Culture & Entertainment

Our fave Canadian books of all time

By: Canadian Living
Canadian books

3 of our fave Canadian books Author: Canadian Living

Culture & Entertainment

Our fave Canadian books of all time

By: Canadian Living

Canadian Living's editors chose their favourite Canadian books—the ones they read again, and again, and again.

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Our fave Canadian books of all time

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

I love science fiction, which is why I initially picked this book up—it takes place after a swine flu-like pandemic swept the world, killing off 99% of the global population. But, though it shares many hallmarks of post-apocalyptic writing (nomadic groups of people, the return to a pre-industrial society, pseudo-religious cult leaders), Station Eleven wasn't what I was expecting. It wasn't really about the world ending at all; instead, it made me think about what makes a civilization, and the nature of celebrity, and the importance of art, and most importantly, how we're all connected to one another, in the most unexpected ways. – Stacy Lee Kong, Senior Editor

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By: Canadian Living

Our fave Canadian books of all time

Dear Life by Alice Munro

I love anything (and everything) by Alice Munro. I have yet to meet a short story of hers I didn't absolutely love. – Jes Watson, Editor-in-Chief

By: Canadian Living

Our fave Canadian books of all time

In the Skin of a Lion by Michael Ondaatje

The first time I read In the Skin of a Lion, I was spending many of my days travelling from the west end of Toronto to the east, crossing the Bloor Street Viaduct regularly and thus moving through the space being built in the novel. The second time I read it, I paid special attention to the facts about the 1930s, the Toronto archives, the landmarks and cities. Think of this book as the scenic route through Ontario history. On the third read, I studied the words and lyrical sentence structure. Ondaatje’s magic is in his ability to craft fiction that gives overlooked people (migrants, immigrants, outsiders) a strong presence. – Alexandra Donaldson, Contributing Editor

Read more: Enter to win these 10 new Canadian reads
By: Canadian Living

Our fave Canadian books of all time

The Romantic by Barbara Gowdy

I never read the same book twice, but The Romantic was a rare exception. It’s the story of Louise Kirk, whose mother walked out on her family when Louise was nine years old. Louise makes friends with a neighbour boy, Abel, and their love grows as they become young adults. As the name suggests, it’s romantic, but also utterly heartbreaking. – Andrea Karr, Life & Relationships Editor

By: Canadian Living

Our fave Canadian books of all time

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

My family moved to Canada from Trinidad when I was four, and as a kid I spent a lot of time worrying that I would never fit in anywhere—that I wasn't Trinidadian or Canadian enough. But reading the Anne books made me feel like I belonged somewhere, silly as it might sound. I loved Anne, not just because she was talkative, had a wild imagination or was forever getting into "scrapes," but also because she didn't quite fit in, either—until she did, so completely that no one could imagine life without her. (And I'm still dying to go to P.E.I.!) – Stacy Lee Kong, Senior Editor

By: Canadian Living

Our fave Canadian books of all time

Lullabies for Little Criminals by Heather O'Neill

This was the first book that I willingly read—aka not for school—multiple times. The story is dark and a little bit twisted, but Heather O'Neill's prose is cutting and her storytelling is sharp while somehow still being beautiful and alluring. I couldn't help but get drawn in, again and again. The book follows a twelve-year-old girl called Baby, who lives in Montreal with her young heroin-addict father. Although the picture O'Neill paints is bleak, you can't help but immerse yourself in the world as seen through Baby's innocent eyes. – Julia McEwen, Fashion & Beauty Director

Read more: 5 minutes with Canadian author Richard B. Wright
By: Canadian Living

Our fave Canadian books of all time

The Night Stages by Jane Urquhart

When you begin this book, which opens with a woman sitting at a Newfoundland airport waiting for the fog to clear, you have no idea where the story is going to take you. But as you delve in, the quiet individual histories of Tam, Niall and Kieran weave into an epic and intricate tale of love and loss. To some it might feel slow—there's nothing sensational about the stories—but if you can patiently enjoy Urquhart's beautifully somber style, rich characters and vivid landscape, you'll be rewarded with a gripping ending. – Jill Buchner, Special Projects Editor

By: Canadian Living

Our fave Canadian books of all time

Green Grass, Running Water by Thomas King

Green Grass, Running Water is a novel about the western world’s interaction with Native American cultures. But don’t let the heavy subject matter turn you off, because Thomas King’s book is one of the funniest satires I’ve ever read. The unique structure of the novel—different planes of existence, backwards creation stories, a coyote as a main character—is one of the things that make it a great read. The intelligence of the jokes also mean I re-read it often. At its very core, this is a story about telling stories—and how narratives shape our sense of self and our perceptions of the world. – Alexandra Donaldson, Contributing Editor

By: Canadian Living

 

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Our fave Canadian books of all time

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