Tuesday, December 1, 2009 |
Hello again, readers!
It's launch day at Canada Reads and that means it's also big announcement time. I have just come from the studio where this year's panelists talked to Jian Ghomeshi about the books they're championing, and I couldn't be more thrilled to be the one who gets to share the news about the five contenders for Canada Reads 2010 . Hold on to your book bags, folks - things are about to get interesting.
Let's start with two undisputed classics of CanLit: Douglas Coupland's manifesto for a generation, Generation X, and Ann-Marie MacDonald's richly detailed family drama, Fall On Your Knees (a former Oprah pick, no less!). Giving MacDonald a run for her money in the family conflict department is Wayson Choy's intensely thoughtful The Jade Peony<, which focuses on the lives of three Chinese-Canadian siblings. Marina Endicott's Good to a Faulttakes on a tricky family dynamic and the age-old struggle to be good. As for Nicolas Dickner's Nikolski, a humorous, offbeat novel focusing on three plucky emigrants to Montreal in 1989, the only baggage it contains is the Samsonite kind.
How's that for a fab holiday reading list? I know I'll be busy in the coming weeks, rediscovering familiar voices and discovering new ones. I haven't had the pleasure of reading Marina Endicott or Nicolas Dickner before so I'll be cracking the spines of Good to A Fault and Nikolski first. It's been a long time since I've sat down with Ann-Marie MacDonald, Wayson Choy and Douglas Coupland and I'm eager to meet them again. (I'm an avid re-reader. A good book is like a repeat episode of The Sopranos. You learn something new every time.)
Is it possible to read five books at once? Heck, yeah. But that doesn't mean a strategy isn't necessary. I'm still playing with my approach to the task at hand: is it going to be MacDonald in the morning and Coupland in the evening? Or should I read Choy Mondays and Wednesdays, Dickner Tuesdays and Thursdays and Endicott Friday to Sunday? I won't even get into my chapter-by-chapter approach...
But enough with the preliminaries, let's get to the launch party! I can hear the crowd beginning to gather downstairs and it's getting hard to concentrate (we readers do like to socialize with real people on occasion). Lucky me, I get to attend the event and rub elbows with the nominated authors and the celebrity panelists. I'll be your eyes and ears at the shindig and I'll be back shortly with a full report. I promise to represent you well (no double-dipping at the hors d'oeuvres table!)