Looking for a great read as you head out on your summer holiday? Five of Canada’s most iconic personalities kindly shared their favourite Canadian reads with us, guaranteed to make you feel patriotic on July 1 and beyond. And, before you dive in to their books picks, take a moment to watch the video above, highlighting some of their biggest moments–the moments that made them great!
“The book that comes to mind this Canada Day is Chris Hadfield’s An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth, because it epitomizes our Canadian pride, extraordinary accomplishments and capabilities, and the values of contributing to our country and beyond. Chris Hadfield is a tremendous example of what can be accomplished when you reach for the stars and his book reminds us all that big dreams can come true.”
“My choice is the tremendous novel I defended for the CBC Canada Reads competition, The Illegal, by Lawrence Hill. The book even ended up winning the competition! The Illegal puts “a face to the faceless” and “a voice to the voiceless” in today’s global refugee crisis. The writing, the storytelling and the vivid characters are what make The Illegal a great book.”
“My favourite book is The Boat Who Wouldn’t Float, by Farley Mowat. It’s hilarious, and Farley captured the essence of the Newfoundland character (and I am a Newfoundlander) wonderfully. After all these years since I first read it, I still, along with my wife, chuckle when we see something now that Farley captured then. Funny. Wait. No, my favourite book is The Regiment by Farley Mowat. He captures the life of a soldier, specifically that of a young officer, and it resonates because I was a soldier and young officer staring with star-glazed eyes at things around me. It’s thrilling. But no, actually my very favourite book is Farley Mowat’s And No Birds Sang. He captures the growing fear that men, and now also women, have as they prepare for and enter operations. He calls it the “worm” and it is one of the most discussed issues in our country now. Farley described it long before its time.”
“I could pick nothing other than Joseph Boyden’s evocative first novel, Three Day Road. It is a powerful novel with fabulous storytelling.”
“My favourite Canadian book is Life of Pi, by Yann Martel. Told in such an exquisitely indirect manner, I was fascinated both by the story and the style. I found myself re-reading paragraphs several times, just to see how he’d done it, and then staring into the distance and thinking.”