Canada Reads 2014

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It doesn't look like anyone has posted about this year's Canada Reads contest so I'll do it (apologies if there has been a post but I did a search and didn't see anything for this year).

There are 5 books in the running:
The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood (haven't read it but am planning to before the broadcast)
The Orenda by Joseph Boyden (just finished this and think it is wonderful http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/12257730)
Half-Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan (read it in 2011 when it won The Giller Award http://www.librarything.com/work/11314456/reviews/79898804)
Cockroach by Rawi Hage (haven't read it and don't intend to because I disliked Hage's book De Niro's Game)
Annabel by Kathleen Winter (read it in 2011 as well http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/8525091/)

Right now, with 3 out of 5 read, I'm rooting for The Orenda. The broadcast will be in the mornings on the week of March 3 to 6 so plenty of time to get at least some of these books read. Which one do you think all Canadians should read?

 

The three you mentioned sound fascinating (you write such good reviews)..and I'm still looking for books for the Canadian reading challenge, so I may be looking for Annabel.

 

The three you mentioned sound fascinating (you write such good reviews)..and I'm still looking for books for the Canadian reading challenge, so I may be looking for Annabel.

Thanks hyphen8. They are all good reads.

 

I like Atwood but have not read the three books in this trilogy and want to read them in order...guess I'd better get started.
Read your journal for Boyden earlier today on the SIY#27 strand and decided to order it from my favorite bookstore - Fanfare Books in Stratford, Ontario.
Bought Half-Blood Blues on 3 August 2012 at Fanfare, and of the $150+ spent that day on books, this is the only one I have not read. :-)
Liked DeNiro's Game but not enough to buy another book by Hage.
Just went to the Canada Reads site and Annabel sounds fascinating.
So...must dash off a note to Bob Newland at Fanfare Books!
gypsysmom...I always follow your book reviews. :-)

 

Thanks for posting this, I get a bit out of touch with Canadian literature over here in Europe. I loved Oryx and Crake and look forward to reading The Year of the Flood.

 

Was hooked by the third page...loving this book! Changing my wings to the Canadian Maple Leaf while I'm reading Canadian Lit. :-)

 

Was hooked by the third page...loving this book! Changing my wings to the Canadian Maple Leaf while I'm reading Canadian Lit. :-)

We're delighted to have you as an honourary Canadian!

 

Was hooked by the third page...loving this book! Changing my wings to the Canadian Maple Leaf while I'm reading Canadian Lit. :-)

We're delighted to have you as an honourary Canadian!


OH MY GOODNESS! I feel like I've been awarded the Order of Canada! Thank you!

 

Finished and loved it. Have two other friends reading it now. Next up is The Orender in February but have a couple of others to read first. Reading a YA novel by Tim Wynne-Jones right now.

 

Finished and loved it. Have two other friends reading it now. Next up is The Orender in February but have a couple of others to read first. Reading a YA novel by Tim Wynne-Jones right now.

I saw your post in the SIY thread and was so happy. I'll be waiting to see what you think of The Orenda.

 

lambygirl 5 yrs ago
Between
Half Blood Blues and Year of the Flood (the only two I have read) I would say that both are good choices. However, I would choose Year of the Flood. I don't like every Atwood book but the first two books in this trilogy are excellent and should be on people's must-read list.

 

Half Blood Blues and Year of the Flood (the only two I have read) I would say that both are good choices. However, I would choose Year of the Flood. I don't like every Atwood book but the first two books in this trilogy are excellent and should be on people's must-read list.

Behind in my Atwood and haven't read the first book in trilogy yet. Sigh...

 

Half Blood Blues and Year of the Flood (the only two I have read) I would say that both are good choices. However, I would choose Year of the Flood. I don't like every Atwood book but the first two books in this trilogy are excellent and should be on people's must-read list.

I'm planning on reading The Year of the Flood before the Canada Reads week. Then some time later this year I will read MaddAddam. I mostly do like Atwood's writing and especially her speculative fiction books.

 

I've read Year of the Flood, Half-Blood Blues and Annabel. I enjoyed all of them, Annabel most of all. I hope to read The Orenda before the event begins, and maybe I'll get to Cockroach too.

 

I have read 3! The Orenda, Half-Blood Blues and Annabel. I have no plans to read either The Year of the Flood, nor Cockroach (I'm with you on DeNiro's Game, and I read another of his earlier works last year and didn't like it either).

I'm normally a massive Boyden fan, but found the violence in The Orenda too graphic. I also suffered white man's (or woman's) guilt while reading...and found the whole book so incredibly sad that I actually *wouldn't* recommend it to anyone!

I loved Half-Blood Blues for it's change of perspective on a familiar story, plus I LOVE the musicality of it. I thought Annabel was a wonderful first effort.

If I had to tell all 33 million Canadians to read something for 2014, it would probably be Half-Blood Blues.

Should I read The Year of the Flood? I did read Oryx and Crake, way back when.



 

I have read 3! The Orenda, Half-Blood Blues and Annabel. I have no plans to read either The Year of the Flood, nor Cockroach (I'm with you on DeNiro's Game, and I read another of his earlier works last year and didn't like it either).

I'm normally a massive Boyden fan, but found the violence in The Orenda too graphic. I also suffered white man's (or woman's) guilt while reading...and found the whole book so incredibly sad that I actually *wouldn't* recommend it to anyone!

I loved Half-Blood Blues for it's change of perspective on a familiar story, plus I LOVE the musicality of it. I thought Annabel was a wonderful first effort.

If I had to tell all 33 million Canadians to read something for 2014, it would probably be Half-Blood Blues.

Should I read The Year of the Flood? I did read Oryx and Crake, way back when.


I think your reaction to The Orenda is precisely why Canadians should read it. We need to understand the history to understand the present-day. Boyden researched the book thoroughly and I can believe that the violence he portrayed was real. I also think the violence was necessary in order to understand the ending.

I've just started reading The Year of the Flood so I can't answer your question right now. I'll try to remember to come back when I have finished it.

I did love Half-Blood Blues but it didn't seem to have a particularly Canadian message to it. I do believe the book chosen for Canada Reads should reflect some truth about Canada and The Orenda, out of all of them, seems to do that the best.

 

"I think your reaction to The Orenda is precisely why Canadians should read it. We need to understand the history to understand the present-day. Boyden researched the book thoroughly and I can believe that the violence he portrayed was real. I also think the violence was necessary in order to understand the ending."

I agree. Having watched Canada Reads and listened to all the arguments, I agree the violence was necessary (and real). I don't do well with violence, whether in books or on the screen, so for me it's a very honest reaction. The panelists were all EXCELLENT and I really enjoyed Canada Reads 2014. So much passion about literature, it was inspiring.

 

The panelists were all EXCELLENT and I really enjoyed Canada Reads 2014. So much passion about literature, it was inspiring.


I think that this year's Canada Reads was one of the best ever. And I see from the best seller's lists in the Globe and Mail that The Orenda is at the top of the Fiction list and many of the other contestants appear on the Top Ten Canadian Fiction list. And that doesn't even take into account all the people who take them out of the library. My library system has 82 copies, almost all of which are out at this moment with 201 holds in place. Canada Reads has a tremendous impact.

 

Here's my LibraryThing review for this book:
http://www.librarything.com/---/104558029

I thought it was well done and I'm looking forward to reading MaddAddam but it's not going to kick The Orenda out of first place as far as I'm concerned. So for me the list would be rated as follows:
1. The Orenda
2. Half-Blood Blues
3. The Year of the Flood
4. Annabel
5. Cockroach (even though I haven't read it since I don't intend to).

The other 4 are all excellently written but I think The Orenda is the one that every Canadian should read.

 

Were heading home to Canada for a visit this Fall. I'll be keeping an eye open for all these books, either on paper or for my iPad. Thanks for this thread gypsysmom.

 

Were heading home to Canada for a visit this Fall. I'll be keeping an eye open for all these books, either on paper or for my iPad. Thanks for this thread gypsysmom.

Glad to share my book reading compulsion!

 

I haven't had a chance to listen to day 3 yet (really hate when work gets in the way of fun but next year I'll be retired and can listen as it happens--or is that another CBC program?). However from the question on the side panel of the Canada Reads website I can tell that the finalists are Cockroach by Rawi Hage and The Orenda by Joseph Boyden. I refused to read Cockroach and I've picked The Orenda from the moment I read it but I am curious what other people think. The very strange thing about Cockroach ending up in the final is that it has been the book that most people want eliminated when asked in the online poll. Obviously lots of people thought Cockroach shouldn't be in the running. The panelists have chosen to ignore that though.

Are the final two indicative of the theme "One Novel to Change our Nation"? I certainly think The Orenda is but from what I know of Cockroach I don't think it has that kind of impact.

 

I haven't read Cockroach. I almost always read all of the Canada Reads books, before the debates, but just didn't have the time and that one was the one I least wanted to read. I won't spoil the ending for you gypsysmom, but I thought that this year's Canada Reads debates were probably the best ever. I was initially disappointed that there weren't any *sparkling new* books/authors this year and I was really disappointed when Year of the Flood was eliminated on the first round! But I was so impressed by the panelists, Wab Kinew and Stephen Lewis especially. And Samantha Bee really nailed her last pitch for Cockroach.

 

I haven't read Cockroach. I almost always read all of the Canada Reads books, before the debates, but just didn't have the time and that one was the one I least wanted to read. I won't spoil the ending for you gypsysmom, but I thought that this year's Canada Reads debates were probably the best ever. I was initially disappointed that there weren't any *sparkling new* books/authors this year and I was really disappointed when Year of the Flood was eliminated on the first round! But I was so impressed by the panelists, Wab Kinew and Stephen Lewis especially. And Samantha Bee really nailed her last pitch for Cockroach.

I listened in my office to the final broadcast, something I'm rarely able to do but it worked out this year. So I know that The Orenda won and I also know that it came down to the final vote. My heart stood still while we waited for that final ballot. I agree that the panelists this year were good although Donovan Bailey wasn't as strong as the others in my opinion. I was happy that there wasn't as much strategic voting as went on some other years. I felt that all the panelists had really thought deeply about the books.

 

I refused to read Cockroach


May I ask what your objection is to Cockroach? (I haven't read it either...)

BTW, I don't really want to read The Orenda because I understand there are some graphic torture scenes in it.

 

I refused to read Cockroach


May I ask what your objection is to Cockroach? (I haven't read it either...)

BTW, I don't really want to read The Orenda because I understand there are some graphic torture scenes in it.


I read Rawi Hage's De Niro's Game when it came out and I was less than impressed with it. The style was choppy and the characters were not at all likeable. From what I know of Cockroach it sounds like very much the same style so not worth investing my time in.

The Orenda does have graphic torture scenes and they are difficult to read. BUT they are not at all gratuitous and the ending would not make sense without them. I had to make sure I didn't read them just before bed time but otherwise they didn't bother me. There are also scenes of great beauty and comic scenes and love making and everything is gorgeously written. You really should read read it.

 

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