September is here and fall is in the air. Between new releases, literary awards, and launch events, there is no better time to be a book lover! To celebrate the season, we’ve curated a collection of new and forthcoming books to fill out your “to be read” list this fall. Use the "Shop Local" button to pick up or pre-order these titles at your nearest indie bookstore.
This list contains recommendations for adult readers. Check out our picks for kids and YA readers here.
A Minor Chorus
By Billy-Ray Belcourt
Penguin Random House Canada (September 13)
Populated by characters as alive and vast as the boreal forest, and culminating in a breathtaking crescendo, Billy-Ray Belcourt’s Giller Prize-longlisted A Minor Chorus is a novel about how deeply entangled the sayable and unsayable can become – and about how ordinary life, when pressed, can produce hauntingly beautiful music.
Billy-Ray Belcourt is a writer from the Driftpile Cree Nation. He won the 2018 Griffin Poetry Prize for his debut collection, This Wound Is a World, which was also a finalist for the Governor General's Literary Award. His bestselling memoir, A History of My Brief Body, won the Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize and was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award and the Governor General's Literary Award.
Laughing with the Trickster: On Sex, Death, and Accordions
By Tomson Highway
House of Anansi Press (September 27)
“Brilliant, jubilant insights into the glory and anguish of life from one of the world’s most treasured Indigenous creators.” Celebrated author and playwright Tomson Highway brings his signature irreverence to an exploration of five themes central to the human condition – language, creation, sex and gender, humour, and death – in his CBC Massey Lecture.
Tomson Highway is a Cree author, playwright, and musician. His memoir, Permanent Astonishment, won the 2021 Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction. He also wrote the plays The Rez Sisters and Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing, and the bestselling novel Kiss of the Fur Queen
By El Jones
Fernwood Publishing (November 15)
In Abolitionist Intimacies, El Jones examines the movement to abolish prisons through the Black feminist principles of care and collectivity. Through fierce and personal prose and poetry, and motivated by a decade of prison justice work, Jones observes that abolition is not only a political movement to end prisons; it is also one motivated by commitment and love.
El Jones is a poet, journalist, professor and activist living in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She teaches at Mount Saint Vincent University, where she was named the 15th Nancy’s Chair in Women’s Studies in 2017. She was Halifax’s Poet Laureate from 2013 to 2015.
By Chelene Knight
Book*hug Press (September 13)
Told through the fascinating lens of a bright woman in an oft-disquieting world, Junie is a riveting exploration of the complexity within mother-daughter relationships and the dynamic vitality of Vancouver’s former Hogan’s Alley neighbourhood and the Black lives within.
Chelene Knight is the author of Braided Skin and the memoir Dear Current Occupant, winner of the 2018 Vancouver Book Award. Her essays have appeared in multiple Canadian and American literary journals and newspapers, including The Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, and The Walrus and her work has been widely anthologized.
The Sleeping Car Porter
By Suzette Mayr
Coach House Books (September 27)
Longlisted for the 2022 Scotiabank Giller Prize, The Sleeping Car Porter brings to life an important part of Black history in North America from the perspective of a queer man living in a culture that renders him invisible in two ways. Affecting, imaginative, and visceral enough that you’ll feel the rocking of the train.
Suzette Mayr is the author of four previous novels: Monoceros, Moon Honey, The Widows, and Venous Hum. The Widows was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best Book in the Canada-Caribbean region and has been translated into German. Moon Honey was shortlisted for the Writers' Guild of Alberta's Best First Book and Best Novel Awards. Monoceros was longlisted for the Giller Prize.
By Harrison Mooney
HarperCollins Canada (September 20)
This powerful memoir considers the controversial practice of transracial adoption from the perspective of families that are torn apart and children who are stripped of their culture. Throughout this most timely tale of race, religion and displacement, Harrison Mooney has given readers a Black coming-of-age narrative set in a world with little love for Black children.
Harrison Mooney is a writer and journalist. He has worked for the Vancouver Sun for nearly a decade as a reporter, an editor, and a columnist. His writing has also appeared in the National Post, The Guardian, and Maclean’s.
Dinner on Mars: The Technologies That Will Feed the Red Planet and Transform Agriculture on Earth
By Lenore Newman and Evan D. G. Fraser
ECW Press (October 11)
Feeding a Martian is one of the greatest challenges in the history of agriculture. From Impossible Burgers to lab-made sushi, two witty, plugged-in food scientists explore leading-edge AgTech for the answer to feeding a settlement on Mars — and nine billion Earthlings too.
Lenore Newman is the Canada Research Chair in Food Security and the Environment at the University of the Fraser Valley. She is the author of the acclaimed Speaking in Cod Tongues: A Canadian Culinary Journey and the award-winning Lost Feast: Culinary Extinction and the Future of Food.
Evan D.G. Fraser is the Director of the Arrell Food Institute at the University of Guelph. He is the author of Beef: The Untold Story of How Milk, Meat, and Muscle Shaped the World and Empires of Food: Feast, Famine, and the Rise and Fall of Civilizations.
By Tyler Pennock
Brick Books (September 1)
Conceived in the same world as their acclaimed debut, Bones, Tyler Pennock’s new poetry collection centres around a protagonist exploring what it means to want. Pennock weaves longing, intimacy, and Anishinaabe relationalities to recentre and rethink their speaker’s relationship to the living – never forgetting non-human kin.
Tyler Pennock, author of Bones (2020), is a Two-Spirit Queerdo from Faust, AB, and is a member of Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation. They were adopted from a Cree and Métis family and reunited with them in 2006. Tyler is a graduate of Guelph University’s Creative Writing MFA program as well as the University of Toronto.
By Iain Reid
Simon & Schuster Canada (September 27)
At once compassionate and uncanny, told in spare, hypnotic prose, Iain Reid’s genre-defying third novel explores questions of conformity, art, productivity, relationships, and what, ultimately, it means to grow old.
Iain Reid is the author of four previous books, including his New York Times bestselling debut novel I’m Thinking of Ending Things, which has been translated into more than twenty languages. Oscar winner Charlie Kaufman wrote and directed the film adaptation for Netflix. His second novel, Foe, is being adapted for film starring Saoirse Ronan.
By Susan Sinnott
Nimbus Publishing (September 27)
Some memories are treasured, re-read like a favourite book. Some are traumatic and won’t stay buried. But memories can be unreliable, can fade and mutate. They affect our actions and choices. This highly anticipated debut work of adult fiction from award-winning author of crossover novel Catching the Light follows three generations of Newfoundland women.
Susan Sinnott was born in the UK and now lives in St. John's. She was awarded the Percy Janes First Novel Award and the Ann Connor Brimer Award for Catching the Light, and an excerpt was adapted for inclusion in Racket, an anthology edited by Lisa Moore.