I Read Canadian
As a Canadian-owned and operated company, McNally Robinson has always put a special emphasis on Canadian authors and their books. Featured here are some of our booksellers' favourite Canadian books.
- by Joanne Epp
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In her second poetry collection, Joanne Epp ventures from open prairie roads into little creek beds, down onto the warm earth of strawberry patches and far afield to the busy markets of Cambodia to examine the intimate ways we come to know and experience place. With vivid detail and a sense of quiet reverence, Cattail Skyline captures a myriad of landscapes where every change of season and slant of light reveals something previously unnoticed, and where even the most well- trodden paths hold the potential for new discovery.
- by Margaret Larson
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Discover Winnipeg and beyond with 30 unique routes designed for all cyclists of all skill levels. With routes ranging from 26 to 50 kilometres, with shortcuts as short as 5 kilometres, anyone can hop on their bike and explore what this city has to offer
Winnipeg Cycling includes:
- 20 routes in and around Winnipeg and 10 routes just a short drive away
- options to shorten routes, suggestions for coffee stops and points of interest, and locations of bathroom stops to make the route perfect for you
- detailed directions, maps, and fun information for each route Visit the Manitoba Legislative Building, explore the Trappist Monastery, and take a selfie with the world's largest Coca-Cola can Cycle along river beds, over bridges, through parks, and past sculptures and tourist sites. Winnipeg Cycling is a game-changer for getting more enjoyment out of cycling in this city.
- by Mike Grandmaison
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A millennia-old gathering place. A wild country freckled with lush forests and shimmering waters. A glimpse of the pristine Great White North. Located at the tripoint of Ontario, Manitoba, and Minnesota, Lake of the Woods is all of these things and much more. Here, as in the days of yore, discovery lies in wait at every turnóbe it amid its centenary trees, in its secluded coves, on its golden beaches, or on the lively waterfronts of its charming communities. Now, you too can discover the spellbinding sights and scenes of Lake of the Woods, in this labour of love by photographer Mike Grandmaison and author Elizabeth Campbell. Lake of the Woodsó Gem of the Canadian Shield is their ode to a place that has captured the hearts of many, as it will, through these pages, no doubt capture yours.
- by Catherine Macdonald
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Reluctant amateur detective, Reverend Charles Lauchlan, departs the prairie city of Winnipeg and travels abroad to Scotland with his fiancé Maggie on a bicycle tour of the highlands. Two near fatal accidents put members of the tour on edge and, to make matters worse, a shadowy figure seems to be observing their every move. Stuck in the remote highland countryside, the group is thrown back on their own resources. While Charles and Maggie are trying to decipher what these strange events mean, they make another grisly discovery. It's murder most foul and we're not just talking about Scottish weather. So Many Windings is the second in a three book series that began with Put on an Armour of Light (winner of the Michael Van Rooy Award for Genre Fiction). Deftly wrought, meticulously researched, and scintillating with charm and period prose, Macdonald weaves a winding, cross-country tale that will require all of the detective's ingenuity and test the measure of his resolve.
- by James Scoles
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The Trailer explores the subtle art of balancing life on the edge of a city--indeed, perched precariously, metaphorically on the fringe of society--not exactly following a script for keeping up with the Joneses. The experiences of love and loss while living on that (not exactly) sharp edge build the foundation in this collection. Stylistically, the poems vary as they dig through the detritus daily to reveal the joy, beauty, and humour within the world of thin tin-walled hope and melamine dreams of a mobile home, of a live lived lagging just a little behind.
- by Lori Cayer
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Searching for Signal is a long poem that bears witness to the quotidian, disorienting shifts of grief as a father makes his way toward his death over 3 seasons. This is mourning conducted in situ, the gift of observing one man quietly taking his leave and the impacted hole it leaves behind. The language is mix of narrative lyric and fragmentary breath-spaced verse; the silences are his private silences, alluding to memory, family trauma and shame. The hunter, the gatherer who never stopped trying for epiphanies, a daughter engaged in the same effort, frankly facing the span of a swift human lifetime that may pass without revelation or resolution. If there is redemption it is in the daughter bringing clarity to the physical condition of living and dying and the emotional intricacies of existence.
- by Genevieve Graham
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Inspired by a little-known chapter of World War II history, a young Protestant girl and her Jewish neighbour are caught up in the terrible wave of hate sweeping the globe on the eve of war in this powerful love story that's perfect for fans of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.
If you're reading this letter, that means I'm dead. I had obviously hoped to see you again, to explain in person, but fate had other plans.
At eighteen years old, Molly Ryan dreams of becoming a journalist, but instead she spends her days working any job she can to help her family through the Depression crippling her city. The one bright spot in her life is watching baseball with her best friend, Hannah Dreyfus, and sneaking glances at Hannah's handsome older brother, Max.
But as the summer unfolds, more and more of Hitler's hateful ideas cross the sea and "Swastika Clubs" and "No Jews Allowed" signs spring up around Toronto, a city already simmering with mass unemployment, protests, and unrest. When tensions between the Irish and Jewish communities erupt in a riot one smouldering day in August, Molly and Max are caught in the middle, with devastating consequences for both their families.
Six years later, the Depression has eased and Molly is a reporter at her local paper. But a new war is on the horizon, putting everyone she cares about most in peril. As letters trickle in from overseas, Molly is forced to confront what happened all those years ago, but is it too late to make things right?
From the desperate streets of Toronto to the embattled shores of Hong Kong, Letters Across the Sea is a poignant novel about the enduring power of love to cross dangerous divides even in the darkest of times--from the #1 bestselling author of The Forgotten Home Child.
- by George Toles
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A collection of mini-narratives that have been posted on Facebook every day since 2009. This book will collect posts from the entire collection in one cohesive volume of work. Award-winning artist Cliff Eyland and famed writer George Toles combine their unique talents in a book like no other, tackling apropos issues related to climate change, politics, relationships, death, and sex with wry humour and deft tone.
- by Tenille K. Campbell
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A celebratory, slyly funny, and bluntly honest take on sex and romance in NDN Country. nedi nezu (Good Medicine) explores the beautiful space that being a sensual Indigenous woman creates - not only as a partner, a fantasy, a heartbreak waiting to happen but also as an auntie, a role model, a voice that connects to others walking the same path. From the online hookup world of DMs, double taps, and secret texts to earth-shakingly erotic encounters under the northern stars to the ever-complicated relationship Indigenous women have with mainstream society, this poetry collection doesn't shy away from depicting the gorgeous diversity in decolonized desire. Instead, Campbell creates the most intimate of spaces, where the tea is hot and a seat is waiting, surrounded by the tantalizing laughter of aunties telling stories. These wise, jubilant poems chronicle many failed attempts at romance, with the wry humour needed to not take these heartbreaks personally, and the growth that comes from sitting in the silence of living a solo life in a world that insists everyone should be partnered up. With a knowing smile, this book side-eyes the political existence and celebrates the lived experience of an Indigenous woman falling in love and lust with those around her -but, most importantly, with herself. nedi nezu is a smart, sensual, and scandalous collection dripping in Indigenous culture yet irresistible to anyone in thrall to the magnificent disaster that is dating, sex, and relationships.
- by Eden Robinson
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In the third book of her brilliant and captivating Trickster Trilogy, Eden Robinson delivers an explosive, surprising and satisfying resolution.
All Jared Martin had ever wanted was to be normal, which was already hard enough when he had to cope with Maggie, his hard-partying, gun-toting, literal witch of a mother, Indigenous teen life and his own addictions. When he wakes up naked, dangerously dehydrated and confused in the basement of his mom's old house in Kitimat, some of the people he loves--the ones who don't see the magic he attracts--just think he fell off the wagon after a tough year of sobriety. The truth for Jared is so much worse.
He finally knows for sure that he is the only one of his bio dad Wee'git's 535 children who is a Trickster too, a shapeshifter with a free pass to other dimensions. Sarah, his ex, is happy he's a magical being, but everyone else he loves is either pissed with him, or in mortal danger from the dark forces he's accidentally unleashed, or both. The scariest of those dark forces is his Aunt Georgina, a maniacal ogress hungry for his power, who has sent her posse of flesh-eating coy-wolves to track him down.
Even though his mother resents like hell that Jared has taken after his dad, she is also determined that no one is going to hurt her son. For Maggie it's simple--Kill or be killed, bucko. Soon Jared is at the centre of an all-out war--a horrifying place to be for the universe's sweetest Trickster, whose first instinct is not mischief and mind games but to make the world a kinder, safer, place.
- by Michael Tregebov
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"Absolutely brilliant!" -- Guy Maddin
The sentimental and financial education of a young Jewish Winnipegger in and around 1968.
The Renter, Michael Tregebov's fourth novel, is set in Winnipeg Beach, Manitoba's version of cottage country, ca. 1968. Once the preserve of the city's establishment, by the time the events of the novel take place, Winnipeg Beach has declined to the point that even the city's middle classes, including its prosperous Jewish citizens, could afford addresses there.
Michael Tregebov's would-be hero in The Renter is a young man sporting a summer tan, Keds and crisp short-sleeved white shirts, and toting a transistor radio. Bret Yeatman is out to recoup the social position his father lost through financial ruin, and is determined to realize his fantasy by marrying up and into the well-to-do family of his first perfect love, Sandra Sugarman, and renouncing his easy, promiscuous life in the drug trade. But his fantasy collides with Sandra's own -- stars are crossed, and the fates will have their day.
The Renter is the latest installment in Michael Tregebov's comédie humaine Winnipeg-style, which also includes Shot Rock (2019), The Shiva (2012), and The Briss (2009). A literary translator, Michael Tregebov was born and raised in Winnipeg but now lives near Barcelona in Spain, his home since the 1980s.
- by Amanda Leduc
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Challenges the ableism of fairy tales and offers new ways to celebrate the magic of all bodies.
"Leduc persuasively illustrates the power of stories to affect reality in this painstakingly researched and provocative study that invites us to consider our favorite folktales from another angle." -- Library Journal, starred review
"Leduc argues that template is how society continues to treat the disabled: rather than making the world accessible for everyone, the disabled are often asked to adapt to inaccessible environments." -- Quill & Quire
"Fairy tales shape how we see the world, so what happens when you identify more with the Beast than Beauty? If every disabled character is mocked and mistreated, how does the Beast ever imagine a happily-ever-after? Amanda Leduc looks at fairy tales from the Brothers Grimm to Disney, showing us how they influence our expectations and behaviour and linking the quest for disability rights to new kinds of stories that celebrate difference. Leduc peels the flesh from the fairy tales we grew up loving and strips them down to their skeletons to skilfully reveal how they influence the way we think about disability. She contrasts the stories we have with the ones we wish we had, incorporating her own life. Her wisdom lands like a punch in the heart, leaving a sizable dent that reshapes how we see tales we've been telling for centuries. She also - and this is the best part - suggests how we might tell new fairy tales, how we can forge new stories.' -- Adam Pottle, author of Voice
'A unique and dazzling study ... a revolutionary approach to understanding why we are drawn to fairy tales and how they shape our lives.' - Jack Zipes, author of Grimm Legacies
'Each chapter is a gem, but the kind of gem that turns into a knife, into a mirror, into a portal. Leduc's real magic? That she transforms her readers as surely as any world.' -- Mira Jacob, author of Good Talk
- by Jenny Heijun Wills
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Winner of the 2019 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction
A beautiful and haunting memoir of kinship and culture rediscovered.
Jenny Heijun Wills was born in Korea and adopted as an infant into a white family in small-town Canada. In her late twenties, she reconnected with her first family and returned to Seoul where she spent four months getting to know other adoptees, as well as her Korean mother, father, siblings, and extended family. At the guesthouse for transnational adoptees where she lived, alliances were troubled by violence and fraught with the trauma of separation and of cultural illiteracy. Unsurprisingly, heartbreakingly, Wills found that her nascent relationships with her family were similarly fraught.
Ten years later, Wills sustains close ties with her Korean family. Her Korean parents and her younger sister attended her wedding in Montreal, and that same sister now lives in Canada. Remarkably, meeting Jenny caused her birth parents to reunite after having been estranged since her adoption. Little by little, Jenny Heijun Wills is learning and relearning her stories and those of her biological kin, piecing together a fragmented life into something resembling a whole.
Delving into gender, class, racial, and ethnic complexities, as well as into the complex relationships between Korean women--sisters, mothers and daughters, grandmothers and grandchildren, aunts and nieces--Older Sister. Not Necessarily Related. describes in visceral, lyrical prose the painful ripple effects that follow a child's removal from a family, and the rewards that can flow from both struggle and forgiveness.
- by Katherena Vermette
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Winner of the 2017 Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award, Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction, and the McNally Robinson Book of the Year Awards. When Stella, a young Metis mother, looks out her window one evening and spots someone in trouble on the Break -- a barren field on an isolated strip of land outside her house -- she calls the police to alert them to a possible crime. In a series of shifting narratives, people who are connected, both directly and indirectly, with the victim -- police, family, and friends -- tell their personal stories leading up to that fateful night. Lou, a social worker, grapples with the departure of her live-in boyfriend. Cheryl, an artist, mourns the premature death of her sister Rain. Paulina, a single mother, struggles to trust her new partner. Phoenix, a homeless teenager, is released from a youth detention centre. Officer Scott, a Metis policeman, feels caught between two worlds as he patrols the city. Through their various perspectives a larger, more comprehensive story about lives of the residents in Winnipeg's North End is exposed. A powerful intergenerational family saga, The Break showcases Vermette's abundant writing talent and positions her as an exciting new voice in Canadian literature.