Hi all! A few weeks ago I asked Laurie from The Baking Bookworm to come up with a list of Canadian authors she LOVES. And she let me know how hard this was-not because she didn’t love Canadian authors, but because she loves SO many. But she came through with this wonderful guest post and I am REALLY excited to hear your reaction to her post 🙂 🙂 Let me know in the comments which one(s) you love from Laurie’s list!
And now- I’m going to let Laurie, my dear Canadian blogger friend, have the floor (so to speak) and give her spill on why these authors should be added to your TBR list immediately, if not sooner.
Take it away, Laurie 🙂
Canadian Authors – July 2020
The Baking Bookworm
Canada is known for a lot of things. We’re known as being a country of nice people who say sorry a lot, who add ‘eh’ to many a sentence and have a great sense of humour while kicking butt at hockey and adding cheese curds and gravy to fries to make gastronomical nirvana. And Ryan Reynolds (you’re all welcome!). Sorry, but we’re pretty awesome (and we don’t say ‘aboot’!!).
Canada also is home to an amazing array of authors who create extraordinary work. Fan-freaking-tastic, eh!? From vivid Historical Fiction and suspenseful Thrillers, to timeless classics and Teen and Children’s Fiction that reach out to the younger population, Canadian authors are a talented bunch. So, when fellow book blogger Tamara asked me to share a few of my favourite Canuck authors, I jumped at the opportunity. But it was extremely difficult to pick just a few! I read a lot of CanLit so this wee list is only the tip of the iceberg. So, sit back on your chesterfield, grab your double-double and a ten of TimBits and prepare to make a list of some truly amazing Canuck authors.
When I’m asked who my favourite Canadian authors are, Lawrence Hill is always at the top of the list because The Book of Negroes as well as Any Known Blood are two of my favourite books of all time. The Book of Negroes (known as Someone Knows My Name in the US) is the story of Aminata Dialo, an African woman who is abducted from her homeland, taken to the US and forced into slavery. The book details her life as a slave, her time in New York as a free Black woman and finally, her years living in Nova Scotia. This book is compelling, emotional, well-researched and through Aminata’s voice, Hill’s expert storytelling shines through as readers celebrate Aminata’s achievements, perseverance, and strength.
One cannot talk about favourite Canadian authors without mentioned L.M Montgomery. It’s like Michael Buble without the crooning. It is simply not done. As we all know, Montgomery wrote the Anne of Green Gables series (as well as the Emily series and several adult novels) and Anne is the beloved character at the heart of this Canadian classic series. She resonates with readers with her quirkiness, penchant for getting herself into scraps and ability to throw together fanciful phrases with as many words as possible. Anne (with an E) is a kindred spirit to many and has been a favourite of people around the world for over a century. But Montgomery’s own life was anything but idyllic. Yet despite her rocky marriage, battles with depression and almost dying from the Spanish Flu pandemic, Montgomery went on to publish over 20 novels, 500 short stories, and a book of poetry and remains one of Canada’s literary treasures.
Bianca Marais is a fairly new-to-me author whose writing never fails to give me allll the feels. From her debut novel, Hum If You Don’t Know The Words to her next book, If You Want To Make God Laugh, Marais – a South African born, now Toronto-based author, has quickly become one of my favourites.
With her beautiful writing, she describes South Africa’s multicultural and linguistic diversity and abuse of power in the complicated and blatantly bigoted dynamics in 1970’s South Africa as her characters show readers the human consequences of Apartheid. Her writing will hit you in the head and the heart. She uses vivid language, touches of humour and some of her personal experiences in her native country of South Africa to give her stories authenticity, creating a sense of compassion, respect and empathy with her engaging and unforgettable characters that show resiliency and tenacity of spirit.
Kathleen Grissom has a Canadian connection because she lived in Saskatchewan and Montreal. That’s enough to be considered a Canuck in my book! Grissom’s books The Kitchen House and its follow-up Glory Over Everything remain some of my favourite Historical Fiction books. Her descriptions of life in the 18th century USA during the time of slavery are vivid and well-researched and her characters are beautifully drawn within a story of love, human endurance, betrayal, courage and the power of unconditional love in the darkest of times.
Samantha Bailey hit the ground running with her debut novel, Women on the Edge. I have met Sam a few times and she is as engaging in person as her words are on the page. She is all that and a bag of Ketchup chips. She is a delight! Her debut, which took six years to write, includes a compelling premise that roller coasters into an emotional and compulsively twisty plot. By including important issues, believably flawed characters, and wonderful tension, her ‘I can’t believe it’s a debut’ culminates into a powerful read that has had everyone and their dog talking. With a debut this amazing, I cannot wait to see what she’s got coming next.
Shari Lapena has fast become one of the my ‘automatic reads’ authors. She could write the phone book backwards in Klingon and I’d read it. Yes, this Toronto-based former-lawyer-turned-author is that good. I’ve been a fan of Shari’s since her 2016 book The Couple Next Door and have eagerly read her next four books (and I look forward to reading The End of Her – set to pub in 2020). With twists, dark secrets, and fast-moving plots, Lapena is an author I can trust for a clever, compulsive, and hard-to-put-down suspense read.
Susin Nielsen is a Governor General Literary Award-winning author that gets to the heart of issues important to Teens. Her writing experience began as a writer on the super popular Degrassi Junior High TV show which led to writing for other TV series and writing Teen fiction.
Her work focuses on important issues about family (in all its varied forms), standing up for yourself and our desire to belong in We Are All Made of Molecules to tough issues like unseen homelessness in No Fixed Address. She provides a diverse cast of relatable characters to her compelling plots that often tug at your heart strings and I love that she sprinkles Canadian culture and humour into her stories.
Heather Smith, who lives in my area of Waterloo, Ontario (but originally hails from Newfoundland), came on my radar with her book The Agony of Bun O’Keefe. This book … oh my gravy! I devoured it, fell in love with Bun and was devasted when it ended. It was perfection. Smith’s writing is simple yet powerful as she addresses complicated relationships, emotions, and big issues while giving this small 224 page book an uplifting feeling with lessons about compassion, acceptance, hope and family it all its many forms. I simply adore Bun.
Other notable reads: Ebb and Flow and Chicken Girl
* Which of these authors will you be adding to your TBR List?*
Happy Reading and Bookishly Yours,
T @ Traveling With T