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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.

 

 

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Booksellers’ top crime and mystery books of 2013

Q&Q polled booksellers across the country regarding their favourite Canadian crime and mystery books of 2013.

Click on the images below to learn more about each title.

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Booksellers pick top sci-fi books of 2013

Q&Q spoke with booksellers across Canada to find out their top science-fiction picks for this year.

Click on the thumbnails below to learn more about each title.

 

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Booksellers identify the best-selling sports books of 2013

Q&Q polled booksellers across the country to find out which Canadian sports books sold the best in 2013. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the majority were about hockey.

Click on the thumbnails below to learn more about each title.

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Survey: what are your picks for books of the year?

Q&Q reviewers, editors, and Canadian booksellers have shared their picks for the top books of 2013. Now it’s your turn.

Share your favourite Canadian titles of the year (don’t worry if you don’t have a pick in every category) and we’ll reveal the results next week.

Are you passionate about a particular book? Feel free to use the comments section to tell us why.

Take the survey!

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Books of the year 2013: authors’ choice

We asked four authors whose titles appeared in Q&Q’s 2012 Books of the Year list to make their 2013 picks.

Click on the thumbnails to discover favourite titles from Caroline Adderson, Julie Devaney, Tamara Faith Berger, and Kyo Maclear.

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Booksellers pick top non-fiction books of 2013

Q&Q polled booksellers across the country to find out which Canadian non-fiction books sold the best this year. Click on the thumbnails below to learn more about each title.

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Canadian booksellers pick their top kids’ books of 2013

Q&Q contacted independent booksellers across the country to find out which Canadian kids’ books were most popular this year.

Lisa Doucet, a bookseller at Woozles in Halifax, noted that 2013 was a strong year for middle-grade books, including debut kids’ books by Sue MacLeod and Meghan Marentette.

Click the thumbnails below to read more about booksellers’ top kids’ books.

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Books of the year 2013: Review editor Steven W. Beattie makes his picks

For CanLit aficionados, 2013 has been an embarrassment of riches. Major new works from Margaret Atwood, Joseph Boyden, Colin McAdam, Wayne Johnston, Douglas Coupland, Lynn Coady, Lisa Moore, Michael Winter, and Eleanor Catton abutted strong new titles from the likes of Craig Davidson, Elizabeth Ruth, Nicole Lundrigan, Shaena Lambert, Elizabeth Bachinsky, Michael Crummey, Sara Peters, Kelli Deeth, Andrew F. Sullivan, and Douglas Glover. A reader could suffer whiplash bouncing from one book to the next.

Alice Munro won the Nobel and Lynn Coady took the Giller, signalling (hopefully) a renewed interest in the Canadian short story. Elsewhere, maximalism was back in a big way (see what I did there?). In addition to Catton’s 850-page sophomore novel, The Luminaries (the longest novel ever to nab the coveted Man Booker Prize), there were hefty entries from Kenneth Bonert (whose debut, The Lion Seeker, was one of the most overlooked novels of the year, its GG nomination notwithstanding) and Norm Sibum (whose decidedly ambitious monolith, The Traymore Rooms, was iconoclastic and absorbing, if not altogether successful).

Narrowing down my favourites to a clutch of five was extraordinarily difficult, and the books on this list could easily have been substituted for any number of those alluded to above. Once again, I haven’t read everything published this year, so this is not a list of best books, but a highly personal selection of five titles that made an impact on me as a reader over the past 12 months.

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Books of the year 2013: designers’ choice

Five eminent book designers make their choices for the year’s best covers.

Click on the thumbnails to read more about their picks.

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Book Pictures

Do you have great photos from a recent book event in Canada that you'd like to share with us? Submit them to the Quill & Quire Flickr pool and they'll show up here.

Steve Artelle

Chris Jennings

Kaie Kellough

Jenna

Hall of Honourers

Brandon Wint

Eva Stachniak's Empress of the Night

Eva Stachniak poses with a copy of her book, Empress of the Night

Tea and snacks inspired by Eva Stachniak's Empress of the Night

Rimma Burashko with author Eva Stachniak

Eva Stachniak talks to the audience about the best and worst of Catherine the Great's favourites

Eva Stachniak smiles as she signs a copy of Empress of the Night for a fan

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