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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.


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Overcome

- Anne Mahon

Trade paperback $25.95 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $23.36

Abandonment, loss, endless transitions, self-reliance, continued persistence, and fierce beauty all coexist in this compelling collection of stories of ten women who journey from victims of the child welfare system to survivors, and beyond. These women face endless challenges, oppression, and trauma but discover their power through creativity, self-awareness, education, motherhood, and extreme empathy. They decipher their personal stories looking back through the lens of their lived experience to contribute to changing the narratives of how people who grew up in in the child welfare system see themselves, and how society sees them. These stories create compassion and understanding, breaking down biases. They also illustrate the direct and multi-faceted relationships between residential schools, the breakdown of Indigenous families, the perpetuated system racism of of the child welfare system and oppression through other societal systems. Many of these women are the voices of those who could have been murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls but have lived to tell their stories. Embracing their humanity, their courageous sharing teaches and informs us. These heartbreaking and inspiring stories will educate and create change.

Healing Through Words

- Rupi Kaur

Hardcover $29.99 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $26.99

#1 New York Times bestselling author Rupi Kaur presents guided poetry writing exercises of her own design to help you explore themes of trauma, loss, heartache, love, family, healing, and celebration of the self.

Healing Through Words is a guided tour on the journey back to the self, a cathartic and mindful exploration through writing.

This carefully curated collection of exercises asks only that you be vulnerable and honest, both with yourself and the page.

You don't need to be a writer to take this walk; you just need to write--that's all.

Probably Ruby

- Lisa Bird-Wilson

Trade paperback $19.95 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $17.96

A CBC BEST CANADIAN FICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR
 
Probably Ruby is an audacious, brave, and beautiful book about an adopted woman's search for her Indigenous identity, for readers of Tommy Orange's There There and Terese Marie Mailhot's Heart Berries.

Relinquished as an infant, Ruby is placed in a foster home and finally adopted by Alice and Mel, a less-than-desirable couple who can't afford to complain too loudly about Ruby's Indigenous roots. But when her new parents' marriage falls apart, Ruby finds herself vulnerable and in compromising situations that lead her to search, in the unlikeliest of places, for her Indigenous identity.

Unabashedly self-destructing on alcohol, drugs, and bad relationships, Ruby grapples with the meaning of the legacy left to her. In a series of expanding narratives, Ruby and the people connected to her tell their stories and help flesh out Ruby's history. Seeking understanding of how we come to know who we are, Probably Ruby explores how we find and invent ourselves in ways as peculiar and varied as the experiences of Indigenous adoptees themselves. Ruby's voice, her devastating honesty and tremendous laugh, will not soon be forgotten.

Probably Ruby is a perfectly crafted novel, with effortless, nearly imperceptible shifts in time and perspective, exquisitely chosen detail, natural dialogue and emotional control that results in breathtaking levels of tension and points of revelation.

The Future Is Now

- Bob McDonald

Hardcover $32.95 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $29.66

One of:

CBC's "27 Canadian books we can't wait to read in September"
CBC's "60 works of Canadian nonfiction to watch for in fall 2022"
Toronto Star's "40-plus books we're most looking forward to this season"


Is a global pandemic what it took to show us that saving our planet is possible?


In the absence of motorized boats and gondolas, Venice's waters have returned to a sparkling blue color. Deer have been spotted roaming cities in Italy, and mountain goats recently took over a small seaside town in Wales. Taking advantage of the decreased boat traffic, whales have returned to roaming Vancouver's harbours. The absence of "regular" human activities has dramatically affected our environment. In this book, Bob McDonald turns his focus to global energy sources, and shows how the global shutdowns may have been exactly what we needed to show us that a greener future is achievable.

This is not another "wake-up call," and not another plea to heed the climate science. This is an exploration of the incredible technologies that our species can use to get out of the mess we've made for ourselves. It is a work of immense optimism, to counteract the sense of doom that hangs over most discussions of the environment.

Many alternative energy sources such as wind, solar, and geothermal have been available for decades--but they alone will not be enough. Additional power will come from small nuclear reactors the size of an office desk, and space-based solar power satellites with enormous mirrors that can capture sunlight, convert it to microwaves, and beam it to the ground to light up entire cities. Energy will be captured from waves, tides, and hydrogen. Vehicles will no longer have tailpipes that emit smog particles. Food will be sourced locally.

Green technology is one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy, and will only continue to skyrocket as current products improve their performance and new products emerge. A new green age is upon us--let this book be your guide to the future.

Ducks

- Kate Beaton

Hardcover $39.95 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $35.96

"An exceptionally beautiful book about loneliness, labor, and survival."--Carmen Maria Machado

Before there was Kate Beaton, New York Times bestselling cartoonist of Hark! A Vagrant, there was Katie Beaton of the Cape Breton Beaton, specifically Mabou, a tight-knit seaside community where the lobster is as abundant as beaches, fiddles, and Gaelic folk songs. With the singular goal of paying off her student loans, Katie heads out west to take advantage of Alberta's oil rush--part of the long tradition of East Coasters who seek gainful employment elsewhere when they can't find it in the homeland they love so much. Katie encounters the harsh reality of life in the oil sands, where trauma is an everyday occurrence yet is never discussed.

Beaton's natural cartooning prowess is on full display as she draws colossal machinery and mammoth vehicles set against a sublime Albertan backdrop of wildlife, northern lights, and boreal forest. Her first full length graphic narrative, Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands is an untold story of Canada: a country that prides itself on its egalitarian ethos and natural beauty while simultaneously exploiting both the riches of its land and the humanity of its people.

The Theory of Crows

- David A Robertson

Trade paperback $24.99 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $22.49

A poignant and evocative novel about the bonds of family and the gifts offered by the land

When a troubled father and his estranged teenage daughter head out onto the land in search of the family trapline, they find their way back to themselves, and to each other

Deep in the night, Matthew paces the house, unable to rest. Though his sixteen-year-old daughter, Holly, lies sleeping on the other side of the bedroom door, she is light years away from him. How can he bridge the gap between them when he can't shake the emptiness he feels inside? Holly knows her father is drifting further from her; what she doesn't understand is why. Could it be her fault that he seems intent on throwing everything away, including their relationship?

Following a devastating tragedy, Matthew and Holly head out onto the land in search of a long-lost cabin on the family trapline, miles from the Cree community they once called home. But each of them is searching for something more than a place. Matthew hopes to reconnect with the father he has just lost; Holly goes with him because she knows the father she is afraid of losing won't be able to walk away.

When things go wrong during the journey, they find they have only each other to turn to for support. What happens to father and daughter on the land will test them, and eventually heal them, in ways they never thought possible.

The Strangers

- Katherena Vermette

Trade paperback $22.00 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $19.80

#1 NATIONAL BESTSELLER
WINNER OF THE ATWOOD GIBSON WRITERS' TRUST PRIZE FOR FICTION
SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2022/2023 FIRST NATION COMMUNITIES READ AWARD, 2022 MANITOBA BOOK AWARDS' CAROL SHIELDS WINNIPEG BOOK AWARD, MARGARET LAURENCE AWARD FOR FICTION, AND MCNALLY ROBINSON BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD
LONGLISTED FOR THE 2021 SCOTIABANK GILLER PRIZE
A GLOBE & MAIL BEST BOOK

From the bestselling author of The Break comes a staggering intergenerational saga that explores how connected we are, even when we're no longer together--even when we're forced apart.


Cedar has nearly forgotten what her family looks like. Phoenix has nearly forgotten what freedom feels like. And Elsie has nearly given up hope. Nearly.

After time spent in foster homes, Cedar goes to live with her estranged father. Although she grapples with the pain of being separated from her mother, Elsie, and sister, Phoenix, she's hoping for a new chapter in her life, only to find herself once again in a strange house surrounded by strangers. From a youth detention centre, Phoenix gives birth to a baby she'll never get to raise and tries to forgive herself for all the harm she's caused (while wondering if she even should). Elsie, struggling with addiction and determined to turn her life around, is buoyed by the idea of being reunited with her daughters and strives to be someone they can depend on, unlike her own distant mother. These are the Strangers, each haunted in her own way. Between flickering moments of warmth and support, the women diverge and reconnect, fighting to survive in a fractured system that pretends to offer success but expects them to fail. Facing the distinct blade of racism from those they trusted most, they urge one another to move through the darkness, all the while wondering if they'll ever emerge safely on the other side. 

A breathtaking companion to her bestselling debut The Break, Vermette's The Strangers brings readers into the dynamic world of the Stranger family, the strength of their bond, the shared pain in their past, and the light that beckons from the horizon. This is a searing exploration of race, class, inherited trauma, and matrilineal bonds that--despite everything--refuse to be broken.

10 Days That Shaped Modern Canada

- Aaron Hughes

Trade paperback $27.99 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $25.19

Revisiting ten notable days from recent history, Aaron W. Hughes invites readers to think about the tensions, events, and personalities that make Canada distinct. These indelible dates interweave to offer an account of the political, social, cultural, and demographic forces that have shaped the modern nation. The diverse episodes include the enactment of the War Measures Act, hockey's Summit Series, the patriation of the Constitution, the Multiculturalism Act, the École Polytechnique Massacre, victories for gay rights, Quebec's second referendum on secession, The Tragically Hip's farewell concert, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and ongoing Black equality struggles. Each day represents a window on contemporary Canada, jumpstarting reflection and conversation about who we are as a nation and how we got here. Ten Days That Shaped Modern Canada is the perfect guide for all those curious about the forces that shape our country and about how we understand our place in the world.

The Fur Trader

- Einar Odd Mortensen, Gerd Kjustad Mortensen, Ingrid Urberg

Trade paperback $34.99 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $31.49

The Fur Trader is a critical edition of Einar Odd Mortensen Sr.'s personal narrative detailing the years (1925-1928) he spent as a free trader at posts in Pine Bluff and Oxford Lake in Manitoba during the waning days of the fur trade. Mortensen's original narrative has been translated from Norwegian to English, and supplemented with a scholarly introduction, thorough annotations, a bibliography, and a reading guide. This additional material presents the author as a product of Norwegian culture at the time, and guides the reader through a close reading of Mortensen's interpretations of his work and travels, the people he encountered, the Indian Residential School system, and Indigenous participation in the First World War. Mortensen's insights and experiences will be of interest to scholars, students, and enthusiasts of the fur trade and contribute to literary, Indigenous, and Scandinavian studies.

Nomenclature

- Dionne Brand

Hardcover $45.00 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $40.50

An immense achievement, comprising a decades-long career--new and collected poetry from one of Canada's most honoured and significant poets.

Spanning almost four decades, Dionne Brand's poetry has given rise to whole new grammars and vocabularies. With a profound alertness that is attuned to this world and open to some other, possibly future, time and place, Brand's ongoing labours of witness and imagination speak directly to where and how we live and reach beyond those worlds, their enclosures, and their violences.
 
Nomenclature: New and Collected Poems begins with a new long poem, the titular "Nomenclature for the Time Being," in which Dionne Brand's diaspora consciousness dismantles our quotidian disasters. In addition to this searing new work, Nomenclature collects eight volumes of Brand's poetry published between 1982 and 2010 and includes a critical introduction by the literary scholar and theorist Christina Sharpe.
 
Nomenclature: New and Collected Poems, features the searching and centering cantos of Primitive Offensive; the sharp musical conversations of Winter Epigrams and Epigrams to Ernesto Cardenal in Defense of Claudia; the documentary losses of revolutions in Chronicles of the Hostile Sun, in which "The street was empty/with all of us standing there." No Language Is Neutral reads language, coloniality, and sexuality as a nexus. Land to Light On writes intimacies and disaffections with nation, while in thirsty a cold-eyed flâneur surveys the workings of the city. In Inventory, written during the Gulf Wars, the poet is "the wars' last and late night witness," her job not to soothe but to "revise and revise this bristling list/hourly." Ossuaries' futurist speaker rounds out the collection, and threads multiple temporal worlds--past, present, and future. 
 
This masterwork displays Dionne Brand's ongoing body of thought--trenchant, lyrical, absonant, discordant, and meaning-making. Nomenclature: New and Collected Poems is classic and living, a record of one of the great writers of our age.
 

The Foghorn Echoes

- Danny Ramadan

Hardcover $32.00 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $28.80

"A sweeping and mesmerizing story that spans time and mortal space so expertly and elegantly." --Alan Cumming

A deeply moving novel about a forbidden love between two boys in war-torn Syria and the fallout that ripples through their adult lives.


Syria, 2003. A blooming romance leads to a tragic accident when Hussam's father catches him acting on his feelings for his best friend, Wassim. In an instant, the course of their lives is changed forever.

Ten years later, Hussam and Wassim are still struggling to find peace and belonging. Sponsored as a refugee by a controlling older man, Hussam is living an openly gay life in Vancouver, where he attempts to quiet his demons with sex, drugs, and alcohol. Wassim is living on the streets of Damascus, having abandoned a wife and child and a charade he could no longer keep up. Taking shelter in a deserted villa, he unearths the previous owner's buried secrets while reckoning with his own.

The past continues to reverberate through the present as Hussam and Wassim come face to face with heartache, history, drag queens, border guards, and ghosts both literal and figurative.

Masterfully crafted and richly detailed, The Foghorn Echoes is a gripping novel about how to carve out home in the midst of war, and how to move forward when the war is within yourself.

The Series

- Ken Dryden

Hardcover $34.95 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $31.46

Purchase a copy of The Series from McNally Robinson Booksellers before our September 7 event and receive a PERSONALIZED bookplate from Ken Dryden. Bookplates will ship directly from Penguin Random House Canada and may take 4 to 8 weeks to arrive. More information available at point of purchase. SEPTEMBER 2, 1972, MONTREAL FORUM, GAME ONE: The best against the best for the first time. Canada, the country that had created the game; the Soviet Union, having taken it up only twenty-six years earlier. On the line: more than the players, more than the fans, more than Canadians and Russians knew. So began an entirely improbable, near-month-long series of games that became more and more riveting, until, for the eighth, and final, and deciding game--on a weekday, during work and school hours all across the country--the nation stopped. Of Canada's 22 million people, 16 million watched. Three thousand more were there, in Moscow, behind the Iron Curtain, singing--Da da, Ka-na-da, nyet, nyet, So-vi-yet! It is a story long told, often told. But never like this. Ken Dryden, a goalie in the series, a lifetime observer, later a writer, tells the story in "you are there" style, as if he is living it for the first time. As if you, the reader, are too. The series, as it turned out, is the most important moment in hockey history, changing the game, on the ice and off, everywhere in the world. As it turned out, it is one of the most significant events in all of Canada's history. Through Ken Dryden's words, we understand why.

The Shortest History of War

- Gwynne Dyer

Trade paperback $22.95 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $20.66

War has changed, but we have not. From our hunter-gatherer ancestors to the rival nuclear powers of today, whenever resources have been contested, we've gone to battle. Acclaimed historian Gwynne ­Dyer illuminates our many martial clashes in this brisk account, tracing warfare from prehistory to the world's first cities -- and on to the thousand-year "classical age" of combat, which ended when the firearm changed everything. He examines the brief interlude of "limited war" before eighteenth-century revolution ushered in "total war"-- and how the devastation was halted by the nuclear shock of Hiroshima. Then came the Cold War and Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which punctured the longest stretch of peace between major powers since World War II. For all our advanced technology and hyperconnected global society, we find ourselves once again on the brink as climate change heightens competition for resources and superpowers stand ready with atomic bombs, drones, and futuristic "autonomous" weapons in development. Throughout, Dyer delves into anthropology, psychology, and other relevant fields to unmask the drivers of conflict. The Shortest History of War is for anyone who wants to understand the role of war in the human story -- and how we can prevent it from defining our future.

Haven

- Emma Donoghue

Hardcover $32.99 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $29.69

Around the year 600, three men vow to leave the world behind and set out in a small boat for an island their leader has seen in a dream, with only faith to guide them

In seventh-century Ireland, a scholar priest named Artt has a dream in which God tells him to leave the sinful world behind. With two monks--young Trian and old Cormac--he rows down the River Shannon in search of an isolated spot in which to found a monastery. Drifting out into the Atlantic, the three men find the impossibly steep, bare island known today as Skellig Michael. In such a place, what will survival mean?

Making Love with the Land

- Joshua Whitehead

Hardcover $29.95 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $26.96

NATIONAL BESTSELLER

FINALIST FOR THE HILARY WESTON WRITERS' TRUST PRIZE FOR NONFICTION

Much-anticipated non-fiction from the author of the Giller-longlisted, GG-shortlisted and Canada Reads-winning novel Jonny Appleseed.


In the last few years, following the publication of his debut novel Jonny Appleseed, Joshua Whitehead has emerged as one of the most exciting and important new voices on Turtle Island. Now, in this first non-fiction work, Whitehead brilliantly explores Indigeneity, queerness, and the relationships between body, language and land through a variety of genres (essay, memoir, notes, confession). Making Love with the Land is a startling, heartwrenching look at what it means to live as a queer Indigenous person "in the rupture" between identities. In sharp, surprising, unique pieces--a number of which have already won awards--Whitehead illuminates this particular moment, in which both Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples are navigating new (and old) ideas about "the land." He asks: What is our relationship and responsibility towards it? And how has the land shaped our ideas, our histories, our very bodies?

Here is an intellectually thrilling, emotionally captivating love song--a powerful revelation about the library of stories land and body hold together, waiting to be unearthed and summoned into word.

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