My 2017 Reading Project: Recommend Some Books

Most years I engage in what I call a “reading project,” which is basically just a way to give my reading some structure. If I can’t decide what I want to read next, the project is there to point me in the right direction. Two years ago I read with gender parity in mind. Last year I wanted to see if my habits had changed after successfully adding more women writers to my reading list. This year I’m reading classics of the cyberpunk subgenre, along with whatever urban planning books I can get my hands on, especially if they are related to smart city concepts like digital infrastructure. Next year is Canada’s 150th year as a nation, so I want to do something special.

I spent January 2013 through March 2016 in northern Saskatchewan helping build a high voltage power line, so this blog was neglected. Since that project ended and I was laid off I’ve tried to focus on finding work, and in my off hours, writing and trying to sell my short fiction—which means the blog still hasn’t returned to form. That may continue for most of the rest of the year, but 2017 will be different. In honour of Canada’s 150th birthday, I plan to read and write about 12 classic Canadian books, one per month, that I’ve somehow never read before.1 I have a partial list, but it would be nice to get some recommendations.

Here’s the list so far:

  1. Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale
  2. Marie-Claire Blaise, Mad Shadows
  3. Austin Clarke, The Polished Hoe
  4. Marian Engel, Bear
  5. Thomas King, An Inconvenient Indian
  6. Margaret Laurence, The Diviners
  7. Alice Munro, Lives of Girls and Women
  8. Sinclair Ross, As For Me and My House
  9. Gabrielle Roy, The Tin Flute

If you have any suggestions, please leave a note in the comments below.2 Thanks!


Writer. Editor. Critic.


  1. I’ve added a tenth book to the list:

    10: L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

    Suggestions from other venues that are currently under consideration:

    Lawrence Hill, The Book of Negroes
    Farley Mowat, Never Cry Wolf

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