Canada Reads 2006

Canada Reads is back! Canada Reads is a CBC Radio program that started in 2002 and runs for one week in April. I heard a preview of it yesterday and the debates run all next week. The premise is simple - the production team picks 5 panelists and each panelist picks a Canadian book that they want to defend. The panelists generally come from a varied background and the books often reflect that.

This year's books:

  • A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews - defended by John K Samson (best know as being a member of The Weakerthans)

  • Deafening by Frances Itani - defended by Maureen McTeer (lawyer, author, women's health activist and married to Joe Clark)

  • Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden - defended by Nelofer Pazira (filmmaker, journalist and author)

  • Rooms for Rent in the Outer Planets: Selected Poems, 1962-1996 by Al Purdy - defended by Susan Musgrave (author and poet)

  • Cocksure by Mordecai Richler - defended by Scott Thompson (comedian)

A Complicated Kindness was on my TBR list awhile ago but I had to return it to the library untouched. I've read Three Day Road and really liked it. I've read of both Rooms for Rent (I love that there is a book of poetry on the list) and Cocksure but never read them. I'm ashamed to say that other than the Jacob Two-Two books when I was a kid I've never read any Richler. I keep meaning to do that but you know the story, so many books, so little time. I've never heard of Deafening but it doesn't sound exceptionally gripping to me. Maybe the debate will make me change my mind.

Also on the Canada Reads site you can see the panelists list of books that they chose from and from which the selections were short listed. I'll have some investigating to do.

Also if you scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on years 2004 and 2005 you can listen to past debates.

I really like how this does get people talking about books. And I love that the publishers donate copies of the short listed books to libraries and that an even larger donatation of the winning book is made as well.