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. Stay tuned for our picks for young adults and kids in the coming weeks.
Nights Too Short to Dance
By Marie-Claire Blais, translation by Katia Grubisic
Second Story Press (October 2023)
René suddenly feels like an old man. He just wants to keep dressing elegantly, as in the old days. What if a friend—or lover—decides to visit? And they do. René is soon joined by the writer, the musician, the theologian, the painter, and a lover of forbidden pleasures. They support each other, celebrate together, reminisce about past loves, tragedies, and fights. They steel themselves to take on the monster of bigotry and intolerance. Most of all, they find comfort and hope in each other’s presence. Marie-Claire Blais’s characters bring to life pivotal moments in the fight for queer rights.
Marie-Claire Blais was a giant of the French literary scene and a queer icon. She authored over thirty books which won her the Médicis Prize, the W.O. Mitchell Literary Prize, four Governor General’s Literary Awards, and two Guggenheim Fellowships. Born in Québec City, she spent much of her life in Key West, Florida, where she died in 2021.
Katia Grubisic is a writer, editor, and translator. Her work has appeared in Canadian and international publications. She has been a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award for translation and the A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry, and her collection of poems What if red ran out won the Gerald Lampert award for best first book.
Blood on the Coal: The True Story of the Great Springhill Mine Disaster
By Ken Cuthbertson
HarperCollins Canada (September 2023)
They said it was the world’s deepest and most dangerous coal mine. The Dominion Steel and Coal Corporation’s No. 2 colliery at Springhill, NS, was the proverbial “disaster waiting to happen.” And it did. On October 23, 1958, seventy-five miners died and scores more were injured in what remains one of Canada’s worst underground disasters. In compelling detail, Ken Cuthbertson tells the stories of three of the miners and one of the doctors who cared for them following the disaster.
Ken Cuthbertson is a veteran journalist with forty years’ experience writing for publications in Canada, the US, and the UK. A finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award, he is the bestselling author of six books, including the critically acclaimed The Halifax Explosion: Canada’s Worst Disaster. Ken Cuthbertson lives in Kingston, ON.
By Kimia Eslah
Fernwood Publishing (October 2023)
Set amid Toronto City Hall, Kimia Eslah’s third novel centres on three women of colour navigating labyrinths at work, in love, and in life. With grace and insight, she bares three women’s experiences of structural discrimination, from microagressions to corruption. Enough is an empathetic missive to anyone working on equity, diversity, and inclusion—in cubicles, courtyards and countless other spaces.
Kimia Eslah is a feminist writer and a queer woman of colour. Her work has been featured on CBC Books, Ms. Magazine, and The Miramichi Reader. She is the author of Sister Seen, Sister Heard and The Daughter Who Walked Away. Her novels explore the effects of systemic discrimination, patriarchy, mental illness, and queerphobia on Canadian women of colour.
The Lost Supper: Searching for the Future of Food in the Flavors of the Past
By Taras Grescoe
Greystone Books (September 2023)
The Lost Supper explores an idea that is quickly spreading among restaurateurs, food producers, scientists, and gastronomes around the world: that the key to healthy and sustainable eating lies not in looking forward, but in looking back to the foods that have sustained us through our half-million-year existence as a species. In the tradition of Michael Pollan and Anthony Bourdain, this book is an exciting and globe-trotting account of ancient cuisines wherein Grescoe sets out a provocative case: to save these foods, we've got to eat them.
Taras Grescoe is the author of seven nonfiction books and a widely read commentator on the interplay of food, travel, and the environment. His journalism has been published in many of the world's leading newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, The Guardian, and National Geographic. He lives in Montreal.
Building a Nest from the Bones of My People
By Cara-Lyn Morgan
Invisible Publishing (October 2023)
Beginning with a revelation of familial sexual abuse, Building a Nest from the Bones of My People charts the impact of this revelation on the speaker. From the pain of estrangement to navigating first-time motherhood during a family crisis, Morgan’s newest poetry collection explores the complexities of generational and secondary abuse, intertwined as they are with the impacts of colonization.
Cara-Lyn Morgan comes from both Indigenous (Métis) and Immigrant (Trinidadian) roots in the place known as Turtle Island and Canada. She was born in Oskana, known now as Regina, and lives, works, and gardens, in the traditional territories of the Anishinaabeg, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, and Mississaugas of the Credit peoples. Her debut collection of poetry, What Became My Grieving Ceremony, won the 2015 Fred Cogswell Award for Poetic Excellence.
Moon of the Turning Leaves
By Waubgeshig Rice
Penguin Random House Canada (October 2023)
It's been over a decade since a mysterious cataclysm caused a permanent blackout that thrust the world into anarchy. Evan Whitesky led his community into the bush, where they've been living off the land and rekindling their Anishinaabe traditions in isolation. But resources are beginning to dry up, and the elders warn that they cannot afford to stay indefinitely. This anticipated sequel to the bestselling Moon of the Crusted Snow is a brooding story of survival, resilience, Indigenous identity, and rebirth.
Waubgeshig Rice grew up in Wasauksing First Nation on the shores of Georgian Bay, in the southeast of Robinson-Huron Treaty territory. He’s a writer, listener, speaker, language learner, and a martial artist. He is the author of the short story collection Midnight Sweatlodge, and the novels Legacy and Moon of the Crusted Snow. He lives in N’Swakamok—also known as Sudbury, ON—with his wife and sons.
The Legend of Baraffo
By Moez Surani
Book*hug Press (September 2023)
In Baraffo, a town gripped by revolutionary fervour, a boy named Mazzu grapples to understand the motivations of Babello, a man imprisoned for arson. When Babello begins a hunger strike and another building is set ablaze, tensions mount and Mazzu considers a risky solution. This sweeping and mythical story asks questions about the nature of social change: is it better accelerated by those who seek total transformation or attained by those trying to work within the system?
Moez Surani’s writing has been published internationally, including in Harper’s Magazine, Best Canadian Poetry, and The Globe and Mail. He has received a Chalmers Arts Fellowship and has been an artist-in-residence in Finland, Italy, Latvia, Myanmar, Switzerland, Taiwan, the Banff Centre for the Arts, and at MacDowell in the United States. He is the author of four poetry books. He lives in Toronto.