Today is another sad day with the end of Canada Reads 2009. And, as all previous episodes, we started with the revelation of the previous days vote. It ended up, and I must say I was kind of surprised, that The Outlander by Gil Adamson left. Which left Lawrence Hill’s The Book of Negroes against Fruit by Brian Francis.
Once the discussion started for the day it became vary obvious which book was going to come out victorious. The question about scope, I think, resulted in the real down fall of Fruit. It’s important for the book of Canada Reads to have a rather large scope because it does seem to make more appealing for the largest audience. I did enjoy The Book of Negroes but I really didn’t want to have that one win because it’s already extremely popular. Perhaps that’s not the best reason for wanting a book eliminated but I think there are so many wonderful Canadian books out there that aren’t recognized for the greatness contained between the covers.
So, it’s true The Book of Negroes is the winner of Canada Reads 2009. Congratulations to Avi Lewis for advocating for this book and Lawrence Hill for writing this wonderful novel for all of Canada and the world to enjoy.
Now you know what book you’ll win if you enter my first giveaway. The contest closes tonight at midnight. A comment will be selected at random and it’s open to everyone. The winner will get a new copy of The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill. The best of luck to all that enter.
Today I morn the loss of Michel Tremblay’s novel The Fat Woman Next Door is Pregnant from the possible contenders in Canada Reads 2009. I know that I said I mentioned in the comments of yesterdays post but since then I’ve read more of the book and I’m loving the characters in the novel just as I love many of the other characters Tremblay has introduced me to. The final decision came down to Sarah Slean (how could you Sarah?) because a tie needed to be broken between Tremblay’s book and The Outsider by Gil Andamson.
I’m going to start today with a bit of a rant, so excuse me for a moment while I get this off my chest. We’re getting near the end of Canada Reads 2009, only one day to go, and Jian Ghomese is still asking everyone, still in the running, to summarise their novel. I think the people that are listening have heard enough about these book and do not need to be told again what the novels still in contention are about. I really hope that last two don’t have to do this again tomorrow.
The big question today was what book brought you something new, something you didn’t know or a new experience? Great question posed by a great host. It seemed that many learned something, not surprisingly from Lawrence Hill’s The Book of Negroes. I would have to say that I learned the most from this novel as well, I had no idea that Freetown in Sierra Leone was founded by free slaves that got to Nova Scotia/New Brunswick from the USA. I found the final chapters of that novel to be the most interesting.
Others answered the question by saying they learned a lot about Sarnia from Fruit. But then again who knows all that much about Sarnia to begin with? Ghomese’s question caused everyone to do some thinking and really got me thinking. I didn’t really think that learning something new is all that important when suggesting a novel to a nation. I tend to think that the more someone knows about a particular subject the more they would get out of a novel dealing with that subject. I think I would have got more out of The Book of Negroes if I knew more about it before reading it.
I’m now curious to see if The Outlander will come back from it’s near defeat today. I’m really interested to see what happens tomorrow and which two books will be the ones duking it out for the coveted title. Now this probably isn’t the best reason for not wanting a book to win but I don’t want The Book of Negroes to win because it’s already got so much attention, I’d like to see something else get the spot light introducing Canadians to a new book.
Well the third day started off with the revelation of the vote that took place at the end of yesterdays episode. And with three votes David Adams Richards’ Mercy Among the Children is the first book to be proverbially put out to pasture. This is the book that scares me the most to read, from what I’ve heard on Canada Reads 2009 it’s not sounding that all intriguing. But I’ll still be sure to read it anyway.
Now today’s discussion that provided the best discussion was when Jian Ghomeshi asked the panelists what character resonated the most with them. I was a little surprised that many had to say that that character was either Peter Peddington from Fruit or Aminata from The Book of Negroes. From what I’ve been hearing from the panelists they didn’t seem to like Fruit but I could be wrong.
It’s hard to say what’s going to happen tomorrow but we do know that book number two will be out of the running. The two books I’m most rooting for The Fat Woman Next Door is Pregnant (not really for the book because it’s becoming difficult to keep reading, rather, for Michel Tremblay’s other works they are fantastic) and Fruit are still in the running. The book that seems to be getting the least attention is The Outlander and I’m not sure why that is. I’m really keen to read that book, it’ll probably be the next one I get in the group.
Well, I’m off to finish The Book of Negroes. Only 70 pages to go and it’s great, but I don’t think it’s the book that all of Canada should read.
When Canada Reads starts up it seems to be over just as quickly. With that in mind I try to savor every minute of the debates. Today, again, I feel that we have a wonderful group of people on the panel and I really like Nicolas Campbell’s strategy.
In day two there seemed to be a lot of discussion about Fruit. Now I don’t have a problem with that but most of the discussion seemed negative. Now Campbell and some others on the panel don’t think Fruit is a book they couldn’t recommend to everyone. This would be a down side to the book, but I think that the Canada Reads 2009 pick should be something that challenges readers in someway, which I think Fruit does. The concept of talking nipples is fantastic and it’s the most memorable part of the novel so I’m not really sure why Jen Sookfong Lee thinks she needs to mention that all the time.
Nicolas Campbell has a wonderful strategy. His strategy, and he’s said it himself, is to draw the panelists attention away from his book (The Outlander). I guess that’s because if you don’t talk about it the negatives cannot come out. But I’m alright with that, from what I’ve heard about the book I’m really excited to read it now.
The first blow came at the expense of David Adams Richards’ Mercy Among the Children. This seems to be getting quite a bit of negative press on Canada Reads, almost as much as Fruit. It has been getting so much negative feedback that I’m not really looking forward to the book, it’s getting to the point where it’s looking like reading it will be a daunting task. I’ll try not to let that bother me when I get to it
So, where does this take us on the Canada Reads 2009 journey? Well, the panelists voted for the first book out. We aren’t going to find out exactly what that book is until the beginning of tomorrows instalment. I’m afraid that the first book out will be Fruit by Brian Francis but I hope it’s not. I really think the panelists need to see the book for what it is and appreciate the quirky qualities it possesses. It also seems that The Fat Woman Next Door is Pregnant by Michel Tremblay is leading the pack, which is great. The characters are wonderful, and I don’t think Tremblay could write a bad character if he wanted even the worst person he’d write about would have some kind of endearing quality.
It’ll be interesting to see where the panelists take us tomorrow.
Today was the first day of Canada Reads 2009, is there a better day in the year? I have my doubts. It’s always exciting to hear what the defenders of each book has to say. In case you don’t already know here are the books and their defender:
- The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill defended by Avi Lewis
- The Fat Woman Next Door is Pregnant by Michel Tremblay defended by Anne-Marie Withenshaw
- Fruit by Brian Francis defended by Jen Sookfong Lee
- Mercy Among the Children by David Adams Richards defended by Sarah Slean
- The Outlander by Gil Adamson defended by Nicholas Campbell
As seems to be the most logical question when trying to select a book a whole nation, particularly one as vast Canada, should those defending the books were ask what makes a novel great, and why you would want all Canadians to read it? This is a great question and it has made me think about what it is that makes a book stand out for me. I really don’t know what it is, but I think there are couple of things that definitely contribute to greatness in novels.
First I think it has be entertaining. If the novel isn’t able to keep my attention, and this can be difficult sometimes, I cannot finish it. So, I guess this would be the most important aspect in making a great novel. It also has to evoke some kind of emotion. The books that are most memorable are ones that have stirred strong emotions. I’m sure each of you could think of at least one thing that makes for a great novel. What would that be?
It seems from the way the discussion progressed today that The Book of Negroes may not be the hands down winner I thought it would be. When asked which novels were the ones they liked the least all but two were mentioned by the panelist. Right now it seems that the front runners may be The Fat Woman Next Door is Pregnant (which is one of the two books I’m really rooting for) and The Outlander.
Tomorrow the voting starts. Each book is eliminated until the winner is named. I’m really excited to see who will join the pantheon of past winners. Tomorrow should be another fascinating debate, until then keep reading.
For a fan of Canadian literature and the CBC what could be more exciting than the beginning of another season of Canada Reads? Nothing! I can feel the buzz in the air and the constant firing of the synapses. This comes with only one regret, not having read all the books for this round of Canada Reads.
The 2009 selections come with a couple of books I’ve wanted to read and some I’ve never considered reading even though I’ve come across them many times. I’ve already finished one of the books for this season and have another two on the go, one of which I’m past the half way mark.
Again just to recap here are the books for the 2009 take on Canada Reads:
- Lawrence Hill’s The Book of Negroes
- Michel Tremblay’s The Fat Woman Next Door is Pregnant
- Brian Francis’ Fruit
- David Adams Richards’ Mercy Among the Children
- Gil Adamson’s The Outlander
Now, I’m not entirely sure what is more exciting, Christmas Eve or Canada Reads Eve? I’m really excited to see what the panel has to say tomorrow.
It’s no surprise to many of you blog fans out there that actually keep an eye on the Canada Reads competition that Fruit seems to be the underdog that everyone is rooting for. At this point, it’s the only one I’ve finished but I did love it you can find my full review here. But I do have The Fat Woman Next Door is Pregnant on the go as well as The Book of Negroes. I’m enjoying both these books but because I love work Tremblay has done for the stage I’d really like to see his book be victorious. So, basically I’m torn between Tremblay’s and Francis’ novels.
I also want to remind those of you that may not have noticed yet that I’m going to be giving away a copy of the winning novel Canada Reads 2009 because, well, it’s the book deemed a must read by Canadians. Feel free to enter it’s a giveaway open to everyone and anyone. All the best to those that enter, the winner will be selected Saturday morning.
I hope there are others out there as excited about the week ahead as I am!
This is part of the book giveaway carnival being hosted over at bookroom reviews.
So I thought I would give this a shot. I’ve been the recipient of a few prizes when others have done giveaways and thought it’s been more than time for me to host one of my own. I’ve been trying to think of the best thing I could giveaway. After giving it significant thought I’ve decided to giveaway a copy of the winning novel in this years Canada Reads 2009, or if you already have the novel you may select one of the other contenders.
To celebrate great Canadian writing you need to tell me what your favorite Canadian novel is and if you really want you can tell me why it’s your favorite.
The novels up for Canada Reads this year are:
The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill
The Fat Woman Next Door is Pregnant by Michel Tremblay
Fruit by Brian Francis
Mercy Among the Children by David Adams
The Outlander by Gil Adamson
Canada Reads runs on CBC from March 2-6 so the winner will be selected the following day. All the best to everyone who enters. I must also say I hope to hear about some great Canadian novels that I haven’t read yet.