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Flannery dishes on the Canada Reads discussion boards

Hello, fellow readers.

As you may have noticed, the Canada Reads reader discussion blogs are up and running on the site. These reader-driven vehicles are fuelled by the collective reading experience that is Canada Reads. Think of it as a literary e-Harmony: we've already got at least five major points of compatibility. This bodes well for future relations.

What do you think about the books we're talking about? More important perhaps, what are they making you think about? You don't have to get all Northrop Frye in the fray — though that would be wonderful. Good old-fashioned book chat is welcome, too. And who doesn't like to trade stories? If Gen X's Dag, Claire and Andy can do it, so can you.

Our five fabulous moderators have fired their opening salvos and are patiently awaiting comment from you, gentle reader. I know no one likes to be the first person to raise a hand in class — well, no one except an inveterate teacher's pet like me — so I took it upon myself to throw a few questions at our moderators.

My first question was to Barb, discussion moderator for Ann-Marie MacDonald's novel Fall On Your Knees.

'Hey Barb,' I asked, 'who's your favourite character in the novel?'

Her reply was swift. "My favourite (human) FOYK character is probably Frances. She's just got such spirit, despite her experiences — though I'm sure she'd drive me crazy as a sibling!"

I absolutely agree with Barb's estimation of Frances Piper. She is a firecracker and a contrarian. Her vibrancy illuminates many a dark passage in the novel. Personally, I'm a little partial to Mercedes. I always have a soft spot for an individual who recedes into the background — I love a shadow-dweller. And since you put the non-human characters in my mind, I'll admit to a bit of a fascination for Pete, too. Here's a question I'll throw out into the ether: what is up with Pete?

Competition is healthy in a literary competition and Barb was quick to throw down the gauntlet to the four other discussion boards (and their moderators) vying for your input. "I think all of the moderators share the same mantra, as far as the other contenders are concerned: Bring it on."

Kimberly, the moderator for Nikolski's discussion board isn't easily intimidated, however. When I asked her if she was ready to talk trash (quite literally — Nikolski takes the archaeology of trash very seriously) she was pretty confident.

"I'm no stranger to online trash talking when it comes to books. So far, it's looking pretty friendly on moderator front but don't be surprised if we start pulling a few punches to see our books get ahead."

Readers, I know you have a whack of opinions and ideas about the novels we're reading. Take it from one who knows: talking to yourself (or your dogs, in my case) is overrated. It's infinitely more fun to share your thoughts with other human beings. See you on the boards.


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