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Read Anything Canadian Lately?

Canada Reads: Top 10s (from http://www.cbc.ca/books/canadareads)

In this place popular culture so often refers to as North of the border we sometimes struggle to define ourselves. Canadian culture is so very closely tied to American culture, in the food we eat, the stores we visit, the television shows we watch, the books we read…

And yet, there is something distinctly Canadian about us… we’re kind, polite, pacifists. We don’t shy away from the cold, from the outdoors (well, big city dwellers might shy away from these). We use the metric system and spell colour with the letter u. But beyond this, how do we define ourselves. How do arts and culture reflect our distinct Canadian-ness?

I read Canadian books… sometimes. Though the American (and the British) publishing industry is simply so much larger, most of the books I read are not Canadian. I dare to assume most Canadians reading this might say the same.

The CBC Canada Reads program (Is there anything more Canadian than the CBC?) tries to encourage us to read more Canadian literature. Each year 5 books are nominated and their literary merit is debated by well-known Canadians. Viewers/listeners/readers are encouraged to read all 5 books and follow the debates.

Now I must admit that I have never read all 5 nominees… but this year I am determined to do just that!

Canada Reads is currently holding a vote to determine this year’s top 5 books, based on the 10 most beloved books from 5 Canadian regions (polls close on Monday November 12). On November 14 the top 5 books will be revealed. I’m really excited to find out what books I’ll be reading over the next few months. Care to join me?


Check out what publishing insiders are saying about the books nominated for this year’s Canada Reads on the Canada Reads blog.

Read previous winners, such as The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill, King Leary by Paul Quarrington and The Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis.


About Kayleigh Felice

I am a 20-something public librarian trying to find my footing as I start my career, take on new challenges, and enter adulthood (whatever that means). I live in Ontario, and I work for the Gatineau Municipal Library in Québec. Disclosure: The views expressed in this blog are solely my own, not those of my employer.


3 thoughts on “Read Anything Canadian Lately?

  1. No, it’s sort of hard to figure out which books were written by Canadians, as they typically send their books to a New York publisher.

    Posted by fromthericefields | November 12, 2012, 5:58 am
  2. @FromTheRiceFields Good point! It can be difficult to tell is an author is Canadian. (It’s difficult to tell the nationality of any author for that matter.) Not only do Canadians send their books to American publishers, Canadian publishers often reprint American, British or other books. Sometimes bookstores and libraries make it easy to identify Canadian books by plastering a big red maple leaf on the cover. Other times it takes a bit of research to find out if a book is Canadian. Use Google to find Canadian book awards, author associations and author lists or ask a librarian to recommend some Canadian authors.

    Posted by Kayleigh Felice | November 12, 2012, 11:40 am

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