Best Bets: CanLit Classics, Present and Future

It’s the final day of Best Bets, and we’re closing out our fortnight of recommendations with two CanLit classics. One is a gorgeous new illustrated edition of W.O. Mitchell’s timeless book, Who Has Seen the Wind (Freehand Books), and the other is a classic-to-be, Brian Thomas Issac’s award-winning, heartbreaking coming-of-age novel, All the Quiet Places (Touchwood Editions). Get both of these giftable classics for 15% off – as well as all of our other picks – while you still can.


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Who Has Seen the Wind: 75th Anniversary Edition by W.O. Mitchell, illustrated by William Kurelek (Freehand Books)

First published in 1947, W.O. Mitchell’s Who Has Seen the Wind has delighted millions of readers. Following a young Brian O’Connal as he comes of age on the prairies in Saskatchewan, this new, hardcover edition has all of the unforgettable characters of the original and pairs them with eight paintings and 32 black-and-white illustrations by renowned artist William Kurelek. The edition also celebrates the novel through a new foreword by Frances Itani and essays about its legacy and impact on Canadian literature. It’s a must-have for any lit-lover’s collection.But you don’t have to take our word for it:
“One of the finest Canadian novels ever written.” –Globe and MailWho Has Seen the Wind: 75th Anniversary Edition

All the Quiet Places by Brian Thomas Issac (Touchwood Editions)

Brian Thomas Issac’s debut novel All the Quiet Places, released last fall, is an instant classic. Following a young Sylix boy named Eddie Toma growing up on the Okanagan Lake Reserve in the 1950s with his mother and younger brother, readers are introduced to Eddie’s difficult and oftentimes heartbreaking life, and the small moments of respite he tries to find as he grows older. The book has won national acclaim – a winner of the Indigenous Voices Award, a finalist for the Governor General’s Award, and longlisted for the Giller Prize, among other accolades – and is destined to be read for generations to come.But you don’t have to take our word for it:
“Lovely, well-written novel. Evocative with interesting characters and beautiful descriptions. Not a light read, but reflective of the Indigenous experience in Canada.” – Lydia B., reader review (five stars)”All the Quiet Places is a haunting coming-of-age story. The power of Isaac’s vision of young Eddie Toma growing up on an Okanagan reserve in the 1950s is the novel’s unflinching gaze, meticulous detailing and fierce attachment to family, land and love. Every line is so carefully curated and the dialogue was sharp. ” —Indigenous Voices Awards”I feel that Brian Thomas Isaac has earned every single word, every single sentence, every single line. There’s so much hilarity in here. There’s so much wisdom, there’s so much wit . . . It’s really a story of triumph. My goodness, what a journey this book takes you on . . . I think the best literature haunts you. Years later, I’m going to be thinking about this book. ” —Richard Van Camp, CBC’s UnreservedAll the Quiet Places

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Well, that’s all she (and he, and they) wrote! Thanks for following along with our Best Bets recommendations this holiday season. Remember, the full suite of our picks are still 15% off until November 30 – so act quick! We hope you found some gifts you’re excited to give this year.