Canada Reads 2021

It's time for Canada Reads! CBC's annual book battle has been getting people listening, watching, and reading, since it first aired as a radio show in 2002. To help you dig deeper into the selected titles, check out our mini-reviews, recommended next reads, and staff-selected resources. Congratulations to the 2021 Canada Reads winner, Joshua Whitehead (Jonny Appleseed)!

Check out our mini-review of Butter Honey Pig Bread with BPL's Suzanne:

Hamilton Review of Books: Claire Francis Reviews Francesca Ekwuyasi’s Butter Honey Pig Bread.

Butter Honey Pig Bread on curio.ca: Teacher resources, guides, video interviews.

Video - Roger Mooking & Francesca Ekwuyasi discuss Canada Reads contender Butter Honey Pig Bread

Related reads:

The Death of Vivek Oji by Emezi Akwaeke: After a mother discovers her son's dead body on her doorstep, the family tries to understand more about his personal struggles with mental illness, gender identity, and the friends and cultural influences that affected him.

Girls Burn Brighter by Shobha Rao: Two girls form a friendship that must survive devastating cruelty and the separation of continents.

Claire of the Sea Light by Edwidge Danticat: A 7-year-old girl disappears from the small town in Haiti at the same time her father decides to give her away so she can have a better life. Secrets are revealed as the town searches for the little girl.

419 by Will Ferguson: After a tragic car accident, a daughter travels to Nigeria to seek justice for her father, while the internet scammer weighs the price of wealth at any cost against morality and the values of his community.

Check out our mini-review of Hench with BPL's Deepti:

An Interview with Natalie Zina Walschots: The author discusses what inspired her novel about supervillan henches and how video games influence her writing.

Video - Book Lust with Nancy Pearl featuring Natalie Zina Walschots

10 Books Natalie Zina Walschots Loved

Related reads:

Soon I will be Invincible by Austin Grossman

The Assistants by Camille Perri

Deadpool by Gerry Duggan

To Hold Up the Sky by Cixin Liu

Check out our mini-review of Jonny Appleseed with BPL's Kumkum:

Indigiquee‪r - ‬All My Relations Podcast‬: All My Relations joins forces with two amazing Indigenous writers, Joshua Whitehead and Billy-Ray Belcourt, two amazing scholars who are making waves in the literary scene with their poetry, prose, and fiction.

Coming Home: An Interview with Joshua Whitehead in Room, Canada’s oldest feminist literary journal.Room showcases writing and art by women (cisgender and transgender), transgender men, Two-Spirit and nonbinary people.

Hearing Your Own Story - Jake Byrne in Conversation with Joshua Whitehead: East Coast poet Jake Byrne discusses Indigiqueer identity, community, and non-linearity with Joshua Whitehead in the The Malahat Review, one of Canada’s leading literary journals.

Related reads

This Wound Is A World - Poems by Billy-Ray Belcourt: Part manifesto, part memoir, This wound is a world is an invitation to 'cut a hole in the sky to world inside.' Billy-Ray Belcourt issues a call to turn to love and sex to understand how Indigenous peoples shoulder sadness and pain like theirs without giving up on the future. His poems and essays upset genre and play with form, scavenging for a decolonial kind of heaven where 'everyone is at least a little gay.

Full-metal Indigiqueer - Poems by Joshua Whitehead: A debut book of poetry from a Two-Spirit Oji-Cree scholar written from the perspective of a cyborg trickster named “ZOA.&; Using binary code and texts from classics of the English language such as Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene, Joshua Whitehead unravels the coded "I" to trace the formation of a colonized self and reclaim representations of Indigenous texts. Joshua Whitehead is an Oji-Cree, Two-Spirit member of the Peguis First Nation.

Love after the End - An Anthology of Two-spirit and Indigiqueer Speculative Fiction by Joshua Whitehead: This exciting and groundbreaking fiction collection showcases a number of new and emerging 2SQ (Two-Spirit and queer) Indigenous writers from across Turtle Island. These visionary authors show how queer Indigenous communities can bloom and thrive through utopian narratives that detail the vivacity and strength of 2SQness throughout its plight in the maw of settler colonialism's histories.

Check out our mini-review of The Midnight Bargain with BPL's Patrick:

About The Midnight Bargain: C.L. Polk's fantasy novel The Midnight Bargain explores love and magic — and now it's on Canada Reads. Learn more from CBC.

The Midnight Bargain on Goodreads: Check out real reviews from readers - plus suggestions for what to read next.

VIDEO: Book trailer for The Midnight Bargain

VIDEO: Pickles Reads review of The Midnight Bargain

Check out our mini-review of Two Trees Make a Forest with BPL's Katelyn:

VIDEO - Writers' Trust of Canada: Jessica J. Lee on Two Trees Make a Forest, 2020 Weston Prize winner

VIDEO – Piecing Together a Family History | The Agenda with Steve Paikin: Jessica J. Lee discusses her journey, and how botany and genealogy made her fall in love with Taiwan.

Two Trees Make a Forest on curio.ca: Teacher resources, guides, video interviews.

Related Reads:

Turning by Jessica J. Lee: At the age of 28, Jessica Lee - Canadian, Chinese and British - finds herself in Berlin. Alone. To win her back her confidence and independence, she endeavors to swim fifty-two of the lakes around Berlin, no matter what the weather or season.

Speak, Okinawa by Elizabeth Miki Brina: A searing, deeply candid memoir about a young woman's journey to understanding her complicated parents--her father a Vietnam veteran, her mother an Okinawan war bride--and her own, fraught cultural heritage.

World of Wonders by Aimee Nezhukumatathil: From beloved, award-winning poet Aimee Nezhukumatathil comes a debut work of nonfiction-a collection of essays about the natural world, and the way its inhabitants can teach, support, and inspire us.

Surfacing by Kathleen Jamie: In this remarkable collection, part travelogue, part cultural and personal history, poet and author Kathleen Jamie touches points on a timeline spanning millennia, and considers what surfaces and what reconnects us to our past.

Late Migrations by Margaret Renkl: The widely followed New York Times opinion writer presents a collection of brief essays on the natural world, her Alabama childhood, her complicated parents and her transition to the role of a caregiver.

Canada Reads 2021 Short List

Canada Reads 2021 Long List

Canada Reads on CBC

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