I've decided to read all the books from the top 40 picks of the Canada Reads 2011 list. I am extremely excited about this.
I've seen many "reading challenges" in the past and they all seem like a reason for people to show off what they've read. I want to do this challenge for the following reasons:
a) To broaden my experience with Canadian Literature
b) To have a framework to encourage me to read more than I already do
c) To be able to talk to more people about the books I've read
d) To follow Canada Reads - I know this is last year's list, but I want to get up to speed for this year. I hope to take on the challenge when the 2012 list is released... but that's a while to go yet.
When I moved back to Toronto, I joined a book club and ever since, I've been addicted to reading. It was one of those activities that I always found difficult to get into, but once I did, I would make hours of time a day to sit, curled up on the couch or in transit and read. It's the starting that's hard. You always think, "There's no way that this book is going to be anywhere near as good as that other one I just finished and loved." But then, you realize that it is. Well, most of the time, anyway. Now that I'm in this book club, I'm discovering how fun and exciting it is to talk about a book with someone else. There's always the beginning awkwardness of "Oh, you say 'heem-a'? I say 'hem-a'..." but that's part of the fun. There's nothing worse than finishing a book where you simply fell in love with the characters and at the end of the book, have no one to talk about them with. I know that not everyone is going to read all these books, but by being exposed to such an exciting list I know that there will be people out there who can discuss with me.
Now I have to be honest, I have actually already read a couple of the books on this list, but I think that's fair. Considering this, I'm not going to go from A to B - I'll take them in any order I so choose (i.e. whatever's in stock at BMV).
Here is the list (bolded are the books I've already read *UPDATED*):
A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews
Bottle Rocket Hearts by Zoe Whittall
Clara Callan by Richard B. Wright
Come, Thou Tortoise by Jessica Grant
Conceit by Mary Novik
Crow Lake by Mary Lawson
Drive-by Saviours by Chris Benjamin
Elle by Douglas Glover
Essex County by Jeff Lemire
Far to Go by Alison Pick
February by Lisa Moore
Galore by Michael Crummey
Heave by Christy Ann Conlin
Inside by Kenneth J. Harvey
Late Nights on Air by Elizabeth Hay
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Lullabies for Little Criminals by Heather O'Neill
Moody Food by Ray Robertson
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
Pattern Recognition by William Gibson
Room by Emma Donoghue
Shelf Monkey by Corey Redekop
Skim by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki
Sweetness in the Belly by Camilla Gibb
The Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis
The Birth House by Ami McKay
The Bishop's Man by Linden MacIntyre
The Bone Cage by Angie Abdou
The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill
The Day the Falls Stood Still by Cathy Marie Buchanan
The Fallen by Stephen Finucan
The Girls Who Saw Everything by Sean Dixon
The Last Crossing by Guy Vanderhaeghe
The Stone Carvers by Jane Urquhart
The Way the Crow Flies by Ann-Marie MacDonald
The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood
Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden
Through Black Spruce by Joseph Boyden
Twenty-Six by Leo McKay Jr.
Unless by Carol Shields
Wish me luck! I'll update soon about the book I've chosen first.
Oh my Allegra! I love that you are doing this. I tried to read a book a province on my cross-Canada trip last year. It was wonderful! You're project is so ambitious, I LOVE IT! Unless!!!, Book of Negroes, Crow Lake... some of my favourite books! I want to read along with you on your next one - what's up next??
Read with me! I've just started "Lullabies for Little Criminals" by Heather O'Neill - it's amazing so far. I love her writing! And it takes place in Montreal. I think you'll love it :)
If you ever want to borrow The Book of Negroes, let me know. One of my most favourites books, by far.
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