Tentative Canadian reading list.


1).    Miriam Toewes – A Complicated Kindness (Governor General's Award for Fiction – 2004)

2).    John Bemrose – The Island Walkers (2003)

3).    Giles Blunt – Forty Words for Sorrow  (2000)

4).    Robertson Davies -?

5).    Penguin History of Canada, OR

        Desmond Morton – A Short  History of Canada

6).    Susanna Moodie – Roughing It in the Bush (1852)

7).    Matt Cohen – Elizabeth and After (Governor General's Award for Fiction – 1999)

8).    Hugh MacLennan – Two Solitudes (1945)

9).    Karolyn Schmardz Frost – I've Got a Home in Glory Land: A Lost Tale of the Underground Railroad         (Governor General's Award for Nonfiction – 2007)

10).    Brian Moore – The Great Victorian Collection (Governor General's Award for Fiction – 1975)

11).    Gabrielle Roy – Street of Riches (Governor General's Award for Fiction – 1957)

12).    Kit Pearson – Awake and Dreaming (Governor General's Award for Children's Literature – 1997)

13).    Julie Johnston – Hero of Lesser Causes (Governor General's Award for Children's Literature –             1992)

The order will depend on availability, but I know if I don't make a list now I'll fall behind.

It's subject to change or substitution, of course, should whim dictate.

By the way, anyone have a Robertson Davies recommendation for someone who's read none of his books?

5 thoughts on “Tentative Canadian reading list.

  1. Wow – I’m impressed! That is a diverse list. I’m heading up to visit the family in August so I plan on loading up with some new books (like I needed an excuse)
    I do have a copy of A Complicated Kindness if you want to borrow it.
    Robertson Davies won the Governor’s General Award for The Manticore, but I’ve not read it, nor (sad to say) have I read any of his work.


  2. I avoided some of the usual suspects, like Margaret Atwood, though I love her. I wanted to branch out a little more. Or a LOT more! Looks like the library has ACK. Thanks for the offer, though. And I hope you post about the goodies you find on your August trip!


  3. I think the only Davies I’ve read is Fifth Business, and that was back in 2001. I did give it a 4/5 – it’s about a man travelling the world researching saints (according to my book journal). Enjoy your challenge!


  4. Of your list, I’ve read #1, which I somewhat liked, #2, which I somewhat didn’t like, #4, which I liked (just Fifth Business), and #7 which I liked. I’m looking forward to hearing you thoughts. I hope to do Two Solitudes this time around as well.


  5. I’ve read pretty well everything Robertson Davies ever wrote and actually heard him do a reading not long before his death.
    My favourites are The Rebel Angels (from the Cornish Trilogy) and A Mixture of Frailties (from the Salterton Trilogy which is my favourite Davies trilogy; Salterton is a very thinly disguised Kingston, Ontario). Most people would recommend Fifth Business which is on most required lists for Canadian Literature. I have no argument with that, but I actually prefer Book Two of the same Deptford Trilogy: The Manticore. Just a personal preference.
    I am a great admirer of the books of Julie Johnston (the sister of my younger daughter’s speech therapist, as it happens) and Kit Pearson. Awake and Dreaming is a marvelous and heartbreaking book. (A Handful of Time is also terrific.) I grew up in Victoria, BC and my elder daughter attended the elementary school that features in the later part of the book. We’re also very familiar with Ross Bay Cemetery.
    I suppose Margaret Laurence, Alice Munro, and Carol Shields are too mainstream for your list? I have recommendations there as well. (I had the incredible luck to be taught Creative Writing in Sunday School by Alice Munro when I was ten, and Margaret Laurence was a judge in a short story contest in which I received an Honourable Mention when I was seventeen.)


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