Happy 150th Birthday Canada! YOU are looking spectacular!
It’s no secret that I am in love with Canada. I’ve lived her for the whole of my 36 years and I honestly can’t imagine living anywhere else. Heck, even when we have time to go on vacation, I still want to go somewhere in Canada! I want to take every inch of this country in and share my love of it with my children so that they too develop this same love for Canada. And why? Because it really is a remarkable and beautiful country and I am damn proud to call this place my home!
On top of loving the beauty of Canada, its culture, and its people, I also love its authors! Did you know that Canada has a HUGE amount of talented writers? From coast to coast, and genre to genre, Canada has so many authors that when I set out to have a month of Canada on the blog I felt overwhelmed researching them. I started to get into the habit of seeing where authors came from whenever I saw one mentioned on Twitter and every single day I was adding a new Canadian author to my wishlist – it was crazy! I also had moments where I realized authors whose books I had read and loved were Canadian – I had no idea!
But when it comes down to it, WHY is it important to read Canada? For me, I feel like when I pick up a book, I automatically assume the author is from the United States. Now there’s nothing wrong with authors from the United States, but I feel like my reading habits were just automatically veering that way when I knew deep in my heart that Canada also had what I was looking for. And with social media, it’s so easy to find the Canadian author for you. Canadian books aren’t just written by Canadians, but a lot of them include parts of Canada in them. You can read a book and feel like you’re there, walking the streets of Banff, feeling the chill of winter on your neck; or you can read an account of growing up in a small town like Petty Harbour, Newfoundland, and long to visit the seaside town; or maybe you’ll even trek further north, up to the Canadian Yukon, and feel the isolation. Canada’s authors have a wealth of stories to share and they have major talent, too. You’re not just going to find the big authors here – Margaret Atwood, Yann Martel, or Michael Ondaatje – but you’re going to find the Canadian indie author, the up and coming Canadian author, or even the indigenous Canadian author. You’re going to find young adult books, picture books, graphic novels, literary fiction, poetry, and so much more! And these people are going to take you on a journey that will hopefully lead you to read even more Canadian books and experience more Canadian authors and hear their stories. And hopefully, you will find something that will catch your eye on the blog this month because I have a LOT of Canada to share with you!
But seriously, don’t take my word for it – here are what some other Canadian bloggers and readers have to say when I asked them why we should be reading Canada:
“Whether you’re Canadian or not, there are so many incredible books by Canadian authors that are must reads. Reading books that are set here is a way for people to explore Canada’s rich and storied history, see our breathtakingly beautiful lands, and experience our diverse people. As a country with all of these things and so much more to offer, our fiction (and non-fiction) should be read by all book lovers.” (Marie Landry – blogger, reader, and author, Ramblings of a Daydreamer)
“I think it’s important to read books by Canadian authors to show pride in where you come from. I love supporting fellow Canadians in so many endeavours, but authors and books are my passion. I especially love when they include Canada in their writing, like Genevieve Graham (Promises To Keep and Tides of Honour) or Nalo Hopkinson (The Chaos). It’s exciting to read about places you have visited or lived and fun to learn about other parts of your country that you’d like to visit.” (Chrystal – blogger and reader, Snowdrop Dreams)
“What would the world be like without Canadian books and authors? Well, in my own corner of the universe that would mean no Obasan by Joy Kogawa, The Wars by Timothy Findley, or Shoeless Joe by W.P. Kinsella (yep, the book that inspired the movie, Field of Dreams). I wouldn’t have enjoyed Anne of Green Gables, or Margaret Laurence, or Karma Brown. My bookshelves wouldn’t include K.A. Tucker, or Mordecai Richler…and frankly, that’s a world I don’t want to live in! As a Canadian author myself, I have a vested interest in my fellow Canucks taking the ‘Read the North’ movement to heart. But as a reader, I hope Canadians pick up books by homegrown authors to revel in our unique perspectives on the world, our willingness to tell stories that matter. Whether the pages tell a tale in our Home and Native Land, or on the other side of the globe, books written by Canadian authors are engaging escapes that deserve to be savoured and celebrated.” (Jacquelyn Middleton – author and reader, website)
“I don’t read as many Canadian-authored books as I would like, but I do like to make an effort to know and support Canadian authors if I can. In a country as small and young as ours, our book industry just isn’t that big, so I always want to support Canadian authors (and publishers) if I can because I feel that’s what we need to do in order to foster the great authors we do have! Plus, we happen to have some truly amazing authors, so why wouldn’t you want to read Canadian books?” (Ambur – blogger and reader, Burning.x.Impossibly.x.Bright)
“As an indigenous person, I’m struggling with Canada’s birthday celebration. 150 years of Canada, marks 150 years of colonization. I’m stuck in the middle identifying myself as an Indigenous person, and a Canadian. While I struggle with the injustices we still live with, I dream of a Canada where my people and all people can achieve their full potential and shared prosperity. Books are a great way to educate and identify with others. Canada’s literature has so much to offer, we have authors from all backgrounds and ways of life. This is what makes Canada, Canada today. As Canada celebrates, I encourage you to read Canadian authors, read Indigenous authors and gain a better understanding of where people are coming from and where we want to be.” (Jennifer – blogger and reader, Mrs. Q. Book Addict)
This month I am going to have ALL Canadian posts – Canadian book and audiobook reviews, Canadian book lists, Canadian book recommendations, Canadian author interviews, and so much more! Follow me on social media (@ReadingInWinter) and I’ll also be sharing more Canadian things – I can’t wait to share my love of this country and all the bookish things it has to offer!
To end this post, I’d like to share some of my favourite things in Canada! This month is ALL about authors and books, but Canada has a LOT to offer. Honestly, I thought I might come up with 150 things to mark the occasion, but 150 is a lot! So here’s as much as I could come up with – and I’m sure I’m missing something:
the Canadian prairies / the CBC / the snow / Canmore, Alberta / the togetherness and camaraderie with other Canadians / butter tarts / Canadian geese – and the fact that they mate for life / the diversity / the howling coyotes at night / the chirping frogs in the morning / our colourful money / Rocky Mountain Soap Company / Hawksley Workman / maple syrup / CKUA / June rainstorms / Niagara Falls / Sarah Slean / poutine / the Rocky Mountains / local kraft beer / the Baronness Von Sketch Show / dog sledding in Jasper / inukshuks / Great Big Sea / ketchup chips / Fred Penner / the ever-changing Alberta sky / Victoria, British Columbia / Colin Mochrie / fresh from the docks lobster in Nova Scotia / Standing Still with Jonny Harris / Tim Bits / the canola fields – a sea of yellow / the Northern Lights / summer sunsets / the colours of the fall / the changing seasons / memories of fire-roasted bannock on family camping trips / the Canadian Olympic team / the fact that part of the country gets their milk in bags and the other part had no idea / cheering for the Edmonton Oilers during hockey season, even though I’m not a fan of hockey / mittens and toques / Rick Mercer / the majestic Canadian moose / memories of skiing in Panorama with my family / memories of the Canada Day parade every year – it’s so much fun taking the kids to see it now that we’re older / Walk Off The Earth / tobogganing / the fact that I can tell my kids that I actually walked to school, in the snow, on cold days / Joni Mitchell / raising kids here – it’s beautiful, the people are friendly, there’s a feeling of being safe, and it’s just a wonderful country / Nathan Fillion / the fact that I can go to the hospital and doctor and still have money – our health care system is amazing! / Murdoch Mysteries / the fair grounds at Fort Edmonton Park / the zoo in Calgary, AB / the feeling of driving from the prairies to the mountains / that crisp mountain air when visiting Jasper, Canmore, or Banff / Kids CBC / knowing that there’s nowhere else in the world I’d rather live
What do YOU love about Canada? And why do you think people should be reading Canada?