I’m hoping to accomplish a couple of things with this new section of the site. I want to give some brief critical commentary on writing in Canada and I would really like to receive comments that help promote some good-spirited debate among writers and readers. We’ll see what happens. The plan is to provide five thoughts that will, most weeks, centre on a central theme or event. This week, I’m going to offer some reflections on the Canada Reads announcement
1. I am trying to remain open to the fact that all of the titles are non-fiction. I suppose my biggest issue with this is that most of us read a lot more non-fiction than fiction on an everyday basis. Canada Reads has usually been one opportunity to indulge in reading exemplary fiction
2. Do you think there is enough time for most people to get through these titles before the competition begins in February? I’d be curious to know how many people read all five titles prior to the competition each year. As we well know, some book champions do not read all five books and this is a hindrance to the overall competition.
3. I am always amazed by how strongly I associate a book with its defender – both negatively and positively. I’d be curious to know how the authors feel about this, particularly when they get a ‘dud’ celebrity defending their book.
4. Should Canada Reads broaden to include titles not written by Canadians? Not sure what we would lose by doing so. We might gain a lot.
5. I am always looking for more details on how the defenders are chosen. I wouldn’t mind seeing one ‘wildcard’ defender from the ranks of the everyday readership. I bet they would more than hold their own and add a great twist to the program.
Have a great week. I hope to hear from you soon.