The Canadian Book Challenge

I’ve joined John Mutford’s Canadian Book challenge. I’m 3 months late, which is actually pretty good by my track record…


The rules: to read 13 Canadian books before July 1, and blog about each one. The number 13 signifies Canada’s 13 provinces (Canada doesn’t have states, y’know).  I’m also copying John’s truly awesome list of suggested titles here. Readers who’d like to go beyond Atwood and Mistry in Canadian fiction: look no further!

(Titles in red: those I’ve read, in blue: authors I’ve read, just not that particular book. )

Newfoundland and Labrador-
Bernard Assiniwi- The Beothuk Saga
Ken Babstock- Airstream Land Yacht (Poetry)
Cassie Brown- Death On The Ice (Non-fiction)
Paul Butler- Easton
Joan Clark- An Audience of Chairs
Michael Crummey- River Thieves
Mary Dalton- Merrybegot (Poetry)
Bud Davidge and Ian Wallace (Illustrator)- The Mummer’s Song (Children’s Book)
Jim Defede- The Day The World Came To Town (Non-fiction)
Kenneth J. Harvey- The Town That Forgot How To Breathe
Harold Horwood- White Eskimo
Harold Horwood- Bartlett The Great Explorer (Non-fiction)
Percy Janes- House of Hate
Dale Jarvis- Haunted Shores: True Ghost Stories of Newfoundland and Labrador
Wayne Johnston- Colony of Unrequited Dreams
Kevin Major- Eh? To Zed (Children’s book)
Lisa Moore- Open (Short Stories)
Lisa Moore- Alligator
Bernice Morgan- Random Passage
Donna Morrissey- Kit’s Law
Claire Mowat- Outport People (Non-fiction)
Earl B. Pilgrim- The Ghost of Ellen Dower
Al Pittman- Down By Jim Long’s Stage (Children’s poems)
Al Pittman- West Moon (play)
E. J. Pratt- Complete Poems (Poetry)
E. Annie Proulx- The Shipping News
Edward Riche- Rare Birds
Ted Russell- The Holdin’ Ground (play)
Dillon Wallace- The Lure of The Labrador Wild
Michael Winter- The Big Why

Prince Edward Island-
Milton Acorn- I Shout Love and Other Poems (Poetry)
Anne Compton- Processional (Poetry)
Stompin’ Tom Connors and Brenda Jones (Illustrator)- The Hockey Song (Children’s Book)
David Helwig- Saltsea
Michael Hennessey- The Betrayer
Lucy Maud Montgomery- Anne of Green Gables
J. J. Steinfeld- Would You Hide Me? (Short Stories)

Nova Scotia-
Ernest Buckler- The Mountain and the Valley
George Elliott Clarke- Whylah Falls (Poetry)
Frank Parker Day- Rockbound
Brad Kessler- Birds In Fall
Thomas Chandler Haliburton- The Clockmaker
Ann-Marie MacDonald- Fall On Your Knees
Linden MacIntyre- Causeway (Non-fiction)
Hugh MacLennan- The Watch That Ends The Night
Alistair MacLeod- Island (Short Stories)
Alistair MacLeod- No Great Mischief
Ami McKay- The Birth House
Alden Nolan- The Best Of (Poetry)
Anne Simpson- Loop (Poetry)

New Brunswick-
Donna Allard- Minago Streets (Poetry)
Linda Hall- Black Ice
Elisabeth Harvor- Fortress Of Chairs
Antonine Maillet- Pelagie: The Return To Acadie
David Adams Richards- Mercy Among The Children
Charles G. D. Roberts- The Collected Poems (Poetry)
T. G. Roberts- The Red Feathers

Hubert Acquin- Next Episode
Peter Behrens- The Law of Dreams
Saul Bellow- Humboldt’s Gift
Frances Brooke- The History of Emily Montague
Nicole Brossard- Museum of Bone and Water
Willa Cather- Shadows On The Rock
Roch Carrier- The Hockey Sweater (Children’s Book)
Leonard Cohen- Beautiful Losers
Leonard Cohen- Let Us Compare Mythologies (Poetry)
Romeo Dallaire- Shake Hands With The Devil (Non-fiction)
Mavis Gallant- Home Truths (Short Stories)
Anne Hebert- Kamouraska
Naomi Klein- No Logo (Non-fiction)
Gordon Korman- Island: Shipwreck (Young Adult)
Irving Layton- Dance With Desire (Poems)
Markoosie- Harpoon of the Hunter
Yann Martel- Life of Pi
Colin McDougall- Execution
Stuart McLean- Stories From The Vinyl Café (Short Stories)
Heather O’Neill- Lullabies For Little Criminals
Jacques Poulin- Volkswagen Blues
Monique Proulx- The Heart Is An Involuntary Muscle
Mordecai Richler- Barney’s Version
Gabrielle Roy- The Tin Flute
Mairuth Sarsfield- No Crystal Stair
Gaetan Soucy- The Little Girl Who Was Too Fond Of Matches
Yves Theriault- Agaguk
Michel Tremblay- The Fat Woman Next Door Is Pregnant
Michel Tremblay- Forever Yours Marie-Lou (Play)

Margaret Atwood- Handmaid’s Tale
Joan Barfoot- Luck
David Bezmozgis- Natasha and Other Stories (Short Stories)
Christian Bok- Eunoia (poetry)
Joseph Boyden- Three Day Road
Morley Callaghan- More Joy In Heaven
Austin Clarke- The Polished Hoe
Matt Cohen- Elizabeth and After
Robertson Davies- Fifth Business
Gordon Downie- Coke Machine Glow (Poetry)
Marian Engel- Bear
Timothy Findley- The Wars
Phoebe Gilman- Something From Nothing (Children’s Book)
David Gilmour- A Perfect Night To Go To China
Douglas Glover- Elle
Barbara Gowdy- White Bone
Helen Humphries- Afterimage
Frances Itani- Deafening
M. T. Kelly- A Dream Like Mine
Thomas King- Green Grass, Running Water
Vincent Lam- Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures (Short stories)
Mary Lawson- Crow Lake
Stephen Leacock- Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town (Short Stories)
Dennis Lee- Alligator Pie (Children’s Poems)
Charles de Lint- Moonlight and Vines
Jon McCrae- In Flanders Fields (Poem)
Anne Michaels- Fugitive Pieces
Rohinton Mistry- A Fine Balance
Farley Mowat- Never Cry Wolf
Alice Munro- Who Do You Think You Are? (Short Stories)
Robert Munsch- The Paperbag Princess (Children’s Book)
Michael Ondaatje- In The Skin Of A Lion
Al Purdy- Beyond Remembering (Poetry)
Paul Quarrington- Whale Music
Barbara Reid- Two By Two (Children’s Book)
Nino Richie- Lives of The Saints
Leon Rooke- Shakespeare’s Dog
Diane Schoemperlen- Forms of Devotion
Jane Urquhart- The Stone Carvers
M. G. Vassanji- The In-Between World of Vikram Lall
Richard B. Wright- Clara Callan

David Bergen- The Time In Between
David Godfrey- The New Ancestors
Tomson Highway- The Rez Sisters (Play)
Margaret Laurence- A Bird In The House (Short Stories)
Margaret Laurence- A Jest of God
Corey Redekop- Shelf Monkey
Bill Richardson- Bachelor Brothers’ Bed and Breakfast
Carol Shields- The Stone Diaries
Miriam Toews- A Complicated Kindness

Adele Wiseman- The Sacrifice

Sharon Butala- Lilac Moon (Non-fiction)
Paul Hiebert- Sarah Binks
Guy Gavriel Kay- The Summer Tree
Tim Lilburn- Kill-Site (Poetry)
W. O. Mitchell- Who Has Seen The Wind
Sinclair Ross- As For Me and My House
Kate Sutherland- All In Together Girls
Guy Vanderhaeghe- The Last Crossing
Dianne Warren- Serpent In The Night Sky (play)
Rudy Wiebe- The Temptations of Big Bear

Anita Rau Badami- Can You Hear The Nightbird Call?
Earle Birney- One Muddy Hand (Poetry)
Will Ferguson- Why I Hate Canadians (Nonfiction)
Katherine Govier- Three Views of Crystal Water
Greg Holingshead- The Roaring Girl (Short stories)
W. P. Kinsella- Shoeless Joe
Robert Kroetsch- The Studhorse Man
Gloria Sawai- A Song For Nettie Johnson
Thomas Wharton- Salamander
Christopher Wiseman- In John Updike’s Room (Poetry)

British Columbia-
George Bowering- The Gangs of Kosmos
Kevin Chong- Baroque-a-Nova
Wayson Choy- The Jade Peony
Douglas Coupland- Generation X
Margaret Craven- I Heard The Owl Call My Name
John Gould- Kilter (Short stories)
Jack Hodgins- The Resurrection of Joseph Bourne
Anosh Irani- The Song of Kahunsha
Joy Kogawa- Obasan
Susan Musgrave- What The Small Day Cannot Hold (Poetry)
bp Nichol- The Martyrology (Poetry)
Kenneth Oppel- Silverwing (Young Adult)
P.K. Page- Planet Earth (Poetry)
Gayla Reid- To Be There With You (Short stories)
Eden Robinson- Monkey Beach
Timothy Taylor- Stanley Park
Audrey Thomas- Coming Down From Wa
Michael Turner- Hard Core Logo
Sheila Watson- The Double Hook

Pierre Berton- The National Dream (Non-fiction)
Ted Harrison- Children of the Yukon (Children’s Book)
Pj Johnson- Rhymes of the Raven Lady (Poetry)
Jack London- Call of the Wild
Dick North- The Mad Trapper of Rat River (Non-fiction)
Al Pope- Bad Latitudes
Robert Service- The Best Of (Poetry)

Northwest Territories-
Robert Alexie- Pale Indian
Richard Van Camp- Lesser Blessed
Rene Fumoleau- Here I Sit (Poetry)
Elizabeth Hay- Late Nights On Air
Mackay Jenkins- Bloody Falls of the Coppermine (nonfiction)
James Raffan- Emperor of The North (Non-fiction)
Steve Zipp- Yellowknife

John Bennett and Susan Rowley (Editors and compilers) Uqalurait: An Oral History of Nunavut (Non-fiction)
Pierre Berton- The Arctic Grail (Nonfiction)
Jan Brett- Three Snow Bears (Children’s Book)
Kenn Harper- Give Me My Father’s Body (Non-fiction)
James Houston- The White Dawn
Michael Kusugak- Curse of the Shaman (Young Adult)
Michael Kusugak and Vladyana Krykorka(Illustrator)- Hide and Sneak (Children’s book)
Tom Lowenstein (translator)/ Knud Rasmussen (compiled by)- Eskimo Poems (Poetry)
Kevin Patterson- Consumption
Robert Ruby- Unknown Shore (Non-fiction)
Zachariah Wells- Unsettled
Eric Wilson- The Inuk Mountie Adventure (Young Adult)

My knowledge of Canadian fiction is admittedly skewed because I read a lot of South Asian Canadian authors (such as Shyam Selvadurai and Shani Mootoo), but I’m still rather aghast at how much of this list is black rather than red or blue. On with the challenge!


2 thoughts on “The Canadian Book Challenge

  1. Oh, you must read Paper Bag Princess. It’s great, and it’s a picture book, so it will take all of two minutes.

    A “subversive” retelling of “damsel-in-distress” princess stories.

    I also really like Tomson Highway, though he’s a bit difficult in parts. But his plays taught me how to pronounce Kapuskasing, which is always useful.

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