Great White North Reads

Years ago I discovered the joys of Canadian Broadcast Corporation radio.

CBC Radio Logo

I’m not sure how I stumbled across it, but I was hooked! I loved the freshness that came with all their programming. Getting a different perspective on world events reminded me of my BBC days. they had me at hello.

In my post about Sci Fi books, I mentioned the annual program sponsored by the CBC – Canada Reads. This show has introduced me to a number of authors I never would have discovered otherwise. I wanted to share some of these finds.

It all started with Terry Fallis’ Best Laid Plans.

Best Laid Plans


It won Canada reads in 2011, so I looked it up on Amazon. Although I’d been listening for a week about how funny and touching it was, no passage had been read. At my favorite online retailer, there was the option of taking a sneak peak. Of course I pushed that button. Before my eyes was the first page of this novel – I nearly wet myself I was laughing so hard. Yup. I bought it and laughed the whole way through. I even had a wonderful Twitter conversation with the author! Canada Reads had a devoted fan from that point on.

The next selection I read was The Age of Hope by David Bergen.

The Age of Hope

It didn’t win, but it was the one that spoke to me most among the candidates. It was not as enjoyable to me as Best Laid Plans, but the bar had been sit incredibly high! I loved that The Age of Hope was set in a small town, while the main character Hope was an outsider. Watching her in this environment was so insightful. It also had a very memorable passage:

[Reading] was arrogant and alienated others. In short, those who read were wasteful and haughty and incapable of living in the real world. They were dreamers.

It struck me how much both Hope and I disagreed with her neighbor’s sentiment.

One of this year’s finalists was Annabel by Kathleen Winter.


It is the story of a hermaphrodite born into a family in an isolated  Canadian community. Seeing the struggle of each of the characters and how they coped (or didn’t cope) was fascinating. I know the subject matter isn’t for everyone. It was a page turner for me. it made me so glad I continue to listen to this program every year to discover these great finds.

Where do you get your book recommendations? or Who is your favorite Canadian author?

4 thoughts on “Great White North Reads”

  1. Well, sad to say, I don’t have a favorite Canadian author. I don’t even know if I know one. But these look really good. Especially the first two. We’ve been Rving and sometimes when we stay in a park for a few months, I am seen, I know, as aloof because I read and write. Shame on me, right? My husband is more gregarious and out and about meeting Bob, Henry, Bill, Al, etc. I’m not. I think I could relate to Hope. I live enough in “the real world.” It’s nice to play in the make believe. Thanks for the recommendations Tammy.


    1. I highly recommend The Best Laid Plans. Get it now! It’s hilarious! Both The Age of Hope and Annabel are much slower paced. The Best Laid Plans is political comedy – an unusual combination – and fast moving.


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