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The Canada Reads dinner party contest

Last week we asked you to tell us which Canada Reads book was most "Canadian." It's a topic that comes up time and time again in Canadian literature, so it's always interesting to see how readers define what makes a read a "Canadian" one.

This week's winner is Dianne Henson. Her name was drawn randomly, but we can't help but smile at her wonderful answer:

I have not had a chance to read any of them. That is why I am entering this contest. If I won, I would be happy to read them all and then answer the question 'which is the most Canadian to me.' What I can say for sure is that my favourite reads are just about always Canadian.

Dianne took home a Canada Reads prize pack! (You'll have a chance to win one too. Details at the end of the post.)

Canada Reads gift pack

We loved your responses so much we're sharing some highlights with you.

Eleanor Coulter suggests: Unless by Carol Shields

As a woman in my 20s, my friends and I grew up reading Carol Shields. My mom and her friends grew old reading Carol Shields. Her writing is the ultimate testament to the lives of ordinary women and communities in Canada, and it has shaped out lives and worldviews. This book manages to seem both incredibly personal and timelessly universal, transcending the distance between generations and far-flung Canadian locations. Unless demonstrates a style, flair and thoughtfulness that is unique to Canadian authors.


Yue Qi suggests: Essex County by Jeff Lemire

It's most Canadian to me because the graphic novel format shows a lot of artistic creativity, and at the same time, the story is thoughtfully woven, which is even more powerful since pictures are much more telling than just words. This book truly reflects what being a Canadian means, creative and thoughtful...


Muriel Johnston suggests: The Birth House by Ami McKay

I grew up in the Annapolis Valley, so the setting for this novel was "just over the North Mountain".  For me, that is about as Canadian as you can get.  I was introduced to the book when my daughter bought it at the airport in Vancouver and read it on the way home for a visit.  It was of particular interest to her due to the setting, and she was contemplating having a child and planned on using the services of a midwife. All of that has since come true. By the way, I loved the book.


Steph VanderMeulen suggests: The Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis

In history class I always said Canadian history was boring because it was so young and only about politics. :) I'm kind of joking, of course, but Fallis's book encapsulates Canadianness best in this sense; more than anything, politics (and the farce of it) often defines this country! Fallis's ability to make us laugh not only lightens the load of what perpetually weighs on us in the news but also touches on one Canadian trait we don't focus on enough: our inimitable sense of humour.


Michael Henson suggests: The Bone Cage by Angie Abdou

Nothing brings our country together like the Olympic spirit and sports. Where were you in 1972 when Paul Henderson scored that goal? Or in 2010 when we took home Olympic gold in hockey — in overtime? Or how about how the country came together to support Joannie Rochette? Sports is universal and unifying and The Bone Cage provides us with an inside look at the sacrifices and dedication it takes so we can stand up and cheer and be proud we are Canadian. How many other books can say that? 


As for this week's contest, we were inspired by the holiday season. This week's question is:

Which Canada Reads panelist would you most like to invite to dinner? Why?

Submit your answer using the form here! Don't forget to join the conversation in our discussion forum. We'd love to hear your thoughts about all the books!

The best responses will be shared on the site next week. The contest closes on Friday, December 31, at midnight ET. The complete contest rules and regulations are here.

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