Thursday, October 17, 2013 |
We love people who love books and share that love online. Last week, we shared with you five book bloggers' choices for Canada Reads 2014. Today, we have five more picks from five more fabulous bloggers. 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 Sunday, October 20, at 11:59 p.m. ET.
Allegra Young of AYoungVoice | Can chose The Orenda by Joseph Boyden:
"It was shocking and embarrassing to me as the years passed in university to realize how little I actually knew about our history in Canada. In recent years, I've been reading almost exclusively Canadian literature and though not all of it tackles Canada's history, there are some novels that really stand out as educational without reading like a textbook. The Orenda by Joseph Boyden is far from a Canadian History textbook and I believe can truly inspire social change in Canada. Canada Reads last year featured Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese, and many Canadians had their eyes opened to a boy's life in a residential school. Then, in the last year, Idle No More has taken centre stage in Canadian media. To feature The Orenda in this year's Canada Reads would be a natural complement to the conversation that has already begun. This novel will educate Canadians, open their minds and encourage them to learn more about our history, the indigenous peoples of Canada, and how they can, themselves, make a change."
Follow Allegra on Twitter @AYoungVoice.
Kiley Turner from 49th Shelf chose When I Was Young and in My Prime by Alayna Munce:
"If there is a novel that can change Canada, it is of necessity one with a powerful story, since stories open our minds by the sheer force of their narrative and characters. When I Was Young and in My Prime is such a story: quietly, masterfully, it examines our relationships with our pasts, our parents, and grandparents, and forces us to consider what is really meaningful in our lives. The book is understated yet gripping, and it prompts anyone who reads it to question the fast-paced, technologically driven, immediate gratification culture that surrounds us -- as well as to confront our feelings about our increasingly older population and our own aging. And isn't a willingness to question and confront the first requirement for change of any sort?"
Follow Kiley on Twitter @KileyTurner.
Dee Hopkins from Editorial Eyes chose Monoceros by Suzette Mayr:
"What one book should all of Canada read so we can talk about social change? Monoceros by Suzette Mayr. This stunningly written, heartbreaking story opens on tragedy: a bullied gay teenager has committed suicide. The point of view shifts from Patrick's parents through his secret boyfriend, his boyfriend's girlfriend who was one of the merciless bullies, an outsider classmate obsessed with unicorns, and the principal and guidance counselor -- both of whom are gay and have hidden their longstanding relationship from the community. Touched by moments of humanity, surprising humour, and brutal persecution, the novel shows how different people react, rationalize, and cope with the tragedy. Mayr expertly displays the way the burden of blame belongs to everyone in the community. From complicity through silence or the deliberate choice to ignore the problem, to outright homophobia and abuse, each character is at fault in some way, and each might have been able to make a difference in Patrick's troubled life. This book brings light to the very real problems of bullying, inequality, and communal silence, and it's also a beautiful read."
Follow Dee on Twitter @dh_editorial.
Chad Pelley from Salty Ink chose Annabel by Kathleen Winter:
"When it comes issues affecting Canadians at the level of a single person -- addiction, physical handicaps, mental illness -- Canada has come a long way in being intelligent and compassionate about these things. But there's one notable exception: many people remain callous and ignorant on the topic of transgender people. Kathleen Winter's way with words in this novel has the grace, compassion, and punch required to change the way our more outmoded citizens think on the matter. In fact, the novel paints the state of being transgender as a beautiful thing, highlighting the ways in which the transgender person is a more multifaceted person, intellectually and emotionally. Equally important, I think, to the Canada Reads contest, is the fact that Kathleen's writing is lush, vivid, evocative, and emotionally rich in a way few other Canadian writers can match."
Follow Chad on Twitter @ChadPelley.
Jaclyn Qua-Hiansen of Literary Treats chose Six Metres of Pavement by Farzana Doctor:
"A middle-aged South Asian man struggles with grief over his daughter's death, even as he falls in love with a Portuguese neighbour and is called upon to help a young queer activist deal with her parents. The fact that an interracial romance and LGBTQ rights are still meeting resistance in the novel is a reflection of an unfortunate reality that Canada in real life is still struggling against. I love that the protagonist Ismail is deeply flawed, that even as he genuinely wants to be with his neighbour and help his activist friend, he realizes how much he himself still struggles with notions of propriety, and pressures from conservative family members. Doctor's novel is a beautiful, evocative tale; it's deeply personal, and the relationships between characters intimate. However, the novel also engages with important social issues, which perhaps are understood most deeply when made personal."
Follow Jaclyn on Twitter @JacQua83.
Cast your vote for the book you think could be the one novel that could change Canada below! The poll will be open until Sunday, October 20, at 11:59 p.m. ET.
What is the one novel that could change our nation?