Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Canada Reads 2010

The 2010 edition of CBC's Canada Reads was launched with the announcement of the books and their defenders this morning. The debates will run on CBC Radio from March 8-12, 2010. Once again Jian Ghomeshi will host.
This group of CanCon has a fair amount of EdCon, with one novel, Good to a Fault, by Edmonton's Marina Endicott and another novel, Generation X,  defended by Edmonton musician and Poet Laureate Rolly Pemberton (aka Cadence Weapon).  The Edmontonian blog calls it "Edmonton Reads" (The Edmontonian blogger Alexis Kienlen will be blogging about the Canada Reads at the Roughing it in the Bush  blog).  Here's  the 2010 Canada Reads books:
  • The Jade Peony by Wayson Choy. Defended by Samantha Nutt. A 1995 novel set in Vancouver written by a Toronto writer and defended by a Toronto physician/humanitarian.
  • Good to a Fault by Marina Endicott. Defended by Simi Sara. A 2008 novel set in Saskatoon written by an Edmonton writer and defended by a Vancouver broadcaster. 
  • Nikolski by Nicolas Dickner. Defended by Michel V├ęzina. A 2005 novel set in Montreal written in French by a Montreal writer and defended by a Montreal writer and critic.
  • Generation X by Douglas Coupland. Defended by Roland Pemberton.  A 1991 novel set in California written by a Vancouver writer and defended by an Edmonton musician. 
  • Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald. Defended by Perdita Felicien. A 1996 novel set in Nova Scotia written by a Toronto writer and defended by a Toronto athlete.
A solid list of great books. Maybe a little too solid, as they are all award-winners of various kinds and except for Nikolski they are all very well-known books. With Fall on Your Knees a 2002 Oprah Book Club pick I'm pretty sure many folks have already read the book. I'm surprised a little by Pemberton's pick, Generation X. Published in 1991 it is the moldy-oldy of this group, and for me it seems a book that had its moment in the sun but now seems a bit quaint. Coupland has just published a sort-of-sequel, Generation A, so perhaps I should have another look. Pemberton could have shone the light on an Edmonton book, like Minister Faust's acclaimed SF novel The Coyote Kings of the Space-Aged Bachelor Pad. Faust has been compared to Nalo Hopkinson, whose book Brown Girl in the Ring was a 2008 Canada Reads' pick. I'm sure there is a complicated process behind the scenes picking defenders, books and authors, with the requisite cross-Canada representation (it is a CBC production after all!), so I won't hold it against Mr. Weapon.
The Library has at least one copy of each book at present, and we are buying more as demand requires.


    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Pete. I said the very same thing to Mr. Pemberton himself, suggesting Minister Faust's book and he got annoyed with me. I found his choice uninspired.

    Wayne Arthurosn

    9:40 p.m.  
    Blogger Libarbarian said...

    Cadence Weapon responding to criticism of his choice on Twitter:

    "I chose @DougCoupland's book for my own personal reasons. I don't care about historical popularity or what the literary canon thinks."

    "What is with the assumption that because I'm a black Edmontonian, I obviously should champion Mr. Azania's book?"

    10:03 a.m.  
    Blogger Libarbarian said...

    Cadence Weapon on Minister Faust:

    "Faust worked with my father for a long time. His book is great and I have a lot of respect for him."

    9:48 a.m.  

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