|Canada Reads shortlist has been announced!
Canada Reads shortlist has been announced!
CELA has partnered with CBC Books and Canada Reads again this year to ensure the featured titles are available to Canadians with print disabilities, in multiple formats, on the day the shortlist is announced.
When promoting Canada Reads titles or programming to your patrons, please consider including information about the various accessible formats available. More information, including links to the full list of featured titles, is available at celalibrary.ca/awards. We are grateful to the CBC, and the publishers who work to ensure that all Canadians can participate in this important conversation. Congratulations to all the authors!
Son of a Trickster by Eden Robinson
Everyone knows a guy like Jared: the burnout kid in high school who sells weed cookies and has a scary mom who’s often wasted and wielding some kind of weapon. Jared does smoke and drink too much, and he does make the best cookies in town, and his mom is a mess, but he’s also a kid who has an immense capacity for compassion and an impulse to watch over people more than twice his age, and he can’t rely on anyone for consistent love and support, except for his flatulent pit bull, Baby Killer, and now she’s dead.
Four novellas are connected by social, technological, and economic visions of today– and what America could be in the near, near future. It’s a world in which “smart” kitchen appliances will only work with certain manufacturers’ ingredients. In which a Superman-like figure attempts to rectify the corruption of police forces he previously assisted. In which a man vents his anger against insurance companies that won’t fund his wife’s experimental drugs. And in which, to survive the coming economic collapse, a man creates a desert retreat in which nothing could possible go wrong.
Abandoned by his parents as a toddler, Jesse Thistle briefly found himself in the foster-care system with his two brothers, cut off from all they had known. Eventually the children landed in the home of their paternal grandparents, but their tough-love attitudes meant conflicts became commonplace. And the ghost of Jesse’s drug-addicted father haunted the halls of the house and the memories of every family member. Struggling, Jesse succumbed to a self-destructive cycle of drug and alcohol addiction and petty crime, spending more than a decade on and off the streets, often homeless. One day, he finally realized he would die unless he turned his life around.
February in Newfoundland is the longest month of the year. Another blizzard is threatening to tear a strip off downtown St. John’s, while inside The Hazel restaurant a storm system of sex, betrayal, addiction, and hurt is breaking overhead. Iris, a young hostess from around the bay, is forced to pull a double despite resolving to avoid the charming chef and his wealthy restaurateur wife. Just tables over, Damian, a hungover and self-loathing server, is trying to navigate a potential punch-up with a pair of lit customers who remain oblivious to the rising temperature in the dining room. Meanwhile Olive, a young woman far from her northern home, watches it all unfurl from the fast and frozen street. Through rolling blackouts, we glimpse the truth behind the shroud of scathing lies and unrelenting abuse, and discover that resilience proves most enduring in the dead of this winter’s tale. By turns biting, funny, poetic, and heartbreaking, Megan Gail Coles’ debut novel rips into the inner lives of a wicked cast of characters, building towards a climax that will shred perceptions and force a reckoning. This is blistering Newfoundland Gothic for the twenty-first century, a wholly original, bracing, and timely portrait of a place in the throes of enormous change, where two women confront the traumas of their past in an attempt to overcome the present and to pick up a future.
Growing up in Pakistan, Samra Habib lacks a blueprint for the life she wants. She has a mother who gave up everything to be a pious, dutiful wife and an overprotective father who seems to conspire against a life of any adventure. Plus, she has to hide the fact that she’s Ahmadi to avoid persecution from religious extremists. As the threats against her family increase, they seek refuge in Canada, where new financial and cultural obstacles await them. When Samra discovers that her mother has arranged her marriage, she must again hide a part of herself–the fun-loving, feminist teenager that has begun to bloom–until she simply can’t any longer. So begins a journey of self-discovery that takes her to Tokyo, where she comes to terms with her sexuality, and to a queer-friendly mosque in Toronto, where she returns to her faith in the same neighbourhood where she attended her first drag show. Along the way, she learns that the facets of her identity aren’t as incompatible as she was led to believe, and that her people had always been there–the world just wasn’t ready for them yet.
Subscribe to our e-newsletter Open Book for libraries to get news about great books, accessible reading and more! In each issue, you will receive the same news about great books and service updates that we send to CELA patrons, plus information on services and opportunities just for member libraries.