Canada Reads 2012

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Canada Reads 2012

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1LynnB
oct. 19, 2011, 12:11pm

CBC has posted a long list of 40 books and fans are being asked to vote in order to reduce the list -- similar to last year. Haven't checked it out yet, but am hoping someone more technologically advanced than I could post a link to CBC web site???

2lkernagh
oct. 19, 2011, 5:27pm

I took a quick glance - the only top 40 list I could locate on CBC's website is the Top 40 non-fiction reads list for voters to pick the Top 10 from. Is this the one you mentioned Lynn?

3arcona
oct. 19, 2011, 7:23pm

I just checked out the link you posted, 2, and it looks like Canada Reads is going to be non-fiction this year. That seems to be the link.

4LynnB
oct. 20, 2011, 7:02am

Yes, it'll be a non-fiction year for Canada Reads. Should be different! I've only read a few of the top 40.

5arcona
oct. 20, 2011, 9:19am

I think non-fiction is a great idea for a change. I've always enjoyed a mixture of fiction and non-fiction so it appears Canada Reads is considering that mixture too. I too have only read a few of those books, but have read others by the authors of several of them.

6Nickelini
Editat: oct. 20, 2011, 10:43am

They were taking nominations for the last while (seems forever), but for some reason, I didn't really pay attention to what's going on so I didn't nominate anything. In the past, didn't the "celebrity" presenter pick his or her own book? Looks like they're really changing it this year.

7LynnB
Editat: oct. 20, 2011, 10:49am

Last year, the celebrities were given a short list of ten books (as voted on by listeners) from which they each chose one. Looks like they are doing that again.

Before last year, you are right, each celeb chose his/her own book.

8Nickelini
oct. 20, 2011, 11:59am

Thanks for explaining that, Lynn.

I looked at the choices this year and I'm not familiar with most of the books. I have read Jane Austen by Carol Shields, but I don't think it's really a great book for discussion. And although I enjoyed it immensely, I don't think it's a must read for all of Canada.

There are two I know enough about that I'd like to hear discussed: Shake Hands with the Devil, by Romeo Dallaire and Through the Glass by Shannon Moroney. The first is in my TBR pile and the second is on my wishlist. I heard an extensive interview on CBC1 with Moroney last week that brought my interest to her book.

9rabbitprincess
oct. 20, 2011, 6:25pm

I've read the Charlotte Gray book (Mrs. King) and thought it was great, and On a Cold Road is on my TBR. This list has also reminded me I wanted to read Paris 1919. Looking forward to seeing what the panellists pick!

10ajsomerset
oct. 20, 2011, 7:18pm

In the past, didn't the "celebrity" presenter pick his or her own book?

That's the CBC's story, but according to one of the actual presenters, they were asked to submit a list of books they'd be willing to champion, and then CBC chose the book from that list.

Last year, the celebrities were given a short list of ten books (as voted on by listeners) from which they each chose one.

Again, that's the CBC's story. But I believe what really happened last year was that the CBC chose books from the ten-book shortlist, and then looked for celebrities who seemed a good match for the book.

11Nickelini
oct. 20, 2011, 10:19pm

Hmmm. Most suspicious. I always have heard the pseudo-celeb saying things like "I picked this book . . ." Are we being lied to?

12ajsomerset
oct. 21, 2011, 1:03am

I can only say for sure what I was told about how it used to work. What happened last year, I hear only rumblings. But I forgive these trespasses, to an extent, because they are trying to make an interesting radio show.

I will say that I think it's a great thing they decided to focus on one thing (non-fiction). It would be nice to see them turn to different genres in different years. I'd be very happy to see Canada Reads abandon "we are defining an essential Canadian book" in favour of "We're talking about interesting Canadian books in such and such a genre."

13lkernagh
oct. 21, 2011, 9:23am

I'd be very happy to see Canada Reads abandon "we are defining an essential Canadian book" in favour of "We're talking about interesting Canadian books in such and such a genre."

I will second that. ;-)

14LynnB
oct. 21, 2011, 10:25am

Me too. Would make for a more interesting debate, I think.

15Nickelini
oct. 21, 2011, 11:40am

I just remembered I know someone who was one of the pseudo-celebs one year and who worked for the CBC until recently. I will dig for information next time I see her and report back.

16vancouverdeb
oct. 23, 2011, 10:29am

I'm surprised that I've read a few from the list . This year I've ventured into a couple of graphic novels, and so I have read Two Generals by Scott Chantler. I enjoyed it, but I don't think it's Canada Reads finalist material. But I do recommend it. I've also read Too Close To The Falls by Catherine Gildiner, which was hilarious. I've got the graphic novel Louis Riel by Chester Brown in my TBR pile. My son's girlfriend is reading that for her 4th year Canadian Studies Degree.

Interesting idea to only include non-fiction books. Charlotte Gray is a wonderful writer. I've not read Mrs. King but I've read Gold Diggers by Charlotte Gray and really enjoyed it.

Thanks for posting this. I'll keep a look out for some of the other contenders.

17vancouverdeb
oct. 24, 2011, 9:33pm

I purchased Mrs. King second hand from amazon ca and I hope it will be here in a week or two. It was really quite cheap.

18LynnB
nov. 2, 2011, 11:51am

The Top 10 list is out! Now, the panelists will choose the book they will defend. The five panelists and their choices will be made public Nov. 23rd.

The top 10 are:

The Boy in the Moon by Ian Brown. Mr. Brown writes about life with his severely disabled son Walker, who was born with an extremely rare genetic mutation. At eight, Walker is functionally autistic, unable to speak or swallow (he is fed through a feeding tube) and has a propensity for self-harm.

Cockeyed by Ryan Knighton. At 18, Ryan Knighton was told he was going blind.

The Game by Ken Dryden. Ken Dryden chronicles his 1979 season with the Montreal Canadiens.

Louis Rielby Chester Brown. Chester Brown is a comic-book artist who has turned his inimitable style to a compelling moment in Canadian history. Not a graphic novel so much as a graphic history book, and one that transforms history into legend.

On a Cold Road by Dave Bidini. An account of the life of a touring Canadian musician.

Paris 1919 by Margaret MacMillan. The international peace talks following the First World War, when American president Woodrow Wilson, British prime minister David Lloyd George and French premier Georges Clemenceau met in Paris for six months.

Prisoner of Tehran by Marina Nemat. As a teenager, Marina Nemat was arrested and spent two years in a political prison in Iran after the Islamic revolution.

Shake Hands with the Devil by Roméo Dallaire. In 1993, Lt.-Gen. Roméo Dallaire went to Rwanda on what he thought would be a straightforward peacekeeping mission. He returned home a year later, shattered by his team's failure to stop the slaughter of 800,000 Rwandans.

Something Fierce by Carmen Aguirre. Her family fled to Vancouver from Pinochet's regime in Chile when she was five, and only six years later, her mother moved Aguirre and her sister back to South America to join the resistance.

The Tiger by John Vaillant. Story of a small, poverty-stricken village and the vicious Siberian tiger with a personal vendetta against the village poachers.

19ajsomerset
nov. 2, 2011, 12:02pm

I'll now fearlessly predict that the Chester Brown book will be in the top five.

20vancouverdeb
nov. 2, 2011, 3:10pm

Fine by me, 19. I've got Louis Riel in my TBR pile. I wouldn't mind reading The Boy in the Moon or Prisoner of Tehran .

21Nickelini
nov. 2, 2011, 5:49pm

My husband and brother-in-law both loved the Ken Dryden book when they read it years ago. He sounds like a very intelligent man from what they said. I've heard good things about The Boy in the Moon. And lastly, I have Shake Hands with the Devil in Mnt TBR. But it's long, and I'm not brave enough to read it yet.

22vancouverdeb
nov. 3, 2011, 6:24pm

I'm about 60 pages into Louis Riel. If I owned the book, I'd like to pencil in the names of some of the characters, I'm finding it a bit confusing to tell visually who is who, and there is a large cast of people. So far a great introduction to Louis Riel and the Rebellion, which I know very little about.

23bsiemens
Editat: nov. 4, 2011, 12:10pm

#21 - I am interested in Shake Hands with the Devil but also feel a little timid about getting into it. I do love your word picture, "Mnt TBR."

#22 - J, my son, was very interested in Louis Riel during grade 10 because the teacher got them to re-enact the trial. J was the prosecutor and "slaughtered" - his words - the defense, who wasn't well-prepared. Acting aside, he informed me that he was on Louis Riel's side - apparently not uncommon in East Vancouver. I didn't enjoy the graphic novel that was on last year's shortlist but will give this one a try.

24Nickelini
nov. 4, 2011, 12:46pm

I do love your word picture, "Mnt TBR."

:--) ..... sometimes I call it Planet TBR, which is probably more accurate. But Mnt TBR rolls of the tongue better.

25vancouverdeb
nov. 4, 2011, 8:52pm

23 - I'm quite enjoying Louis Riel, now that I am into it. I'm used to flipping from the front to the back, where the author has a lot of notes for nearly every page. Very interesting story, and this author takes a sympathetic look at Louis Riel - which my uncle, , who claims to be distantly related to Louis Riel also takes. I know in Manitoba, they have Louis Riel Day, so I suspect most Manitoban's are sympathetic to him too. Louis Riel is really quite well done. The author states at the beginning that he is sympathetic to Louis Riel and suggests several other books which have less sympathetic points of view, as well as people who share his point of view. There is bibliography at the back. It certainly is fascinating history.

I've not yet read Essex Country , if that's the graphic novel you are referring to. Somehow it has not appealed to me.

Interesting that your son's class did a reenactment of Louis Riel in class! I don't think my schooling here in BC ever touched on Louis Riel.

26gypsysmom
nov. 12, 2011, 2:58pm

#21 and #23 Do read Shake Hands with the Devil. It's disturbing yes but so essential to understand what a cock-up the United Nations made in Rwanda and how Dallaire tried to do something despite that. If the UN had listened perhaps thousands of people would not have been killed. That was the book I nominated for the final 10 so I'm glad it made it. I'm hoping it will make the final 5 as well.

I am about to read Louis Riel for one of my book clubs. I'm really hoping it will be picked for the final 5. If both it and Shake Hands with the Devil are picked then I might be able to knock another 2 off before the broadcast. I'm thinking that another one might be The Tiger and I would really like to read that.

27LynnB
nov. 12, 2011, 3:33pm

I've read Shake Hands with the Devil and have both Louis Riel and The Tiger on the TBR shelves. John Vaillant's earlier book, The Golden Spruce was absolutely amazing.

28ajsomerset
nov. 12, 2011, 5:07pm

Shake Hands with the Devil is absolutely a must-read. If you read this, and also General Lewis Mackenzie's Peacekeeper, which deals with his time in Sarajevo, you will gain a new understanding of peacekeeping and its very real limitations. But Dallaire's book will make you angrier.

29vancouverdeb
nov. 16, 2011, 6:13am

I finished up Louis Riel sometime ago, and really enjoyed it! It interested me so much that I am now reading John A The Man Who Made Us - the 1st volume of Sir John A, and Canadian history and politics. It's interesting where a graphic novel can take you.

30rabbitprincess
Editat: nov. 24, 2011, 10:45am

The panelists and their books are announced! http://www.cbc.ca/news/arts/story/2011/11/22/canada-reads-panelists-books.html

- Arlene Dickinson of CBC's Dragon's Den defends Prisoner of Tehran by Marina Nemat (Penguin Canada).*
- Quebec reality-TV star Anne-France Goldwater defends The Tiger by John Vaillant (Vintage Canada).
- Model Stacey McKenzie defends On a Cold Road by Dave Bidini (McClelland & Stewart).*
- Rapper Shad defends Something Fierce by Carmen Aguirre (Douglas & McIntyre).
- Actor Alan Thicke defends The Game by Ken Dryden (Wiley Canada).*

I was three for five (indicated with stars), as was my co-worker. And I have to say I am astonished that Dallaire was not on the list. Was totally pulling for that one. But I'll settle for the Bidini since that's already on my TBR ;)

31HannahJo
nov. 24, 2011, 7:31am

I've read Prisoner of Tehran (breathtaking story) and The Tiger (even better than Vaillant's Golden Spruce.

I agree that Dallaire should have been on the list. I'm a bit puzzled by the choice of panelists. (Alan Thicke? Really?) Still, I'm looking forward to reading non-fiction this year and think Canada Reads is one of the highlights of CBC.

32LynnB
nov. 24, 2011, 10:40am

Thanx for posting the list, rabbitprincess. I haven't read any of these, but The Tiger is on by TBR shelves. Hard to believe it can be even better than The Golden Spruce! Can't wait to read it.

(Actually, I'm pretty sure I read The Game when it came out...my Dad was a major Canadiens fan so we MUST have had it in the house and I read everything.)

33gypsysmom
nov. 24, 2011, 9:46pm

I'm trying to talk my book club into reading one of these in February 2012 but they aren't big non-fiction readers. I've already put a hold on The Tiger at the library. It seems like I got in before the rush because there are only 12 holds ahead of me. If the book club picks something else then at least I will have read 2 of them. I'm not sure at this point which I'm rooting for since I haven't read any of them.

34vancouverdeb
nov. 25, 2011, 3:56am

I was kind of disappointed at this new list. I haven't read any of them. I'll bet The Game wins because it's so " Canadian".

35rabbitprincess
nov. 25, 2011, 9:20am

Probably! That's the one my co-worker and I have picked. (We've been trying to guess the top five ever since the top 40 came out, which makes a nice little parlour game.)