Book bloggers make their Canada Reads 2014 choices

Canadian literature has such a vibrant community in cyberspace we decided to turn to a few voices creating the buzz around books online to submit their choices for Canada Reads 2014.

Below, find five book bloggers and their picks for the one novel that could change Canada. Be sure to cast your vote for your favourite blogger-approved book! Each vote helps a book's chance to make the Top 40. The poll closes on Tuesday, October 15, at 11:59 p.m. ET. 

Vicki Ziegler of BookGaga chose October 1970 by Louis Hamelin:

bookgaga.jpeg"Change is best ignited by first understanding pivotal moments of social upheaval, the layers and complexities of how they came to be, and how we as individuals and as a nation responded. What better piece of recent history to consider than the October Crisis, re-imagined in vivid fictional form in October 1970 (translated from the French novel La Constellation du Lynx). The retelling of the series of events in Quebec that culminated in domestic terrorism, kidnappings, murder and Canada's only peacetime invocation of the War Measures Act is compelling unto itself. Adding a spirited cast of characters gives voice to the maelstrom of conflicting social and political aspirations and agendas that collided so violently at that time. Expanding the story in this fashion also allows room to examine how that clash of societal, governmental, civil and other forces translates into personal challenges, dilemmas or opportunities. Through the lens of what came before and how it succeeded or failed, we can evaluate social change that probably still needs to happen or at least continue to evolve today."

Follow Vicki on Twitter @bookgaga.

Michael Hingston from Too Many Books in the Kitchen chose The Shore Girl by Fran Kimmel:


"Sometimes when there's a flaw in the system, you see it right away. But what's even worse are the times you don't -- when nobody even realizes what's happened until it's too late. In Fran Kimmel's novel The Shore Girl, we meet Rebee, a young girl who's being dragged around Alberta by her dysfunctional mother, skipping from town to town, often for no good reason at all. In sharp fragments, Kimmel gives the reader snapshots of different times in Rebee's childhood. What unifies the story, aside from Rebee's surprising resilience, is the palpable absence of any kind of governmental check or balance. Maybe Rebee would be better off with a foster family. Or maybe, in the face of adversity, her mother would be able to make her case and prove to her daughter that she has her best interests at heart. We'll never know. The Shore Girl is a heartbreaking portrait of a girl slowly falling through the cracks."

Follow Michael on Twitter @mhingston.

Léonicka Valcius from Lé chose Six Metres of Pavement by Farzana Doctor:


"For Canada Reads 2014, I would recommend Six Metres of Pavement by Farzana Doctor. The themes of the book include love, growth, forgiveness, and acceptance - -ideas that are critical to social change."

Follow Léonicka on Twitter @Leonicka.

Lindsey Reeder from Reeder Reads chose Natural Order by Brian Francis:


"Natural Order is an exploration of one woman's journey of coming to terms with her son's sexuality and the sad fact that his life was taken by AIDS. Set in the 1980's, Brian Francis does a fabulous job of exploring and paying homage to gay rights and the uphill battle that continues to be fought today."

Follow Lindsey on Twitter @ReederReads.

Jennifer Dawson from Literal Life chose Annabel by Kathleen Winter:


"The idea of self-determination should resonate with everyone. But how is this impacted when one is born intersexed in remote Labrador, in 1968? How do our gender constraints dictate our lives and is there a difference in acceptance of the individual between rural and urban environments? Setting plays a big role in Winter's novel as our main character struggles with 'outsider' status and a longing to belong and feel normal.

I selected this novel for consideration because gender issues and sexuality are now, more and more, becoming part of mainstream society. With hope, people will continue to be more and more accepting of however a person identifies themselves. Winter has written a beautiful, heartbreaking work and I would love all Canadians to read her novel."

Follow Jennifer on Twitter @DawsonOakes.

Cast your vote for the book you think could be the one novel that could change Canada below! The poll will be open until Tuesday, October 15, at 11:59 p.m. ET.

What is the one novel that could change our nation?

Once you voted, don't forget to submit your own recommendations here and enter our inspiring reads contest here!

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