Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Canada Reads!

As I posted a few months ago, CBC's Canada Reads has all of Canada... er... reading. Not that we don't already. I read a poll recently that said that Canadians rank first in the world when it comes to intelligence and reading.


Ok, just because that poll was scribbled into one of my own notebooks in MY handwriting doesn't mean it couldn't be true!

Anyway, yesterday kicked off the week-long Canada Reads debates, where five champions will be defending the books they've chosen that they believe all of Canada should be reading. I'm completely biased in this one: I'm rootin' for Fruit. Written by Brian Francis, this book was acquired and edited by me way back in 2004, and it's still one of my favourite books I've read. It's warm, hilarious, sweet, and sad, and pretty much sums up those awkward years of pre-adolescence.

Yesterday the champions introduced their books, and started taking potshots at the others. Host Jian Ghomeshi asked everyone to choose the book they liked the least, and the overwhelming choice was Sarah Slean's choice, Mercy Among the Children by David Adams Richards. Sarah Slean, on the other hand, attacked Fruit. (Ah!! There goes my love of her...) The good thing was, it caused the other panellists to actually defend Fruit for being so funny and heartwarming. Then Nicholas Campbell, defending The Outlander by Gil Adamson (my runner-up for fave book... not just because Gil is the editor of my Finding Lost books!) said that he loved Fruit, but couldn't recommend it to "certain" friends who may have prejudices. That caused Avi Lewis, defending The Book of Negroes, to say, "Oh, so you're voting against Fruit because your homophobe friends won't like it?" AWESOME.

Jen Sook-Fong Lee is an amazing champion for Fruit, and I love hearing her talk about what a wonderful book it is. Also on the panel is Anne-Marie Witthenshaw, who is defending Michel Tremblay's The Fat Woman Next Door Is Pregnant. She also seemed to like Fruit. This puts Fruit in a good spot for today.

Please tune in to CBC Radio One at 11:30am every day this week, repeated at 7:30pm each day, and if you're outside of Canada, try the broadband, which you can listen to here (Go to Radio One and click on the program name Q). Today they'll vote off one book, and will do so every day until Friday, when it'll be down to two books and one will be declared the one book that all of Canada must be reading!

Also, there is an online poll on the Canada Reads site, and if you ever wanted to thank me for hosting this blog (first of all, you reading this is thank-you enough) then please please please vote for Fruit. The People's Choice gets kudos too, and if he can't win on the show, I'd love him to win this way! :) Let Canada know that the story of an overweight boy who is discovering he is gay is a book everyone should be reading!

Come on, FRUIT!!!!!


Corey said...

A good first day. Lee has her work cut out for her, but she came prepared and ready. BTW, the CBC poll on favourite book does not differentiate between computers, which means you can vote again, and again, and again.

Ronald Helfrich Jnr. said...

Book of Negroes wins...