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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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The Apollo Murders

- by Chris Hadfield

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Reader Reward Price: $28.80

The #1 bestselling Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield is back with an exceptional Cold War thriller from the dark heart of the Space Race.
 
"An exciting journey to an alternate past" Andy Weir, author of The Martian

"Nail-biting" James Cameron, writer and director of Avatar and Titanic

"Not to be missed" Frederick Forsyth, author of The Day of the Jackal

"Explosive" Gregg Hurwitz, author of Orphan X

"Exciting, authentic" Linwood Barclay, author of Find You First
 


1973. A final, top-secret mission to the Moon. Three astronauts in a tiny module, a quarter of a million miles from home. A quarter of a million miles from help.
 
As Russian and American crews sprint for a secret bounty hidden away on the lunar surface, old rivalries blossom and the political stakes are stretched to breaking point back on Earth. Houston flight controller Kazimieras "Kaz" Zemeckis must do all he can to keep the NASA crew together, while staying one step ahead of his Soviet rivals. But not everyone on board Apollo 18 is quite who they appear to be.
 
Full of the fascinating technical detail that fans of The Martian loved, and reminiscent of the thrilling claustrophobia, twists and tension of The Hunt for Red October, The Apollo Murders puts you right there in the moment. Experience the fierce G-forces of launch, the frozen loneliness of Space and the fear of holding on to the outside of a spacecraft orbiting the Earth at 17,000 miles per hour, as told by a former Commander of the International Space Station who has done all of those things in real life.

Strap in and count down for the ride of a lifetime.
 

Me Tomorrow

- by Drew Hayden Taylor

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First Nations, Métis and Inuit artists, activists, educators and writers, youth and elders come together to envision Indigenous futures in Canada and around the world. Discussing everything from language renewal to sci-fi, this collection is a powerful and important expression of imagination rooted in social critique, cultural experience, traditional knowledge, activism and the multifaceted experiences of Indigenous people on Turtle Island. In Me Tomorrow... Darrel J. McLeod, Cree author from Treaty-8 territory in Northern Alberta, blends the four elements of the Indigenous cosmovision with the four directions of the medicine wheel to create a prayer for the power, strength and resilience of Indigenous peoples. Autumn Peltier, Anishinaabe water-rights activist, tells the origin story of her present and future career in advocacy--and how the nine months she spent in her mother's womb formed her first water teaching. When the water breaks, like snow melting in the spring, new life comes. Lee Maracle, acclaimed Stó:l? Nation author and educator, reflects on cultural revival--imagining a future a century from now in which Indigenous people are more united than ever before. Other essayists include Cyndy and Makwa Baskin, Norma Dunning, Shalan Joudry, Shelley Knott-Fife, Tracie Léost, Stephanie Peltier, Romeo Saganash, Drew Hayden Taylor and Raymond Yakeleya. For readers who want to imagine the future, and to cultivate a better one, Me Tomorrow is a journey through the visions generously offered by a diverse group of Indigenous thinkers.

The Vinyl Cafe Celebrates

- by Stuart Mclean

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From Canada's much-missed, nationally bestselling storyteller, a must-have collection featuring ten never-before-published stories and ten classic favourites, perfect for old fans and Vinyl Cafe newcomers alike.

From the unforgettable Christmas classic "Dave Cooks the Turkey" to the tender tribute to ice-cream-loving, potato-sitting Arthur the dog in "Morte d'Arthur"; from the joys and challenges of marriage in "The Canoe Trip" to the celebration of childhood adventure in "The Waterslide." 
 
From the beginning of life (the hilarious "Labour Pains") to the end (the touching "Love Never Ends") and all the moments--big and small--in between, these stories remind us that there are occasions to celebrate every day.

For more than two decades, Stuart McLean entered the hearts and homes of Canadians via The Vinyl Cafe radio show, his many tours across the country, and multiple nationally bestselling books. His charming, humane, and side-splitting stories brought the trials and triumphs of Dave, Morley, Sam, and Stephanie to life, and made their memorable circle of friends, family, and neighbours as real as our own.

This collection is both timely and timeless, a rich celebration of Stuart McLean's inimitable voice, and of the importance of love, community, kindness, and the healing power of laughter.

Alternate Plains

- by Darren Ridgley

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A man runs for his life from the promise of death held by trees; a lost VHS tape offers footage of a lost, grisly history; a diaspora clings to magical shards of home and more in this collection of genre fiction by authors from across the Canadian Prairies. A follow-up to 2018's hit, Parallel Prairies.

Best Canadian Stories 2021

- by D.-ed. Schoemperlen

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Selected by guest editor Diane Schoemperlen, the 2021 edition of Best Canadian Stories continues not only a series, but a legacy in Canadian letters. "The best short stories," writes editor Diane Schoemperlen, "are disruptive in all the best ways, diverse in all senses of the word, always looking back and leading forward at the same time ... they must be written in the world, in the midst of a pandemic, in the midst of more horrifying news every day." Submitted and published by Canadian writers in 2020, Schoemperlen's selections for Best Canadian Stories 2021 feature work by established practitioners of the form alongside exciting newcomers, and stories published by leading magazines and journals as well as those appearing in print for the first time--all of which, as Schoemperlen writes, "bring us news of the world and the shape of things to come." Featuring work by: Senaa Ahmad
Chris Bailey
Shashi Bhat
Megan Callahan
Francine Cunningham
Lucia Gagliese
Alice Gauntley
Don Gillmor
Angélique Lalonde
Elise Levine
Colette Maitland
Sara O'Leary
Jasmine Sealy
Joshua Wales
Joy Waller

Off the Record

- by Peter Mansbridge

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Peter Mansbridge invites us to walk the beat with him in this entertaining and revealing look into his life and career, from his early broadcasting days in the remote northern Manitoba community of Churchill to the fast-paced news desk of CBC's flagship show, The National, where he reported on stories from around the world.

Today, Peter Mansbridge is often recognized for his distinctive deep voice, which calmly delivered the news for over fifty years. But ironically, he never considered becoming a broadcaster. In some ways, though, Peter was prepared for a life as a newscaster from an early age. Every night around the dinner table, his family would debate the news of the day, from Cold War scandals and Vietnam to Elvis Presley and the Beatles.

So in 1968, when by chance a CBC radio manager in Churchill, Manitoba, offered him a spot hosting the local late night music program, Peter embraced the opportunity. Without a teacher, he tuned into broadcasts from across Canada, the US, and the UK to learn the basic skills of a journalist and he eventually parlayed his position into his first news job. Less than twenty years later, he became the chief correspondent and anchor of The National.

With humour and heart, Peter shares never-before-told stories from his distinguished career, including reporting on the fall of the Berlin Wall and the horror of 9/11, walking the beaches of Normandy with Tom Brokaw, and talking with Canadian prime ministers from John Diefenbaker to Justin Trudeau. But it's far from all serious. Peter also writes about finding the "cure" for baldness in China and landing the role of Peter Moosebridge in Disney's Zootopia. From the first (and only) time he was late to broadcast to his poignant interview with the late Gord Downie, these are the moments that have stuck with him.

After years of interviewing others, Peter turns the lens on himself and takes us behind the scenes of his life on the frontlines of journalism as he reflects on the toll of being in the spotlight, the importance of diversity in the newsroom, the role of the media then and now, and the responsibilities we all bear as citizens in an increasingly global world.

Persephone's Children

- by Rowan Mccandless

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After years of secrecy and silence, Rowan McCandless leaves an abusive relationship and rediscovers her voice and identity through writing.

She was never to lie to him. She was never to leave him; and she was never supposed to tell.

Persephone's Children chronicles Rowan McCandless's odyssey as a Black, biracial woman escaping the stranglehold of a long-term abusive relationship. Through a series of thematically linked and structurally inventive essays, McCandless explores the fraught and fragmented relationship between memory and trauma. Multiple mythologies emerge to bind legacy and loss, motherhood and daughterhood, racism and intergenerational trauma, mental illness and resiliency.

It is only in the aftermath that she can begin to see the patterns in her history, hear the echoes of oppression passed down from unknown, unnamed ancestors, and discover her worth and right to exist in the world.

A RARE MACHINES BOOK

Attack Surface

- by Cory Doctorow

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Cory Doctorow's Attack Surface is a standalone novel set in the world of New York Times bestsellers Little Brother and Homeland.

Most days, Masha Maximow was sure she'd chosen the winning side.

In her day job as a counterterrorism wizard for an transnational cybersecurity firm, she made the hacks that allowed repressive regimes to spy on dissidents, and manipulate their every move. The perks were fantastic, and the pay was obscene.

Just for fun, and to piss off her masters, Masha sometimes used her mad skills to help those same troublemakers evade detection, if their cause was just. It was a dangerous game and a hell of a rush. But seriously self-destructive. And unsustainable.

When her targets were strangers in faraway police states, it was easy to compartmentalize, to ignore the collateral damage of murder, rape, and torture. But when it hits close to home, and the hacks and exploits she's devised are directed at her friends and family--including boy wonder Marcus Yallow, her old crush and archrival, and his entourage of naïve idealists--Masha realizes she has to choose.

And whatever choice she makes, someone is going to get hurt.

An Embarrassment of Critch's

- by Mark Critch

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NATIONAL BESTSELLER

The heartfelt and hilarious story of beloved Canadian comedian Mark Critch's journey from Newfoundland to the national stage--and back home again.


One of Mark Critch's earliest acting gigs was in a Newfoundland tourist production alongside a cast of displaced fishery workers. Since, he's found increasing opportunities to take his show on the road. In An Embarrassment of Critch's, the star of CBC's This Hour Has 22 Minutes revisits some of his career's--and the country's--biggest moments, revealing all the things you might not know happened along the way: A wishful rumour spread by Mark's father results in his big break; two bottles of Scotch nearly get him kicked out of a secret Canadian airbase in the United Arab Emirates; and for anyone wondering how to get an interview with the Prime Minister and Bono (yes, that Bono) on the same evening, Critch might recommend a journey to the 2003 Liberal Convention.

Critch's top-secret access to all of the funniest behind-the-scenes moments involve many of the charismatic and notorious politicians we love to see blush, including fearless leaders Justin Trudeau, Stephen Harper, Paul Martin, and Jean Chrétien, celebrities such as Pamela Anderson and Robin Williams, and other colourful figures he's met over years of pulling off daring skits at home and abroad. Remember when MP Carolyn Parrish took her boot to George W. Bush's head in an interview? Or when Critch asked Justin Trudeau where the best place to smoke pot on Parliament Hill was before pulling out a joint for them to share? There's more to each of those stories than you know. Though Critch has spent years crisscrossing the country--and the globe--with the explicit aim of causing trouble everywhere he goes, like the best journeys, this one takes him right back home.

A Holly Jolly Diwali

- by Sonya Lalli

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"Lalli's prose is deft, her characters are delightful and her book is the just-right holiday romance."--USA Today

One type-A data analyst discovers her free-spirited side on an impulsive journey from bustling Mumbai to the gorgeous beaches of Goa and finds love waiting for her on Christmas morning.


Twenty-nine-year-old Niki Randhawa has always made practical decisions. Despite her love for music and art, she became an analyst for the stability. She's always stuck close to home, in case her family needed her. And she's always dated guys that seem good on paper, rather than the ones who give her butterflies. When she's laid off, Niki realizes that practical hasn't exactly paid off for her. So for the first time ever, she throws caution to the wind and books a last-minute flight for her friend Diya's wedding.

Niki arrives in India just in time to celebrate Diwali, the festival of lights, where she meets London musician Sameer Mukherji. Maybe it's the splendor of Mumbai or the magic of the holiday season, but Niki is immediately drawn to Sam. At the wedding, the champagne flows and their flirtatious banter makes it clear that the attraction is mutual.

When Niki and Sam join Diya, her husband and their friends on a group honeymoon, their connection grows deeper. Free-spirited Sam helps Niki get in touch with her passionate and creative side, and with her Indian roots. When she gets a new job offer back home, Niki must decide what she wants out of the next chapter of her life--to cling to the straight and narrow like always, or to take a leap of faith and live the kind of bold life the old Niki never would have dreamed of.

The Strangers

- by Katherena Vermette

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LONGLISTED FOR THE 2021 SCOTIABANK GILLER PRIZE
FINALIST FOR THE 2021 ATWOOD GIBSON WRITERS' TRUST FICTION PRIZE
 
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.

The Book of Form and Emptiness

- by Ruth Ozeki

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NATIONAL BESTSELLER

"Heart-breaking and heart-healing--The Book of Form and Emptiness is a triumph." --Matt Haig, New York Times bestselling author of The Midnight Library

A brilliantly inventive new novel about loss, growing up, and our relationship with things, by the Booker Prize-finalist author of A Tale for the Time Being


One year after the death of his beloved musician father, thirteen-year-old Benny Oh begins to hear voices. The voices belong to the things in his house--a sneaker, a broken Christmas ornament, a piece of wilted lettuce. Although Benny doesn't understand what these things are saying, he can sense their emotional tone; some are pleasant, a gentle hum or coo, but others are snide, angry and full of pain. When his mother, Annabelle, develops a hoarding problem, the voices grow more clamorous.
 
At first, Benny tries to ignore them, but soon the voices follow him outside the house, onto the street and at school, driving him at last to seek refuge in the silence of a large public library, where objects are well-behaved and know to speak in whispers. There, Benny discovers a strange new world. He falls in love with a mesmerizing street artist with a smug pet ferret, who uses the library as her performance space. He meets a homeless philosopher-poet, who encourages him to ask important questions and find his own voice amongst the many.
 
And he meets his very own Book--a talking thing--who narrates Benny's life and teaches him to listen to the things that truly matter.
 
With its blend of sympathetic characters, riveting plot, and vibrant engagement with everything from jazz, to climate change, to our attachment to material possessions, The Book of Form and Emptiness is classic Ruth Ozeki--bold, wise, poignant, playful, humane and heartbreaking.

Indians on Vacation

- by Thomas King

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A #1 Indie bestseller and a Canadian bestseller for 22 weeks, the brilliant latest novel from one of Canada's foremost authors

Inspired by a handful of postcards sent nearly a hundred years ago, Bird and Mimi attempt to trace long-lost uncle Leroy and the family medicine bundle he took with him to Europe.


"I'm sweaty and sticky. My ears are still popping from the descent into Vaclav Havel. My sinuses ache. My stomach is upset. My mouth is a sewer. I roll over and bury my face in a pillow. Mimi snuggles down beside me with no regard for my distress.


'My god,' she whispers, 'can it get any better?'"


 By turns witty, sly and poignant, this is the unforgettable tale of one couple's holiday in Europe, where their wanderings through its famous capitals reveal a complicated history, both personal and political.   

Ring

- by Andre Alexis

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A fresh take on the romance novel from the Giller Prize-winning author of Fifteen Dogs From their first meeting, it was clear that Gwen and Tancred were meant to be together. But, as we know, the course of true love never did run smooth. Gwen's mother, intuiting that her daughter is in love, gives her a magic ring that has been passed down through endless generations of mothers and daughters. This ring grants its wearer the opportunity to change three things about her beloved. Like all blessings, this may also be a curse. Ring turns the literary romance upside down and shakes out its pockets. It's a playful meditation on the past, on magic, on race, on honour, on faith, and, yes, on love. Following on the heels of Pastoral, Fifteen Dogs, The Hidden Keys, and Days by Moonlight, Ring completes Alexis's Quincunx, a group of five genre-bending, philosophically sophisticated, and utterly delightful novels. "A great novel doesn't try to answer questions, but, like Days by Moonlight, complicates them. " --The Globe and Mail on Days by Moonlight "This imaginative travelogue will amuse readers even as it raises weightier issues. " --Publishers Weekly on Days by Moonlight "I'm far from being a dog person, but as a book person I loved this smart, exuberant fantasy from start to finish. " --The Guardian on Fifteen Dogs "A clever exploration of our essence, communication, and how our societies are organized. " --Kirkus Reviews on Fifteen Dogs

Death Becomes Us

- by Kristen Wittman

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Beginning with halcyon days cast in soft light and cool dew, onward through veiled years of diagnosis and environmental damage, Death Becomes Us captures, with masterful grace and restraint, the intensity of absence and the importance of grief. Within the darkest moments of personal and ecological loss, Kristen Wittman's second collection fashions a garden of love poems from memories of soft kisses and falling towers, a broken Eden where pain nurtures tender, blooming petals, and the ceaseless heartbeat of Mother Nature pulses underfoot, bringing forth every new dawn.

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