This year’s “Canada Reads” on CBC seems strange to me, with its mix of old and new books, which are supposed to represent five regions of Canada — but I must admit I always find “Canada Reads” entertaining. Today Jane Urquhart’s novel Away (which I liked a lot) was eliminated, and yesterday David Bergen’s The Age of Hope was eliminated, so there are three books left:
- February (2009), by Lisa Moore (Atlantic region — defended by comedian Trent McClellan)
- Indian Horse (2012), by Richard Wagamese (British Columbia and Yukon — defended by athlete Carol Huynh)
- Two Solitudes (1945) by Hugh MacLennan (Quebec — defended by actor Jay Baruchel)
Speaking of Jay Baruchel, I recently re-watched Jacob Tierney’s movie “The Trotsky” (set in Montreal and starring Jay Baruchel), which I I highly recommend! The DVD is available at Media Commons.
Will Ferguson won the Giller Prize tonight (in a kilt!) for his novel 419. As of this writing, all three copies owned by U of T libraries are sitting on the shelf (at the University College Library, Robarts, and U of T Mississauga) — probably not for long! (By contrast, all 53 Toronto Public Library copies are out on loan, with hundreds of holds.)
About the novel: “419 takes readers behind the scene of the world’s most insidious internet scam. When Laura’s father gets caught up in one such swindle and pays with his life, she is forced to leave the comfort of North America to make a journey deep into the dangerous back streets and alleyways of the Lagos underworld to confront her father’s killer. […]” (from the publisher’s website)
Richard Gwyn has won the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing, for Nation Maker, the second volume of his biography of Sir John A. MacDonald.
Carmen Aguirre is the winner of this year’s CBC Canada Reads for Something fierce : memoirs of a revolutionary daughter (which we have at Laidlaw Library).
In case you missed all the controversy this week, here are a few interesting articles:
Here are the finalists for Canada Reads 2012: True Stories. The five books will be debated on CBC radio in February by their “celebrity defenders,” and are all available at Laidlaw Library:
Edi Edugyan has won the Giller Prize for Half-Blood Blues! Here’s what the Giller jury said:
“Imagine Mozart were a black German trumpet player and Salieri a bassist, and 18th century Vienna were WWII Paris; that’s Esi Edugyan’s joyful lament, Half-Blood Blues. It’s conventional to liken the prose in novels about jazz to the music itself, as though there could be no higher praise. In this case, say rather that any jazz musician would be happy to play the way Edugyan writes. Her style is deceptively conversational and easy, but with the simultaneous exuberance and discipline of a true prodigy. Put this book next to Louis Armstrong’s ‘West End Blues’ – these two works of art belong together.”
Laidlaw Library has 30 of the 40 books chosen for the CBC’s 2012 Canada Reads (and I ordered the other 10 last week). Whereas in the past Canada Reads has been all about fiction, this year’s theme is “True Stories.” The list includes some quite recent books like What Disturbs Our Blood: A Son’s Quest to Redeem the Past (2010) and Trauma Farm: A Rebel History of Rural Life (2009), along with some older books like Farley Mowat’s And No Birds Sang (1979).
Last year was the first time the Canada Reads finalists included a graphic novel, and this year’s Top 40 includes three graphic non-novels, all available at Laidlaw: