Books·Best of 2017

95 must-read books from 2017, as recommended by you

We asked and you answered! Here are YOUR favourite books from 2017.

We asked and you answered. Here are YOUR picks for the must-read books from 2017, submitted to CBC Books via email, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. We only included submissions for books that came out in 2017.

Thanks to everyone who submitted a recommendation! Happy reading in 2018, everyone!

Canadian fiction | Canadian nonfiction | International fiction | International nonfiction | Poetry | Young adult + children

Canadian fiction

1. Son of a Trickster by Eden Robinson

Eden Robinson is the author of the young adult novel Son of a Trickster. (Chris Young/Knopf Canada)

What it's about: Eden Robinson's coming-of-age novel, which was shortlisted for the 2017 Scotiabank Giller Prize, is about an Indigenous teen navigating challenging family dynamics.

Recommended by: Hazel Isaac, Cathie Whitman, Ann Auld, Claudia Stewart, @snappytrails, @MindfuLY & @JodieMacInnis

2. I Am a Truck by Michelle Winters

I Am a Truck by Michelle Winters was on the 2017 Scotiabank Giller Prize shortlist. (Invisible Publishing)

What it's about:  Michelle Winters' debut novel is a moving tale about the possibilities and impossibilities of love and loyalty. The book was on the 2017 Scotiabank Giller Prize shortlist.

Recommended by: Hazel Isaac, Tasha Miller Tanner & Cathie Whitman

3. Yasmeen Haddad Loves Joanasi Maqaittik by Carolyn Marie Souaid

Carolyn Marie Souaid is the author of Yasmeen Haddad Loves Joanasi Maqaittik (Baraka Books/ Joel Silverstein)

What it's about: This book tells a coming-of-age story about Quebec-based Yasmeen, a young woman of Syrian descent, and how traditional and contemporary views collide when she becomes a teacher in a fictional northern Canadian community known as Saqijuvik.

Recommended by: @Ringadian

4. We'll All Be Burnt in Our Beds Some Night by Joel Thomas Hynes

We'll All Be Burnt in Our Beds Some Night by Joel Thomas Hynes was on the 2017 Scotiabank Giller Prize longlist. (HarperCollins)

What it's about: This novel by Joel Thomas Hynes, winner of the Governor General's Literary Award for fiction, is the story of one man's attempt to recuperate from a life of petty crime.

Recommended by: Hazel Isaac, @gar5061, @M_Hynes_Stovall & @jmugford 

5. The Water Beetles by Michael Kaan

Michael Kaan is the author of The Water Beetles. (Goose Lane Editions/Leif Norman)

What it's about: The Leung family leads a life of secluded luxury in Hong Kong. But in December 1941, the Empire of Japan invades the colony. The family is quickly dragged into a spiral of violence, repression and starvation. The Water Beetles was a 2017 finalist for the Governor General's Literary Award for fiction

Recommended by: Jill Ainsley & @Mkbeechie

​6. Outside People & Other Stories by Mariam Pirbhai

Mariam Pirbhai is the author of Outside People & Other Stories. (Inanna Publications)

What it's about: Featuring a diverse, multicultural ensemble cast of characters, Mariam Pirbhai's debut short story collection Outside People & Other Stories examines themes of displacement, race and globalization to reflect the Canada we all live in. 

Recommended by: Sylvia Terzian, Nohemi LaJefaLubna Umar, Jim FisherRonaldo Garcia & @sanchari_sur

​7. The Only Café by Linden MacIntyre

Linden MacIntyre, former host of CBC's fifth estate, won the Scotiabank Giller Prize in 2009 for The Bishop's Man. The Only Café is his fifth novel. (CBC/Random House Canada)

What it's about: The Only Café, a novel, was inspired by a tragedy veteran journalist Linden MacIntyre covered for the CBC — the massacre of Palestinians at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Lebanon in September 1982. It tells the story of a son who tries to solve the mystery of the death of his father, a Lebanese refugee and successful lawyer.

Recommended by: Betty Lou Tilley

​8. American War by Omar El Akkad

American War is Omar El Akkad's debut novel. (Michael Lionstar/McClelland & Stewart)

What it's about: Set 50 years from now, Omar El Akkad's debut novel American Warwhich was a finalist for the 2017 Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize, envisions a future where government restrictions on fossil fuels have sparked a second Civil War in the U.S. 

Recommended by: Marilyn Freeman & Grant Hall

9. Beforelife by Randal Graham

Randal Graham is the author of Beforelife. (ECW Press)

What it's about: Randal Graham's debut is a satirical novel looking at the "post-mortem" adventures of widower Ian Brown, a man who dies on the book's first page and finds himself in an afterlife where no one else believes in "pre-incarnation."

Recommended by: Ellen Helleur

10. Lost in September by Kathleen Winter

Kathleen Winter's previous novel, Annabel, was on Canada Reads in 2014. (CBC/Penguin Random House Canada)

What it's about: In Kathleen Winter's novel, Lost in September, an ex-soldier named Jimmy wanders the streets of modern-day Montreal, suffering from PTSD and bearing a striking likeness to an 18th-century British general.

Recommended by: Joan McCorquodale

11. ​Song of Batoche by Maia Caron

​Maia Caron is the author of Song of Batoche. (Maia Caron/Ronsdale Press)

What it's about: Maia Caron's historical novel takes a reimagined look at the legacy of Louis Riel through the eyes of a founding family member of the Batoche Métis.

Recommended by: Louise Hoelscher

12. ​The Clothesline Swing by Ahmad Danny Ramadan

Ahmad Danny Ramadan is the author of the novel The Clothesline Swing. ( Editions)

What it's about: Ahmad Danny Ramadan's The Clothesline Swing is a journey through the aftermath of the Arab Spring.

Recommended by: Samantha MacDonald, @keenonbirds, @makashkash & @aminamiski

13. Glass Houses by Louise Penny

Glass Houses is the 13th book in Louise Penny's bestselling Armand Gamache crime series. (Raincoast Books)

What it's about: Glass Houses is Louise Penny's 13th book in the Armand Gamache series, which takes place in a warm, eccentric, tight-knit community known as Three Pines.

Recommended by: @AmyMacamish & Nusha Bee

14. That's My Baby by Frances Itani

Frances Itani is a three-time winner of the CBC Literary Prizes. (Norma Takeuchi/HarperCollins Canada)

What it's aboutThat's My Baby is set around the Second World War, with an adopted child now all grown up and desperately seeking details about her birth and identity.

Recommended by: Betty Lou Tilley & Wendy Barker

15. ​Crying for the Moon by Mary Walsh

Mary Walsh's debut novel follows a young woman coming-of-age in the late 1960s. (HarperCollins Canada/LimeLight Group)

What it's about: Mary Walsh's debut novel, Crying for the Moon, is a comedic, coming-of-age story, intertwined with a noir, murder mystery.

Recommended by: Ellen Helleur

​16. Hum If You Don't Know the Words by Bianca Marais

Bianca Marais is the author of Hum If You Don't Know the Words. (Penguin)

What it's about: Hum If You Don't Know the Words shines a light on themes of loss, racism and family during Apartheid-era South Africa.

Recommended by: Stephen MaraisLynda de Vries & Debbie De Vries

17. ​Transit by Rachel Cusk

Rachel Cusk was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize in 2015 and again in 2017. (Siemon Scammel-Katz/HarperCollins)

What it's aboutTransit uses an unconventional narrative structure as it explores themes of identity and isolation. The novel made the Scotiabank Giller Prize shortlist in 2017.

Recommended by: Pamela Ross

18. In Case I Go by Angie Abdou

Author, Angie Abdou, faced criticism online for including three Ktunaxa characters in her novel, 'In Case I Go'. (Arsenal Pulp Press)

What it's about: Angie Abdou's fifth work of fiction features a young boy named Eli who moves to a small mountain town, where ghosts from the past start to visit him.

Recommended by: Indra Gemma RamayanWenda WoodAmanda Green

19. Minds of Winter by Ed O'Loughlin

Minds of Winter by Ed O'Loughlin was on the 2017 Scotiabank Giller Prize shortlist. (Nuala Haughey/Anansi)

What it's about: Inspired by Sir John Franklin's doomed Arctic expedition, Ed O'Loughlin's historical novel weaves in fictional extrapolations of the thoughts and motivations of other notable Arctic explorers, with vivid depictions of the Canadian north. 

Recommended by: Kerri Lynolo

20. ​The Winners' Circle by Gail Bowen

Gail Bowen has been writing the Joanne Kilbourn mystery series since 1990. (Madeleine Bowen-Diaz/McClelland & Stewart)

What it's about: In The Winners' Circle, the 17th book of Gail Bowen's bestselling mystery novel series, protagonist Joanne Kilbourn's investigative skills are put to the test by a triple homicide involving several people close to her family.

Recommended by: Sharon McInnes & Huguette LeSage Tricker

21. The Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O'Neill

Heather O'Neill is a Canadian novelist, poet, short story writer, screenwriter and journalist. (Julia C. Vona/HarperCollins)

What it's about: The Lonely Hearts Hotel is a historical tragicomic love story about two orphans hustling in Montreal's underground who dream of opening a circus together.

Recommended by: Gloria AglowCarol Harding, @kdrop, @bronteisafinder & @D_Sneath 

22. Brother by David Chariandy

Brother is David Chariandy's second novel. (Joy van Tiedemann/Penguin Random House Canada)

What it's about: Brother takes us inside the lives of two brothers, the mixed-heritage sons of Trinidadian immigrants living in 1990s Toronto. The novel won the 2017 Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize.

Recommended by: Monica McCarthySarah Fells, @Lakes54 & @watrvision

23. All The Beloved Ghosts by Alison MacLeod

Alison MacLeod is the author of the short story collection All The Beloved Ghosts. (Kate MacLeod/Penguin Canada)

What it's about: This collection of short stories mixes fiction, biography and memoir.

Recommended by: Hazel Isaac

24. ​The Wind in His Heart by Charles de Lint

Charles de Lint is a prolific Canadian fantasy writer. (MaryAnn Harris/Triskell Press)

What it's about: De Lint's first adult fantasy novel in eight years weaves a rich tapestry of story with a creative elegance. Young Thomas sees into the otherworld, but all he wants to do is get off the rez. Steve Cole escaped from his rock star life to disappear into the desert and mountains. 

Recommended by: Shannon Bradbury

25. A Reckoning by Linda Spalding

Linda Spalding's previous novel, The Purchase, won the Governor General's Literary Award for fiction. (Derek Shapton/Penguin Random House Canada)

What it's about: A Reckoning opens in the spring of 1855, when a family is involved in a shameful secret that will require a tragic decision.

Recommended by: Paulette Renaud

​26. One Brother Shy by Terry Fallis

Terry Fallis's novel The Best Laid Plans won Canada Reads in 2011. (Terry Fallis/McClelland & Stewart)

What it's about: One Brother Shy follows software engineer Alex MacAskill who must face a humiliating incident from his past after his mother dies.

Recommended by: Madeleine Hague

27. The Shoe on the Roof by Will Ferguson

Will Ferguson's latest novel is The Shoe on the Roof. (Genki Alex Ferguson/Simon & Schuster Canada)

What it's about: Will Ferguson's novel The Shoe on the Roof has science and spirituality facing off in a daring psychological experiment. 

Recommended by: Hazel Isaac

28. The Bone Mother by David Demchuk

The Bone Mother is David Demchuk's first horror novel. (David Demchuk)

What it's about: David Demchuk's fantasy novel featuring ghosts, witches and sirens on the eve of war was on the 2017 Scotiabank Giller Prize longlist.

Recommended by: @SadieLouWho

29. ​The Last Neanderthal by Claire Cameron

Claire Cameron is the author of The Last Neanderthal. (David Kerr/Doubleday)

What it's about: Claire Cameron's novel tells the story of two women separated by millennia, but linked by a journey that will transform them both.

Recommended by: @d_cameron, @D_Sneath & @peggyflynn25

30. ​The Lightkeeper's Daughters by Jean E. Pendziwol

Jean E. Pendziwol is an award-winning Canadian author. (

What it's about: The Lightkeeper's Daughters explores family dynamics, identity issues and redemption.

Recommended by: Samantha Borgal, Bill Reist, Graham Strong & @MargaretB_yvr

31. The Three Pleasures by Terry Watada

Terry Watada is a Toronto-based writer, professor and author. (Tane Akamatsu)

What it's about: Terry Watada's novel is set in 1940s British Columbia and revolves around three Japanese-Canadian characters living through a dark period in Canada's history.

Recommended by: Tane Akamatsu

​32. Bellevue Square by Michael Redhill

Michael Redhill is a poet, playwright and novelist who has garnered much acclaim for past novels like Consolation and Martin Sloane. (Amanda Withers/Penguin Random House)

What it's about: Bellevue Square won the 2017 Scotiabank Giller Prize. The novel plays with literary tropes — specifically within the genres of psychological thriller, science fiction and historical narrative — to tell the story of Jean Mason, a woman who finds out that she may have a doppelgänger in the bohemian Toronto neighbourhood known as Kensington Market.

Recommended by: Hazel Isaac

33. Has the World Ended Yet? by Peter Darbyshire

Peter Darbyshire is a Canadian journalist and author. ( and Wynn)

What it's about: This collection of linked short stories includes retired superheroes living in a soulless suburbia where everyone gets lost trying to get home.

Recommended by:  @CoreyRedekop

34. ​All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai

All Our Wrong Todays is screenwriter Elan Mastai's debut novel. (Penguin Books/David Leyes)

What it's about: In Elan Mastai's speculative novel, a man time travels into what we think of as the present day.

Recommended by: @D_Sneath

​35. The Memory Keepers by Nina Waddington

Nina Waddington is the author of The Memory Keepers. ( Publishing)

What it's about: The Memory Keepers is a novel about seeming coincidences and second chances.

Recommended by: Starr Waddington

​36. The Church in the Wildwood by Alanna Rusnak

Alanna Rusnak is the author of The Church in the Wildwood. (

What it's about: This novel by Alanna Rusnak traverses themes of alienation, identity and discovered truths.

Recommended by: Steph Rusnak & @Healcomfortbless

Canadian nonfiction

37. No is Not Enough by Naomi Klein

Naomi Klein is a Canadian author, social activist, and filmmaker. ( Canada)

What it's about: In No Is Not Enough, Naomi Klein embraces a lively conversation with the reader to expose the forces behind Trump's success and explain why he is not an aberration, but the product of our time.

Recommended by: Celeste M & Marianne Bond

38. What the Mouth Wants by Monica Meneghetti

Monica Meneghetti is a multilingual language professional and writer. (Dagger Editions)

​What it's about: This memoir explores Monica Meneghetti's journey through her relationship with food, family and love.

Recommended by: @rkiwaasa

39. ​One Day We'll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter by Scaachi Koul

Scaachi Koul is the author of One Day We'll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter. (Doubleday Canada/Barbora Simkova)

What it's about: In One Day We'll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter, Scaachi deploys her razor-sharp humour to document her fears and experiences as an outsider growing up in Canada.

Recommended by: @bronteisafinder

40. ​A Newfoundlander in Canada by Alan Doyle

Musician and author Alan Doyle grew up in Petty Harbour, N.L. (CBC q)

What it's about: Best known as the lead singer for the Canadian band Great Big Sea, Alan Doyle talks about traveling across Canada and feeling like an outsider in his latest memoir.

Recommended by:  @gar5061 & @M_Hynes_Stovall

​41. Down Inside by Robert Clark

Robert Clark is an author and former deputy warden with Corrections Canada. (Goose Lane/Robert Clark)

What it's about: Robert Clark, former deputy warden with Corrections Canada, gives us an inside look at Canada's prison system.

Recommended by: Jill Ainsley

42. ​Seven Fallen Feathers by Tanya Talaga

Tanya Talaga highlights the lives of seven Indigenous students in Seven Fallen Feathers. (Steve Russell/Toronto Star/House of Anansi)

What it's about: Journalist Tanya Talaga tells the story of seven Indigenous high school students who lost their lives in Thunder Bay, Ont.

Recommended by: Louise Hoelscher, @Danielle_Author & @KimAlexander_

43. Rock Paper Sex by Kerri Cull​

Kerri Cull​ is the author of Rock Paper Sex. (Breakwater Books)

What it's about: In Rock Paper Sex, Kerri Cull highlights stories about the sex trade in St. John's, NL.

Recommended by:  @MeandMyKat

​44. All Leave Behind by Carol Off

Carol Off is the host of CBC's As It Happens and author of All We Leave Behind. (CBC)

What it's about: All We Leave Behind is about Carol Off's efforts to help bring a family that was being targeted by warlords from Afghanistan to Canada.

Recommended by: Norma Roed

45. ​Rise of the Necrofauna by Britt Wray

Britt Wray talks to scientists trying to bring extinct animals back to life in Rise of the Necrofauna. (

What it's about: Britt Wray delves into the ethical conversation around de-extinction, talking to scientists hoping to revive woolly mammoths and cautionary environmental philosophers on the other side of the issue.

Recommended by: Scott LaLonde

46. Medicine Unbundled by Gary Geddes

Gary Geddes is a Canadian poet and writer. (Heritage House)

What it's about: In Medicine Unbundled, Gary Geddes uncovers the history and legacy of segregated Indigenous health care in Canada. 

Recommended by: P.J. Sinclair

47. A History of Canada in Ten Maps by Adam Shoalts

Adam Shoalts has been called one of Canada's greatest living explorers. (Penguin Random House/Alexia Wiatr)

What it's about: Adam Shoalts tells the stories behind 10 centuries-old maps, and how they came to shape what became "Canada."

Recommended by: Gisèle Boutin

​48. Runaway Wives and Rogue Feminists by Margo Goodhand

Margo Goodhand is the former editor-in-chief of the Edmonton Journal and the Winnipeg Free Press. (Fernwood)

What it's about: Journalist Margo Goodhand takes a historical look at the beginnings of women's shelters in Canada. 

Recommended by: P.J. Sinclair

International fiction

49. Setting Free the Kites by Alex George

Alex George is a writer and a lawyer. ( Putnam's Sons)

What it's about: Alex George delivers an engaging tale of two friends and the unintended consequences of friendship, loss and hope.

Recommended by: @Lakes54

50. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Gail Honeyman is the author of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. (Penguin Random House/Philippa Gedge)

What it's about: Gail Honeyman's quirky tale of unconventional life and love redefines what it means to be considered "socially acceptable."

Recommended by: Judy Leblanc, @nadirasultanaJaye Robb Stechey & @Mkbeechie  

51. Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

Mohsin Hamid's Exit West is a love story that's entrenched in issues regarding refugees and migration. (Ed Kashi/Riverhead Books)

What it's about: Mohsin Hamid's latest book, Exit West, uses magic realism as a powerful storytelling tool to help reignite empathy for refugees.

Recommended by: Celeste M, Susanne Schibler, @postmodernpoet & @llifewillnotwait

​52. History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund

Emily Fridlund is the author of History of Wolves. (HarperCollins/Doug Knudson)

What it's about: Emily Fridlund's novel follows a teenager named Linda who is devastated when her favourite history teacher is arrested.

Recommended by: @MindfuLY

53. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Little Fires Everywhere is the follow up to Celeste Ng's debut 2014 novel Everything I Never Told You. (Kevin Day/ Press)

What it's about: Little Fires Everywhere explores the weight of secrets, the nature of art and identity and the ferocious pull of motherhood.

Recommended by: M Payne

54. The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See

Lisa See is an American writer and novelist. (

What it's about: Lisa See's novel takes an inspired look at old world tradition, the history of tea farming and the connection between mothers and daughters.

Recommended by: Wanda Wheeler D'Aoust

​55. Origin by Dan Brown

Author Dan Brown's new novel, Origin, asks the question, 'Will God survive science?' (Getty Images, Doubleday)

What it's about: Bestselling author Dan Brown discusses science, religion and what's next for humankind in his latest novel.

Recommended by: Wanda Kenter & @Farnazmadan

56. ​Universal Harvester by John Darnielle

John Darnielle's Universal Harvester is his second novel. (John Darnielle/Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

What it's about: This suspenseful novel tells of the tale of creepy goings-on in 1990s Nebraska.

Recommended by: @snaxconway

57. ​Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman is an award-winning author. (WW Norton/Wikimedia Commons)

What it's about: The veteran storyteller returns with a vibrant retelling of ancient mythology.

Recommended by: Hazel Isaac

58. My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent

My Absolute Darling is the debut novel by Gabriel Tallent. (Penguin Random House/Alex Adams)

What it's about: Turtle Alveston is a survivor. At 14, she roams the woods along the northern California coast. This provocative novel covers themes of abuse, identity and survival.

Recommended by: Kathy Burbank & @fitter_knitter

59. Things We Lost In The Fire by Mariana Enriquez

Mariana Enriquez is a writer and author. (Penguin Random House/Nora Lezano)

What it's about: The short story collection highlights contemporary Argentina as a place where shocking inequality, violence and corruption are the law of the land, while military dictatorship and legions of desaparecidos loom large in the collective memory.

Recommended by: Ray Jones

60. The Golden House by Salman Rushdie

The Golden House is the 13th novel from the famed author. (Moskowitz/ Random House)

What it's about: Salman Rushdie weaves a tale of the American Dream gone astray against the backdrop of the Obama administration in The Golden House

Recommended by: Hazel Isaac

61. La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman

Philip Pullman is the author of the His Dark Materials series. (AFP/Getty Images)

What it's about: Malcolm Polstead is a young person who finds a secret message inquiring about a dangerous substance called Dust. La Belle Sauvage is the first in Philiip Pullman's new trilogy The Book of Dust.

Recommended by: Lesley Matheson & Shayna Marie

62. Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin

Samanta Schweblin is an Argentinian author. (Riverhead Books/Alejandra Lopez)

What it's about: A young woman named Amanda lies dying in a rural hospital clinic. A boy named David sits beside her. She's not his mother. He's not her child but, together, they tell a haunting story of broken souls, toxins and the power and desperation of family.

Recommended by: Ray Jones

63. Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

Lincoln in the Bardo is the first novel from acclaimed American author George Saunders. (Penguin Random House/David Crosby)

What it's about: This debut full-length novel by American author George Saunders imagines the night Abraham Lincoln visited the burial site of his son.

Recommended by: Jana Tubinshlak & @Catherine99banks

​64. Borne by Jeff VanderMeer

Jeff VanderMeer is a American author, editor and literary critic. ( HarperCollins/Kyle Cassidy)

What it's about: In a ruined, nameless city of the future, Rachel, who makes her living as a scavenger, finds a creature she names Borne entangled in the fur of Mord, a gigantic, despotic bear.

Recommended by: Stephen Webb

65. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Taylor Jenkins Reid is an American author. ( Books)

What it's about: Aging and reclusive fictional Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth behind her seven marriages and the glamour and scandal surrounding it.

Recommended by: @jprglisa

66. ​The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

Leigh Bardugo is a bestselling author of fantasy novels. (Imprint/

What it's about: This collection of short stories by bestselling author Leigh Bardugo weaves together tales of betrayal, revenge, sacrifice and love.

Recommended by: @AmorinaKingdon

67. ​Gwendy's Button Box by Stephen King & Richard Chizmar

Stephen King's latest work is the novella Gwendy's Button Box, co-written with Richard Chizmar. (Cemetery Dance Publications/Wikimedia Commons)

What it's about: This novella revisits the town of Castle Rock, Maine to tell some untold stories.

Recommended by: @Lakes54

​68. How To Be Human by Paula Cocozza

Paula Cocozza is a writer and author. (Viking/

What it's about: This debut novel from Paula Cocozza deals with the dissolution of a marriage, suburbian claustrophobia and a woman's inappropriate passion for a fox.

Recommended by: Lyndsay Goldstein

69. ​Artemis by Andy Weir

Artemis is a science fiction novel by Andy Weir. (Crown)

What it's about: Author Andy Weir, best known for his book The Martian, is back with Artemis, where he imagines what life would be like on the moon.

Recommended by: @Paperbluecat

​70. Feast of Sorrow by Crystal King

Crystal King is the author of Feast of Sorrow. (Touchstone/Wayne Earl Chinnock)

What it's about: This debut novel from Crystal King dives into a historical past about Roman life, politics and food.

Recommended by: Audrey St-Yves

International nonfiction

71. The Bright Hour by Nina Riggs

Nina Riggs is a writer and author. (Nina Riggs/Simon & Schuster)

What it's about: This nonfiction work is a thoughtful and affecting look at what it means to be alive.

Recommended by: Celeste M

72. Hunger by Roxane Gay

Roxane Gay is the author of Hunger. (Jay Grabiec/HarperCollins)

What it's about: Roxane Gay's memoir tackles food, weight, self-image and learning how to feed your hunger while taking care of yourself.

Recommended by: @Danielle_Author

73. The River of Consciousness by Oliver Sacks

Oliver Wolf Sacks was a British neurologist, naturalist, historian of science and author. (Knopf/Wikimedia Commons)

What it's about: Completed just prior to his death, bestselling author and neurologist Oliver Sacks offers a contemplative look at the nature of consciousness and the human perception of time.

Recommended by: Celeste M

74. Aliens Among Us by Leslie Anthony

Leslie Anthony is a writer, editor and filmmaker. (Yale University Press/Twitter)

What it's about: Science and adventure journalist Leslie Anthony explores how and why invasive organisms and species are hijacking ecosystems around the globe.

Recommended by: asta k & @Pembyboa

75. Into the Gray Zone by Adrian Owen

Adrian Owen is a neuroscientist and author. (Scribner/Paul Mayne)

What it's about: This nonfiction work is a scientific look at consciousness, the human brain and the potential "twilight zone" that exists between life and death.

Recommended by: Celeste M

76. A Hope More Powerful than the Sea by Melissa Fleming

Melissa Fleming is a writer and head of communications and chief spokesperson for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), (Flatiron Books)

What it's about: This compelling work looks at the life of Doaa Al Zamel, a Syrian girl whose life was upended by events of the Arab Spring in 2011.

Recommended by: Adèle Fontaine

77. Traveling with Ghosts by Shannon Leone Fowler

Shannon Leone Fowler is an author and marine biologist. (Simon & Schuster/Dorian A. Momsen)

What it's about: Marine biologist Shannon Leone Fowler shares her physical and emotional journey of travelling through war-ravaged Eastern Europe and Israel after her fiancé suffered a fatal attack by a box jellyfish in Thailand.

Recommended by: Donna Kendrick 

78. You Don't Have To Say You Love Me by Sherman Alexie

Sherman Alexie began writing his memoir after the death of his mother in 2015. (Lee Towndrow)

What it's about: Sherman Alexie's book is a collection of poetry and essays about his memories of childhood.

Recommended by: @Lisa_Hamelin

79. Braving the Wilderness by Brené Brown

Brené Brown is an author and social scientist. (Random House/Brené Brown)

What it's about: Bestselling author and social scientist Brené Brown takes an explorative and cultural look at what it truly means to belong in society.

Recommended by:  @Danielle_Author

80. On Tyranny by Timothy Snyder

Timothy Snyder is a history professor and author. (Tim Duggan Books/Ine Gundersveen)

What it's about: Historian Timothy Snyder offers a guide for surviving and resisting America's turn towards authoritarianism.

Recommended by: Celeste M

81. Tales of Two Americas by John Freeman

John Freeman an American writer and a literary critic. (Penguin Random House)

What it's about: Major contemporary writers — including Anthony Doerr, Ann Patchett, Roxane Gay, Edwidge Danticat, Rebecca Solnit, Joyce Carol Oates, Hector Tobar and Karen Russell — examine life in a deeply divided America.

Recommended by: Kerry Mosher


82. Ordinary Beast by Nicole Sealey

Nicole Sealey is a writer and poet. (HarperCollins/Rachel Eliza Griffiths)

What it's about: Ordinary Beast is a poetic examination of worldly themes — race, gender, sexuality — that uses the power of clarity and lyrical form. 

Recommended by: Celeste M

83. Voodoo Hypothesis by Canisia Lubrin

Born in St. Lucia, poet Canisia Lubrin now makes her home in Whitby, Ont. (Anna Keenan/Wolsak and Wynn)

What it's about: Voodoo Hypothesis draws in elements of pop culture, science, pseudo-science and news about race and identity to recentre the definition of being a Black individual in today's world.

Recommended by: @JulieMannell

​84. This Wound is a World by Billy-Ray Belcourt

Billy-Ray Belcourt is the author of the poetry collection This Wound Is A World. (Frontenac House)

What it's about: The debut poetry collection from Billy-Ray Belcourt, merges the personal with the academic, envisioning, in his own words, a "decolonial kind of heaven that is searchable, findable."

Recommended by: @just1jana

85. ​The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur

Rupi Kaur's poetry collection The Sun and Her Flowers is the follow-up to her bestseller milk and honey. (Simon & Schuster/Canadian Press)

What it's about: Rupi Kaur's second collection of poetry offers up themes of love, growth, healing and understanding who you are. 

Recommended by: Meaghan Landrigan-Buttle

86. Adultolescence by Gabbie Hanna

Gabbie Hanna is a writer and comedian. (Simon & Schuster/Facebook)

What it's about: This debut collection of illustrated poetry looks at what it means to be human in the modern world. 

Recommended by: @Meagan_disney5303

Young adult + children

87. Under the Zaboca Tree by Glynis Guevara

Glynis Guevara is the author of Under the Zaboca Tree. (Inanna Young Feminist Series/Twitter)

What it's about: This coming of age tale that takes a look at Melody Sparks, a preteen who moves from Canada to Trinidad to stay with her father. 

Recommended by: Tamera Patenaude, Debra Howell, Doreen Nelson, Elaine Tarnow, Avivi Hewitt & Ayanna Yanny Maynard

88. Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

John Green is a bestselling author. (Dutton Books for Young Readers/Wikimedia Commons)

What it's about: The bestselling YA novel focuses on 16-year-old Aza Holmes, a high school student living with multiple anxiety disorders, and her search for a fugitive billionaire.

Recommended by: Celeste M, Meaghan Landrigan-ButtleShannon Bradbury, @Meagan_disney5303 & @A.1.i.s.0.n

89. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Angie Thomas' debut novel, The Hate U Give, immediately shot to the top of the New York Times bestsellers list. (Balzer + Bray/Anissa Hidouk)

What it's about: The bestselling YA novel The Hate U Give follows a protagonist drawn to activism after she witnesses the police shooting of her unarmed friend.

Recommended by: Celeste M, Janice MarieMonica McCarthy & @MargaretB_yvr

​90. Speaking Our Truth by Monique Gray Smith

Monique Gray Smith is the author of Speaking Our Truth. (Centric Photography)

What it's about: Monique Gray Smith's book educates readers about the historical and current impacts of Canada's residential schools.

Recommended by: Aimee Burton, Margo d'Archangelo, Angie Mercer, Anne Marie, S Lundquist, Edward Evans, Brooke SempleLynda ArcherXina CowanDena CarrollIngrid FawcettDenise LloydBecky KelleyTasha ÉlanChastity DavisDana BrynelsenSusan WashingtonPatti KayRobyn Lee Unwin, @Iamsusanwashington & @SBeauchamp93

91. Solo by Kwame Alexander

Kwame Alexander is the author of YA novel Solo. (Blink/Wikimedia Commons)

What it's about: This YA novel about the son of a has-been rock star is a poetic look at identity, loss and failure. 

Recommended by: Hazel Isaac

92. Those Who Run in the Sky by Aviaq Johnston

Aviaq Johnston is an Igloolik, Nunavut-based author. Her books include Those Who Run in the Sky and What's My Superpower? (Inhabit Media)

What it's about: This coming-of-age story follows a young shaman named Pitu as he learns to use his powers and ultimately finds himself lost in the world of the spirits. The book was a 2017 finalist for the Governor General's Literary Award for young people's literature — text. 

Recommended by: @Aarluk

93. 90 Days of Different by Eric Walters

Eric Walters is an accomplished writer of YA novels. (Orca Book/

What it's about: Can 90 days of different create a different life? That's the premise behind this novel where Ella has a plan to help Sophie find her spontaneous side, with college three months away.

Recommended by: Wendy Mason

94. Wishtree by Katherine Applegate

Katherine Applegate is the bestselling author of Wishtree. (Feiwel & Friends/

What it's about: This tale of kindness and hope features Red the neighbourhood "wishtree" — people write their wishes on pieces of cloth and tie them to Red's branches — and what happens when a new family moves in.

Recommended by: Glen Stark

95. Ghost Boys by Shenaaz Nanji

Shenaaz Nanji is author of YA novel Ghost Boys. (Mawenzi House)

What it's about: Fifteen-year-old Munna lives with his Ma and sisters in a small town in India. He is lured into a dream job in the Middle East, only to be sold into child slavery. Thus begins a quest of freedom and hope.

Recommended by: @Maaamaria


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