Wednesday, July 1, 2009

CHALLENGE: 3rd Canadian Book Challenge

Happy Canada Day, and what a perfect time to sign up for the next version of the Canadian Book Challenge hosted by johnmutford at the Book Mine Set. I feel like I'm cheating by participating in this challenge, because these are all books I would read anyway. We have so many great authors and books here.

Don't you just love the retro Canadian flag in the button? The rules are the same as last year - from July 1st, 2009 through to Canada Day 2010, read 13 books. I am going free form here, and just reading any 13 books. A little peek around my house finds the following books that I own which, as always, I hope to read:

  • Microserfs, Douglas Coupland
  • The Calling, Inger Ash Wolf
  • The Colony of Unrequited Dreams, Wayne Johnston
  • Lost Highway, David Adams Richards
Actual list may vary as per my whims.

Here's my wrap-up for last years challenge, books listed, and a small survey.

Books Read:
Crow Lake by Mary Lawson
The Birth House by Ami McKay
Before Green Gables by Budge Wilson
Exit Lines by Joan Barfoot
The Outlander by Gil Adamson
The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields
A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews
Mercy Among the Children by David Adams Richards
No Great Mischief by Alistair MacLeod
The Stone Angel by Margaret Laurence
High Spirits by Robertson Davies
Too Close to Home - Linwood Barclay
Remembering the Bones - Frances Itani
plus a few I read after I completed the challenge
DeNiro's Game
- Rawi Hage
A Celibate Season - Carol Shields and Blanche Howard
Fugitive Pieces - Anne Michaels

John says:
Before we leave, a few facts about the 2nd Canadian Book Challenge:
1. The most popular book was Andrew Davidson's The Gargoyle, followed by Lawrence Hill's The Book of Negroes and a three way tie for third between Brian Francis' Fruit, David Adams Richards' Mercy Among The Children and Steven Galloway's The Cellist of Sarajevo

2. But don't worry, the women authors were left out in the cold. The most popular author was Lucy Maud Montgomery, followed by Robert Munsch and Margaret Atwood who tied for 2nd, and again Andrew Davidson in 3rd.

3. Of the 100 participants, 44 completed the challenge (13 or more), while many of the rest put in valiant efforts

A few survey questions for the participants, if you wouldn't mind...
1. What was your least favourite book and most favourite read for the challenge?
I can't pick my favourite book - Before Green Gables, and Crow Lake were among my top ten reads last year, and I expect The Outlander and DeNiro's Game to make it this year's list. No Great Mischief and Mercy Among the Children were both excellent, touching my Maritimer soul.
Least favourite? I'd put A Complicated Kindness, The Stone Diaries, and Fugitive Pieces as books that underwhelmed me, mostly based on their buildup, prize winning status and the general raves from other reviewers.

2. Any authors or books you want to read more because of the challenge?
I certainly plan to read two of the most popular books from the challenge last year, The Gargoyle and The Book of Negroes this year.

3. Any comments or complaints about how to make the challenge better?
nope, I am happily signing up for more, and will do my part to promote Canadian literature.


  1. I totally agree with your underwhelming choices. I think the hype actually hurt my enjoyment.

    I did not know you haven't read Colony of Unrequited Dreams yet. I won't hype it, but IT'S THE BEST BOOK EVER WRITTEN BAR NONE!!! Okay, so not that great, but one of my personal favourites. I'm also curious to read the Searching For Bobby Orr book.

    I'm so glad you're with us for a 3rd round.

  2. john - Ha, I believe your hype about Colony, so much so that I bought the book for my mother for Christmas, and she liked it, so now I have it here, in my house, waiting to be read. Having it here is the first step.
    Looking forward to getting started.

  3. Have you never read Fifth Business before?? It's so good!

  4. court - no, I sheepishly admit I haven't. Davies has slaughtered all competition at the Great Wednesday Compares, and bybee has raved about him, so I really want to read it. I bought it at a second hand store, so it is here, waiting to be read.

  5. Congrats on finishing. I'm glad your going for the 3rd, me too.


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