Quill and Quire

Books of the Year

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Books of the year 2013: readers’ poll results

Last week, Q&Q asked readers to submit their favourite Canadian titles of 2013, and while the results featured a breadth of authors and publishers, some clear winners stood out.

Joseph Boyden didn’t receive any major literary awards this year, but his latest, The Orenda (Hamish Hamilton Canada), was the favourite among Q&Q readers. Caught (House of Anansi Press), by Scotiabank Giller Prize nominee Lisa Moore, was popular, as was Elizabeth Ruth’s Matadora (Cormorant Books). Thriller buffs gave their votes to D.J. MacIntosh’s The Book of Stolen Tales (Penguin Canada), the follow-up to The Witch of Babylon.

Graeme Smith’s The Dogs Are Eating Them Now: Our War in Afghanistan (Knopf Canada), which won the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Non-fiction, was a top title, as was Weston nominee Priscila Uppal’s Projection: Encounters with my Runaway Mother (Dundurn Press). Other favourite titles included Charlotte Gray’s The Massey Murder: A Maid, Her Master and the Trial that Shocked a Country (HarperCollins Canada) and Jo Robert’s Contested Land, Contested Memory: Israel’s Jews and Arabs and the Ghosts of Catastrophe (Dundurn).

In the poetry category, Kimmy Beach’s Last Temptation of Bond (University of Alberta Press) received many votes, as did Sue Goyette’s Ocean (Gaspereau Press), Sandra Ridley’s The Counting House (BookThug), and Brian Day’s The Daring of Paradise (Guernica Editions). One of Q&Q‘s picks for books of the year, Sara Peters’ 1996 (Anansi), also resonated with poetry readers.

Readers agreed with Q&Q‘s BFyP editor Dory Cerny by choosing Teresa Toten’s YA novel The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B (Doubleday Canada), which won this year’s Governor General Literary Award in Children’s Literature (text), and picture book Once Upon a Northern Night (Groundwood Books), by Jean E. Pendziwol and illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault.