Summer is in full swing and now is the perfect time to grab a blanket, head to the beach and soak up some rays while reading a good book. #ReadTheNorth, a hashtag that’s been floating around the Interwebs, challenges us to embrace our culture and delve into books written by those who rep the true north strong and free.
In celebration of ~awesome~ Canadian authors, we at FORA decided to share our favourite Canadian literature in hopes of inspiring you to #ReadTheNorth. This list is going to be lit…CanLit, that is.
By Douglas Coupland
You’ve heard “Generation X” be used to describe the post-World War II baby boom, but you probably didn’t know that a Canadian writer and artist coined the term. Generation X: Tales of an Accelerated Culture tells the story of three adults who deal with the monotony of their early-adult lives. The margins of the book’s pages have footnotes and comics that poke fun at the ridiculousness of the characters’ Andy, Dag and Claire’s surroundings. Think of it as a book version of Portlandia—real, accurate and hilarious observations about what everyday life is like (but with less beards and less veganism). Though the book is technically for/about our parents’ generation, it’s still totally relevant to millennial readers who are right on the cusp of adulthood.
– Celina, Much
By Emma Donoghue
Although most of us know Room as the Academy Award nominated film starring Brie Larson and Canada’s sweetheart Jacob Tremblay, I first knew Room as the heart-wrenchingly suspenseful novel that I stayed up until 3a.m. one night just to finish with tears in my eyes. Although the film did a great job at depicting the story, my heart still lies with the novel. Written from the perspective of five-year-old Jack, it was a fresh new way to be taken through the highs and lows of such a good read. Donoghue intrigues you from the beginning with her use of Jack’s young voice and his mispronounced words. As the novel continues, you develop a connection with Jack that almost hurts your heart for how badly you want him to succeed. Even if you’ve seen the movie, I highly recommend you take the time to read the book that started it all.
– Hilary, FORA
By Malcolm Gladwell
Outliers is one of the best pieces of literature I’ve ever read. It’s all about the story of success and specific factors like being born in the beginning of the year, how cultural differences play a part in perceived intelligence and 10,000-hour rule that states: if you practice something for 10,000 hours, you become an expert at it. I got this book as a gift for my birthday and I’ve shared it with all my friends since. No complaints yet and we are all counting the hours we practice our favourite activities. Since I listen to Lemonade on repeat, does this mean I’m almost Beyonce?
– Andi, Much
28 Stories of Aids in Africa
By Stephanie Nolen
I’m not usually one for non-fiction books, but 28 Stories was recommended to me by a friend after a discussion on world issues. Written by Canadian journalist Stephanie Nolen, 28 stories was created with the purpose of adding humanity back to the topic of HIV-AIDS. Nolen goes in-depth to educate her readers on the true origins of HIV-AIDS and then goes further by highlighting 28 different stories of individuals who are living with or have been affected by the disease. I’m always one for learning new things, and I think this book is wonderful because it challenges the stigma we as North Americans have about AIDS worldwide.
– Brianne, Much
Milk & Honey
By Rupi Kaur
Although I’m not usually one to pick up a book of poetry, I am so glad I found my way to this collection by Rupi Kaur! Every page feels like a therapy session as you read Kaur pour her feelings, thoughts and personal experiences into her words on femininity, love, loss, abuse and more. The book is divided into four chapters, each with a specific theme and reflection to be made by the reader. I fully recommend picking up a copy as it is something you will refer back to again and again whenever you are looking for words of wisdom.
– Cassidy, FORA