Anyone remotely interested in Canada Reads or my blog is someone that probably already knows the final five books chosen by the now revealed panelists, but here's that fabulous list again:
BC and Yukon
Indian Horse, by Richard Wagamese. Defended by Carol Huynh (pronounced "win" which I find a little too convenient).
Prairies and North
The Age of Hope, by David Bergen. Defended by Ron Maclean.
Away, by Jane Urquhart. Defended by Charlotte Gray.
Two Solitudes, by Hugh MacLennan. Defended by Jay Baruchel (who was in a band in high school with my cousin! Who knew.)
February, by Lisa Moore. Defended by Trent McClellan.
Though I guessed three out of the five books chosen, I've only read one! Save the omission of Elizabeth Hay's Late Nights on Air, I'm really pleased with the list. I was a little trepidatious when I heard that the theme of this year's Canada Reads was going to be "Turf Wars." I think we have enough on our plate without pitting Ontario (note, one province) against "Prairies and North" (four provinces... eep), but in the end I think people have taken to this theme in the best way possible. When I went to the Canada Reads launch at the CBC last Thursday, it was clear that the panelists were there because they wanted to proudly represent their place of birth (even though most are apparently from Calgary?).
Speaking of the panelists; they seem fabulous. Last year, I wasn't so keen on a certain female panelist (though who was, I ask?) and in the end, the debates were a bit sensationalist which I think overshadowed the books that were actually being discussed. I don't think we're going to have that problem this year. I'm really looking forward to some intelligent debate that tackles a few key things that I think have come up this year:
- should Two Solitudes win because it has such a solid place in the history of CanLit, or should it not win because there are a great deal of Canadians who have already read it?
- should Indian Horse win because it addresses issues that a large portion of our population know nothing about?
- should Away win so Ms. Urquhart can stop quoting its bad reviews? (ha.)
It's all very exciting. And what would make it more exciting?
Putting some money on it!
I've teamed up with Vicki Ziegler (@bookgaga) for a fun little challenge. We're going to bet on the order in which the books are voted off, and whoever's closest will have to donate to the literary charity of their competitor's choice! It's a fabulous way to get more invested in Canada Reads, and it's a great way to donate to a local literary organization.
So who are you voting for? Challenge a friend, and let us know about it! For more information, check out Vicki's blog here.
Now get reading!