2023 Title is:


Help select our 2023 Oxford Reads title!

Voting is now closed! We will announce our 2023 Oxford Reads author later in June.

Mad Honey by Katie Welch


Synopsis - Melissa Makepeace poured herself into running the family farm when her boyfriend, and head beekeeper, vanished on an early spring day, silently absorbing yet another man disappearing from her life. But three months later Beck Wise reappears – thin, pale, with no idea what day it is and filled with strange memories of bees – and Melissa finds herself unravelling multiple mysteries.

About the author - Katie Welch writes fiction and teaches music in Kamloops, BC, on the traditional, unceded territory of the Secwepemc people. Her short stories have been published in EVENT Magazine, Prairie Fire, The Antigonish Review, The Temz Review, The Quarantine Review and elsewhere. She was first runner-up in UBCO’s 2019 Short Story Contest, and her story “Poisoned Apple” was chosen as Pick-of-the-Week by Longform Fiction. Katie holds a BA in English Literature from the University of Toronto (1990).

Horse/Man by Julia Merritt


Synopsis - The book is about a man who has trouble adjusting to change. Growing up on the family farm he plans to take it over one day. When his parents die during the Great Depression, he finds himself disinherited in favour of his older brother. With no formal education, his choices are few and he joins the mounted calvary. When the second world war begins, he finds himself needing to adjust to the change from mounted calvary to tanks and trucks. When he returns from war he is broken in body and spirit and must adjust once again, and learn to survive in a world that doesn’t seem to have a place for an injured soldier.

About the author - Julia Merritt has been captivated by horses ever since she could see out of the car window. Then she grew up and became a public library CEO and certified animal bodyworker. She lives in Ontario, Canada, with her thoroughbred horses and smooth collie dogs. 

Tilly and the Crazy Eights by Monique Gray Smith


Synopsis - When Tilly receives an invitation to help drive eight elders on their ultimate bucket-list road trip, she impulsively says yes. Before she knows it, Tilly has said good-bye to her family and is on an adventure that will transform her in ways she could not predict, just as it will for the elders who soon dub themselves "the Crazy Eights." The Crazy Eights each choose a stop--somewhere or something they've always wanted to experience--on the way to their ultimate goal, the Gathering of Nations Pow Wow in Albuquerque.

About the author - Monique Gray Smith is Cree, Lakota, and Scottish, and a proud mom of teenage twins. She is an accomplished international speaker and the owner of an Indigenous consulting firm, Little Drum Consulting. Her life's work is to raise awareness of the resilience of Indigenous peoples. An award-winning writer for children and adults, her first novel, Tilly: A Story of Hope and Resilience, won the 2014 Burt Award for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Literature. Her books for children include You Hold Me Up, My Heart Fills With Happiness, and Speaking our Truth: A Journey of Reconciliation. Monique and her family are blessed to live on the traditional territory of the WSÁNEĆ people near Victoria, British Columbia.

Sufferance by Thomas King


Synopsis - Jeremiah Camp (the Forecaster) can see patterns to create profit for the rich and powerful. Because of this, he runs away to the reservation and never speaks. Then the head of a multi-national consortium knocks on his door demanding a forecast. A sly and satirical look at the fractures in modern existence, Sufferance is a bold and provocative novel about the social and political consequences of the inequality created by privilege and power—and what we might do about it.

About the author - Thomas King is an award-winning writer and poet. He taught at the University of Lethbridge and was chair of American Indian Studies at the University of Minnesota. Following this, he taught at the University of Guelph until he retired. Thomas King lives in Guelph with his partner

The Maid by Nita Prose


Synopsis - Molly Gray is not like everyone else. She struggles with social skills and misreads the intentions of others. Her gran used to interpret the world for her, codifying it into simple rules that Molly could live by.Since Gran died a few months ago, twenty-five-year-old Molly has been navigating life's complexities all by herself. No matter—she throws herself with gusto into her work as a hotel maid. Her unique character, along with her obsessive love of cleaning and proper etiquette, make her an ideal fit for the job. She delights in donning her crisp uniform each morning, stocking her cart with miniature soaps and bottles, and returning guest rooms at the Regency Grand Hotel to a state of perfection. But Molly's orderly life is upended the day she enters the suite of the infamous and wealthy Charles Black, only to find it in a state of disarray and Mr. Black himself dead in his bed.

About the author - Nita Prose is a writer and longtime editor, she is currently the vice president and editorial director at Simon & Schuster in Toronto. Winner of both the Ned Kelly Award for International Crime Fiction and a Goodreads Choice Award, and shortlisted for an Edgar Award for Best Novel. Nita lives in Toronto, Canada, in a house that is moderately clean

Oxford Reads Gala

Oxford Reads Gala 2023
Stay tuned for more information about this year's gala in September!

Previous Oxford Reads Selections

2022 - Driven by Marcello di Cintio
2021 - Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue
2020 Crow by Amy Spurway
2019 - Moon of the Crusted Snow by Waubgeshig Rice
2018 - The Purchase by Linda Spalding

About Oxford Reads

A collaboration between Oxford County Library and Woodstock Public Library.

A community-wide reading initiative that connects each of Oxford County’s unique communities while celebrating Canadian literature and fostering discussion.


Selection Criteria

  • Book is written by a Canadian author
  • Is a work of fiction OR non-fiction published within the last five (5) years
  • Has the potential to appeal to a broad audience
  • Title can generate discussion on a variety of topics/issues
  • There is diverse program potential and can work as a community builder
  • The author will ideally have some name recognition or acclaimed work