books

Canada Reads Day Two

Oh  my God, we’re heading to the vote! As I’m listening, I’m actually on tenterhooks. From the discussion, as I mentioned elsewhere, Good to a Fault seems invisible in the debates and mostly absent from the discussions, and thus is the one, for me, that should be the first to go.

They’re voting…Auugh! And an untimely phone call from work!! On my day off! [cursing]…

Well, okay, I’ve just heard that the votes were handed in and they’re not going to release the result until tomorrow. Cliffhanger!!

So my initial thoughts on today’s discussion, then: better discussion today! I thoroughly enjoyed it. Though it’s hard to sort out comments when they talk all at once. Still, the enthusiasm is infectious. I’m really loving Michel’s comments, both in the confessionals and during the competition, especially his point about what a writer once told him: that perhaps the most important words are the ones the author decided not to write. How true with Nikolski!

He was also right in bringing in “humanity and garbage,” two very relevant or current topics. Aside from the threads of fish and geography, which I think are other significant topics, humanity and garbage will be good ones to talk about, and I look forward to hearing what he has to say on them. As I say this I’m beginning to feel overwhelmed by the themes in this book and the volumes they speak. So I loved Michel’s very valid question about what constitutes “deepness” for literature, going on yesterday’s accusations that Nikolski was “thin.” I’d love to hear what you think in the comments.

Based on Ghomeshi’s questions, I have to admit that I answered with Nikolski each time: my favourite character, the most (currently) inventive writing, etc. Honestly, I’m trying to be less biased and more open to the other books, which as I’ve said before I also enjoyed, but I keep coming back to Nikolski. It ended up perhaps surprisingly winning on Civilians Read; will it surprise here, too?

Sam’s 30-second defence of the Jade Peony was also impressive. I did love the book very much (I love all of Wayson Choy’s writing) and if Nikolski doesn’t win, the Jade Peony is my second choice. I also loved Sam’s answer to the question regarding the point of Canada Reads and whether or not books have had their day. I agree with her most, I think, when it comes to this.

What’s interesting are the preconceived notions the panelists took in about the books but also we as readers have brought to the competition regarding the books because of their past reception. I’d really love to know how our expectations have changed or if our perceptions of the books have, based on the debates thus far. To see how Charlotte Ashley’s have already changed, see her Inklings blog post on Day One.

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