Saturday, December 26, 2009
On this year's CANADA READS 2010:
- Perdita Felicien defends Fall on Your Knees, by Ann-Marie MacDonald
- Simi Sara defends Good to a Fault by Marina Endicott
- Roland Pemberton (Cadence Weapon) defends Generation X by Douglas
- Dr. Samantha Nutt defends The Jade Peony by Wayson Choy
- Michel Vézina defends Nikolski by Nicolas Dickner, translated by
The debates will be held in March or April on CBC Radio. Jackie at Farm Lane Books had a great guest post about Canada Reads.
Here's my opinions; 2 books I read a few years ago, and the 3 new to me books:
Fall on Your Knees - I read this many years ago, when it was an Oprah book. I remember liking it but not loving it. It was one in a string of Oprah books I read at that time, and it was one too many books about incest at that time for me. I liked the setting, and I was able to read it through easily, I just found the subject and characters too depressing. I know lots of people love this book, and I'd still like to read Ann Marie MacDonald's other book. I do remember reading A Good House by Bonnie Burard after and appreciating the normalcy of the family in that book - no deep dark secrets.
Generation X - I'm conflicted here. I didn't enjoy the book, but still count Coupland as one of my favorite authors. At the same time, I recognize why Gen X is an important book, why it is used to describe a whole generation, one to which I belong demographically. Disillusioned youths aren't fun to read about, they come off as whiny and lazy (see On the Road, Jack Kerouac.) Coupland invented the phrase "McJobs" and this book is important. But why not pick Eleanor Rigby, or Hey Nostradamus! or The Gum Thief or All Families are Psychotic? Better stories to read that are still Coupland.
Good to a Fault - Marina Endicott, 372 pages
Lots to think about while reading this wonderful book. Clara takes in a family after hitting them with her car and the mother finds out she has cancer. Clara needed a bump like that in her life. It's messy, and awkward, and real life families. The characters are all essentially good people, trying their best, but for their own motives and reasons.
It started slowly for me, trying to get past Clara's prickliness, but as the second half of the book developed, I was hooked in. It was difficult to read at times, worrying about the outcome, which would be bad for someone however it ended, so I was pleased with my time spent reading this book. Lots of poetry and beautiful phrases, and heartbreaking situations.
I'd say this book has a good chance against Fall on Your Knees, the book I suspect is the front runner in this year's crop. I'd vote for Good to a Fault so far.
The Jade Peony by Watson Choy,
I have this one home from the library now, reading and review to come soon. I'll bump this post to the top as I review the latest Canada Reads Book.
Nikolski by Nicolas Dickner
on request from the library, reading and reviewing to come in the next month.