Well, I’m a little late getting to this, but Canada Reads came to an end.
I was a little surprised that The Break was the first book eliminated, since from what I’ve heard of the book (it’s the last one I have to read, and the only one I haven’t started yet), it’s just the sort of book that the competition loves. A crime, the lives of witnesses, native point of view. And yet, out it went
Nostalgia was the next to go. I actually really enjoyed this one. It was slow starting, but the ideas started coming together midway through the books, and in the end, it had a lot of meaning in relation to the present
The Right To Be Cold wasn’t so much of a surprise. Personally, I thought this was an very important book to read, but from the first day, it was clear that the panellists didn’t understand the book. They were focused on it being a book about climate change, and didn’t like having all the other elements (memoir, pollution, colonialism, etc) in it. To me, that was painfully short-sighted. As well, there was one panellist who complained that the writing was too difficult for the average reader in Canada. Sigh.
So in the end, it came down to the magic-realism (Fifteen Dogs) and straight sf (Company Town). I’m nearly finished Company Town, and while it’s a really good book, it just isn’t what I would consider a Canada Reads winner. As a result, I wasn’t surprised at all when Fifteen Dogs won. And for the panellist who wanted something… easier for Canada, a book that is less that 200 pages is just what he wanted. Personally, I think that’s short-sighted. Canada Reads should pick something that informs and challenges, along with entertaining the public.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that Fifteen Dogs is completely unworthy of the title, I just think that pretty much any of the others (other than Company Town) would have been a better winner.
Still, Canada Reads is over for another year. It will be interesting to see what contends next year.