Alberta Politics
Indigenous Canadian-American novelist Thomas King in 2008 (Photo: TheMightyQuill, Creative Commons).

Sufferance by Thomas King tops Alberta Independent bookshops’ fiction bestseller list for week ended June 20

Posted on June 26, 2021, 1:16 am
3 mins

Here are the lists of the top 10 fiction and non-fiction titles sold by independent booksellers in Alberta during the week ended Sunday, June 20, 2021.

The lists are compiled by the Book Publishers Association of Alberta, and include sales at Audreys Books and Glass Bookshop in Edmonton.

Unsurprisingly, given the tragic revelations of the past few weeks and days, books by Indigenous authors feature prominently on both the independent booksellers’ fiction and non-fiction bestseller lists this week. Most Canadians are people of good will and I believe they are struggling to understand this unfolding calamity. This week’s fiction bestseller is Sufferance, by Canadian-American Indigenous author Thomas King. The book’s publisher describes it as “a sly and satirical look at the fractures of modern existence.” The story involves an old residential school, a reserve, and someone who can peer into the future and doesn’t like what he sees. In my experience, Thomas King’s fiction is always worth a read. That said, I confess I haven’t picked this one up yet at my pubic library because the publisher’s rather ambiguous cover led my eye to pass over it on the new books’ shelf. I’m embarrassed to say I assumed it was by some other author named King whose work I don’t find as edifying or entertaining. 

ALBERTA FICTION BESTSELLERS

1. Sufferance – Thomas King (HarperCollins)
2. Five Little Indians – Michelle Good (Harper Perennial)
3. The Hero’s Walk – Anita Rau Badami (Vintage Canada)
4. The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse – Charlie Mackesy (HarperCollins)
5. Klara and the Sun – Kazuo Ishiguro (Knopf Canada)
6. The Maidens – Alex Michaelides (Celadon Books)
7. On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous – Ocean Vuong (Penguin)
8. Jonny Appleseed – Joshua Whitehead (Arsenal Pulp Press) *
9. The Midnight Library – Matt Haig (HarperCollins)
10. The Marrow Thieves – Cherie Dimaline (Cormorant Books)

ALBERTA NON-FICTION BESTSELERS

1. The Menopause Manifesto – Dr. Jen Gunter (Random House Canada)
2. The Skin We’re In – Desmond Cole (Doubleday Canada)
3. Tipiskawi Kisik – Wilfred Buck (Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre)
4. Braiding Sweetgrass – Robin Wall Kimmerer (Milkweed Editions)
5. Rising Strong – Brené Brown (Random House)
6. World Travel – Anthony Bourdain and Laurie Woolever (Ecco)
7. The Bomber Mafia – Malcolm Gladwell (Little Brown & Company)
8. Care Of – Ivan Coyote (McClelland & Stewart)
9. Values – Mark Carney (McClelland & Stewart)
10. Embers – Richard Wagamese (Douglas & McIntyre)

* Alberta Author + Alberta Publisher

The independent bookstores contributing to this weekly list are:

Audreys Books, Edmonton
Cafe Books, Canmore
Drawn to Books, Edmonton
Glass Bookshop, Edmonton
Monkeyshines Books, Calgary
Owl’s Nest Books, Calgary
Pages on Kensington, Calgary
Shelf Life Books, Calgary
The Next Page, Calgary
Three Hills Books, Three Hills

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