20 Canadian books we can’t wait to read in June – CBC.ca

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A new month means new books! Here are some of June’s most anticipated Canadian titles to check out.

de book of Joseph is a poetry collection by Pamela Mordecai. (Mawenzi House Publishers, David Mordecai)

de book of Joseph is the third book in Pamela Mordecai’s trilogy about the lives of Jesus, his mother, Mary and his foster father, the tekton of Nazareth. It is a retelling, in Jamaican Creole, of the story of Joseph’s early life, his marriage to his first wife, his meeting with Mary and his role in the birth and raising of Jesus.

When you can read it: June 1, 2022

Pamela Mordecai is an author, poet and children’s book writer. Her novel, Red Jacket, was shortlisted for the Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize in 2015. Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Mordecai now lives in Kitchener, Ont.

The Hands is a poetry collection by Marty Gervais. (Guernica Editions)

The Hands is about the people Marty Gervais came across during his career as a poet and journalist. From folks like Muhammad Ali, Mother Teresa, Benjamin Spock, Norman Mailer, Karen Kain and Thomas Merton, each poem focuses on one little detail about these characters.

When you can read it: June 1, 2022

Marty Gervais is an award-winning journalist, poet, playwright, historian, photographer and editor. In 2011, he was nominated as the City of Windsor’s first Poet Laureate. He is founder of Black Moss Press, one of Canada’s oldest literary publishing firms, and is managing editor of The Windsor Review. 

July Underwater is a comic book by Zoe Maeve. (Conundrum Press)

A hot Toronto summer begins without fanfare for recent high school graduate Lina, who mostly spends time with her best friend Cara. But Lina begins to unravel when she learns her childhood friend, Alicia, has died. She looks for answers in Virginia Woolf’s To The Lighthouse and Patricia Highsmith’s The Price of Salt and starts to think about what happens when friends drift apart from one another.

When you can read it: June 1, 2022.

Zoe Maeve is a comics artist based in Montreal. She published her first book, The Gift, in 2021 and was nominated for an Ignatz Award. July Underwater previously won an Expozine Award in 2016.

The Ghost of Suzuko is a book by Vincent Brault, pictured, which was translated by Benjamin Hedley. (QC Fiction, ICI Radio-Canada)

A Montrealer in mourning returns to Tokyo, where he is haunted by the ghost of his dead lover. When a turbulent new love enters his life, he is uncertain whether it will be enough to put him on sure footing or leave him forever on shaky ground.

When you can read it: June 1, 2022

Vincent Brault is the author of three novels. The Ghost of Suzuko is his first novel to be translated into English. Brault lives in Montreal.

Benjamin Hedley is a translator and bookseller from Montreal. He has a B.A. from Concordia University in translation studies and has worked on the short story collection I Never Talk About It. The Ghost of Suzuko is his first full-length translation.

Yawd is a book by Adrian Forte. (Appetite By Random House, instagram/adrianforte)

Yawd is a debut cookbook by Top Chef Canada star Adrian Forte. The book highlights the key ingredients of Afro-Caribbean cuisine and features a variety of fusion recipes including oxtail gnocchi, coconut fried chicken, spiced steamed fish and more. 

When you can read it: June 7, 2022

Adrian Forte is a Jamaican-born Canadian chef, culinary consultant and author. Forte starred on the television show Top Chef Canada and operates YAWD, a modern Caribbean pop-up restaurant based in Toronto. 

The Signs and Wonders of Tuna Rashad is a YA novel by Natasha Deen. (Running Press Kids, natashadeen.com)

The Signs And Wonders Of Tuna Rashad is about a girl named Tuna and her struggles to deal with teenage life. Tuna wants to be a screenwriter — but her older brother Robby continues to mock her and her aspirations. Tuna is of Caribbean heritage and is in tune with the traditions of her ancestors and is always on the search for messages from loved ones who have died. Tuna also has a crush on a boy at her school — and is waiting for a sign to see if he is The One. 

The Signs And Wonders Of Tuna Rashad is for ages 13 and up.

When you can read it: June 7, 2022

Natasha Deen is a Canadian writer and YA author of Guyanese heritage. 

TJ Powar Has Something to Prove is a YA novel by Jesmeen Kaur Deo. (Viking Books For Young Readers)

TJ Power is a young teen who is highly regarded at school as a debater. But when TJ and her cousin Simran become a meme about body hair on social media, TJ decides to embrace her “hairy self.” TJ Powar Has Something to Prove is a YA novel about mainstream expectations and staying true to who you are. 

TJ Powar Has Something to Prove is for ages 12 and up.

When you can read it: June 7, 2022

Jesmeen Kaur Deo is a Canadian author who grew up in northern British Columbia. TJ Powar Has Something to Prove is her debut novel.

Funny Gyal is a book by Angeline Jackson, left, with Susan McClelland. (twitter.com/iamacjackson, Dundurn Press)

Funny Gyal is a YA nonfiction book about the real-life story of Angeline Jackson, who stood up to Jamaica’s oppression of queer youth to demand recognition and justice. Jackson grew up knowing that she was attracted to other girls and explored her sexuality in her teens. But growing up in a conservative and religious household meant that she was often at odds with her community. Jackson gives a frank and honest account of her life and how she navigated her sexuality and spirituality along the way. Funny Gyal aims to inspire others to let them know that they are not alone.

Funny Gyal is for ages 12 and up.

When you can read it: June 7, 2022

Angeline Jackson is an LGBTQ human rights activist, an HIV/AIDS educator and the former executive director of Quality of Citizenship Jamaica. In 2015, President Barack Obama recognized Jackson as one of Jamaica’s remarkable young leaders at the Town Hall for Youth in Kingston, Jamaica. She also participated on a U.S. Senate briefing panel and attended the first White House Forum on Global LGBT Human Rights.

Susan McClelland is a YA nonfiction writer who spends her time between Toronto and Dumfries-Galloway in Scotland. Her first book, Bite of the Mango, is the true story of a young Sierra Leonean victim of war and has been published in more than 20 countries. She is a former staff writer at Maclean’s and has written for the Sunday Times, Marie Claire, Glamour, Ms Magazine, the Guardian, the Walrus and Chatelaine.

Tâpwê and the Magic Hat is a picture book by Buffy Sainte-Marie, illustrated by Michelle Alynn Clement. (Greystone Kids)

Tâpwê and the Magic Hat is a chapter book by Indigenous icon Buffy Sainte-Marie involving oral histories and traditions. Set on a prairie reserve, Tâpwê receives a mysterious gift from Kokhom — a magical hat that comes with its own set of surprises. Tâpwê goes on a trip featuring trickster characters and adventure. 

Tâpwê and the Magic Hat is for ages 6 to 9.

When you can read it: June 7, 2022

Cree singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie’s long career includes an expansive catalogue of music, art and work in activism. Hey Little Rockabye, published in 2020, was her first children’s picture book.

Michelle Alynn Clement is an award-winning book designer and illustrator from Vancouver.

A picture book by Susan Aglukark, left, illustrated by Amiel Sandland & Rebecca Brook (not pictured). (Inhabit Media)

This picture book from Inuk singer-songwriter Susan Aglukark follows Ukpik, whose mom is keen to teach her how to make mitts from caribou skin. But Ukpik can’t stop thinking about the bright and beautiful beads her mother traded the Captain for on his last visit. Her mom knows it’s more important that she learn the skills to make her own clothes in the cold Arctic climate — but she does have a surprise for Ukpik that will let her enjoy something beautiful while also doing something practical. 

Una Huna?: Ukpik Learns to Sew is for ages 3 to 5.

When you can read it: June 7, 2022

Susan Aglukark is an Inuk musician and author of children’s books. Her picture book Una Huna? What is This? was published in 2018.

Amiel Sandland is an illustrator living in the Toronto area. He studied illustration at Seneca College, eventually specializing in comic arts and character design. 

Rebecca Brook is a Toronto-based artist working in the animation industry. While primarily a digital artist, she also works in traditional mediums such as oil paints and charcoal. 

My Lala is a picture book by Thomas King, illustrated by Charlene Chua. (CBC, Tundra Books)

My Lala is a picture book with themes of love, joy and confidence. A girl named Lala wants to own the world… and when she discovers a box full of shiny red dots and uses them to label things in the home, she just might get her wish!

My Lala is for ages 3 to 7.

When you can read it: June 7, 2022

Thomas King is a Canadian-American writer of Cherokee and Greek ancestry. He delivered the 2003 Massey Lectures, The Truth about Stories. His books include Truth & Bright Water; Green Grass, Running Water, which was on Canada Reads 2004; The Inconvenient Indian, which was on Canada Reads 2015; and The Back of the Turtle, which won the Governor General’s Literary Award for fiction in 2014. He also writes the DreadfulWater mystery series.

Charlene Chua is a Singapore-born Canadian author and illustrator. She has illustrated several picture books, including The Pencil by Susan Avingaq and Maren Vsetula, Shubh Diwali! by Chitra Soundar and Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao by Kat Zhang.

The Next Chapter17:45Thomas King on Sufferance

Thomas King talks to Shelagh Rogers about his latest novel, Sufferance.

Bibi’s Got Game is a picture book by Bianca Andreescu, pictured, co-authored by Mary Beth Leatherdale and illustrated by Chelsea O’Byrne. (Tundra Books, Elsa/Getty Images)

Canadian tennis star Bianca Andreescu’s debut picture book Bibi’s Got Game follows an energetic young girl named Bibi who discovers that she loves playing tennis. Co-authored by Mary Beth Leatherdale and illustrated by Chelsea O’Byrne, the story involves Bibi dealing with feelings of sadness and doubt after she gets hurt playing on the playground. With encouragement from her mom and dog Coco, Bibi learns how to meditate and focus on what she’s grateful for — getting her mind ready as her body heals.

Bibi’s Got Game is for ages 3 to 7.

When you can read it: June 7, 2022

Andreescu is a Canadian professional tennis player and author who is the highest-ranked Canadian in the history of the Women’s Tennis Association. 

Mary Beth Leatherdale is an author and storyteller based in Toronto. She, along with co-writer Lisa Charleyboy, won the Best Young Adult Book at the 2018 AILA Youth Literature Awards for their anthology #NotYourPrincess.

Chelsea O’Byrne is a Vancouver-based freelance illustrator and art instructor. She is also the illustrator of Hello, Crow! by Candace Savage and Marisa and the Mountains by George M. Johnson.

Remnants is a book by Céline Huyghebaert, middle, and translated by Aleshia Jensen, left. (Book*Hug Press, Justine Latour, Justine Latour)

Remnants is an exploration of family relationships and perception. Filled with questionnaires, photographs, dream documentation and dialogue, author Céline Huyghebaert reveals a father-daughter relationship shaped by silence and missed opportunities. 

Remnants was the winner of the 2019 Governor General’s Literary Award for French-language fiction.

When you can read it: June 7, 2022

Céline Huyghebaert is a French-born Canadian writer and artist. She was awarded the Bronfman Fellowship in Contemporary Art in 2019. Huyghebaert lives in Montreal. 

Aleshia Jensen is a French to English literary translator. Her recent work includes The League of Super Feminists by Mirion Malle and Prague by Maude Veilleux. Jensen lives in Montreal. 

Straggle is a book by Tanis McDonald. (Wolsak & Wynn, John Roscoe)

In this collection of essays, Tanis MacDonald questions who gets to walk freely through our cities, parks and wilderness. Using walking as a means to understand her home of Southern Ontario, MacDonald catalogues the fauna, animals and people she comes across. Straggle explores the joys, dangers and healing power of walking.

When you can read it: June 14, 2022

MacDonald is a poet, writer and professor. She won the Bliss Carman Poetry Prize in 2003 and was a finalist for the Gabrielle Roy Prize in 2013 for her book The Daughter’s Way. Her other work includes the poetry collections Mobile and Arguments with the Lake and the book Out of Line: Daring to be an Artist Outside the Big City. MacDonald was also on the 2021 CBC Poetry Prize longlist for her poem Walking in Space.

Field Notes on Listening is a book by Kit Dobson. (Wolsak & Wynn, Aubrey Jean Hanson)

Kit Dobson reflects on how little modern-day humans interact with the natural world and how that has changed our place within it. Field Notes on Listening is a response to our lack of connection with the land, the difficult history of how many came to be here and what we could discover if we listened to the world around us. From Dobson’s lost family farm to climate change and the effects of late-stage capitalism, the book moves through time to grapple with growing challenges. 

When you can read it: June 14, 2022

Dobson is a writer, editor and professor. His work includes Transnational Canadas: Canadian Literature and Globalization, Producing Canadian Literature: Authors Speak on the Literary Marketplace and Malled: Deciphering Shopping in Canada. Dobson teaches in the Department of English at the University of Calgary. 

(Knopf Canada)

The concept behind the book Rehearsals for Living formed during the COVID-19 pandemic in spring 2020. Authors Robyn Maynard and Leanne Betasamosake Simpson began writing each other letters — a gesture sparked by a desire for kinship and connection during a trying time. Rooted in Black and Indigenous perspectives on race, gender and class, Rehearsals for Living is an epistolary dialogue about the world we live in and a need for change.

When you can read it: June 14, 2022

Maynard is a Montreal-based Black feminist writer, activist and educator. Maynard’s writing and work focus on documenting racist and gender-based state violence. Her debut book, Policing Black Lives, traced the underreported modern and historical realities of anti-Blackness within a Canadian context.

​Betasamosake Simpson is a Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg scholar, activist, musician, artist, author and member of Alderville First Nation. Her work often centres on the experiences of Indigenous Canadians. Her books include Islands of Decolonial Love, This Accident of Being Lost, As We Have Always Done and Noopiming: The Cure for White Ladies.

Q14:02Leanne Betasamosake Simpson on green touring and the climate crisis through an Indigenous lens

Anishinaabe musician, writer and academic Leanne Betasamosake Simpson joined Tom Power to talk about her latest album, Theory of Ice, and the ways the climate crisis and environmental justice are inextricably woven into her music and life.

LOTE is a novel by Shola von Reinhold. (Metonymy Press, David Chukwujekwu)

Originally published in the U.K., LOTE is a work by international author Shola von Reinhold which is now available in a Canadian edition. The experimental Afro-queer novel plays with genre and form to examine the erasure of Black art and literary tropes from history. The novel is a story about a protagonist named Mathilda Adamarola who embarks on a journey of gender discovery after finding an old photograph of a Black modernist poet.

When you can read it: June 14, 2022

von Reinhold is a Scottish-Nigerian writer. LOTE, her debut novel, won the Republic of Consciousness Prize and the James Tait Memorial Prize.

The Next Chapter13:31Marlowe Granados recommends three books centered on young women

TNC columnist Marlowe Granados recommends three books about women using wile and wits as they navigate the city.

A Life Spent Listening is a book by Dr. Hassan Khalili. (Breakwater Books)

Dr. Hassan Khalili reflects on four decades of being a frontline community psychotherapist and shares the wisdom he has gained in A Life Spent Listening. From his experience as a young Iranian immigrant in Newfoundland to his role as one of the province’s top psychologists, Khalili reveals how we hold the key to our own happiness.

When you can read it: June 17, 2022

Khalili has worked as a frontline community psychologist for over 40 years. He has operated a private practice psychology clinic in St. John’s, served on the board of directors for various community living organizations and is the former president of the NL Psychology Association. A Life Spent Listening is his first book. 

In the Dark We Forget is a book by Sandra SG Wong. (sgwong.com, HarperCollins Canada)

When Cleo Li wakes up alone with amnesia beside a mountain highway, she fights to regain her identity. She learns that her parents have disappeared after her mother bought a winning lottery ticket worth $47 million. As her memories resurface and the police uncover more details regarding the disappearance of her parents, Cleo finds herself under increasing suspicion and begins to question her reality.

When you can read it: June 21, 2022

Sandra SG Wong is a Chinese-Canadian crime writer based in Edmonton. Her debut novel, Die on Your Feet, was a finalist for the Crime Writers of Canada Awards of Excellence for Best Crime First Novel.

Nosy Parker is a book by Lesley Crewe. (Nimbus Publishing, Nicola Davison)

Set in Montreal during the 1967 Expo, the nosy Audrey Parker and her dad have just moved to Notre-Dame-de-Grâce. Audrey pays attention to every detail, but only one mystery really matters to her. Audrey wants to know who her mother was, how she died and why her father won’t talk about it. 

Nosy Parker follows Audrey from childhood to adolescence, where she eventually discovers the truth about her mother. 

When you can read it: June 30, 2022

Lesley Crewe is a Nova Scotia columnist, screenwriter and author of several novels, including BeholdenMary, MaryAmazing GraceChloe SparrowKin, The Spoon Stealer and Relative Happiness, which has been adapted into a feature film. Crewe won the Jim Connors Dartmouth Book Award for Fiction for The Spoon Stealer; the novel was also on the Canada Reads 2022 longlist.

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