Canada Reads

Why Alayna Fender chose Small Game Hunting at the Local Coward Gun Club for Canada Reads 2020

The YouTube star says Megan Gail Coles's debut novel is unlike any book she's ever read.
Alayna Fender is defending Small Game Hunting at the Local Coward Gun Club by Megan Gail Coles on Canada Reads 2020. (CBC)

Alayna Fender will defend the novel Small Game Hunting at the Local Coward Gun Club by Megan Gail Coles on Canada Reads 2020.

Coles's debut novel revolves around a cast of flawed characters all connected to a trendy St. John's restaurant, The Hazel. Over the course of a stormy February day, they are implicated in each other's hopes, dreams and pains as they try to survive harsh economic times in the province. 

Fender is a LGBTQ YouTube content creator who brings her frank and funny perspective to a wide range of topics, with wellness and sexuality being her specialties.

Canada Reads 2020 will take place July 20-23.

At a live event on Jan. 22, 2020, Fender talked about Canada Reads and Small Game Hunting at the Local Coward Gun Club.

Why Canada Reads?

"I have loved reading from a young age. Especially as somebody who works on the internet, lives on the internet, grew up on the internet, I think we're leaving behind books in a way that's scary and sad. I'm excited to be part of this to hopefully continue promoting reading and putting these books in front of eyes that wouldn't have otherwise seen them or picked them up."

I've never in my life read a book written in this way. The voice is so unique — it's biting, it's smart, it's funny.

Why Small Game Hunting at the Local Coward Gun Club by Megan Gail Coles?

"I've never in my life read a book written in this way. The voice is so unique — it's biting, it's smart, it's funny. As I was going along reading the book, I looked up reviews and all of these reviews talked about this bad thing. Wait for the bad thing.

"As I'm reading it, you can feel the build. It almost feels like you're on this train and it's going somewhere bad, but you don't know where it's going. Then you see it's going over a cliff, but you can't get off. The train goes over the cliff and it's horrible, but you survive. And then the train explodes. That's when I knew this was my book for Canada Reads 2020."


Alayna Fender's comments were taken from a live Canada Reads event with all the panellists and authors, hosted by Here & Now's Gill Deacon.

The books and celebrity champions of Canada Reads 2020 have been revealed! This year's panellists and authors gathered for a live event hosted by Gill Deacon in Toronto to launch the new season of CBC's annual battle of the books. 56:29

The Canada Reads 2020 contenders

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