Here are the top picks from our colleagues at CBC Books and Plus on est de fous, plus on lit! Certain links are offered in French only.
With the holidays and some well-deserved time off (we hope!) just a few days away, what better way to relax than to catch up on your reading. Following are a few recommendations for books to keep you entertained during the Christmas break or between festivities.
Daphné Santos-Vieira @daphnesvieira
Canada Writes, CBC Montreal
For me, it would definitely be Heather O’Neill’s The Girl Who Was Saturday Night. Heather O’Neill has a way with words for telling compelling personal stories that feel real and really invested emotionally. So, she gets my vote!
Ann Jansen @StillReadsBooks
Senior Producer, CBC Books/Canada Reads
Frog Music is a vivid, pulsating account of love, murder and a search for justice set in 19th-century San Francisco. I love Emma Donoghue’s gender-bending accounts of women in earlier times and this book is a gripping high-stakes story.
Eleanor Wachtel @EleanorWachtel
Host, Writers and Company, CBC Radio One
ONE of my favourite novels of the year is Colm Tóibín’s Nora Webster; inspired by his mother, it’s a masterful portrait of a woman, a recent widow in her mid-40s, and of a society in small town Ireland in the late 1960s.
Research, Plus on est de fous, plus on lit!, ICI Radio-Canada Première
Two books really stood out for me this year and, because they’re so different, I can’t pick a favourite!
Fiction: La vie littéraire by Mathieu Arsenault. It’s more than just a look at a literary industry in crisis and books as a dying art. For me, it’s primarily a book about the loss of inner life, and the role of culture as a way to leave something for posterity – a novel that perfectly reflects the times.
Non-Fiction: Sœurs volées. Enquête sur un féminicide au Canada by Emmanuelle Walter. Since 1980, nearly 1,200 aboriginal women have been murdered or gone missing in Canada with little public outcry. Walter goes beyond the statistics and tells the story of two missing teenagers, Maisy Odjick and Shannon Alexander. A gripping read.
Marie-France Lemaine @Mefel
Researcher, Plus on est de fous, plus on lit!, ICI Radio-Canada Première
Tram 83 by Fiston Mwanza Mujila (Métailié): Debut novel by a young writer from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The author takes us to the heart of a DRC mining town, a world of bars, cafes and brothels. By turns tragic and laugh-out-loud funny, the novel is bursting with life, sex, music, nightmares and poetry.
Englebert des collines by Jean Hatzfeld (Gallimard): Writer/Journalist Jean Hatzfeld has already penned three exquisite narratives about the tragedy in Rwanda. With Englebert des collines, he offers a moving account by a survivor of the genocide – an original and endearing character. And as always, Hatzfeld writes in that magnificent, poetic French so distinctive of Rwandans.
Marie-Louise Arsenault @plusonlit
Host and reporter, Plus on est de fous, plus on lit!, ICI Radio-Canada Première
Like her colleagues Noémie and Marie-France, Marie-Louise suggests two reading selections: one homegrown – Le feu de mon père by Michael Delisle – and the other from abroad – La petite communiste qui ne souriait jamais by Lola Fafond.
Useful reading links (in English and French)
- CBC Books, the CBC Book Portal
- The roundup of the year’s top Canadian books
- Plus on est de fous, plus on lit!: List of “books to put under the tree”
- For other reading suggestions: Lire on ICI ARTV
- Jacinthe Lacombe-Cliche, Senior Writer, Corporate Communications