The top 10 bestselling Canadian books of 2018
2018 was a year full of interesting and diverse books. CBC Books is counting down the top 10 bestselling Canadian titles of 2018, using data from close to 300 independent Canadian bookstores as compiled by Bookmanager.
You can listen to the countdown special hosted by Ali Hassan below or keep scrolling to see which books made the cut!
10. The Boat People by Sharon Bala
In this debut novel by Sharon Bala, a ship carrying 500 Tamil refugees reaches the shores of British Columbia. Mahindan and his six-year-old son have survived a harrowing journey and hope to start a new life in Canada. But Mahindan is immediately taken into detention and left to wait there as politicians, journalists and the public debate the fate of the "boat people." The Boat People was defended by Mozhdah Jamalzadah on Canada Reads 2018.
Instagram poet Rupi Kaur followed up her bestselling debut milk and honey with The Sun and Her Flowers. This poetry collection, divided into five chapters and illustrated by Kaur, uses sun and flower imagery to examine themes of wilting, falling, rooting, rising and blooming.
8. milk and honey by Rupi Kaur
After gaining a huge following posting her poetry on Instagram, Rupi Kaur published this New York Times bestselling poetry collection. Divided into four chapters and featuring illustrations by Kaur, Milk and Honey explores love, pain, trauma, identity and feminism.
In Seven Fallen Feathers, award-winning investigative journalist Tanya Talaga travels to Thunder Bay, Ont., to investigate the deaths of seven Indigenous teenagers: Jordan Wabasse, Kyle Morrisseau, Curran Strang, Robyn Harper, Paul Panacheese, Reggie Bushie and Jethro Anderson. Talaga looks at how their lives and untimely deaths can teach us about the injustice faced by Indigenous communities on a daily basis.
6. Women Talking by Miriam Toews
In Miriam Toews's powerful novel, eight Mennonite women come together to talk. Why? They have 48 hours to make a decision that will impact every woman and child in their community. Women Talking is inspired by the real-life case in the 2000s, when women in a Bolivian Mennonite community began whispering that they were waking up groggy, in pain, feeling like they had been sexually molested. Women Talking was a finalist for the 2018 Governor General's Literary Aaward for fiction.
5. Forgiveness by Mark Sakamoto
Mark Sakamoto's memoir Forgiveness tells the true story of how his grandparents survived two very different experiences of the war. His paternal grandmother was one of many Japanese Canadians forced into internment cams during World War II, while his maternal grandfather was a prisoner of war in Japan. These stories of survival and reconciliation shaped him as a Canadian, a man and a father. Forgiveness won Canada Reads 2018, when it was defended by Jeanne Beker.
4. 12 Rules for Life by Jordan B. Peterson
This self-help book by University of Toronto professor and YouTube personality Jordan B. Peterson offers age-old advice to those seeking guidance in the modern world. 12 Rules for Life gives Peterson's perspective on discipline, freedom, adventure and responsibility.
3. Warlight by Michael Ondaatje
Michael Ondaatje, author of the acclaimed novel The English Patient, is once again writing about the Second World War. Set in London in 1945, the novel tells the tale of two young siblings who have been separated from their parents in the aftermath of Nazi bombings.
2. Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese
This seminal novel by Richard Wagamese tells the story of Saul Indian Horse, a young Ojibway boy who is ripped from his family and forcibly placed in residential school. Saul, a gifted hockey player, is both victim and witness to the dehumanizing abuse of students at the school. As an adult, Saul becomes dependent on alcohol to cope with the trauma of his childhood. Indian Horse was defended on Canada Reads 2013 by Carol Huynh.
In the dystopian world of Cherie Dimaline's award-winning The Marrow Thieves, climate change has ravaged the Earth and a continent-wide hunt and slaughter of Indigenous people is underway. Wanted for their bone marrow, which contains the lost ability to dream, a group of Indigenous people seek refuge in the old lands. The Marrow Thieves, which won the Governor General's Literary Award for children's text in 2017 and was defended by Jully Black on Canada Reads 2018, is a captivating, original read.