Highlights of 2019 Part 1: Atlantic Canada

Four years ago I decided to challenge myself to read more books from Atlantic Canada. As a result, I have read 100 books from Atlantic Canada in the last four years.

You can check out results of previous years here: 2018, 2017, 2016.

#of Atlantic Canadian books read: 25 (last year, 23)

% of books read from Atlantic Canada: 32% (last year, 26%)

Newfoundland: 6 (last year, 7)

Nova Scotia: 19 (last year, 14)

New Brunswick: 0 (last year, 0) – This is bad. (Don’t worry, though, James has got you covered!)

Prince Edward Island: 0 (last year, 2) – Ugh.



(Read, but not necessarily published, in 2019. In no particular order.)


Catching the Light by Susan Sinnott – Since reading this book, I’ve seen it categorized as YA. It can definitely be enjoyed by adults as well.

Crow by Amy Spurway – This book has something for everyone… laughter, tears, and unpredictability. I felt like I was in Cape Breton.

The Madrigal by Dian Day – I was blown away by how much I liked this book. I have since picked up her first one and I can’t wait to read it.

Found Drowned by Laurie Glenn Norris – Historical fiction that is meticulously researched and put together.

Every Little Piece of Me by Amy Jones – Fun but Dark. Dark but fun. Her insights into the crazy world of social media are bang on.

Even Weirder Than Before by Susie Taylor – A fresh and tender coming-of-age story. A great debut that deserves all the attention it seems to be getting.

The Glace Bay Miners’ Museum by Sheldon Currie – A classic. Everyone should read it.

The Innocents by Michael Crummey – If anyone were to ask… this would probably be my book of the year. And I don’t even have a review for you! Have a read of Marcie’s instead.

Small Game Hunting at the Local Coward Gun Club by Megan Gail Cole – This book hurts to read but is so worth it.

Watching You Without Me by Lynn Coady – A brilliant take on family obligation and vulnerable members of society.


Short Story Collections:

Use Your Imagination! by Kris Bertin – This is the second collection I’ve read by Bertin (here’s the first), and I will happily welcome a third.

Watermark by Christy-Ann Conlin – I have become a big fan of Christy-Ann Conlin since reading her first book Heave a few years ago.

Send More Tourists… The Last Ones Were Delicious by Tracey Waddleton – I feel bad that I didn’t ever get to writing about this book. I enjoyed it immensely. It’s every bit as fun as the title suggests. See James’s review at The Miramichi Reader.



Louisbourg or Bust by R.C. Shaw – This book is so much fun… It’s probably my most recommended book of the year.

The Blind Mechanic by Marilyn Davidson Elliott – The amazing story of Eric Davidson who became an expert mechanic after losing his eyesight, at the age of two, in the Halifax Explosion.

Breaking Disaster by Katie Ingram – Newspaper headlines from around the world from the time of the Halifax Explosion. 



It’s time to tip my hat to some of my favourite publishers whose books are on this list (more to come in my next post…):

Breakwater Books (Newfoundland), Nimbus Publishing (Nova Scotia), Pottersfield Press (Nova Scotia), Goose Lane Editions (New Brunswick), House of Anansi Press (TO, Ontario), Inanna Publications (TO, Ontario), Penguin Random House Canada (TO, Ontario)

Kejimkujik National Park 2019


27 thoughts on “Highlights of 2019 Part 1: Atlantic Canada

    • Naomi says:

      No matter how much I try to keep up, I will never get to all the ones I want to read. But I will have fun trying! Thanks for joining me in the cause. 🙂

  1. whatmeread says:

    Of course, I haven’t read any of these, but I enjoyed the two books I read by Michael Crummey, so I’ll at least look for that one. Some of the others look interesting as well.

  2. Debbie Rodgers @Exurbanis says:

    Although I read 11 Atlantic Canadian books last year, only three are mentioned here – although I did start and DNF Small Game Hunting. It didhurt too much. Most of the rest are on my TBR though.

    Why is it so hard to remember to read from New Brunswick & PEI? I have the same problem: mine were split 7 from Newfoundland and 4 from NS.

    • Naomi says:

      It’s a very good question! And I’m glad to know it’s not just me. There’s no excuse for NB – I can think of several writers and books from there off the top of my head. I do find it harder to find books from PEI, besides the wonderful LMM of course. I just have to dig around a little more.

  3. wadholloway says:

    That’s an interesting idea, to keep up with the literature of your own part of the country. I try to keep up with Western Australian writing – not very successfully- and we’re only 10% of Aust. I was thinking Atlantic Canada was like our east coast, 80% of the population but I guess you don’t include Toronto.

    • Naomi says:

      We don’t include Ontario or Quebec – just Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, and Prince Edward Island. According to Wikipedia, together we make up about 6% of Canada’s population (which is even less than I would have guessed)!

  4. madamebibilophile says:

    It looks like this is working out really well for you Naomi – So many wonderful reads! I watched Margarets Museum years ago and had no idea it was based on a novella, I’ll have to try and find a copy over here.

    • Naomi says:

      There’s no end in sight of good books to read around here! Even after just learning (thanks to Bill’s comment) that we only make up 6% of Canada’s population!

  5. annelogan17 says:

    I love your intention to read more Atlantic Canada, I personally think some of our best canlit comes from out your way!!! My book club is reading the Innocents in February. I read it and enjoyed it, but am looking forward to the discussion too, it always changes how i view the book!

  6. susan says:

    Well well well. Book of the Year: Michael Crummey! I just read & reviewed The Innocents on my site. Yes I did enjoy it. I’m still surprised he didn’t win the Giller last year. What must the man do? Both Sweetland and The Innocents were excellent. Now I’m curious what his next book will be. He’ll probably return to poetry …. so I need to go back and read Galore and River Thieves.

  7. buriedinprint says:

    Well, I was feeling all guilty about not reading more Atlantic fiction, but now that Bill has urged you to do that bit of research, and y’all only comprise 6% of the population, I suddenly feel like an over-achiever instead. Ha ha. Just kidding. I still feel like I’m missing out because I’ve fallen behind on so many favourites and haven’t fully exhausted other “new” discoveries (like your precious Raddall and Bertin) and even though his stories are often so sad, I regularly crave a David Adams Richards installment. So many great writers in that 6%! Thanks for reminding us all about them, so often through the year and in your round-ups too (and thanks for your shout-out as well)!

    • Naomi says:

      There really are a lot of great writers in that 6%, aren’t there? I’m still surprised we’re only 6%… There must be a whole lot of people everywhere else! 😉

  8. lauratfrey says:

    I finished The Innocents on January 11, and I would not be surprised if it ended up being my book of the year. Well…. let me read The Mirror and the Light first 😁
    (Yup, catching up on your blog!)

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