Here are 7 CanLit Books that are perfect for anyone interested in engaging literary novels. As well as two CanLit kids’ book recommendations!
Nearly everyone in my critique group has at least one book published with a small Canadian publisher. While I was excited to join their ranks, I was also very aware that most Canadian-authored books are barely read by an audience broader than their family and friends. In fact, Canadian-authored books only account for about 13% of total book sales in Canada, with the vast majority of the market being occupied by multinational bestsellers.
So to encourage you to buy more Canadian books, here are a few CanLit books that you might not have heard of… and are definitely worth reading.
7 Recommended CanLit Books
- In Fifteen Dogs by André Alexis, Greek Gods make a bet over whether human intelligence leads to unhappiness. They grant human consciousness and language to 15 dogs spending the night at a veterinarian clinic. The results are both funny and devastating.
- I Can’t Get You Out of My Mind by Marianne Apostolides is literary Sci-Fi. The lead character is part of a study where her entire life is being watched by an AI device that also maps her brain and to some extent, is able to read her mind.
- I wanted to read Suzanne by Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette because it is in the 2nd person. And you don’t often get to read novels written in the 2nd person. Bordering on non-fiction, the book explores why the author’s maternal grandmother abandoned her children. It fully embraces the complexity of human choice and experience.
- Late Nights on Air by Elizabeth Hay is an unusual love story set in Yellowknife, the capital of the Northwest Territories.
- The Birth House by Ami McKay is set during World War I and explores what happens to midwives when a doctor comes to an isolated village in Nova Scotia, promising to deliver babies using the latest medical advances to ensure a painless birth.
- I LOVE the Trickster Trilogy by Eden Robinson. It’s a heartwarming exploration of community trauma and a suspenseful page-turner at the same time. I haven’t seen the TV series, but I can definitely recommend the books!
- A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews is a coming-of-age story set in a modern Mennonite community.
And Two Children’s books
I also wanted to give you two kids’ books… because CanLit can include children’s literature.
- Bloom by Kenneth Oppel is a middle-grade reader set on an Island pretty close to mine. It is a suspenseful story of three teens with suddenly surprising abilities in the middle of an alien plant invasion.
- Scaredy Squirrel by Mélanie Watt is a humorous picture book that was perfect for talking about fear and anxiety with my slightly anxious preschooler.