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  • Writer's pictureAngela Giacobbo

Canadianize your Bookshelf

By Angela Giacobbo

If your bookshelf looks a little repetitive or is missing Canadian authors, check out the list below. Each work—poetry, fiction, and biography/autobiography—is a unique Canadian title that will shake up your regular reads.

Confines of a Free Spirit by Drew Walker

Image of the cover of Confines of a Free Spirit by Drew Walker with pressed flowers against a beige cover.

Confines of a Free Spirit is filled with poetry about love, travel, nature, and exploration. The colourful pages, intricate cover, and original typewritten documents give the book a unique charm. Poetry opens our eyes to a broader world and encourages reflection. Taste some Canadian poetry created with 100% recycled paper for an immersive and heartfelt experience.

Drew Walker is a Canadian writer, podcaster, and gardener who feels writing creates a connection with her feelings and voice. Confines of a Free Spirit is her debut poetry book written during a journey of self-discovery: a two-year, solo international trip.

You can hear more about Drew on her podcast Real Talker with Drew Walker and read some of her writing on her Instagram.

A Hero of Our Time by Naben Ruthnum

Image of the cover of A Hero of Our Time by Naben Ruthum, including a man standing on the roof of a building against a cloudy sky

A Hero of Our Time breaks apart the pristine façade of race conversations in the West and reveals the selfish reasons for these well-intentioned acts: wealth, power, and property. If you want a fiction read with discussions of race and superficial diversity, this novel is calling.

This 2022 release follows Osman Shah and his obsession with the possibility of exposing Oliva Robinson, his white colleague who hides her selfish ambitions for corporate domination behind diversity politics.

Alongside Nena, a colleague who hates yet tolerates Osman, the two work to tie the truth of Olivia’s actions together.

However, Osman’s investigation of Olivia and her past is often derailed by Osman’s cruel observation of himself. As this chase for truth overwhelms him, and the life he knew falls apart, he must confront the enemy.

Naben Ruthnum (also known under his pen name as Nathan Ripley) is a Canadian writer known for his thriller Find You in the Dark and his biography Curry: Eating, Reading, and Race. He won the Journey Prize and was an Arthur Ellis Awards finalist for Best First Novel (for Find You in the Dark).

People Change by Vivek Shraya

A picture of a yellow, pink and green book cover with the test "people change" and "vivek Shraya" on the front

Vivek Shraya knows that people change, just as she has, embracing many roles in life from artist to teacher. People Change dives into the origins of Vivek’s impulse: her childhood influences of Hinduism, Madonna, and more. This book questions why change is so scary yet alluring and how we control our own stories.

People Change is a handbook for expressing and discovering ourselves; it is a book for those wanting to celebrate their many selves while looking forward to finding who they will become in the future.

Vivek Shraya is an artist: writer, musician, performer, and model. She has written many books, including I’m Afraid of Men, The Subtweet, and her upcoming novel Next Time There’s a Pandemic.

Vivek is a seven-time Lambda Literary Award finalist, director on the Tegan and Sara Foundation board, and an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Calgary.

From music to film, Vivek discusses identity, its impact, and its ever-changing nature. Watch Vivek’s Instagram for updates on upcoming and new projects.

More reads

Craving Canadian content? Check out these new and upcoming titles:

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