Books

Mona Awad, Malcolm Gladwell and Jasmin Kaur among 10 Canadians nominated for Goodreads Choice Awards

This year's awards honour the best books of the year in 17 categories, with 20 opening round nominees in each category. The winners are selected through an audience vote.
Mona Awad, left, Malcolm Gladwell, middle and Jasmin Kaur are three of the Canadian first-round nominees for the 2021 Goodreads Choice Awards. (Brigitte Lacombe, Celeste Sloman, Tajinder Kaur)

Ten Canadian titles, including books by Mona Awad, Malcolm Gladwell and Jasmin Kaur, have been nominated for the 2021 Goodreads Choice Awards.

This year's awards honour the best books of the year in 17 categories, with 20 opening round nominees in each category. The winners are selected through an audience vote.

Awad's All's Well is nominated for the horror category.

In All's Well, Awad explores her relationship and experience with pain through the eyes of Miranda Finch, a pill-popping theatre professor living with chronic pain. Everyone around Miranda questions whether she's truly sick. As she teeters on the edge of losing her job, she starts to believe a stage production of Shakespeare's All's Well That Ends Well will save her.

Awad is a Canadian author who is now based in Boston. Her short story collection, 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl, won the Amazon Canada First Novel Award and the Colorado Book Award. She also wrote the novel Bunny, which is being developed into a television series.

"We've all felt like an outsider at one point in our lives. I'm interested in those moments and what they bring up," Monad said in an interview with The Next Chapter.

"There's something in the fantastic that reveals the real profoundly. It reveals the truth of the heart. I've always been interested in how fairy tales do that. They have magic in them."

LISTEN | Mona Awad on All's Well:

Mona Awad talks to Shelagh Rogers about her latest novel, All's Well. 20:17

The Bomber Mafia by Gladwell is a nominee for history and biography.

In The Bomber Mafia, Gladwell weaves together the stories of a Dutch genius and his homemade computer, a band of brothers in central Alabama, a British psychopath, and pyromaniacal chemists at Harvard to examine one of the greatest moral challenges in modern American history.

Gladwell is a New York Times-bestselling author and host of the podcast Revisionist History. His other books include Talking to Strangers, The Tipping Point, David and Goliath, Outliers, What the Dog Saw and Blink

LISTEN: Malcolm Gladwell on The Bomber Mafia:

The firebombing of Tokyo was one of the single most destructive nights of the Second World War. But before that mission, Malcolm Gladwell says there were efforts to fight less deadly wars, and to end them faster with precision bombing. Gladwell explores those efforts in his new book, The Bomber Mafia: A Dream, a Temptation, and the Longest Night of the Second World War. 23:13

Kaur's YA book If I Tell You the Truth is nominated for the poetry category.

If I Tell You the Truth is a collection of prose and poetry that explores trauma, fear, courage, community, and the healing power of love in its many forms. Kiran flees her home in Punjab for a fresh start in Canada, but she faces perils for both her and her daughter, Sahaara.

Kaur is an illustrator, spoken word artist and author from Vancouver. Her approach to writing has drawn comparisons to Canadian poet Rupi Kaur and American writer Elizabeth Acevedo. She is also the author of When You Ask Me Where I'm Going.

LISTEN | Jasmin Kaur on If I Tell You the Truth:

Vancouver-based writer and illustrator Jasmin Kaur reads her poem Lost and Found from her new young adult novel, If I Tell You the Truth, which blends prose, poetry and illustrations. The book tells the story of a Punjabi mother who outstays her visa in Canada, and explores the perils that being undocumented brings to both her and her daughter. 4:12

Here are all the Canadian nominees for the 2021 Goodreads Choice Awards.

Mystery & Thriller:

Romance:

  • The Dating Plan by Sara Desai

History & Biography:

Poetry:

Humour:

YA Fiction:

YA Fantasy & Science Fiction:

The opening round for voting closes on Nov. 28.

Nominees for the final round will be announced on Nov. 30 and the winners will be revealed on Dec. 9. 

You can check out the full list of nominees and vote on the awards website.

Last year's winners include Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia and Dearly by Margaret Atwood. 

Launched in 2007, Goodreads is the world's largest online platform for readers and book recommendations. 

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