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Reading Across Canada – blog 2

This image shows a map of Canada with the chosen book covers for each province depicted in the blog post.

For Canada Day this year, we put together a list of 13 recommended books; one for each province or territory in Canada. In each book, the story takes place in the province or territory it was chosen for. Of course, this is not an exhaustive list, but it gives you a small glimpse into Canada’s diverse and far-reaching regions.

This is the second of three Reading Across Canada blog posts. This post will concentrate on the central provinces and territories.

Please comment below with your recommended reads that are based in the specific provinces or territories listed. Happy reading!


A Beauty by Connie Gault

A romance across the expanse of Saskatchewan: a beautiful but enigmatic young woman finds opportunity for something more than her circumscribed farm life awaiting her at the town dance hall. The Saskatchewan landscape of the drought-ridden thirties rushes by in this novel, with wheat fields and humming grasshoppers, small town curiosity, and long, endless dusty roads.


All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews

Walk the streets of Winnipeg, and hunker down in its apartments, neighbourhoods and hospital rooms while you follow this story of sisterhood on suicide watch.  Compassionate, witty, brutal, and bittersweet, it showcases Toews as one of Canada’s best writers today.


Le long hiver du jardinier by Michèle Matteau

This poetic novel is dedicated to Léandre Arcand's grief for his wife Florence. Léandre discovers his diary and passes through the memories of their last summer together in Eastern Ontario. (in French)

In the Skin of a Lion by Michael Ondaatje

See an older Toronto and Ontario through a poet’s eyes. Distilling Ondaatje’s plot is a challenge, yet this book remains a classic for the searing landmark images and characters it plants in your mind.


L'oiseau noir by Michel Basilieres

A novel of "magic realism" that captures the emotions of the October 1970 crisis, following the Desouce family's fortune (half English-speaking, half French-speaking). Their passions (for tombs, for poetry, and... for bombs...) and their love (for the city - Montreal - and for a certain raven) constitute a fascinating backdrop for a unique moment in history. Even Brother André visits us in these pages! This satirical novel owes a debt to the work of Hubert Aquin and Gabrielle Roy, and certainly Gabriel Garcia Marquez. (in French)


Split Tooth by Tanya Tagaq

Famous Inuit throat singer Tanya Tagaq writes her coming-of-age in Nunavut. Verse and prose and dreams bring the harsh beauty of living in the landscape to the page. Listen to her soundscape in words, as fresh and vital as her music.

Image: A Beauty

A Beauty

A Novel
By Gault, Connie
Image: Le long hiver du jardinier

Le long hiver du jardinier

By Matteau, Michèle
Image: In the Skin of A Lion

In the Skin of A Lion

A Novel
By Ondaatje, Michael
Image: L'oiseau noir

L'oiseau noir

By Basilières, Michel