Highlights of 2019: Part 2

My last post focused on Best Atlantic Canadian Reads of 2019.

Here’s everything else…

Best Books

(in addition to Best of Atlantic Canada 2019, in no particular order)



Quarry by Catherine Graham

This Has Nothing To Do With You by Lauren Carter – I also read her recent poetry collection this year, Following Sea.

Autopsy of a Boring Wife by Marie-Renée Lavoie

Bad Ideas by Missy Marston – I loved it so much I also read her first novel, The Love Monster.

Bina by Anakana Schofield

Bunny by Mona Awad

Days By Moonlight by André Alexis

Frying Plantain by Zalika Reid-Benta

Here I Am! by Pauline Holdstock

Molly of the Mall by Heidi L.M. Jacobs

Fruit by Brian Francis

Reproduction by Ian Williams

The High Rise in Fort Fierce by Paul Carlucci 

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

Five Wives by Joan Thomas 


Short Stories:

Late Breaking by K.D. Miller – Loved this so much I also read All Saints.

Best Canadian Stories, edited by Russell Smith

Overhead in a Balloon by Mavis Gallant – A buddy read with Marcie at Buried in Print.



Home Ice by Angie Abdou

By Chance Alone by Max Eisen

Black Writers Matter, edited by Whitney French



It’s time to tip my hat to some of my favourite publishers whose books are on this list…

Biblioasis (Windsor, Ontario), ECW Press (TO, Ontario), Two Wolves Press, Goose Lane Editions (New Brunswick), Freehand Books (Calgary, Alberta), Coach House Books (TO, Ontario), NeWest Press (Edmonton, Alberta), House of Anansi Press (TO, Ontario), Harper Collins Canada (TO, Ontario), Penguin Random House Canada (TO, Ontario)


%CanLit: 88%

Out of the 88% CanLit, 36% is from Atlantic Canada.

Top 5 Posts of the year:

  1. The Best of Atlantic Canada 2018
  2. Crow by Amy Spurway
  3. Catching the Light by Susan Sinnott
  4. Scotiabank Giller Prize 2019: Longlist
  5. Best Canadian Stories 2018, edited by Russell Smith

Top Post overall: The Boat: A Short Story by Alistair MacLeod – This post blows all the others out of the water. I’m happy to know that people are still reading it and teaching it.

Bookish Highlights: As always, I enjoy trying to keep up with Canada Reads; through Literary Wives, I discovered a love for Persephone Books;  I made my first ‘appearance’ on the WriteReads podcast this summer; I had fun shadowing the Giller Prize again this year; as well as co-hosting Margaret Atwood Reading Month with Marcie; and I get great satisfaction out of seeing how many of the books I can read each year from the Atlantic Book Awards list.

How about you? What were your bookish highlights of 2019?

18 thoughts on “Highlights of 2019: Part 2

    • Naomi says:

      I think that’s the highest it’s been. And it’s not even really intentional – there are just so many Canadian books I want to read that the others get put on the back burner. What I would really love is to read more books from everywhere! 🙂

  1. Geoff W says:

    I actually read Fruit, but for some reason the U.S. release (I think) was titled: The Secret Fruit of Peter Paddington. I remember bits and pieces and I looked back and appeared to enjoy most of it, even if I thought it was a bit odd.

  2. priscilla says:

    So happy to see Bunny on this list! I haven’t read it yet but have it sitting on my stack. It got some mixed reviews, so I’m happy to see this on the mist of someone I trust!

    • Naomi says:

      I think it all depends on your taste, whether or not you’ll like Bunny. I enjoy something wonderfully weird and different every once in a while. I hope you like it as much as I did! You’ll have to let me know!

  3. susan says:

    I read & reviewed Atwood’s Testaments in December. I liked it and thought it was well done. It made my top 5 list of last year which I posted Jan. 2. The Testaments really did a good job of ending Gilead and the way Atwood weaved it thru the 3 women was wonderful. I might want to read Bina soon … as the author was here in October and sounded interesting.

  4. buriedinprint says:

    Of the ones that you’ve mentioned here that I haven’t already commented on as being memorable, I’ve been surprised to find myself thinking back to these three since reading: Angie Abdou’s Home Ice (surprised because there isn’t a lot of overlap between her experiences of marriage and parenting with my own experiences of those aspects of life, but her way of thinking about and looking at things resonates with me), The High-Rise of Fort Fierce (surprised because I wouldn’t have thought that such a blur of characters would have lingered in my mind, but often when I pass particular buildings – especially on cold, kinda claustrophobic days – I think of that community) and Zalika Reid-Benta’s stories (surprising because I read a lot of fiction set in Toronto but I literally think about her characters whenever I walk in that neighbourhood and wonder specifically how they are doing and what’s happened since we “met” not like they’ve stuck with me, but as though part of me actually still thinks they’re continuing on out there somewhere).

    I’m a little gobsmacked by your statistics: I knew you read mostly Canlit. And 88% is mostly. But sheesh. That’s a lot! Really a LOT-A;LOT. If it weren’t for Literary Wives, would it actually be a complete and total wash of CanLit? 🙂

    PS Link looks so comfy that he snazzes up any furniture around!

    • Naomi says:

      I’m a little surprised by the 88% as well, only because it really is not intentional. There are plenty of non-Canadian books out there that I add to my list and want to read, but I seem to be prioritizing the CanLit without even realizing it. There are just so many more books and authors I haven’t read yet and each book just leads to another.
      I can think of a couple of books I read besides the LW books, but not many…

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