Book List: Looking for a Good Can‘eh’dian Read?

When we think of Canadian authors, there are some that automatically spring to mind, for example Margaret Atwood, Robert Munsch, and Mordecai Richler. However, there are many more out there that write at least equally well that are worth reading. In honour of Canada Day, here are ten of Helen Varga's favourites.

Andre Alexis Fifteen Dogs

Andre Alexis a Trinidad born Canadian fiction writer, whose 2015 Canada Reads winner, Fifteen Dogs, is part of a five novel quincunx that explores faith, place, love, power and hatred. In this story,Hermes and Apollo bestow the gift of human consciousness and language to a group of dogs.

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Richard WagameseStarlight

Richard Wagamese was a prominent Ojibwe author who wrote of the Indigenous experience in Canada, having lived with the effects of the residential school system within his own family.  Although he died in 2017, his writing lives on in Starlight, posthumously published in 2018.

Will FergusonHow to be a Canadian

Will Ferguson is an award winning travel writer and journalist whose works include The Shoe on the Roof and How to Be a Canadian.  Much of his fictional work is written with satirical humour, but others, such as 419, are of a more serious nature. 

Yann MartelLife of Pi

Yann Martel is a Spanish born Canadian whothoroughly researches before delving into his playful writing style. His adventure book, Life of Pi has been chosen for the One Book, Three Cities community reading project in which Richmond Public Library (RPL) is participating. RPL has many electronic and print copies of this book available and you can register hereto meet Yann in person on August 1 at the Brighouse branch!

Wayson ChoyJade Peony

Wayson Choy’sThe Jade Peonyand All that Matters are fictional, yet historical accounts of Choy’s childhood growing up in Vancouver’s Chinatown in the 1940’s. All at once poignant and powerful.

Emma DonoghueRoom

Emma Donoghue writes not only books, but also for stage, radio, and screen. Room is a reality based story told from the perspective of a five year old boy living imprisoned in a small room with his mother, and evokes every emotion.

Naomi KleinThis Changes Everything

Naomi Kleinis a Canadian author, social activist, and filmmaker critical of corporate globalization and capitalism. With This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate Klein argues for breaking capitalist rules to take action against climate change.

Susan JubyThe Truth Commission

Susan Juby grew up in the small BC town of Smithers. While her best known series is about Alice McLeod (Alice, I Think; Miss Smithers) a misfit teenager, I have also enjoyed other titles such as The Truth Commission, about truths, untruths and teen-age journeys.

Rohinton MistryFamily Matters

Rohinton Mistry is an Indian born Canadian whose fiction focuses on the difficulties that Indian immigrants face when coming to Canada. Compassionate and honest, his writing brings an awareness of history and postcolonial life.

Sharon BalaThe Boat People

Sharon Bala is a Dubai born Canadian whose first novel, Boat People, is a very timely account written with compassion about the refugee crisis. From alternating perspectives of a refugee, his lawyer and the adjudicator, we follow their complex journey.


Helen Varga is a library technician at the Steveston Branch of the Richmond Public Library.

For other popular reading suggestions check out Richmond Public Library's Web site at

(All photos submitted by the Richmond Public Library)

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