I just finished listening to Jian Ghomeshi on Canada Reads as he introduced the 5 panelists with their chosen books. Here they are:
- Stephen Lewis defends The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood
- Wab Kinew defends The Orenda by Joseph Boyden
- Donovan Bailey defends Half Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan
- Samantha Bee defends Cockroach by Rawi Hage
- Sarah Gadon defends Annabel by Kathleen Winter
What a great list! I have already read two of these books, and I can’t wait to read the other three. What do you think about this list?
9 thoughts on “Canada Reads Top 5 2014”
I think I might have a good shot of reading all of these by the time the show airs, which will be a ton of fun. I’m a HUGE Canada Reads fan. It’s like the Superbowl of Can Lit. My thoughts on the list:
1. I just read Oryx and Crake in August (you can read my review and my read-along posts here: http://anotherbookblog.com/tag/oryx-and-crake/). Really, really good book. I wanted to take a little break before reading Year of the Flood, so the timing of this is great for me. I’ll be raring to go in the new year. I wonder how many Canada Reads books have been sequels? And given that this year’s theme is “books that can change Canada,” I’m wondering if this book fits or not. Excited for this one, though.
2. The Orenda is quite possibly my favourite Canadian novel ever, so I was incredibly happy to see this make the show. After the unforgivable Giller snub this year, perhaps this book can gain some payback with a Canada Reads win (I totally see how this is a book that can change Canada).
3. What has really started to bother me about Canada Reads is that books by white authors consistently get represented by white panelists, black by black panelists, aboriginals by aboriginal panelists, etc. It’s disappointing to me. For a country that prides itself on diversity, why do we pigeonhole our readers like this? Regardless, this is a book I have wanted to read for a while, so I’m glad I’ll get the chance to do so now. Not sure how Donovan Bailey will be as a panelist, though. Maybe he’ll be great. I hope so.
4. I tried to read Cockroach the year it was up for the giller (2008 I think?) and HATED it. I’m really dreading the thought of trying this one again. Such an odd protagonist. I’ll probably read this one last.
5. I have never heard of this book but I think it sounds fascinating. Really really interesting premise. Hopefully Sarah Gadon can defend it well. (Newfoundland is such an odd setting for this book. This is coming from a maritimer 😀 )
Hi Rick! I left my reply to your comment in the comment spot instead of hitting reply, so you can see it there! Thanks for stopping by!
My thoughts on your thoughts:
1. I loved all three of the books in this series, so if you liked the first one, I feel pretty sure you’ll like them all. It’s not really a book about social change like the others, but more environmental and ethical issues in this one.
2. Totally agree with you about The Orenda! It was amazing, and I learned a lot from it.
3. I agree with you here too. I was just noticing this yesterday as I was listening to the show. Has this also been the case in the past? Donovan Bailey was the only one who didn’t seem to be prepared on the show yesterday, but hopefully this means he’ll be ready when it counts. I hope so, for the sake of his book. I haven’t read this one yet either.
4. This is the other one I haven’t read, so I’m sorry to hear you hated it. Hopefully, it was just your mood at the time, because we have to read it!
5. I just read this book and loved it. Also Sarah Gadon did a great job yesterday. When you read it, you’ll see how the setting is actually just right for the story. (Also coming from a maritimer.)
I also love Canada Reads. I always want to read the Top 40, but I never come even close. Maybe someday. I’m always amazed by how many good books and writers we have here, many that I haven’t even heard of. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
My disdain for Cockroach could definitely be the result of timing. I tried to read all five Giller nominees in about 3 1/2 weeks (while going to university), so I was definitely in an all-or-nothing mood. Crossing my fingers this time!
What part of the maritimes are you from?
Nova Scotia. You?
Do you know of any other maritime bloggers?
I’m from Nova Scotia, too! Cape Breton, if that means anything (it does to most haha). The only other maritime blogger I know (I’m sure there’s lots, though), is Kirt over at http://writereads.wordpress.com/
I’m from the opposite end of the province- Yarmouth. Nice to meet you!
Hey, I was excited to see this list! We are reading them all for my book club after Christmas. I’ve only read #3 so far!
Hi! #3 and #4 are the two I haven’t read yet. Fun idea for your bookclub!