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Contest and poll update, week ending January 10

Howdy readers!

Last week, we polled you about New Year's resolutions — which apparently many of you don't like making (40 per cent). The usual suspects garnered similar numbers (fitness goals 20 per cent; dietary changes 16 per cent; more reading 17 per cent) while getting more sleep claimed a paltry six per cent. This bucks the trend that Arianna Huffington is starting up for 2010, in her bid for people, particularly women, to get more sleep!

Is it that we Canadians are exceptionally well rested, or is it that we aren't aware of how important getting enough sleep can be? Studies show that sleep can take off more weight than exercise. Sign me up!

And what better way to hurry to bed than with a good book to curl up with? What about five good books? Jennifer Silverman of Toronto is the latest winner of the Canada Reads books and tote bag. Congratulations!

We've been asking you to Make Your Pitch for your favourite book and here's an entry from Marla Rapoport of Montreal.

The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill

Marla writes, "As I started to read this book, I had a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach and thought, I cannot read this book. It is upsetting to read about how Africans were kidnapped and ripped away from their community and families. As I continued to read, I understood the importance of such a book. It reminds me how history keeps repeating itself in so many ways.

"The real theme of the book is how the slave trade operated and the hardships that were endured. The strength of the people who survived, the ignorance of the slave traders, the struggles of change. This book made me realize that the stealing and kidnapping of innocent people was a war against them, similar to WWII where the Jewish people were the victims, and continues today in different forms. It makes me question how and why, repression, censoring, and killings continue today and how can man and society turn a blind eye to all this?

"It is important that stories like this be told and should be read by everyone, especially high school students, who need to understand the issues. These themes need to be discussed. Young people need to become more socially sensitized in order to develop a social conscience."

Thanks, Marla, you've picked a winner. Literally! As you may know, The Book of Negroes was the winner of Canada Reads 2009, championed by Avi Lewis.

Which book would you choose for Canada Reads?

Happy reading (and sweet dreams!)

Rosie
@rosewhite22
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