CBC Prince Edward Island


  • Meet the book clubs at the 2011 Battle of the Book Clubs

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  • The Slackers deliver an impressive presentation

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  • Bringing the graphic novel "Essex County" to life

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  • The Ultimate Fight Club throws down the gauntlet

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  • Patrick Ledwell on the merits of the All-Male Book Club

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  • Can Lit Charades rock the stage

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  • Something Witty presents...something witty!

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  • A Wacky Edition of Mad Libs Live

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  • The winners!

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  • Listen to Part Two of the 2011 Battle of the Book Clubs!

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  • Listen to Part One of the 2011 Battle of the Book Clubs!

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  • Patrick Ledwell ponders the All-Male Book Club

    Comedian Patrick Ledwell is well-known to listeners of CBC Radio for his humourous commentaries...including this one about being part of an all-male book club.  He was joined onstage by Lindsay Carroll, Mike Gibson and Matt Rainnie.

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  • Let the Games begin!

    The teams garnered points and audience support through some literary games...including "Smart or Funny" and "Literary Charades".


  • Meet the competitors!

    Each of the competing book clubs prepared a poem to introduce themselves.

  • Photo Highlights from the 2011 Battle of the Book Clubs

    Here are some photos from our evening of literary hilarity and competition on Thursday January 20, 2011 at the Guild in Charlottetown!

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    Keir Lowther presents a poem on behalf of the U.F.C. or Ultimate Fiction Club bookclub 4 blog.jpg

    Renee Dahn of Something Witty answers one of the "Smart or Funny" questions

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    Patrick Ledwell of U.F.C. plays charades

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    Host Matt Rainnie

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    An introduction to Something Witty

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    Keir Lowther from U.F.C.

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    The Slackers even made a basketful of "groaning cake" as part of their presentation about Ami McKay's "The Birth House"

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    Patrick Ledwell presents his comedy piece about being part of a Men's Book Club


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    The Ultimate Fiction Club makes the case for "The Best Laid Plans" in true Parliamentary style

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    The Society for the Appreciation of Great Literature from Bluefield High School champions the graphic novel "Essex County" by Jeff Lemire

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    The Society for the Appreciation of Great Literature play charades

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    Something Witty makes the case for "Life of Pi"


  • Help select Island Morning's Top 25 Essential Canadian Books

    This is the tenth year for Canada Reads on CBC Radio. And as part of the anniversary celebrations, Canadians were asked to name the Essential Canadian Novels of the Decade.

    Five of those books then made it to this year's list for Canada Reads.

    Here on P.E.I., we're holding our annual Battle of the Book Clubs, on Thursday January 20th at the Guild in Charlottetown, at 7:00 p.m.

    And as part of that event, we're going to compile our own Island Morning list of 25 Essential Canadian Books.

    You can get involved by sending us your suggestions. You can call Talkback at 1-800-680-1898 or drop us an email at islandmorning@cbc.ca ...or visit us on Facebook.

    We will put together our own Island Morning list of the Best Canadian Books...as selected by you...and we'll reveal that list as part of this year's Canada Reads competition, right here on CBC Radio.

    Lori Cheverie from The Bookmark:

    Random Passages series by Bernice Morgan

    anything by David Adams Richards

    The Story of Bobby O'Malley (1985) by Wayne Johnston

    Jim Munro:

    "No Great Mischief" by Alistair Macleod. It's a great story about family set on Cape Breton

    Anne M. McPhee:

    "The Book of Negroes" by Lawrence Hill - a moving historical account of the part Canada plays following the abolishment of slavery in the U.S.

    "The Life of Pi" by Yann Martel - amazing story of survival.

    "Unless" by Carol Shields - moving story of grief and loss.

    "Humorous Stories, Songs, Bizarre and Eerie Tales from North Eastern Prince Edward Island" by Jenny (O'Hanley) McQuaid - a must read for a historical and often hilarious spotlight on the life and times of the people living on "The Northside" mainly in the 1930's and 40's.

    Edith Rogers
    Green Grass, Running Water by Thomas King


    Coleen Easter, a manager of Indigo books in Charlottetown:

    Katherine MacKenzie - Arranged

    Linwood Barclay - Never Look Away

    Kelly Armstrong - "Bitten"

    Helen Power-Lewis and Sarah Scott - Confederation Centre Library

    Water for Elephants - Sara Gruen

    In the Skin of a Lion - Michael Ondaatje

    The Book of Negroes - Lawrence Hill

    Sharon MacDonald - English teacher, Kensington Intermediate and High School

    The Birth House by Ami MacKay

    The Book of Negroes - Lawrence Hill

    Mary-Lou Hanson - Children's Librarian at the Confederation Centre Public Library

    Marie-Louise Gay - Caramba

    Matthew and the Midnight Books - Allen Morgan and Michael Martchenko including Matthew and the Midnight Firefighter

  • Welcome to the 2011 Battle of the Book Clubs!

    For anyone who's familiar with this event, you'll notice that our timeline is different this year!  Usually Canada Reads is on air in early March, this year it runs February 7-9th. That has meant we have had to accelerate our preparations here on P.E.I.

    We have a great evening planned for Thursday January 20th, at 7:00 p.m. at The Guild.  Hugh MacDonald is returning as one of our esteemed judges.  He'll be joined by writer Deirdre Kessler. We're looking forward to hearing from them.

    We've also added a couple of twists to the evening. No karaoke version of Dan Hill, I'm afraid. And no "book club rap".  But we do have a special element planned that should be a lot of fun. And did we mention that comedian Patrick Ledwell is part of one of the book clubs? 

    Advance tickets will be available soon at the box office of The Guild.  You may want to call first: 620-3333.

    And don't forget to send in your suggestions for Island Morning's Top 25 Essential Canadian Books.  Send them to Facebook or by email to islandmorning@cbc.ca




  • What a night!

    Thanks to everyone who came out to the Battle of the Book Clubs 2010 tonight at the Guild!  Wow!  We will have lots of audio and video coming soon to our website.  In the meantime, here are some photos.




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     Congratulations to the 2010 champions of the Battle of the Book Clubs...The Friday Night Girls from Summerside!


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  • What else are they reading?

    As I travelled the province to meet our five competitors in the Battle of the Book Clubs, I've heard lots of recommendations of good books to read. I'm going to share one of those lists with you here.

    The Northumberland Literary Society has been meeting, at the Northumberland in Charlottetown, since September 2008. 

    Here are some of the books they've read together since then:


    Ash by Malinda Lo


    Can't Wait to Get to Heaven - Fannie Flagg




    The Book of Negroes (Canada Reads 2009)


    Three Cups of Tea  (non-fiction)


    More than a Mountain: One Woman's Everest


    Thanks for sharing your list!



  • And the winner is....

    No, not that winner just yet!   Tomorrow night, we'll crown the winner of the 2010 edition of The Battle of the Book Clubs at the Guild in Charlottetown.

    But first we're giving away our final Canada Reads book bag. The lucky winner is Scott Stead, who recognized that Matt is NOT holding a copy of "Good to a Fault" in the photo.

    Good eye, Scott, and enjoy the book bag!


  • Riddle me this....to win a Canada Reads book bag!

    Okay...here's a fun question to wrap up the online section of our giveaways!

    Can you tell me which Canada Reads pick is missing from this photo of Matt Rainnie?

    I'm giving you a hint, courtesy of this photo of the stylish book bag.

    Email me your answer by Monday at noon to enter the draw: Nancy.Russell@cbc.ca

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    Which Canada reads book is Matt NOT holding?


    Hope you're looking forward to the big show on Tuesday night.  Matt has come up with some great questions for our "Smart or Funny" contest!

    Tickets are available now at the Guild box office. And they're free!

  • Tune in for more previews!

    This afternoon on Mainstreet, The Word Nerds will talk about their assigned book, "Good to a Fault".

    Monday and Tuesday next week, we'll have the final book club profiles and book discussions.  Still to come are The Northumberland Literary Society and Readers Ink from Kensington.

    All of the audio will also be available on the Battle of the Book Clubs website.



  • Another winner!

    Congratulations to Valerie Campbell of Cardross who knew that The Word Nerds will be championing "Good to a Fault" at The Battle of the Book Clubs on Tuesday!


    We'll be giving away one more Canada Reads book bag here on the blog...and then complete sets of the Canada Reads books AND a book bag at our big event.

    Check back on Friday for our final trivia question.


  • Congratulations to Canada Reads book bag winner #2!

    The winner is Sam Alan, who I am told is a voracious reader and young author.  Well done Sam!

    This afternoon on Mainstreet, you can catch The Friday Night Girls as they discuss The Jade Peony. 

    And we have another book bag giveaway!  Here's the question:

    What is the name of the book club from Morell High School that will be championing the novel "Good to a Fault" by Marina Endicott?

    Please send your answers to me no later than noon Wednesday February 24th!  Nancy.Russell@cbc.ca

    And yes, you do have to enter every time to be part of the draw!!!

    Tickets to the Battle of the Book Clubs on Tuesday March 2nd are available now at the Guild in Charlottetown. They are free.  We will be hosting a free will offering and raffle for the PEI Literacy Alliance next Tuesday as part of our Canada Reads event.


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  • Book bag giveaway #2

    Here is question #2:

    Who is the author of Nikolski , the Quebec novel which will be championed by the two-time champions from Bluefield High School, aka The Society for the Appreciation of Great Literature?

    Email your answer to Nancy.Russell@cbc.ca and you could win a Canada Reads book bag. The deadline to enter is noon on Monday February 22nd.  We'll announce the winner on Monday's Mainstreet.

    Stay tuned for more coverage and contests as we count down to the Battle of the Book Clubs, Tuesday March 2nd at the Guild in Charlottetown.


  • Some thoughts about The Jade Peony

    jade peony.jpgThe Friday Night Girls particularly liked the character of Poh-Poh, the grandmother of the family. She's the common denominator in the three segments of the novel. Poh-Poh passes along her wisdom and the mysterious ways of the elders. The book is set in Depression years, in Vancouver's Chinatown. The title, the jade peony, relates to the sacrifices by Chinese immigrants, particularly in connection to the construction of the railway. Grandmother tells them the story: life is loss and pain and suffering. Half the jade in Chinatown is made from bits of bone and flesh. The other half is made from blood. One member of the group thought the novel was funnier than she thought, such as the scene when the boys are playing a game called "Enemies of Free China". One of the stories is told from the point of view of the young daughter, and Poh-Poh calls her useless because she's a girl. Jook-Liang is very Canadianized, and idolizes Shirley Temple. But Poh-Poh says the old ways are the best. This is the story of a family from China, adapting to a new life, as seen through the eyes of the young and old. It is set in Chinatown, a different culture, but at its essence, anyone who's part of a family can relate to the novel.

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  • Our winner....Heather Coulson of Kensington!

    Heather correctly identified the book being championed by The Friday Night Girls as The Jade Peony  by Wayson Choy.  We drew her name from our Mainstreet contest basket!

    Stay tuned for a new question tomorrow, and another chance to win.

    Speaking of The Jade Peony, I've just finished putting together my interview about the book with The Friday Night Girls. 

     The profile of The Friday Night Girls will air Monday on Island Morning, with their discussion of the book Monday afternoon on Mainstreet. 


  • Win a book bag here!!

    Thanks for visiting the new Canada Reads PEI blog! 

    Here is today's question:

    What is the name of the novel by Wayson Choy that will be defended by The Friday Night Girls at Battle of the Book Clubs 2010?

    Email your answer to Nancy.Russell@cbc.ca and you could win a Canada Reads book bag. We'll make the draw on Thursday.

    Check back here for more contests in the days ahead as we count down to Battle of the Book Clubs 2010.


  • Next week...the travels begin!

    Next week is a busy week for the Battle of the Book Clubs!  I'm heading to Three Oaks high school on Tuesday, Kensington High on Thursday and Bluefield on Friday!!!  

    The first discussion you'll hear on air is The Friday Night Girls walking about "The Jade Peony".  The Girls are always good fun to chat with....so stay tuned for that.

    Meanwhile, I've finished reading "Fall On Your Knees".  While the writing is beautiful, I feel haunted by the content.  I had read the novel before but had forgotten how tragic it is. 

    This weekend I'm reading "Nikolski", in preparation for my trip to Bluefield.

    Right now I'm heading over to see what the Canada Reads blogger has been up to.

    How is your reading going?



  • Let's get started!

    Actually I started reading the Canada Reads 2010 books more than a month ago...but now we can finally start talking about them!

    I'm currently re-reading "Fall on Your Knees".  It's a compelling story...those Piper sisters have quite a life!  It is also quite a long novel, especially when you're reading it during hockey practices :)  I'm curious to find out how The Northumberland Literary Society is going to present such a complex book to our Battle of the Book Clubs audience.

    How's it going with your Canada Reads books?

    Any thoughts on the five books that have been selected?  I know some people were wondering if "Fall on Your Knees" should be on the list when it's already been featured on Oprah.  So I throw that question out there...

    I look forward to hearing from all five of our groups...and anyone else out there who is reading...Canada Reads or otherwise!