Monday, April 17, 2006

When you don't know what to bet on, bet on a genital
- Scott Thompson

Canada Reads began today. If you are unfamiliar with previous versions, five books are chosen for the short list of the book which everybody in Canada should read (but I think my American and British friends should get involved as well). Each book is pitched by an advocate. Each day one book is dropped from the list (Survivor for the literary set) and the book left standing at the end of the week is declared "the book everybody in Canada should read".

Here's the list:

  1. Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden - advocated by Nelofer Pazira (the tale of aboriginal Canadians fighting in the First World War)
  2. Rooms for Rent in the Outer Planets by Al Purdy - advocated by Susan Musgrave (first poetry book to be listed)
  3. A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews - advocated by John K Samson (the tale of a rebellious teenager in a small religious community)
  4. Deafening by Frances Itani - advocated by Maureen McTeer (set during WWI, a girl loses her hearing as a young child)
  5. Cocksure by Mordecai Richler - advocated by Scott Thompson (satire of the entertainment industry in 60's London)

So far Scott Thompson (of Kids in the Hall fame - or infamy) has been the most outrageous and the sassiest (as would be expected). Love him as I do, I am firmly behind my hero, John K Samson, frontman of the Weakerthans, songwriter, poet, publisher, and avid curler. A Complicated Kindness was the best book I read last year and if it's good enough for JKS, it's good enough for me.

<---- the lovely and talented John K Samson

I'll keep you posted as the week progresses.


John Mutford said...

Just out of curiousity, you say A Complicated Kindness was your favourite book from last year- did you read the other nominees for Canada Reads?

Barbara said...

Are all these books available in french and other native and non native languages so all Canadians have no excuse for not reading them? 'cept those less literate people. Let me know who wins.

Stephanie said...

that is an awesome contest
is it a contest? i don't know
either way
awesome idea

Anonymous said...

A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews - advocated by John K Samson (the tale of a rebellious teenager in a small religious community)

Now that sounds interesting. Extremely interesting, thank you Barbara-master-of-all-hot! Updates would most seriously rock.

Maureen said...

The only one I've read there so far is A Complicated Kindness, great book - the list always gives me ideas of other things I should be reading though.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Hello John Mutford, and welcome! That's an excellent question; you caught me. No, I haven't read the others, yet. I shall. I thought I had read all of Mordecai Richler's books, but turns out I missed Cocksure. That's the next one I read, for sure.

Another good question, Barbara W. I'm not certain what languages these books are available in. I would certainly imagine French. Check through the Canada Reads website, if you are really curious.

It's not so much a contest, Stephanie, except that the books are competing against each other. I think this is the 4th year it's been held. I know someone will correct me if I'm wrong. It's a blast.

hahaha Michelle, sweet thing, you are going to give me a swollen head! It is a really compelling book. I loved the protagonist, Nomi Nickel. She was quirky and sassy and funny and sad.
I'll let you know what got voted off each day.

Maureen, I'm the same way. I definitely have to read Cocksure now. And in the past I've read a bunch of other books based on their being on Canada Reads.
Have you read any other Miriam Toews books? I keep looking for them at the library.

WolfHeart RavenHorse said...

The only one I have read on the list was A Complicated Kindness, and that was on the suggestion of Barb. I tend to agree with her, it was one of the best books I read last year! It has my vote (not that that counts or anything! lol)


Will said...

I will have to read A Complicated Kindness based on your rec. I have not been as god about my reading this year. It's hard to compete with my mom though ... she demolishes books rather quickly.

Will said...

It's always nice to find out your favorite stars read books. I was working at a bookstore and Reese Witherspoon walked in. It gave me a whole new respect for her.

Will said...

Samson looks like a very nice guy.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Thanks Bev - I'm so happy that I commanded you to agree with me! It's a good book though, isn't it? Glad you liked it. Did you read it on the beach recently?

I'm flattered, Will, thanks. I hope you will enjoy the book, and that it is just as meaningful for someone in San Francisco as it was for someone who is familiar with its setting of southern Manitoba. I'm not keeping up with my reading as much as I used to either. Life keeps getting in the way.
I'm actually always shocked to find out that there are people who DON'T read books. But that's very cool that Reese Witherspoon came into your bookstore - my opinion of her has just gone up.
I was actually thrilled to learn that John Samson is a curler! I knew he was a reader, as he founded a publishing company.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Will! You got yourself an angle photo! Very nice, my dear.

JKS IS a really nice guy. I kept running into him at the Folk Fesival last summer (I wasn't really stalking him) and he is so gracious and sweet and kinda shy. His wife is really cool too - the musician Christine Fellows. I'm planning to do a piece on her one day.

WolfHeart RavenHorse said...

I did read it on the beach, I got through one other book and then I began the one you suggested....when I could pry it from Sandra's hands! lol I think she wants to read it too.....


Barbara Bruederlin said...

Bev, the Marthas should all take a pilgrimmage to East Village, Manitoba and shock the Mennonites. Are you game?

Tydes Perdition said...

Ahh... thank you for bringing up Kids In The Hall. That show was either one of the funniest shows ever or the most downright bizarre, depending on the moment. So many of them have moved on to bigger things but Scott Thompson you don't hear enough about. He was a fantastic part of that show.

WolfHeart RavenHorse said...

They would not know what hit them!!!!!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Jeff, Kids in the Hall was great! Although it could sometimes be extremely weird. LOVE Scott Thompson; he is the sass!

Bev, we'd be banished.

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed a lot! printers Vw borla

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