Can lit to read this summer

Amy Kay
Hooked on Books

Reading Can lit is always an adventure. It’s diverse, spans multiple topics, and genres and it can take you anywhere in the world. Here are six recent Canadian books to check out this summer.

In The Librarianist by Patrick deWitt, retired librarian Bob Comet is quietly living out his days in a mint-colored house in Oregon surrounded by books and small comforts. He begins volunteering at the local senior centre after a chance encounter with an older woman at the grocery store. The events of Bob’s life and details of his character are slowly revealed through conversations, reflections and a few funny characters. DeWitt celebrates the extraordinary in the so-called ordinary life with compassion for the outcast.

Elizabeth Hay’s Snow Road Station is a novel about coming to terms with the choices you’ve made, accepting how you feel about yourself and finding friendships that can help heal old wounds. Lulu Blake flees the theatre after she blanks on her lines in a Beckett play. She retreats into her past and arrives at Snow Road Station, a barely discernible dot on the map. In her sixties and out of work, she decides she’s done with drama, but drama, it turns out, isn’t through with her. Personal conflicts, weddings, romance and friendships flourish as the snow falls and with the global financial meltdown looms in the background.

Much Ado About Nada by Uzma Jalaluddin, is about Nada Syed, stuck in life and on the cusp of turning 30, living at home with her parents. She dreams of turning her app Ask Apa into a tech success, but her parents are focused on her finding a partner and getting married. Her best friend Haleema wants things to turn around for Nada and thinks there’s no better place to do that than at a large Muslim conference downtown. But when Nada finds out Haleema’s fiance Zayn and his brother Baz will be there, she knows she can’t go. No matter what. Why? Because her and Baz have history, some of it good, some of it bad, and all of it secret.

In A Grandmother Begins The Story, Michelle Porter tells the story of five generations of Métis women as they raise children, reclaim lost heritage; stories that will sing their family, and perhaps the land itself, into healing. Introducing the women at different life stages, including after death, the book showcases a diversity of voices and personalities. This extraordinary debut novel, told by a chorus of distinctive, sharp, funny, confused, wise characters that include the descendants of the bison that once freely roamed the land, heralds the arrival of a stunning new voice in literary fiction.

Canadian sisters and musician duo Tegan and Sara offer up a fictionalized account of their 1990s junior high school years in the middle grade graphic novel Tegan and Sara: Junior High. The story is inspired by the authors’ own experiences of finding one’s identity, musicianship and family in their adolescence. Growing up as identical twins, Tegan and Sara move to a new home and school and begin to come into their own as individuals. For the first time ever, they ask who one sister is without the other.

A humorous and heartfelt novel, Sunshine Nails by Mai Nguyen, is about a Vietnamese Canadian family who are trying to keep their family business, a nail salon called Sunshine Nails, open. In addition to increasing rent, a new chain salon store named Take Ten opens in the same neighbourhood, and the family’s business struggles to remain running. Family relationships are put to the test as they work together to save their nail salon.

These titles can be reserved at your local L&A Library branch or online at

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