Canada Reads begins tomorrow! Normally I’d post my top contender for who I hope wins… but this year I enjoyed them all, and given the variety of formats and genres I found it tougher to directly compare and rank. If I had to pick a winner I think it would be Son of a Trickster by Eden Robinson. But here are some quick thoughts on each:
Son of a Trickster by Eden Robinson – An Indigenous coming of age novel, yes, but so much more. A story of poverty, parental neglect, love and loss, with the touch of the supernatural. It is the first in a trilogy, for which I hope the final book is finally out soon!
From the Ashes by Jesse Thistle – The memoir of Métis-Cree man, Jesse Thistle, includes his experiences of foster care, addiction, crime and street life, yet is ultimately a story of strength and resilience. It is a humanizing book for reflecting on the inter-generational trauma of colonial Canada, and the ongoing failure of our systems and structures.
We Have Always Been Here by Samra Habib – An uplifting memoir from Samra Habib. From growing up an Ahmadi Muslim in Pakistan, to the racism and discrimination she faced here in Canada, we follow Samra’s search for the safety and ability to be herself. It is honest, well told and well written.
Radicalized by Cory Doctorow – This book is actually four different short stories or novellas. Set in the near future, yet all apt commentary on society today. Thought provoking, political, relevant, not exactly subtle, but all in all a fun book to read.
Small Game Hunting at the Local Coward Gun Club by Megan Gail Coles – Wow, this one took me a bit to get through. The writing is beautiful, but dense, taking you directly in to a cold February in Newfoundland. Every single sentence feels like it contains its own story. AnWhd as the novel’s title page says: This might hurt a little. Be brave.