Sunday, December 1, 2013

Canada Reads maybe

My 50000 words for Nanowrimo are completed and then some. I feel I can sit back and read someone else's words again. Truthfully I didn't completely stop during November as reading is my drug of choice. It was more of a "work to rule."
Canada Reads
This week Jian Gomeshi announced the final five books in the Canada Reads contest.
For those of you who don't know what Canada Reads is all about, I will try to explain how it is done.
The country submits titles of their favourite book that they believe all Canadians should read to the Canada Reads website which is sponsored by the CBC, our public radio. Last year we picked books that were representative of each region. This year we were to vote for our favourites that we believe everyone should read that demonstrates who we are as a country.  This list gets narrowed down by online voting until there are ten left. Then celebrities are chosen who then pick the one they want to defend which is how we get the final five.
I stand to be corrected on this last bit as I am writing this just before I head out to book club and I don't have time to check. It's pretty close if not exactly correct is all I can say.

I bought all but Cockroach today at Chapters. A gift card and buy- four and get a third one free prompted the purchasing of these all at once. I strayed from my mission when I spied Donna Morrisey's "The Deception of Livvy Higgs" which isn't on the list. I went to a workshop she gave to fledgling writers and as you may remember from one of my previous posts we are now "friends". I have taken to befriending celebrities who don't know I am now their friend. (Please no references to stalking.) She doesn't know this but that's okay I am going to enjoy reading her book since I liked her workshop a lot and if she lived near me we would be friends since she made me laugh. I also have read three of her other four novels. 

Back to Thursdays' book club--I also belong to a Saturday book club which is why I use the days of the week to distinguish the two--decided that we would each take one of the Canada Reads finalists and read it for January. The actual contest ends in March. We are going to try and convince our buddies that the book we chose should be the winner in March. This will in no way influence the real choice but we will have fun seeing how close we got.
The selection was a little hit and miss with some choosing the one they wanted to read and defend with a few of the rest of us taking one of them and hoping after we read it that we would have the strength to defend it. I "chose" 'The Year of the Flood' by Margaret Atwood. But as noted above I am going to read them all with a brief stopover to read Donna's latest.

I will keep you posted on how I am doing and what I think about the books. I am going to leave Margaret's until the end so I am fully prepared to defend what she writes up against the other books. They seem so different from the outside looking in. 

Stephen Lewis defends The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood.

Stephen Lewis is one of Canada's most prominent philanthropists. A Companion of the Order of Canada, he's the chair of the Stephen Lewis Foundation, which provides support to women and children in Africa living with HIV/AIDS.
The Year of the Flood is the second book in Margaret Atwood's MaddAddam trilogy, which deals with a dystopic future world that emerges after years of environmental degradation.
Margaret Atwood is one of Canada's most beloved writers and respected thinkers, with more than 40 books to her credit -- novels, short stories, poetry, literary criticism, social history, and books for children.

Wab Kinew defends The Orenda by Joseph Boyden

Wab Kinew is an award-winning journalist, aboriginal activist and hip-hop artist. He's currently the first director of indigenous inclusion at the University of Winnipeg.
The Orenda is a visceral portrait of life at a crossroads in early Canadian history, and about the arrival of a Jesuit missionary into the life of a Huron elder and a gifted young Iroquois girl.
Joseph Boyden is the author of three novels, including Through Black Spruce, which won the Scotiabank Giller Prize in 2008.

Donovan Bailey defends Half Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan

Donovan Bailey is one of the fastest people in the world, and was a two-time gold medallist at the 1996 Olympic Games. He still holds the world record for the indoor 50-metre dash.
Evoking the world of Paris during the Second World War, Half Blood Blues is about the disappearance of Hiero, a talented young black German jazz musician at the hands of the Nazi Party, and his friend and fellow musician, Sid, who is still coming to terms with Hiero's fate 50 years later.
Esi Edugyan is one of Canada's hottest young writers. Half Blood Blues is her second novel, and it won the Scotiabank Giller Prize in 2011.

Samantha Bee defends Cockroach by Rawi Hage

Samantha Bee is an award-winning comic, actor and writer. She has been a correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart since 2003.
Set during a frigid Montreal winter, Cockroach is an urgent, unsettling and insightful novel about the city's immigrant community.
Rawi Hage was born in Beirut and has lived in Montreal since the early 1990s. He is the author of three acclaimed novels, and is currently the writer-in-residence at the Vancouver Public Library.

Sarah Gadon defends Annabel by Kathleen Winter

Sarah Gadon is one of Canada's most promising young actors and a rising star in Hollywood. She has appeared in David Cronenberg's two most recent films, A Dangerous Method and Cosmopolis, and will be seen in several major films in 2014.
Annabel is a sensitive and compelling portrait of an intersex child who is raised in rural Newfoundland as male, and yet is unable to repress his feminine side.
Kathleen Winter is an award-winning author and former columnist for the Telegram in St. John's, Newfoundland.

Now for the readers I really do know and their choices.

Gail and Stephanie chose 'Half Blood Blues'
Nancy chose 'Cockroach'
Carol and Shirley chose 'The Orenda'
Betty and Linda chose 'Annabel'
Mary chose 'The Year of the Flood'

Rosa missed our meeting so we wait to learn which one she will defend. 
This is some of "us"


  1. Sounds fun! I am still working my way through the Luminaries and S - that may take me till Christmas at this rate as I am back into writing this morning! But I am like you - I have to read all the time - I would go crazy otherwise! Your book club members look fun! Now more books to add to my "to read" list on the GoodRead App...

  2. I noticed that we have chosen Jan. 9 for our next meeting. I may have a book open in front of me at Christmas Dinner!!

  3. That is a great way to divide up the reading. Tom just finished Half-Blood Blues. It took him 18 months to read it. A friend recently told me that Annabel has "changed her life", or at least the way she looks at the world. I have read Three Day Road and Through Black Spruce by Joseph Boyden and was very impressed. I think Margaret Atwood is a brilliant thinker and a brilliant writer but I have decided I do not like "speculative" fiction so I have not been reading her much. Not a very good "Canadian" , am I!!

    1. Can't believe I missed this post Barb! Half Blood Blues is slow moving so maybe 18 months would work. I cannot see Annabel changing anyone's view of the world but who am I to judge what others get from a book! I am the defender of The Year of the Flood and am working hard on getting through it. Actually enjoying it now that I have stuck with it.