Contest and poll update, week ending December 13

Howdy, book lovers!

Right now we have two contests running related to Canada Reads:

In the weekly contest on this site, we're giving away a full set of the Canada Reads books plus a stylish tote bag. Suzanne Flaro of Gananoque, Ontario, is our most recent winner.

On the Book Club site, there's a monthly contest to win one of two Sony Reader Digital Books. It's called Make Your Pitch, and to enter just tell us which book you'd pick to champion for Canada Reads and why. You can make your pitch by e-mail, a short vlog or even via podcast. Two winners will be chosen at the end of each month — and knowing how busy things can get with the holidays approaching, you may want to enter soon!

Here's an entry we received from Tracey Galloway in Thamesford, Ontario:

"Given the opportunity to be a Canada Reads panelist, I would champion Bonnie Burnard's A Good House. The novel is a quiet account of one family's journey through the challenges of life in a middle-class, small-town Ontario setting.

"For me, setting is everything. The places in which we live determine the people we will be. The quiet, tree-lined streets of Burnard's towns and cities, the sombre Lake Huron shoreline, these are the scenes of my own childhood. The people of southern Ontario show signs of having been raised in this landscape: they are solid, firm and comfortable and at the same time emotionally remote. They have the appearance of ease with family and community but their relationships are superficial. Like a solid brick home, their patient, rather stoic demeanour is their armour against emotional attachment.

"Burnard writes about Ontarians like a surgeon, peeling back the thin skin of success to expose the deep scars of experience. Every person suffers; Ontarians are masters at suffering alone. And while contemporary psychology makes a virtue of exposing emotion, Burnard shows us both the costs and the rewards of restraint, of the considered, careful love that often lies at the heart of family relationships.

"Burnard's A Good House is a beautiful story that evokes the spirit of contemporary, small-town, southern Ontario."

What's your book pick? Make your pitch at bookclubcontest@cbc.ca.

In last week's poll, we wanted to know how many of the Canada Reads titles you've already read. Clearly, you're a well-read bunch: a hefty 37 per cent are already familiar with one title, 25 per cent have read two, nine percent have read three and a select two per cent have been through the whole list. On the other end of the scale, 27 per cent of voters haven't read any of the books.

Happy reading (or rereading!),

Rosie

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