Woo 

A book cover featuring two babies coming out of flowers and the book's author, a man with dark hair wearing a beige suit.
Taobao is a book by Dan K. Woo. (Wolsak & Wynn, Gong Shoupeng/Mengsha Studio)

In this collection of short stories, Dan K. Woo introduces a fascinating cast of characters from different regions of China, from rural villages to bustling cities. These are stories of young people looking for love, meaning and happiness in a country that is often misunderstood by North America. 

When you can read it: May 10, 2022

Woo is the author of Learning How to Love China, which won the 2018 Ken Klonsky Award. His writing has appeared in publications such as the South China Morning Post, Quill & Quire, China Daily USA and elsewhere. Woo lives in Toronto. 

Mad Honey by Katie Welch

Mad Honey is a book by Katie Welch. (Wolsak & Wynn, Kevin Bogetti-Smith)

Melissa Makepeace throws herself into running the family farm after her boyfriend, Beck Wise, disappears. When he returns home three months later, Beck has no idea what day it is and he's filled with memories of being part of a bee colony. A series of mysteries begin to unravel and Melissa is left to figure it all out.

When you can read it: May 10, 2022

Katie Welch is an author from Ottawa. Her writing has appeared in EVENT Magazine, Prairie Fire, The Antigonish Review and elsewhere. Mad Honey is her first novel. 

Wild Fires by Sophie Jai

Wild Fires is a book by Sophie Jai. (, HarperCollins Canada)

Cassandra doesn't know much about her family except for the snippets of stories she has heard over the years. When she gets a call from her sister about her cousin Chevy's death, she must return home to Toronto for the funeral.  In Toronto, Cassandra finds her sisters are hiding more than themselves in their rooms and the tension brewing between her mother and aunts has been decades in the making. Sooner or later every secret, unspoken word and painful memory will find its way out into the open. 

When you can read it: May 12, 2022

Sophie Jai is a novelist born and raised in Trinidad. She currently lives between Toronto and London, England. Wild Fires is her debut novel.

Prophetess by Baharan Baniahmadi

The book cover with pieces of dark hair entwined in pieces of paper and the author photo with a woman making a mustache with her own hair
Prophetess is a book by Baharan Baniahmadi. (Vehicule Press, Adriana Garcia Cruz)

When seven-year-old Sara witnesses the horrific murder of her sister in the slums of Tehran, she develops a strange allergic reaction to men. Every time a man approaches her, hair covers Sara's face. As strange developments interrupt her life, Sara must learn how to live with her sister's memory in a world that abuses women from a very early age.

When you can read it: May 13, 2022

Baharan Baniahmadi is an actor, author and playwright from Iran. She studied theatre at the Art University of Tehran, has worked with many international directors and has published a play and novel in Iran. Baniahmadi lives in Montreal.

White Lies by Sara de Waard

White Lies is a YA book by Sara de Waard. (DCB, Magnolia Images)

Missy is turning 16 — but life has been less than sweet lately. Her family has suffered loss and Missy only feels guilt and pain these days. Her troubled home life gets even more different after her mother is arrested and her father suffers from alcohol addiction. But a new student named Luke just might be the one person who truly understands what she is going through. 

White Lies is for ages 14 and up.

When you can read it: May 14, 2022

Sara de Waard is an Ontario author, screenwriter and elementary school teacher. Her writing is often inspired by her compassion for the trials and tribulations of today's youth.

the book of smaller by rob mclennan

the book of smaller is a book by rob mclennan. (University of Calgary Press, Matthew Holmes)

the book of smaller is a collection of short, sharp and dense prose poems grounded in personal, domestic space. They express jumps in sense and mood, the collapse of time and duration and the joy and fears of full-time parenthood.

An excerpt from the book of smaller was longlisted for the 2017 CBC Poetry Prize.

When you can read it: May 15, 2022

rob mclennan is a writer from Ottawa. He is the author of several books of poetry, fiction and nonfiction. His writing has appeared in publications like the Puritan, Numero Cinq, The Windsor Review, Grain magazine, Atlas Review and Reader's Digest Canada.

Toronto, I Love You by Didier Leclair, translated by Elaine Kennedy

Toronto, I Love You is a book by Didier Leclair, pictured, which was translated by Elaine Kennedy. (Mawenzi House Publishers, ICI Radio-Canada)

When Raymond Dossougbé moves from Benin to Toronto, he is immediately charmed by the city. But he quickly realizes that although his roommates look like him, they can't relate. Raymond sees them as mentally shackled, stuck in the past and unable and unwilling to adapt. As he finds his bearings in this new world of poverty, extreme wealth and police brutality, Raymond gains a better understanding of himself and those around him. 

Toronto, I Love You won the Prix Trillium when it was first published in 2000.

When you can read it: May 15, 2022

Didier Leclair is a Francophone fiction writer, based in Toronto. His work includes This Country of Mine, which was a finalist for the 2019 Toronto Book Awards, and Ce pays qui est le mien, which was shortlisted for the 2004 Governor General's Award for French-language fiction.

Elaine Kennedy is a translator and editor, who focuses on literary translation. She has translated short stories, memoirs and essays. Kennedy lives in Montreal.

Where Do Your Feelings Live? by Catherine Hernandez, illustrated by Myriam Chery

Where Do Your Feelings Live? is a picture book by Catherine Hernandez, left, illustrated by Myriam Chery. (Noor Khan, HarperCollins, Gina Simard)

Where Do Your Feelings Live? is the latest book by Canadian author Catherine Hernandez. Young readers are encouraged to show compassion to themselves, their families and their communities, and to imagine where inside themselves they keep their feelings.

Where Do Your Feelings Live? is for ages 4 to 7.

When you can read it: May 17, 2022

Hernandez is a Canadian writer, author and playwright. Her 2017 novel, Scarborough, was a shortlisted finalist for the 2017 Toronto Book Award, the 2018 Trillium Book Award and the 2018 Edmund White Award. Scarborough was also adapted to screen as a feature film and premiered at TIFF in 2021. Malia Baker championed Scarborough on Canada Reads 2022.

Myriam Chery is a Quebec artist and illustrator.

Sitting Shiva by Erin Silver, illustrated by Michelle Theodore

Sitting Shiva is picture book by Erin Silver, left, illustrated by Michelle Theodore. (Orca Book Publishers)

Sitting Shiva is a picture book that reflects on loss and grief. When a child loses her mother, friends and family gather to sit shiva, a seven-day period of mourning for the death of a family member observed in Jewish homes. The child learns more about love and healing during the process. 

Sitting Shiva is for ages 3 to 5.

When you can read it: May 17, 2022

Erin Silver is a Toronto-based journalist, author and blogger. 

Michelle Theodore is an Edmonton artist and illustrator.

Nature is an Artist by Jennifer Lavallee, illustrated by Natalia Colombo Brown

Nature is an Artist is a picture book by Jennifer Lavallee, left, illustrated by Natalia Colombo Brown. (Greystone Kids, Domestika)

This picture book is for kids who love to draw and create, featuring craft ideas that also foster an appreciation for nature. In the book, a group of children get out into nature. As they witness beautiful landscapes and unusual creatures, they're inspired to create their own work of art. Nature is an Artist encourages kids to appreciate the art in their own outdoor environment.

Nature is an Artist is for ages 3 to 8.

When you can read it: May 17, 2022

Jennifer Lavallee is an author from the Canadian prairies where she lives with her busy family of five. An avid reader and crafter, Jennifer grew up experiencing all the wonder and beauty of nature, including the soaring Rocky Mountains, curious Alberta Badlands and lush boreal forests of the north. Nature is an Artist is her first book.

Natalia Colombo is a Brazilian illustrator and graphic designer whose picture books have been published in multiple languages around the world. Her book, Cerca, was awarded the first International Compostela Prize for Picture Books. 

A Convergence of Solitudes by Anita Anand

A Convergence of Solitudes is a book by Anita Anand. (Book*Hug Press, Alexis LaFlamme)

A Convergence of Solitudes follows the lives of two families across the Partition of India, Operation Babylift in Vietnam and two referendums in Quebec. At the centre of the story are Sunil and Hima who leave India to raise a family in Montreal. Their lives become intertwined with Serge Giglio, the nationalistic frontman of Quebecois supergroup Sensibilité, when Sunil and Hima's daughter connects with Serge's adopted daughter. 

A Convergence of Solitudes is a story about identity and belonging.

When you can read it: May 17, 2022

Anita Anand is a writer, translator and language teacher from Montreal. She is the author of Swing in the House and Other Stories, which won the 2015 QWF Concordia University First Book Prize and was shortlisted for the 2016 Relit Award for Fiction. 

Take Your Breath Away by Linwood Barclay

Take Your Breath Away is a novel by Linwood Barclay. (CBC, William Morrow)

When Andrew Mason's wife, Brie, goes missing while he was on a fishing trip, everyone assumes Andy got away with murder. For a while, Andy hits rock bottom, abandoned by all his friends and using alcohol to cope. The police could never build a strong case against him and eventually, Andy sells the house he shared with Brie and rebuilds his life. Several years later, a woman who bears a striking resemblance to Brie shows up at Andy's old house and dark suspicions resurface.

When you can read it: May 17, 2022

Linwood Barclay is an American-Canadian thriller writer, with almost 20 books to his credit. His books include the adult thrillers Broken Promise, A Noise Downstairs, Elevator Pitch and the middle-grade novels Escape and Chase.

Linwood Barclay talks about the art of writing crime fiction

4 years ago
Duration 4:11
Featured VideoIn the CBC Books 'Why I Write' series, Canadian authors talk about what literature means to them.

The Sisters Sputnik by Terri Favro

The Sisters Sputnik is a book by Terri Favro. (Bradford Dunlop, ECW Press)

In a distant reality where books have disappeared, comic creator Debbie Reynolds Biondi finds herself in bed with an old lover who begs her to tell him a story. Debbie spins a futuristic tale about the Sisters Sputnik and their adventures in alternate realities. From the theft of an evil comic strip in a post-pandemic Toronto to a version of the 1950s where the sisters meet a rising star named Frank Sinatra and his girlfriend, the once-and-future Queen of England.

When you can read it: May 17, 2022

Terri Favro is a Toronto-based comic book writer, essayist and novelist. She is the author of Sputnik's Children, Once Upon A Time In West Toronto and The Proxy Bride.

Bloomsbury Girls by Natalie Jenner

Composite image with two panels. On the left: a close-up of a woman's face with blond hair and a blurred background. On  the right: a book cover of three women walking in heels, a pink flower and navy blue text overlaid.
Bloomsbury Girls is a book by Natalie Jenner. (Sarah Sims, St. Martin's Press)

Bloomsbury Girls tells the story of Vivien Lowry, Grace Perkins and Evie Stone — three women with a complex web of relationships, goals and dreams — as they interact with famous literary figures. The novel is set in the 1950s world of publishing and the women work in an old-fashioned bookstore, run by men, called Bloomsbury Books. As they juggle their lives, the women work toward a future that is richer and more rewarding than anything society will allow. 

When you can read it: May 17, 2022

Natalie Jenner is the bestselling author of The Jane Austen Society, which was the 2020 Goodreads Choice Award runner-up for historical fiction. Jenner is a former lawyer and independent bookshop owner. She was born in England and now lives in Oakville, Ont. 

Son of Elsewhere by Elamin Abdelmahmoud

Elamin Abdelmahmoud is the author of Son of Elsewhere. (CBC, McClelland & Stewart)

In his memoir, Elamin Abdelmahmoud recounts his experience leaving his native Sudan and moving to Kingston, Ont. Like all teens, he spent his adolescence trying to figure out who he was, but he had to do it while learning to balance a new racial identity and all the assumptions that came with being Black and Muslim. 

Son of Elsewhere explores how our experiences and environments can define our identity and who we truly are. 

When you can read it: May 17, 2022

Abdelmahmoud is the host of CBC's weekly pop culture podcast Pop Chat, co-host of CBC's political podcast Party Lines and a frequent culture commentator for CBC News. He's a culture writer for BuzzFeed News, where he also writes Incoming, the daily morning newsletter.

The Wards by Terry Doyle

The Wards is a book by Terry Doyle. (Breakwater Books, Terry Doyle)

The Wards is a novel about a working-class Newfoundland family on the cusp of upheaval. The children are becoming adults, the adults are growing old and the new dog was probably stolen. When an illness forces the family to come together, they must finally address the depths of their dysfunction. 

When you can read it: May 20, 2022

Terry Doyle is a writer from Goulds, N.L. He is the author of the short story collection Dig and the novel Union, which won the 2017 Percy Janes First Novel Award.

Mud Lilies by Indra Ramayan

Mud Lilies is a book by Indra Ramayan. (, Cormorant Books)

When 14-year-old Chanie Nyrider runs away from her abusive parents, she is drawn into Edmonton's dark underbelly and begins working as a prostitute. After getting arrested, Chanie reluctantly agrees to attend a high school program for troubled youth so that she can maintain her freedom. As she makes strides in the program, she falls for a man named Blue, who becomes violent and Chanie's home life starts to deteriorate. 

When you can read it: May 21, 2022

Indra Ramayan is a writer from Edmonton, Alberta. Her work is inspired by authors like Angie Abdou, Heather O'Neill, Joel Thomas Hynes and Richard Wagamese. Mud Lilies is her first novel. 

Woman, Watching by Merilyn Simonds

Woman, Watching is a book by Merilyn Simonds. (ECW Press)

Woman, Watching tells the story of Louise de Kiriline Lawrence, who joined the Canadian Red Cross after her husband was killed by Bolsheviks. Louise eventually retreated to her wilderness cabin, where she devoted her life to studying the birds in her forest. She was the author of six books and several magazine stories. Her home became a mecca for international ornithologists. 

When you can read it: May 24, 2022

Merilyn Simonds is the author of 18 books including The Convict Lover, Gutenberg's Fingerprint, and the novel Refuge. She is the founder and first artistic director of the Kingston WritersFest. Simonds divides her time between Kingston, Ont., and Mexico.

(M)othering edited by Anne Sorbie & Heidi Grogan

(M)othering is a book edited by Anne Sorbie, left, and Heidi Grogan. (Inanna Publications, Monique de-St-Croix, Heidi Grogan)

(M)othering is an anthology collection of writing and art about the act of mothering. The contributors explore what it means to create and birth something to how it feels to love your creation and suffer loss. These stories tackle identity, adoption, abortion, addiction, self-care, sacrifice, nature and nurture, making art, loneliness, anger and joy — going beyond the pathologizing of the pregnant female body. 

When you can read it: May 27, 2022

Annie Sorbie is a Scottish Canadian writer, artist and editor. Her first collection of poetry, Falling Backwards Into Mirrors, was published in 2019. 

Heidi Grogan is a writer and editor from Alberta. She has written several pieces of nonfiction including the Boobs anthology, which is about the burdens, expectations and pleasures of having breasts.

Sensorial by Carolyne Van der Meer

Sensorial is a book by Carolyne Van der Meer. (Guernica Editions)

Sensorial is a journey in sensory perception, guiding us through urban landscapes, animal connections and familial bonds. It reflects on aging, illness, what really matters and who we are both physically and metaphysically.

When you can read it: May 31, 2022

Carolyne Van der Meer is a journalist, public relations professional and university lecturer. Her books include Motherlode: A Mosaic of Dutch Wartime Experience and a collection of poetry entitled Journeywoman. Van der Meer lives in Montreal, Quebec.

A Rip Through Time by Kelley Armstrong

A Rip Through Time is a book by Kelley Armstrong. (Kathryn Hollinrake, Raincoast Books)

In this time-traveling novel, a homicide detective named Mallory finds herself transported 150 years in the past after she is attacked and left unconscious in an alley. Mallory wakes up in the body of housemaid Catriona Thomson, who was also attacked in the same spot in 1869. Mallory must put aside her shock and find a way to catch her murderer, which hopefully leads her back to her modern life before it's too late. 

When you can read it: May 31, 2022

Kelley Armstrong is a bestselling author of YA and middle grade books, horror novels and thrillers. Her standalone novels include Aftermath and Missing, but she is best known for her Darkest Powers and Darkness Rising series and her Cainsville and Otherworld series.

Rooms by Sina Queyras

Rooms is a book by Sina Queyras. (, Coach House Books)

Thirty years ago, a professor threw a chair at Sina Queyras after they submitted an essay on Virginia Woolf. In their book, Queyras returns to that first encounter with Virignia Woolf and blends memoir, tweets, poetry and criticism to reflect on how they found their way as a young queer writer from a life of chaos to a public life as a writer. 

When you can read it: May 31, 2022

Queyras is a poet and novelist from Montreal. Their other books include My Ariel, the poetry collection Lemon Hound, which received the Pat Lowther Award and a Lambda Literary Award, and her debut novel Autobiography of a Childhood, which was shortlisted for the First Novel Award in 2011.

Featured VideoSina Queyras on her latest book of poetry My Ariel, a "poem-by-poem engagement with Sylvia Plath's Ariel."

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