Books

47 works of Canadian fiction to watch for in spring 2020

The CBC Books spring preview is here! Here are the Canadian novels and short story collections we can't wait to read in 2020.

The CBC Books spring preview is here! Here are 47 works of Canadian fiction to watch for in spring 2020.

Never Forget by Martin Michaud

Never Forget is a book by Martin Michaud. (Dundurn Press)

The latest in Martin Michaud's ongoing Victor Lessard detective series finds Lessard and his partner, Jacinthe Taillon, on the trail of a deadly killer in Old Montreal. Never Forget begins with a homeless man jumping to his death, an incident that leaves behind baffling evidence — two wallets. One belonged to a dead psychiatrist, who was murdered in a bizarre ritual, the other to a missing corporate lawyer. As the bodies begin to pile up, can Lessard and Taillon crack the case before the next murder? 

When you can read it: Jan. 18, 2020

Michaud is a Montreal-based writer, musician and former lawyer. His Victor Lessard series has won the Arthur Ellis award and the Prix Saint-Pacôme for Crime Fiction. The book series is also the basis for the critically acclaimed French TV show Victor Lessard

Dominoes at the Crossroads by Kaie Kellough

Dominoes at the Crossroads is a novel by Kaie Kellough. (Pablo Riquelme, Esplanade Books)

In this collection of stories, Dominoes at the CrossroadsKaie Kellough navigates Canada's Caribbean diaspora, as they seek music and a connection to their past. Through a broad cast of characters — including jazz musicians, hitchhikers, suburbanites, student radicals, secret agents, historians and their fugitive slave ancestors — Kellough stretches the stories from Montreal's Old Port to as far as the South American rainforests. 

When you can read it: Jan. 20, 2020

Kellough is a writer based in Montreal. His novel Accordéon was a finalist for the Amazon.ca First Novel Award in 2017. He is also the author of the poetry collection Magnetic Equator.

Montreal poet Kaie Kellough takes us on a tour of his chosen home. Filmmaker: Craig Desson 7:03

Agency by William Gibson

William Gibson is the author of several sci-fi novels, the most recent being Agency. (AP Photo, G.P.Putnam's Sons, Michael O'Shea/Berkley)

In Agencya gifted app tester meets her match when she is commissioned to beta test a highly social, and combat-savvy, "digital assistant." In an alternate timeline, in 2017 Hillary Clinton has won the presidential election over Donald Trump. Meanwhile, in London in the 22nd century disastrous events have led to 80 per cent of humanity being wiped out. 

When you can read it: Jan. 21, 2020

William Gibson is a legendary Vancouver science-fiction writer.  His classic 1984 novel Neuromancer, a thriller about hacking and artificial intelligence, won sci-fi's three biggest prizes: the Nebula Award, the Philip K. Dick Award and the Hugo Award.

The Baudelaire Fractal by Lisa Robertson

The Baudelaire Fractal is a book by Lisa Robertson. (Coach House Books)

In The Baudelaire Fractalthe debut novel from acclaimed poet Lisa Robertson, a writer called Hazel Brown wakes up in a mysterious hotel room to discover she has written the complete works of Charles Baudelaire. Shifting between locations like London, Vancouver, Paris and the French countryside, the book discusses issues like modernity and poverty across multiple time periods. 

When you can read it: Jan. 21, 2020

Robertson is a poet who currently lives in France. Her books include XEclogue, Debbie: An Epic and The Weather.

Obsidian by Thomas King

Obsidian is a novel by Thomas King. (HarperCollins Canada)

Thomas King's sly investigator Thumps DreadfulWater returns in Obsidian. After the famed producer of a true-crime documentary turns up dead, Thumps is forced to look into an old cold case he had tried to forget: the Obsidian murders. When someone starts leaving reminders of the case around Chinook, Thumps is compelled to confront the incident that left his girlfriend and her daughter dead.

When you can read it: Jan. 28, 2020

King is a Canadian-American writer of Cherokee and Greek ancestry. He delivered the 2003 Massey Lectures, The Truth about Stories. His books include Truth & Bright WaterThe Inconvenient Indian and The Back of the TurtleThe Back of the Turtle won the Governor General's Literary Award for fiction in 2014.

Recorded at Montreal's Blue Metropolis International Literary Festival, Thomas King joins Rosanna Deerchild on stage in this extended conversation about writing, research and Indigenous humour. 40:13

When We Were Vikings by Andrew David MacDonald

When We Were Vikings is a book by Andrew MacDonald. (Simon & Schuster Canada)

When We Were Vikings is a novel about Zelda, a 21-year-old Viking enthusiast who lives with her older brother Gert. The pair have some basic rules to guide their lives, such as "A smile means thank you for doing something small that I liked" and "Strange people are not appreciated in her home." When Zelda finds out that Gert has been resorting to questionable means to make money for the both of them, Zelda decides to launch into her own quest: to become a living legend. 

When you can read it: Jan. 28, 2020

Andrew David MacDonald is a writer from Edmonton. When We Were Vikings is his first book.

Aubrey McKee by Alex Pugsley

Aubrey McKee is a book by Alex Pugsley. (John Lauener, Biblioasis)

Aubrey McKee is the the first in a series of five autobiographical novels by Alex Pugsley. Aubrey McKee tells the story of a boy growing up in 1970s and 1980s Halifax. The second novel, which follows the narrator's arrival in Toronto as a young man, is forthcoming. 

When you can read it: April 28, 2020

Pugsley is a filmmaker and writer from Nova Scotia. He is the co-author of the novel Kay Darling.

Stormsong by C.L. Polk

Stormsong is a book by C.L. Polk. (Tor Books, Shell Arkell)

The sequel to the World Fantasy Award-winning Witchmark, Stormsong follows Dame Grace Hensley as she deals with the aftermath of helping her brother to undo the atrocities within their nation: Aeland. However, as the power disappears throughout the land, Grace has to guide her parents to safety. With a powerful queen standing in her way, Grace faces an insurmountable obstacle. 

When you can read it: Feb. 11, 2020

C.L. Polk is a writer of fantasy fiction based in Calgary.

Untamed Shore by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Untamed Shore is a book by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. (Agora Books, Penguin Random House)

Untamed Shore is set in California in 1979. Viridiana lives in Baja, and is deeply bored by her lack of things to do. She spends most of her time watching fishermen piling sharks on the shore. When three enigmatic tourists come to Baja, Viridiana becomes infatuated with their seemingly alien lives. But, after a family member dies, Viridiana finds herself having to lie to protect her friends. 

When you can read it: Feb. 21, 2020

Silvia Moreno-Garcia is the writer behind the books Gods of Jade and Shadow and The Beautiful Ones. She is also a critic and has edited science fiction anthologies. 

Polar Vortex by Shani Mootoo

Polar Vortex is a novel by Shani Mootoo. (Ramesh Pooran, Book*hug Press)

Abandoning the city for the picturesque countryside, Priya and Alexandra attempt to give themselves a new lease on life in the novel Polar Vortex. That is, until Priya reveals that she is running from a fraught relationship with a friend who kept pursuing her: Prakash. After Priya feels safe enough to once again establish an online presence, Prakash communicates with her. Inexplicably, Priya asks Prakash to visit them. 

When you can read it: March 3, 2020

Shani Mootoo is a writer and visual artist who has been longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Her debut novel was 1997's Cereus Blooms at Night.

Like Rum-Drunk Angels by Tyler Enfield

Like Rum-Drunk Angels is a book by Tyler Enfield. (Goose Lane Editions)

Like Rum-Drunk Angels is about a 14-year-old bandit named Francis Blackstone. After falling in love with the mayor's daughter, Francis resolves to rob a Manhattan Company bank in order to win her favour. Teaming up with volatile outlaw Bob Temple, Francis begins a journey across the west searching for treasure and unrequited love. Coming into conflict with other gangs, the two have to overcome the trappings of their celebrity. 

When you can read it: March 3, 2020

Tyler Enfield is a writer and photographer from Edmonton. He is the writer of several YA books, as well as the Madder Carmine

How a Woman Becomes a Lake by Marjorie Celona

How a Woman Becomes a Lake is a book by Marjorie Celona. (Hamish Hamilton, Jay Eads)

In the novel How a Woman Becomes a Lake, it's New Year's Day, and in a small fishing town called Whale Bay a woman goes missing. Vera had set out on a walk with her dog, and her husband Leo took their boys on a boat to write their New Year's resolutions. In the weeks that follow, Vera's absence sets off a chain of suspicion within the town. After Leo moves south, the detective investigating the case becomes obsessed with the missing woman. 

When you can read it: March 3, 2020

Majorie Celona is an American-Canadian writer. She is also the author of the novel Y, which won France's Grand Prix Littéraire de l'Héroïne for best foreign novel. 

The Birth Yard by Mallory Tater

The Birth Yard is a novel by Mallory Tater. (Rossanne Clamp, HarperCollins Canada)

In The Birth YardSable Ursu lives within the confines of a patriarchal cult and has reached the age where she is expected to breed. When she reaches her second trimester, Sable is sent to "The Birth Yard" — where they prepare for motherhood and are under constant observation by midwives. Between the girls in the Den it becomes impossible to trust each other. When Sable's safety becomes threatened, it is up to her to rebel against the system in place. 

When you can read it: March 3, 2020

Mallory Tater is an Vancouver-born poet and writer. She is also the author of the poetry collection This Will Be GoodThe Birth Yard is her first novel. 

Here the Dark by David Bergen

Here the Dark is a novel by David Bergen. (David Bergen, Biblioasis)

In Here the DarkDavid Bergen provides short stories that interweave across space. From Danang, Vietnam, to Honduras and the Canadian Prairies, the book collects narratives about place and heart. Through stories of faith and loss, Bergen explores complex moral ambiguities. 

When you can read it: March 10, 2020

Bergen is a Canadian novelist and short story writer. In 2005, his novel The Time in Between won the Scotiabank Giller Prize. His other books include The Matter with Morris, and Stranger in 2016. His novel The Age of Hope was defended by Ron MacLean on Canada Reads in 2013.

Mysterious Dreams of the Dead by Terry Watada

Mysterious Dreams of the Dead is a book by Terry Watada. (Anvil Press)

In Mysterious Dreams of the Dead, 30-something Mike Shintani decides to address the mysterious circumstances of his father's death when he was 15 — after perishing in a plane crash, Mike's father's body was never found. Mike finds a diary written in Japanese, which sets him on a pathway to finding out the truth of his father's mysterious life. 

When you can read it: March 15, 2020

Terry Watada is a poet, playwright and author based in Toronto. He is also the author of the novel The Three Pleasures.

The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel

The Glass Hotel is a novel by Emily St. John Mandel. (HarperCollins, Sarah Shatz)

Emily St. John Mandel's new book, The Glass Hotelinterweaves several complex narratives. Vincent is a bartender in a prestigious hotel on Vancouver Island. When the owner — Jonathan Alkaitis — passes Vincent his card, it becomes the beginning of their story together. Meanwhile, a hooded figure scrawls a cryptic note on a wall in the hotel, and a shipping executive for a company called Neptune-Avramidis — Leon Prevant — sees the note and is shaken. Thirteen years later, Vincent disappears from a Neptune-Avramidis ship. 

When you can read it: March 24, 2020

St. John Mandel is a New York-based Canadian writer. Her fourth novel, Station Eleven, was a finalist for a National Book Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award and won the 2015 Toronto Book Award. 

Author Emily St John Mandel, some young innovators in Vancouver and rocker Bif Naked on taking the Welfare Food Challenge. 13:24

Stay Where I Can See You by Katrina Onstad

Stay Where I Can See You is a book by Katrina Onstad. (HarperCollins Canada, Joanna Haughton)

In Stay Where I Can See YouGwen Kaplan wins $10,000,000 in the lottery. But she already considers herself lucky. She has a perfect family life as a stay-at-home mother who is dedicated to providing a perfect adolescence for her kids. Having become upper-class, the family decides to move into the city. In the transition, cracks in the family unit start to emerge, and Gwen is forced to confront her troubled past. 

When you can read it: March 31, 2020

Katrina Onstad is a writer and journalist. Her bestselling novel Everybody Has Everything was nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Toronto Book Award. She is also the author of the nonfiction book The Weekend Effect.

Vanishing Monuments by John Elizabeth Stintzi

Vanishing Monuments is a book by John Elizabeth Stintzi. (Melanie Pierce, John Elizabeth Stintzi, Arsenal Pulp Press)

In Vanishing MonumentsAlani Baum has not seen their mother since they were 17 years old — almost 30 years ago. The non-binary photographer ran away from home with their girlfriend, but when their mother's dementia worsens Alani is forced to run back to her. In the face of a debilitating illness, Alani has to contend with painful memories from the past.

When you can read it: April 1, 2020

John Elizabeth Stinzi is a novelist, poet, teacher and visual artist. They won the RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for emerging writers for their work Selections From Junebat, which will be published in spring 2020.

The Subtweet by Vivek Shraya

The Subtweet is a novel by Vivek Shraya. (Tanja-Tiziana, ECW Press)

In The Subtweet, Neela Devaki's song is covered by internet-famous artist Rukmini. When the two musicians meet, a transformative friendship begins. But, as Rukmini's star rises, jealousy creeps in, and Neela sends out a highly-destructive tweet that blows up their friendship. 

When you can read it: April 7, 2020

Vivek Shraya is a writer, artist and musician from Alberta. Her books include the novel She of the Mountains, the poetry collection even this page is white, the essay I'm Afraid of Men and the comic book Death Threat.

In this segment, artist Vivek Shraya discusses her relationship with her mother, masculinity, and Toronto Pride. 4:39

I Can't Get You Out of My Mind by Marianne Apostolides

I Can't Get You Out of My Mind is a book by Marianne Apostolides. (Book*Hug Press, Jorjas Photography)

In I Can't Get You Out of My MindAriadne is a writer, working on a manuscript about declarations of love. In spite of this, Ariadne is still unable to figure out how her lover was able to return to his family. Struggling for money, she enlists in a research project where she's paid to live with an AI device called Dirk. But, with the AI slowly reading her mind, she begins to question her decision-making and the origins of her desires. 

When you can read it: April 7, 2020

Marianne Apostolides has published seven books, including her memoir about abortion Deep Salt Water. She is based in Toronto.

A Song from Faraway by Deni Ellis Béchard

A Song from Faraway is a book by Deni Ellis Bechard. (Julie Artacho, Goose Lane Editions)

In A Song from FarawayAndrew and Hugh, who are half-brothers, have only met twice. The second time is for their father's funeral. Andrew has little interest in their father, whereas Hugh is fascinated by the man's life and writings. When Hugh finds a strange book by Rafael Estrada, He's convinced it holds the key to his identity. Featuring interweaving time periods, A Song from Faraway takes us to 19th century Prince Edward Island, modern day Iraq, as well as the battlefields of the First World War.

When you can read it: April 7, 2020

Deni Ellis Béchard is a writer and journalist. He has published eight books of both fiction and nonfiction. He won the 2007 Commonwealth Writers' Prize for best first book, the 2016 Midwest Book Award for Literary Fiction and 2015 Nautilus Book Award for Investigative Journalism.

Canadian-American journalist and author Deni Ellis Béchard takes us into the world of expats in a war zone in Kabul, Afghanistan in his latest novel, Into the Sun. 12:25

How to Pronounce Knife by Souvankham Thammavongsa

How to Pronounce Knife is a novel by Souvankham Thammavongsa. (Jennifer Rowsom, McClelland & Stewart)

How to Pronounce Knife is a collection of idiosyncratic and diverse stories. Capturing the daily lives of immigrants, Souvankham Thammavongsa captures their hopes, disappointments, trauma and acts of defiance. From a young man painting nails in a salon, to a housewife learning English from soap-operas, How to Pronounce Knife navigates tragedy and humour.  

When you can read it: April 7, 2020

Thammavongsa is a writer and poet. Her stories have won an O. Henry Award and appeared in Harper'sGrantaThe Paris Review and NOON. She has published four books of poetry, including 2019's Cluster

Five Little Indians by Michelle Good

Five Little Indians is a novel by Michelle Good. (HarperCollins Canada)

In Five Little Indians, Kenny, Lucy, Clara, Howie and Maisie were taken from their families and sent to a residential school when they were very small. Barely out of childhood, they are released and left to contend with the seedy world of eastside Vancouver. Fuelled by the trauma of their childhood, the five friends cross paths over the decades and struggle with the weight of their shared past. 

When you can read it: April 14, 2020

Michelle Good is a Cree writer and lawyer, as well as a member of Red Pheasant Cree Nation in Saskatchewan. Five Little Indians is her first book.

Earlier on the program we heard from some TRU Law students... ...who said they were disappointed, even disturbed, by a presentation given at a conference this week. 8:49

No Going Back by Sheena Kamal

No Going Back is a book by Sheena Kamal. (HarperCollins Canada, Malcolm Tweedy)

In No Going Back, the latest Nora Watts crime thriller by Sheena Kamal, Nora finds herself trying to protect Bonnie, the daughter she had given up for adoption. Two years previously, Bonnie had been kidnapped by the ruthless Zhang family. She has made an enemy in Dao, the intimidating triad enforcer for the Zhangs. From Canada to southeast Asia, Nora finds herself pursuing her adversary.

When you can read it: April 14, 2020

Kamal is a Vancouver-based writer of crime novels. Her book The Lost Ones won the 2018 Kobo Emerging Writer Prize. She is also the author of It All Falls Down.

Misconduct of the Heart by Cordelia Strube

Misconduct of the Heart is a novel by Cordelia Strube. (Mark Raynes Roberts, ECW Press)

In Misconduct of the Heart, Stevie is a recovering alcoholic and kitchen manager who is trying hard to stop her world around her from collapsing. Her son, who is a veteran, might be succumbing to PTSD, while she tries to manage the eccentrics who work in her kitchen and acclimatize to the idea that she might have a granddaughter she never knew she had. 

When you can read it: April 21, 2020

Cordelia Strube is a Toronto-based writer. She has been nominated for the Governor General's Literary Award, the Trillium Book Award and longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. She has written numerous books, including On the Shores of Darkness, There Is Light

Cordelia Strube on her latest novel. 15:57

Probably Ruby by Lisa Bird-Wilson

Probably Ruby is a novel by Lisa Bird Wilson. (CBC Books, Coteau Books)

In Probably RubyRuby, who was adopted, has little knowledge of her Indigenous roots. 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: April 23, 2020

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.

Forest Green by Kate Pullinger

Forest Green is a novel by Kate Pullinger. (Pawel Dwulit/Canadian Press, Doubleday Canada)

Forest Green is the story about a homeless man and how he got there. As a boy, Arthur Lunn roamed the hills and lakes of the Okanagan Valley. His life is idyllic, but soon he finds himself in the middle of of a dispute between the town and the vagrants flowing in. Immediately after, Arthur finds himself on the frontline of the Second World War — another catastrophe that will shape Arthur's life. 

When you can read it: April 28, 2020

Kate Pullinger is a writer and academic based in London. She has written numerous books of nonfiction and fiction, including The Mistress of Nothing — which won the 2009 Governor General's Literary Award.

The Library of Legends by Janie Chang

The Library of Legends is a novel by Janie Chang. (HarperCollins Canada)

In The Library of Legends19-year-old Hu Lian and her classmates are ordered to flee as Japanese bombs start to land on Nanking. It's not just refugees who are in danger — Lian has been entrusted with a 500-year-old collection of myths and legends known as "The Library of Legends." It's now up to Lian and her classmates to protect the collection at any cost. 

When you can read it: April 28, 2020

Janie Chang is a historical fiction writer. Chang's first novel, Three Souls, was a finalist for the 2014 Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize and nominated for the 2015 International Dublin Literary Award. She published her second novel, Dragon Springs Road in 2017.

RIFF: Janie Chang talks about her novel "Dragon Springs Road.” 3:50

Molly Falls to Earth by Maria Mutch

Molly Falls to Earth is a novel by Maria Mutch. (Simon & Schuster Canada, Robin Wilson)

One day in Manhattan, choreographer Molly Volkova collapses on the sidewalk and has a seizure for seven minutes. During the course of the event, Molly is haunted by memories of her past. Interweaving multiple narrative voices, Molly Falls to Earth contemplates the weight of the past, the future and what it means to live. 

When you can read it: April 28, 2020

Maria Mutch is a writer and essayist. Her first book, Know the Night, was a finalist for the Governor General's Literary Award in 2014 and the Kobo Emerging Writer Prize.

Good Mothers Don't by Laura Best

Good Mothers Don't is a novel by Laura Best. (Angela Haggerty, Nimbus Publishing)

In Good Mothers Don't, it's 1960 and Elizabeth has a seemingly idyllic family life. In reality, her mind and her life is beginning to splinter. She knows she will harm her children and is taken away. We rejoin her in a group home in 1975, as she scrambles to regain memories lost in electric shock therapy. She longs to find her children and tell them she never meant to leave them. 

When you can read it: April 30, 2020

Laura Best is a writer based in Nova Scotia. Her first YA book Bitter, Sweet was shortlisted for the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People.

The End of Me by John Gould

The End of Me is a book by John Gould. (Freehand Books, Sandy Mayzel)

The End of Me contains 56 "very short" stories about mortality. John Gould captures moments of ecstasy and vulnerablilty as characters come into contact with the inevitable. An astronaut strikes up a friendship with a cat, kids throw plums at a funeral procession and a woman has dreams of a new age of extinction across these tales of fate.

When you can read it: May 2, 2020

Gould is a writer mostly of short stories. Kilter, a collection of short stories, was shortlisted for the Giller Prize in 2003.

Watershed by Doreen Vanderstoop

Watershed is a novel by Doreen Vanderstoop. (Courtney Barr, Freehand Books)

Watershed is set in a dystopian future, where water is a precious resource in Alberta due to glacial melting. All of the province's gas pipelines have been turned into water pipelines and "water terrorists" threaten to cut off supplies. Among this turmoil, Willa tries hard to keep her family's goat farm afloat. When her son, Daniel, agrees to work for a water corporation, splits threaten to fracture the desperate family. 

When you can read it: May 2, 2020

Doreen Vanderstoop is a musician and writer based in Alberta. Watershed is her first book. 

Ridgerunner by Gil Adamson

Ridgerunner is a novel by Gil Adamson. (Boréal, House of Anansi Press)

Ridgerunner is a novel about William Moreland, the notorious thief known as Ridgerunner, as he moves through the Rocky Mountains, determined to to secure financial stability for his son. His son, Jack Boulton, is trapped in a life not of his own making. Semi-orphaned and under the care of a nun, Sister Beatrice, Jack has found himself in a secluded cabin in Banff, Alberta. Little does he know, his father is coming for him. 

When you can read it: May 12, 2020

Gil Adamson is a writer and poet. Her first novel, The Outlander, won the Amazon.ca First Novel Award and was a Canada Reads finalist in 2009, when it was championed by Nicholas Campbell. She has published several volumes of poetry, including Primitive and Ashland

Kill the Mall by Pasha Malla

Kill the Mall is a novel by Pasha Malla. (House of Anansi Press, Knopf Canada)

After writing a letter in praise of "malls," the narrator of Kill the Mall is invited to take up a residency in one. His mission: to occupy the shopping mall for several weeks, all the while engaging the public as well as creating progress reports. As mysterious events begin to take place, it is up to him to discover the mall's hidden areas. 

When you can read it: May 12, 2020

Pasha Malla's debut short story collection, The Withdrawal Method, was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Prize and longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. His first novel, People Park, was a finalist for the Amazon.ca First Novel Award. 

The Last High by Daniel Kalla

The Last High is a book by Daniel Kalla. (Simon & Schuster Canada, danielkalla.com)

The Last High is a thriller inspired by the opioid crisis. Dr. Julie Rees is shocked when a number of teenagers from the same party arrive at the ER. She suspects the adolescents took fentanyl, but this case is unusual. Teaming up with Detective Anson Chen, Rees is determined to tackle the underground drug world and find out the source of these dangerous drugs. 

When you can read it: May 12, 2020

Daniel Kalla is an emergency room doctor, as well as an international bestselling author of 10 books, including We All Fall Down.

Daniel Kalla talks to Shelagh Rogers about his new book, We All Fall Down. 16:09

The Braver Thing by Clifford Jackman

The Braver Thing is a book by Clifford Jackman. (Random House Canada, Lindsay Cox)

Set in 1721, The Braver Thing follows Jimmy Kavanagh as he begins to band together "Company of Gentleman of Fortune." At first they are successful — finding gold at the Cape Coast Castle. But, as the winnings continue, they become hunted and drastic power struggles begin to manifest amongst the men. 

When you can read it: May 12, 2020

Clifford Jackman is a writer and former lawyer. His first novel, The Winter Family, was a finalist for Governor General's Literary Award for fiction in and was longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. 

The Certainties by Aislinn Hunter

The Certainties is a book by Aislinn Hunter. (Knopf Canada)

A group of starving travelers walk into a village in Spain in 1940 in The Certainties. They have the appearance of Parisian intellectuals, but are fatigued by their illegal crossing into the Pyrenees. Over the next 48 hours, one of the men narrates the tense beginning and end to their harrowing fate, all the while striking up a friendship with a child named Pia. Forty years later, a woman named Pia reflects on her tumultuous childhood in Spain, as migrants struggle on a boat offshore. 

When you can read it: May 19, 2020

Aislinn Hunter is a Vancouver-based writer and academic. Her 2002 novel Stay was adapted for film by Wiebke Von Carolsfeld in 2013. The World Before Us, set in a British museum, was awarded the 2015 Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize.

All I Ask by Eva Crocker

All I Ask is a novel by Eva Crocker. (Alex Noel, House of Anansi Press)

One morning, Stacey wakes up to the police pounding on her door in All I Ask. They claim they are looking for "illegal digital material" and seize her phone and computer. Worried for her safety, Stacey bands together with her friends to seek a way to an authentic, unencumbered way of life. 

When you can read it: June 2, 2020

Eva Crocker is a novelist and short story writer. Her first book was the short story collection Barrelling Forward.

The author of the short-story collection "Barrelling Forward," on why if you liked Jeanette Winterson's memoir "Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?" you'll love "Two-Man Tent" by Robert Chafe. 9:42

The Diamond House by Dianne Warren

The Diamond House is a book by Dianne Warren. (HarperCollins Canada, Don Hall)

Estella Diamond is the only daughter of successful brick factory owner in The Diamond House. She soon discovers something none of her brothers knew: that her father used to be married to an aspiring ceramics artist called Salina, an uncompromisingly rebellious figure. Estella wants to be like Salina, and models herself on the person she never knew; her plans are continually crushed by the family patriarchy. Years later, Estella meets a young woman called Hannah Diamond and her life changes forever. 

When you can read it: June 2, 2020

Dianne Warren is a writer and dramatist from Saskatchewan. Her novel Cool Water won the Governor General's Literary Award for fiction in 2010.

Hurry Home by Roz Nay

Hurry Home is a thriller by Roz Nay. (Simon & Schuster Canada, Lisa Seyfried Photography)

In Hurry HomeAlexandra Van Ness lives a perfect life tucked away in a resort town in the rocky mountains with her handsome boyfriend, Chase. She works in child protection, dedicating herself to helping those at risk. But, when Alexandra's long-lost sister turns up out of the blue, Alexandra is forced to confront the memories of their fraught past. 

When you can read it: June 7, 2020

Roz Nay is a B.C.-based writer. Her debut novel, Our Little Secret, won the Douglas Kennedy Prize for best foreign thriller, and was nominated for the Kobo Emerging Writer Prize for Mystery and the Arthur Ellis Best First Novel Award.

The Imago Stage by Karoline Georges, translated by Rhonda Mullins

The Imago Stage is a book by Karoline Georges. (Yannick Forest, Coach House Books)

In The Imago Stage, a model decides to embed herself in a digital world to escape the life she had formed in the fashion world of Paris. Earning enough to retire in her 20s, she lives out her life as a digital avatar. However, as she learns of news that her mother is sick, she is forced to retreat from her digital life and confront her flesh and blood family.  

When you can read it: June 9, 2020

Karoline Georges is a writer and multidisciplinary artist from Quebec. Her novel De synthèse won the 2018 Governor General's Award for French-language fiction. Her work encompasses visual art, poetry and children's fiction. 

Rhonda Mullins is a writer and translator living in Montreal. Her translation of Suzanne by Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette was defended by Yanic Truesdale on Canada Reads 2019. She won the 2015 Governor General's Literary Award for French-to-English translation for Jocelyne Saucier's Twenty-One CardinalsAnd the Birds Rained Down — her translation of Saucier's Il pleuvait des oiseaux — was defended on Canada Reads 2015 by Martha Wainwright and was shortlisted for a Governor General's Literary Award.

We Two Alone by Jack Wang

We Two Alone is a book by Jack Wang. (House of Anansi Press, Mike Grippi)

Set over a century and spanning five continents, We Two Alone traces the evolution of the Chinese immigrant experience. Tracing various peoples, families, professionals across the globe, Jack Wang creates a tapestry of experience that encompasses the trials and tribulations of a diaspora trying to find its place in the world. 

When you can read it: June 9, 2020

Wang's short stories have been published in Joyland Magazine, The Humber Literary Review and The New Quarterly. We Two Alone is his first book.

The Swap by Robyn Harding

The Swap is a thriller by Robyn Harding. (Simon & Schuster Canada, Talullah)

In The SwapLow Morrison is a teenager who doesn't fit in with the rest. Nor does Freya, but she just so happens to be a beautiful and formerly famous social media influencer who now owns a pottery studio. After signing up for a class, the two quickly become friends.

The arrival of Jamie at the studio disrupts the friendship. Jamie and her partner have moved to the area in order to conceive and become fast friends with Freya and her husband. The suggestion of couple-swapping on a drunken evening has devastating consequences. 

When you can read it: June 23, 2020

Robyn Harding is a Vancouver, B.C.-based writer and filmmaker. Her novels include The Party and Her Pretty Face.

Still Here by Amy Stuart

Still Here is a thriller by Amy Stuart. (Simon & Schuster Canada, Paige Lindsay)

In Still Here, private investigator Malcolm is gone. Colleague and fellow P.I. Clare is determined to find him, and goes to the oceanside city where he has disappeared without a trace. Not only is Malcolm gone, but so is his wife. Everyone thinks Malcolm is responsible, except for Clare — who believes there's a shady connection to his wife's family business and her father's murder. Clare needs to dig up the dark history the community would rather forget. 

When you can read it: June 30, 2020

Amy Stuart is a Toronto-based novelist, teacher and short story writer. Stuart has written two previous thrillers, Still Mine and Still Water.

Amy Stuart talks to Shelagh Rogers about her latest thriller, Still Water. 15:14

The Fires of Vengeance by Evan Winter

Evan Winter is a fantasy author. (@evanwinter/Twitter.com)

The Fires of Vengeance is the the latest book in The Burning series. Tau and his Queen have to protect the capital and the Indigenous people of Xidda. They plan to launch a full-blooded assault on their own capital city, where the Queen's sister is being propped up as the real leader of Omehi. If the city can be taken, the people united, then the Omehi people may have a chance. 

When you can read it: July 14, 2020

Evan Winter is also the author of The Rage of Dragons, which was on the Canada Reads 2020 longlist.

Seven by Farzana Doctor

Seven is a book by Farzana Doctor. (Dundurn)

In Seven, Sharifa accompanies her husband on a marriage-saving trip to India, and in order to research her great-great-grandfather — a business-owner and philanthropist. She is fascinated by his four wives, who are never mentioned in her family. At the same time, she tries to reach a middle ground in an ideologically-divided community.  

When you can read it: Aug. 1, 2020

Farzana Doctor is a Canadian novelist and social worker. Her novels include All Inclusive and Six Metres of Pavement.

In this CBC Books video series, author Farzana Doctor on why it's a great time to be a writer from a racialized or Indigenous community. 2:00

The Night Piece by André Alexis

The Night Piece is a short story collection by André Alexis. (Chris Young/Canadian Press, McClelland & Stewart)

The Night Piece is a collection of career-spanning stories by Scotiabank Giller Prize and Canada Reads winner André Alexis. Alexis draws from his previous publications, including Despair and Other Stories of Ottawa and Beauty & Sadness, as well as works that have not been published before. 

When you can read it: Aug. 4, 2020

Alexis is the author Fifteen Dogs, which won Canada Reads 2017 and the 2015 Scotiabank Giller Prize, and Days by Moonlight, which won the 2019 Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize.

André Alexis new book is Days by Moonlight. He came into studio to answer The Next Chapter's Proust questionnaire. 5:19

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