Top Summer Reads

We asked some of Canada’s best authors to share their thoughts on what you should read over the next couple of months.


Looking for something new to read at the cottage or by the pool? We have a few suggestions. Over the last couple of months we asked some of our favourite Canadian authors for recommendations on what to read on those lazy summer days.

Creativity, Inc

Terry O’Reilly is an author and the host of CBC Radio’s Under the Influence. His most recent book is This I Know. O’Reilly recommends Pixar Animation president Ed Catmull’s Creativity, Inc.

“As someone who has managed creative people for most of my career, I feasted on Catmull’s thoughtful ideas on nurturing a creative culture. His secret is not to prevent risks, but to make it safe to take them.”

East of Eden

Neil Pasricha is the man behind the bestselling The Book of Awesome and, most recently, The Happiness Equation. For his recommendation, Pasricha turns to the realm of classic American fiction, namely John Steinbeck’s East of Eden.

“I met two people in a bar who didn’t know each other, yet both had tattoos based on this book. I figured that was enough reason to pick it up. It’s a sweeping epic that explores incredible emotional range and makes you cry hot salty tears by the end – a truly beautiful work.”

Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts

Ross King is an author of both historical fiction and non-fiction, including 2016’s Mad Enchantment: Claude Monet and the Painting of the Water Lilies. He recommends Christopher de Hamel’s Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts, a book about some of the world’s most famous medieval manuscripts.

“Something very special happens when a world-renowned expert writes about his subject with such passion and enthusiasm. The book is both entertaining and erudite. I’ll never get to see most of the treasures that de Hamel describes, but I can now say that I’ve met them in the most pleasing ‘virtual’ way.”

When the Saints

Christy Ann Conlin is a Nova Scotia-based novelist and the author of the 2016 literary ghost story The Memento. Her recommendation is for fellow Maritimer Sarah Mian’s novel When the Saints, about a Nova Scotia woman who comes home to reconnect with her troubled family.

“Shortlisted for the Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour, this unforgettable novel is a perfect blend of comedy, drama and suspense.”

The Silk Roads

Travel writer Robin Esrock is best known for his Bucket List series of books. He likes historian Peter Frankopan’s book The Silk Roads, about the Persian empire.

“Full of who-knew? stories, Frankopan’s book places China’s explosive growth and the current gas boom in the ’Stans in context, resulting in a deeply illuminating read for anyone interested in history and East–West trade dynamics.”

Laughing All the Way to the Mosque

Lastly, author Janie Chang specializes in historical fiction about China, including her latest novel, Dragon Springs Road. She offers a topical book for summer reading.

“The ideal summer book is light and entertaining. But with the current state of the world, it feels as though we ought to learn more about the issues behind the headlines. Laughing All the Way to the Mosque is the perfect compromise. Zarqa Nawaz, creator of the hit TV sitcom Little Mosque on the Prairie, has written a memoir about growing up Muslim in Canada that deftly manages the balancing act of being both hilarious and instructive.”

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