One Canada Reads to be eliminated each day....

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One Canada Reads to be eliminated each day....

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Fev 8, 2011, 3:48 am

Okay - apparently they eliminate one Canada Reads book each day - one was eliminated today..

article here -

I won't tell you which one was eliminated;) Oh the suspense!!!...

Fev 8, 2011, 9:08 am

Well, I will say which one it was because I want to vent a bit. The graphic novel Essex County was eliminated, with all four of the panelists supporting other books voting for it, largely because they didn't consider it really a novel.

In retrospect, I think the panelists should have been challenged to accept the book as a novel -- the Canada Reads producers did, as did the many Canadians who voted for it on both the long list and the short list of possible selections. I would have much preferred to see the book, rather than the genre, debated. Did the panelists identify with the characters? Was there a universal theme that would speak to Canadians? None of that was explored -- it was just "too few words" and not enough "reading".

Fev 8, 2011, 1:31 pm

I have never read a graphic novel - and I have not had time to listen to the broadcasts. Sorry Lynn! As Nickelini has said - it's a bunch of psedo celebraties that discuss the books.

Another book has been eliminated - but I won't tell you which one..... I'm really pulling for my personal favourite at this time!!;) But I think tommorow - or so I read - they announce the finalist?

Fev 8, 2011, 5:20 pm

So two books have been eliminated thus far?

Fev 8, 2011, 7:31 pm

Oui!!! , BCteagirl!:)

Fev 8, 2011, 9:16 pm

I thought Jian said that the winner would be tomorrow. One gets booted half way through, then they vote for the winner at the end of the hour. The extended debates have been better, but I'm not sure why they are hurrying up. They used to go 5 half hour episodes, and so far it's been 2 almost hour shows.

I've not been impressed with Debbie Travers at all. She hated The Best Laid Plans so much she wouldn't finish it (she had better use of her time!) Poor Sara nearly had apoplexy when Debbie said it and asked her why she voted off Essex County if she hated the other book so much.

Fev 8, 2011, 10:24 pm

It confuses me too - that two books have been voted off - and yet there 3 left - but they are going to announce the winner tommorow. It does not make a lot of sense to me either! Today on the panelist's question session that I watched, Debbie Travers said she felt like the Simon Cowell of - err American Idol? I don't actually watch those shows, but I had to laugh at Debbie's comment! She said - look - we all have busy lives and reading these books is like doing homework!!!! I had to laugh. Sara seemed quite calm today, and the defender of the Bone Cage asked if Debbie had actually finished the Bone Cage. I had to chuckle!! Psedo - celebraties indeed!! But maybe that's a good thing - average sort of Canadians instead of literary sorts. I've never followed Canada Reads debates and votes before this year, and I have to chuckle! Sara seemed to feel that the heated discussion about graphic novesl at least resulted in more awareness of them.

Fev 8, 2011, 11:06 pm

I finally got around to listening to the first day of debate. I have to agree with LynnB's comments about Essex County up in post #2--I don't think the other panelists gave it much of a chance due to its format. The other impression I got is that I don't think I'd like Debbie Travis much. Although I've found her decorating shows sometimes interesting, I've never really liked her, and this show didn't make me like her any better. She seems sort of shallow and snippy.

I admit that I'm not all that interested in graphic novels in general (although I know several people with great taste who are crazy about them), but I think I'll track down a copy of Essex County now.

Oh, the other thing that's bothering me is that because this is the 10th anniversary of the show, they're calling the winner the best Canadian book of the decade. But to me, the best book would be a competition between all the previous winners. I don't think any of these books this year qualify for the best book of the decade.

Fev 9, 2011, 9:27 am

Nickelini - I agree with everything you said!

Fev 9, 2011, 2:33 pm

Oh no! The book that won is not one I think that I'll want to read. Even so, when my library gets it, maybe I will read it. I did not listen to the broadcast - just went and had a look at the site.

Fev 9, 2011, 2:36 pm

No one here chatting about the final day? Any thoughts? It's all over the internet, so I'm not putting out a spoiler to say The Best Laid Plans was the winner.

What did you think of the panel? I thought it was a bit weak. Debbie Travis was a nightmare. She did do an excellent job at promoting her book; however, she even admitted to only reading it once. Now, I know that she's A Very Important Person who is Very Busy. (Aren't we all.) But I never wrote an essay on one reading of a book. If she's going to make time in her Important Schedule to participate in this, I think she needs to do the work--like reading the other books! She didn't read the winner until this week, and another book she admitted to skimming. And she was just so dismissive. She also said that she didn't like Canadian politics and speculated that she was too English to get the humour. Maybe she shouldn't have been on a panel to pick the "essential Canadian novel" in that case. Sheesh.

I also think that Georges Laraque didn't do a very good job. Don't get me wrong--I think Georges is a fascinating individual--I mean, how many Franco-Afro, Green Party, gay-right-supporting, dreadlock wearing vegans have there been in the NHL? I rather like him, actually. But when it came to defending his book, he was a bit of a one-note wonder.

The other three were fine. But I don't think this was their best panel.

The other thing that bothered me was how many times I heard that Unless was a difficult book--"even the critics say so." Puh-leeze. Carol Shields is a very accessible author. To hear the comments, you'd think they were discussing James Joyce or Proust.

Anyway, in the end, I'm actually interested in read all of the books, and it's all in fun. It gets people talking about books, and that's a wonderful thing.

Fev 9, 2011, 6:54 pm

When I first read The Best Laid Plans, I really liked it but thought it too "light" to win. I was championing Unless, followed by The Birth House. However, as time went by, Debbie Travis completely spoiled The Birth House for me, and I found I was frequently remembering things from TBLP.

When I remembered Canada Reads from other years, I realized I enjoyed all the books this year for the first time, so the winner really didn't matter. Then the tie-breaking process rather messed up the choices as Debbie had to eliminate her competition, when she really didn't like TBLP at all. That made the winner one of the most accessible books of all and, as a bonus, one that is also quite humorous and touching. I'm pleased with the result.

Fev 9, 2011, 7:23 pm

as time went by, Debbie Travis completely spoiled The Birth House for me,

Yeah, from what I hear it wasn't just us she annoyed. Sounds like Debbie didn't make herself many new fans through this competition.

Fev 9, 2011, 9:51 pm

I didn't follow the broadcasts and only managed to read one book but I agree with Joyce - Unless is a very easy to read, accessible book. There is nothing difficult about it. I would have been more accepting of negative comments about the book if they were comments about not being able to connect on a personal level with the subject matter or something like that.

Different strokes for different folks I guess.

Fev 9, 2011, 11:51 pm

The broadcasts were really interesting-I listened to them online at the website. If you're interested, just go there and search Canada Reads.

Fev 10, 2011, 5:34 pm

This year, I really did like all the books. I was most surprised by my delight in Essex County. The depth of the characters and the complexity of the story amazed me. If it were not for Canada Reads, I would probably have never read a graphic novel. For that reason, I had hoped it would win -- to expand the reading horizon of more people like me.

My favourite book, though, was Unless. I read all five books in a row, with that one last. One the very first page I just felt I'd returned to the work of a master writer and storyteller. Carol Shields remains one of our best authors.

The panelists left something to be desired this year, I thought. Avi was delightful as was Sara, but the other three..... I thought both George and Lorne could have marshalled more arguments to support their books. And Debbie Travis didn't even finish Best Laid Plans 'til the last day of the debates and fast-forwarded through Essex County without, seemingly, bothering to think about it.

Finally, I think the whole theme of "essential" book "of the decade" was a bit over the top and maybe detracted from looking at five very good to great books on their own merits.

Great fun, as always. I'm (also as always) looking forward to next year's Canada Reads.

Fev 10, 2011, 11:45 pm

Well, the whole thing convinced me to purchase Unless and I looked at the others. I think I would enjoy The Bone Cage and I'd borrow Essex County from my library - if they get it in. I had only read The Birth House and I really enjoyed it. The Best Laid Plans well, I've yet to be convinced that I want to read it

Editado: Fev 10, 2011, 11:52 pm

Okay, I'll admit it now - I am not big on feminist books. I think I had my fill during highschool with the Margaret's - and also Dystopian novels. I think that's all I read in my highschool and 2 years at UBC.. was that sort of thing. I wearied of it forever! I took couple more English courses at my local college about 10 years ago -and what do you know I had a feminist instructor -and while she was very good as an instructor- what do think I had to read and write about! Yes! Same thing!

Please don't flame too badly! ;)

I've never felt oppressed as female - nor have I longed to live in a dystopian universe. Now you know! :)

Fev 11, 2011, 12:06 pm

I will be keeping an eye open for Best Laid Plans and Essex Country at the used book stores in town :)

Editado: Fev 17, 2011, 4:49 pm

This is the first year I have read all five Canada Reads books, and I enjoyed the experience. I wish the format was better. I would have liked each book to have its day in the sun, with the winner announced on the sixth day.

I think Unless was probably the best one, but like vancouverdeb I didn't really enjoy it- don't we have enough dreary books about women in Canada? Essex County was a good graphic novel, but as one of the panelists said it was more of a short story. The Birth House was light chick-lit, fun for women but maybe not so much for men. I was pleasantly surprised by The Bone Cage. I don't know if I would say it was the best book in a decade, but it might have been the best novel about athletes I have read.

I am happy that The Best Laid Plans won. It was witty, interesting and at times touching. I think it was the most Canadian of them all.