Hey Savvy Readers! This Saturday is Earth Day, and we think that the best way to truly connect with the natural beauty of Canada is to read, read, read!
Some pretty incredible books have been inspired by Canada. The country boasts some of the most beautiful ecological attractions and inspiring communities. We’ve curated our favourite books to help you read your way across Canada and celebrate!
Birdie by Tracey Lindberg
Inspired by a childhood television crush, Bernice Meetoos (a.k.a. Birdie), a beautiful Cree woman with a dark past, leaves her northern Alberta home behind to travel to Gibsons, B.C. When her aunt and cousin arrive in B.C., Birdie must find the strength to confront her past and discover the importance of her dreams, family, and community.
Nearly Normal by Cea Sunrise Person
As if one amazing memoir wasn’t enough, Cea Sunrise Person wrote a second one, sharing more stories from her unconventional childhood in remote Alberta. Nearly Normal blends anecdotes from past and present together to create an emotionally charged read about a family that escaped civilization by living off the land in Kootenay Plains, Alberta. Sunrise Person recounts her unstable upbringing with fascinating stories about hunting in the woods and living in a teepee.
The Lotterys Plus One by Emma Donoghue
The Lotterys Plus One is the perfect book to represent such a special and diverse city like Toronto. The Lotterys are a unique family: seven children, four parents, and various pets all live together in a sprawling house in Toronto. This large, multicultural family is content with their unique living arrangement, until one of their grandfathers, suffering from dementia, comes to stay with them. With a wide array of characters, this heartwarming story from award-winning author Emma Donoghue touches on themes of gender identity, race, and ultimately, the importance of family.
The Day the Falls Stood Still by Cathy Marie Buchanan
It’s 1915 and Bess Heath is the youngest daughter of the director of the Niagara Power Company. After graduating from boarding school, Bess returns to Niagara to find that her picturesque family is left in ruins. After meeting and falling for Tom Cole, a handsome young river-man with a completely different upbringing, Bess is forced to make a painful choice between what she wants and what is best for her family and her future. The Day the Falls Stood Still is a stunning novel that celebrates the power and beauty of Niagara Falls.
The Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O’Neill
Our next book takes us to Montreal in the early part of the 20th century. The Lonely Hearts Hotel is the enchanting love story of Pierrot and Rose, two orphans with dreams of becoming circus performers. Separated by time and space, these two young lovers struggle to survive in the seedy underbelly of Montreal. O’Neill’s storytelling is absolutely exquisite and the novel paints a rich depiction of Montreal during the Depression.
When planes bound for the United States were forced to land in Gander, Newfoundland, following the attacks on September 11, 2001, this small community’s citizens came together to help more than 6000 travelers. The Day the World Came to Town shares the incredible and heartwarming stories of Gander’s inhabitants and the kindness they showed their unexpected guests.
Crying for the Moon by Mary Walsh
From beloved Canadian actress Mary Walsh comes a hilarious debut novel that takes us to Canada’s East Coast. Crying for the Moon is the story of a young woman coming of age in St. John’s, Newfoundland, in the late 1960s. Maureen Brennan wants a better life and dreams of going to Montreal to be a part of Expo 67. What follows is a series of bad decisions that will alter Maureen’s life forever.
White Fang by Jack London
If you’re looking for a truly Canadian book, why not read a classic, like White Fang? This story takes you to the frozen forests of the Yukon Territory, Canada, during the Klondike Gold Rush in the 1890s. White Fang follows a wild wolf-dog as he leaves the wild behind to enter the world of humans.
True North by Derek Dammann and Chris Johns
This cookbook featuring coast-to-coast Canadian cuisine will wake up your inner chef! Derek Dammann is a “melting pot” Canadian chef who creates regionally inspired recipes using seasonal ingredients. These recipes will transport you across Canada as you get your fill of the true north.
A Number of Things by Jane Urquhart
Author Jane Urquhart has written a special book just in time for Canada’s big 150th birthday! Urquhart chooses 50 Canadian artifacts and creates a beautiful narrative for each that speaks to our collective experience as a nation. A Number of Things is illustrated by Scott McKowen and includes objects such as a Nobel Peace Prize medal, a Cree basket, and a Massey-Harris tractor. This unique book is a beautiful ode to Canada.
So there you have it – our favourite books that celebrate this beautiful country! We hope this Saturday, you’ll turn off all your electronics, sit back, and enjoy Earth Day with these great books!
What do you have planned for Earth Day? Reading by candlelight? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter @SavvyReader.
As always, happy reading!
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