Canadian Author Spotlight Part 1

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Posted: January 18, 2021

Category: Staff Picks

Everything going on in the world has made a lot of us appreciate the things we have at home more, so we've decided to take a look at some of our staff's favourite homegrown authors! We asked staff who their favourite Canadian author is, what they liked about the author, and what their favourite book by that author is.

Have a favourite Canadian author you feel deserves more attention? Let us know! 

Margaret Atwood

What about this author appeals to you? I went to university to do a degree in geology. My first semester, I took a sociology course and the Handmaid’s Tale was required reading. My major changed to sociology immediately and I don’t regret it!

What is your favourite book by this author, and what did you like about it: The Handmaid’s Tale for sure. I was open to having my view of the world changed and the opportunity was presented to 18 year old me, genuinely revolutionizing my entire world view. Also, “nolite te bastardes carborundorum” just makes me happy.

Margaret Atwood is actually really hit or miss for me, but this book represents such a pivotal moment in my life that I will always be grateful to her.

Susin Nielsen

What about this author appeals to you: She almost always has me in tears by the end of page 2. She writes about social justice issues in a manner that is friendly to middle graders, helping them develop empathy and oftentimes allowing them to see themselves and their difficult circumstances in a story. She has presented topics like school shooters, bullied kids, homelessness, and death of a parent, and yes, I cry, but I also laugh and cheer for the underdog.

The range of emotions I experience is genuine, and the fact that things always work out in the end is lovely.

What is your favourite book by this author, and what did you like about it: I can’t pick a favourite, to be honest. From Word Nerd to No Fixed Address, every book hits me right in the feels. I also suggest people read Princess Puffybottom … and Darryl. It’s a picture book about a kitten and a puppy, but not really. The twist is heartwarmingly perfect and makes it a lovely read for a family welcoming a second child.

Kelley Armstrong

What about this author appeals to you: I began reading her books with the first in the Otherworld paranormal series (which did become the TV series Bitten a few years back). The main character, Elena Michaels, was exciting to follow as she didn't want to be a werewolf but eventually becomes a strong leader.

What is your favourite book by this author, and what did you like about it: I can't say I have a favourite book but I am loving her new Rockton series, that begins with "City of the Lost". It takes place in a small town in the Canadian North, which was built for people who needed to get away/escape/disappear and live off the grid.  Each book contains a mystery that is both hampered and enhanced by the harsh land and weather of the Yukon.  The two main characters are interesting to follow as the female lead, Casey, is a homicide cop with world experience and the male, Will, was born and raised in Rockton with no world experience except what he reads. I can't wait for the newest book to come out in February, "A Stranger in Town".

Kelley mentions Grande Prairie in one of the books...who doesn't love that!

She also writes a couple of young adult series.

Shari Lapena

What about this author appeals to you: She’s a newer author who specifically writes thrillers, and I love the way she crafts most of the twists and turns in her novels. Her writing is so engaging and keeps me on the edge of my seat, I always finish her books quickly!

What is your favourite book by this author, and what did you like about it: My favourite one is An Unwanted Guest, which is about a group of different people who are staying at a winter lodge during a snowstorm when bodies start appearing, and they realize that one of their fellow guests might be the killer. The combination of a storm, a cozy lodge, and murder just really appeals to me, and it’s the perfect thing to read while curled up next to a window with snow falling outside and some hot cocoa beside you.

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