New Canadian Fiction for Fall

If you love Canadian fiction like we do, you’ll be glad to know that a host of great authors are releasing books in the fall, and the lineup looks great! The CBC Books site recently released a list of the 24 Best Canadian Novels coming this fall, and it includes award winning authors like Patrick DeWitt, Esi Edugyan, Mirian Toews, and Ami McKay. You can see the full list of authors and their books–as well as read a few excerpts–here.

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Giller Prize

Going with our short theme of literary awards, today we’re excited about the announcement of the Giller Prize Award winner. The ScotiaBank Giller Prize is Canada’s most prestigious literary award, started in 1994.  It awards $50000 to the author of the best Canadian novel or short stories published in English. (All the finalist on the shortlist receive $5000 and probably some much needed promotion, so it’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.)

This year, the nominees that made it to the short list include a story of Soviet-Jewish refugees stranded in Rome, the journey of a misunderstood boy into adulthood, a Western as you’ve rarely seen it, a novel of a young German jazz musician,  a journey on a ship, and observations on our modern world through remarkable short stories. Each book is as far from the other as you could imagine, and yet all show the incredible and diverse talent that makes up Canadian literature today.

So, who will win? Here are the list of nominees. Please pop to the Giller Prize website tonight around 10pm  for the big announcement! (They’ll post it on Twitter!)

The Free World by David Bezmozgis

The Antagonist by Lynn Coady

The Sisters Brothers by  Patrick deWitt

Half-Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan

Better Living through Plastic Explosives by ZsuZsi Gartner

The Cat’s Table by Michael Ondaatje

Click on any of the above books or author’s names to pop to their websites.  You should spend a few minutes looking through each…they are fascinating and give you a better insight into the authors and their books.

Have you read any of the books and if so, who do you think will win?

Canada Reads True Stories

This year, Canada Reads has gone the way of non-fiction! Back in September, this annual event called upon readers, Canadian celebrities and people in the literary field to nominate their favourite memoir, biography or work of literary non-fiction as possible entrants to become part of Canada Reads: True Stories. After scoring a point for each book nominated, the numbers were added up and the top 40 books were chosen. That list was narrowed down to a final Top 10….and here they are:

The Boy in the Moon : A father’s search for his disabled Son by Ian Brown

Cockeyed by Ryan Knighton

The Game by Ken Dryden

Louis Riel by Chester Brown

On a Cold Road: Tales of Adventure in Canadian Rock by Dave Bidini

Paris 1919 : Six months that changed the world by Margaret MacMillan

Prisoner of Tehran by Marina Nemat

Shake Hands with the Devil : The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda by Romeo Dallaire

Something Fierce : Memoirs of a Revolutionary Daughter by Carmen Aguirre

The Tiger : A true story of Vengeance and Survival by John Valliant

(You can read a review of each book and find links to more information by clicking on any of the book covers or titles above.)

Canada Reads is an annual battle of the books where five Canadian personalities select the book they want Canadians to read.  While the list has been narrowed down to the Top 10, the final list as well as the panelists will be revealed at the end of November.  Then, in February of 2012, the panelists will defend their choices on CBC television until each book is eliminated and we arrive at the final book.  You can read more about the history of Canada Reads as well as keep up to date on all the information and happenings of this year’s event right here.

Will you participate in Canada Reads this year?

New Canadian Library

Back in 1958, Canadian publishers McClelland & Stewart started the first company to produce Canadian books in paperback series form.  It is now known affectionately as the Canadian Company and has just relaunched the New Canadian Library –  and over 100 titles by some of Canada’s premiere authors in fresh new paperback versions.

And just what do the books say about us as a people?  I came across a fun website called Roughing It In the Books that talks about what the author of the site thinks about the first ten books in the series.  According to her, it seems we are obsessed with the weather, nature, wars and the USA.  If the people who work here at the library are any indication, the weather thing is right on the money.  What common links would we find if we read through typical American or British classics?  Would we find similar obsessions or are they geographically based?  What do you think?