A guest post written by Lija from The Writer’s Pet, who recently emigrated from Canada to the UK.
My home country’s population hovers around the paltry 30 mill mark (with three point three Canucks per square kilometre), but we seem to have a disproportionate knack for producing authors. Maybe it’s our thing (“cold” cannot be our thing, ok?).
Naturally, I’m feeling very patriotic about this year’s installation of Canada Reads, a CBC program (or “programme,” if you will) celebrating five Canadian books chosen (and ultimately defended) by five public figures. Everyone who wants to follow along has three months to read these books, and in March there’s a week-long series of radio debates about the merits of each. Titles will be knocked out until the “Read” of the year remains.
This whole idea gives me the warm fuzzies – I get an image of the entire nation, deep in the middle of winter, all sitting next to their radios and wood-burning cook-stoves with a pile of books by their side.
Past winning Canada Reads books include < ?php echo amazon('0330301837','In the Skin of a Lion by Michael Ondaatje ‘); ?> and < ?php echo amazon('0571224008','A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews ‘); ?> .
In the literary ring this year:
< ?php echo amazonim('1846271657'); ?>
< ?php echo amazon(1846271657,'Nikolski by Nicolas Dickner, translated by Lazer Lederhendler’); ?>
< ?php echo amazonim('0349108390'); ?>
< ?php echo amazon(0349108390,'Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture by Douglas Coupland’); ?>
< ?php echo amazonim('1590512162'); ?>
< ?php echo amazon(1590512162,'The Jade Peony by Wayson Choy’); ?>
< ?php echo amazonim('0099740516'); ?>
< ?php echo amazon(0099740516,'Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald’); ?>
I’ve yet to read any of these, but will be starting with Good to a Fault. I’m a bit daunted by Fall on Your Knees (which Jackie handily reviewed here ), but will probably tackle it next.
PS. I couldn’t possibly do a cross-cultural post without listing my favourite Canadian authors: Robertson Davies, Margaret Atwood (natch), Alice Munro, Elizabeth Hays, Carol Shields, Miriam Toews, Barbara Gowdy. And on the YA side – L.M. Montgomery, Monica Hughes, Kit Pearson (her best work is actually a trilogy featuring two British war guest children staying in Toronto).
PPS. I sure do like a lot of female authors.
Which books would you nominate for a Britain Reads challenge?
They don’t have to be brand-new, but they do have to be by a UK author. Bonus points if you can name a public figure that you’d like to defend the book.