Whether you are looking to complete a reading challenge, or just seeking an enjoyable way to pass the time, Canadian authors have a lot to offer your 2022 TBR (To Be Read) pile. From thrillers to memoirs, and poetry to stories for young readers, the Toronto International Festival of Authors has selected 10 books that showcase some of the incredible diversity and talent being published by Canadians this year. Read on, for our suggested new releases.
People Change by Vivek Shraya (Penguin Canada, January 4)
Canadian storyteller Vivek Shraya has embraced many roles throughout her work in music, literature, visual art, theatre and film. In People Change, Shraya explores this desire to change, the impulses behind doing something new, and the many ways people are drawn to change. Through the lens of her own life experiences, Sharya presents a new perspective, one that encourages you to celebrate the past, and to look forward to what will come next.
The Other Ones, written by Jamesie Fournier & illustrated by Jared Boggess (Inhabit Media Inc., March)
Featuring two stories that blend the elements of traditional Inuit mythology with the modern horror genre, debut author Jamesie Fournier’s The Other Ones is a dark, thrilling exploration into the monstrous forces awakened in a secluded cabin. How does a simple game with leftover string turn into a visit from the horrifying Inuunngittut? Be forewarned, this heart-pounding book is not for those easily spooked.
Burning Questions: Essays and Occasional Pieces, 2004–2021 by Margaret Atwood (McClelland & Stewart, March 1)
Margaret Atwood is back with even more powerful insight. This time, it’s an expansive collection of essays full of humour and curiosity. From asking why people everywhere tell stories to what zombies have to do with authoritarianism, Atwood explores a wide range of burning questions throughout the 50+ pieces published in this new book.
And a Dog Called Fig: Solitude, Connection, the Writing Life by Helen Humphreys (HarperCollins, March 8)
Canadian poet and novelist Helen Humphreys’ latest work is a celebration of the loyal four-legged companion of writers everywhere. Through Humphreys’ own stories about her dog Fig, and additional tales from other writers like Virginia Woolf, Gertrude Stein and Thomas Hardy about the impact of their own dogs, And a Dog Called Fig mixes important lessons about the craft of writing and a life shared with a loving friend.
Jameela Green Ruins Everything by Zarqa Nawaz (Simon & Schuster Canada, March 8)
Zarqa Nawaz, the creator of the hit CBC series Little Mosque on the Prairie, is back with another book called Jameela Green Ruins Everything. This time it’s a hilarious satire about an American Muslim woman named Jameela as she gets caught up in a chain of absurd and unfortunate events. From the simple wish of getting her memoir on The New York Times bestseller list, Jameela suddenly finds herself on a rescue mission involving the CIA and an international terrorist organization. It’s promising to be full of adventure, humour and heart.
Cane | Fire by Shani Mootoo (Book*hug, March 15)
Poetry enthusiasts are in luck with Shani Mootoo’s new collection, Cane | Fire. After a long-awaited return to poetry, Mootoo explores the past and present, going on a journey through Ireland, San Fernando, Canada and many more places along the way. The deeply personal poems challenge the idea of self, and how life can be shaped and reimagined.
What Is Written on the Tongue by Anne Lazurko (ECW Press, April 26)
What Is Written on the Tongue is a new transportive historical novel by Saskatchewan-based author Anne Lazurko. Fans of her first novel, Dollybird, a winner of the WILLA Award for Historical Fiction, will be immersed in the throes of war and colonization as a drafted soldier recently released from Nazi forced labour finds himself lost between love and the horrors of battle.
This Is How We Love by Lisa Moore (House of Anansi, May 3)
East coast author Lisa Moore is known for creating incredibly complex and rich characters, and her latest book, This is How We Love, delivers in spades. Through the story of 21-year-old Xavier’s brutal attack during a snowstorm in Newfoundland, Moore showcases the sacrifice, pain and joy of family. As the events of Xavier’s night unfold, so do the stories of the generations before him that led to that unthinkable moment.
Martin and the River, written by Jon-Erik Lappano & Illustrated by Josée Bisaillon (ages 3–6) (Groundwood Books, March 1)
A perfect book for young kids, Martin and the River is about a young boy’s experience having to move to a new home in the city, away from his favourite river in the country. While it’s a big change for Martin, he learns along the way that big changes also come with new places to explore. With beautiful illustrations, the book celebrates the wonderful connection kids can have with nature wherever they live.
The Queen of Junk Island by Alexandra Mae Jones (ages 16–18) (Annick Press, May 3)
Set during a humid summer in the mid-2000s, Alexandra Mae Jones’s debut novel follows 16-year-old Dell as she takes a much-needed escape at the family cabin. But with a lake filled with trash and having to navigate the suffocating expectations of everyone around her, Dell finds herself struggling with new feelings, family secrets and troubling dreams.