Summer reads: 12 Canadian books to suit any mood

Whether you're planning to read on the beach, at the cottage, or in your living room, we've got a dozen great Canadian reads to suit any reading mood.

On a lazy summer day, there’s not much we love more than losing ourselves in a good book. Whether you’re planning to read on the beach, at the cottage, or in your living room, we’ve got a dozen great Canadian reads to suit any reading mood. Celebrate our amazing country with some of the best books our talented authors have published over the last few years!

theblondesIf you’re looking for … a sophisticated thriller: Check out Elisabeth de Mariaffi’s The Devil You Know or Emily Schultz’s The Blondes. Like best-selling novels Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train, these two books will keep readers on the edge of their seat right until the very end. In The Devil You Know, rookie reporter Evie Jones digs deep into the unsolved murder of her childhood best friend, in the wake of Paul Bernardo’s arrest. It’s a nail-biter of a read set in a frightening, anxiety-ridden time. In The Blondes, Schultz mixes satire and biting wit in a story about a strange illness that’s transforming blonde women into rabid killers. Sure the premise is a bit absurd, but it results in a captivating look at the complex relationships between women.

If you’re looking for … a good laugh: Read Up and Down by Terry Fallis. You might not think the world of international PR would be the perfect setting for a comedic novel, but with Fallis’ trademark humour and creative storytelling, this clever story is an almost constant laugh-fest, especially as he delves into the messy yet hilarious waters of Canada-U.S. relations.

If you’re looking for … a family drama: Pick up Heather O’Neill’s The Girl Who Was Saturday Night, Saleema Nawaz’s Bone and Bread or Marissa Stapley’s Mating for Life. Both O’Neill’s and Nawaz’s beautiful novels take place in Montreal, while the former focuses on twins Noushcka and Nicolas, the children of legendary French Canadian folk singer, and the latter centres around sisters Beena and Sadhana who live with their uncle after being orphaned as teenagers. In Stapley’s novel, the family structure is much more complex, but it still makes sibling relationships the focus in a story that explores marriage and motherhood.

If you’re looking for … a wild adventure: Check out Caught by Lisa Moore. In a grand departure from her previous novels, Moore takes readers on a classic caper tale as we follow David Slaney’s prison break and one of the most ambitious pot-smuggling adventures ever attempted.

stationelevenIf you’re looking for … a post-apocalyptic tale: Try Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. This stunning novel moves backward and forward in time from the years just before the world collapses due to an unknown pandemic, to the strange world that exists twenty years later. This new world is both terrifying and mysterious, but also strangely beautiful as we follow a Travelling Symphony who performs concerts and Shakespeare plays in the settlements that have formed.

If you’re looking for … something quirky: Read Andrew Kaufman’s Born Weird. This hilarious and downright weird story follows five siblings, each of whom received a “blursing” (a blessing that’s actually more of a curse) from their grandmother at the time of their birth. Now, as their grandmother lays dying, the far-flung siblings must come together and assemble in their grandmother’s hospital room to have their blursings lifted — but it won’t be easy to get them all there.

If you’re looking for … an escape to foreign lands: Pick up The End of the Alphabet by CS Richardson. This romantic little tale of Ambrose Zephyr and his wife Zappora (Zipper) Ashkenazi chronicles their journey across the world in a “pilgrimage through the alphabet”, travelling from Amsterdam to Zanzibar. The love story is as beautiful as the amazing destinations they visit, and reading this novel is a great way to travel without the high price tag.

If you’re looking for … a collection of short stories: Try Sarah Selecky’s This Cake is for the Party or Lynn Coady’s Hellgoing. If shorter stories are your thing, you can’t go wrong with either of these fantastic collections. Both give readers fascinating perspectives on relationships, both romantically and otherwise, and we love that even on a busy summer day, we can always make time to enjoy a short story!

What are you reading this summer? Let us know in the comments!