Canada Reads 2021: What Do You Think of the Books?

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Canada Reads 2021: What Do You Think of the Books?

Fev 18, 2021, 8:48 am

I'm binge reading the five books so I'll be ready to "play along" with the panel.

The Midnight Bargain isn't the kind of book I'd normally read, but it held my interest. Kind of Jane Austen meets magical realism. Kind of a feminist Harlequin romance.

Next up: Butter Honey Pig Bread by Francesca Ekwuyasi.

Editado: Fev 22, 2021, 6:44 pm

I bought a copy of Butter Honey Pig Bread but haven't started. I'm finding reading to be a bit of a chore these days so I'm not sure how many, if any, I will read before the debates. I will listen along though! And I am curious to see how others found the selections and what their predictions are.

Fev 22, 2021, 5:25 pm

I liked Butter Honey Pig Bread much more than I thought I would based on the description. The writing is solid, and the characters are extremely well drawn.

I also finished Two Trees Make a Forest and, so far, it's my least favourite. It's a blend of a memoir and a description of the ecology of Taiwan. The memoir is far more interesting....I couldn't get into the attachment to her past that the countryside brought out in her.

Fev 28, 2021, 1:10 pm

Hench by Natalie Zina Walschots didn't do anything for me. Superheroes and super-villains, along with the people and cyborgs who work for them couldn't be "real" enough for me to care about.

I'm concluding my Canada Reads finalists with Jonny Appleseed by Joshua Whitehead.

Mar 4, 2021, 9:42 am

Jonny Appleseed grew on me as I read it. The narrative isn't linear, which is often frustrating, but in this case, the author really made it work to develop a layered picture of our protagonist.

All 5 read. Let the debates begin!

Editado: Mar 5, 2021, 9:32 am

I finished Butter Honey Pig Bread and I loved it. I will try to get one or two more finished this weekend - I'm really behind this year.

I spent my work day listening to the pre-debate interviews via podcast - sounds like there is a wide variety of stuff this year. Should be fun!

Mar 4, 2021, 4:35 pm

>5 LynnB: Now that you have read them all, what is your prediction?

Mar 5, 2021, 7:51 am

I predict Two Trees Make a Forest even though it wasn't my personal favourite.

Mar 5, 2021, 9:31 am

I started Jonny Appleseed last night and I'm rather surprised to say that I'm enjoying it. I bought a copy when it was nominated for the Giller, but never really paid attention to what it was about and it sat unread for a while. Sadly, if I read the blurb beforehand, I probably would have skipped this one as the plot sounds way too weird. It does make me wonder how many other weird and wonderful books are out there, but since they don't make a bestseller or award list, I overlook.

Mar 5, 2021, 12:59 pm

yes, I feel the same way about that fact, I'm not sure I would've read any of the finalists if not for Canada Reads.

Mar 7, 2021, 8:37 am

I just started Two Trees Make a Forest. On the one hand, it’s beautifully written, but on the other, she jumps around a lot so it seems rather disjointed. I’m only about 50 pages in so maybe that changes.

I loved Jonny Appleseed and Butter Honey Pig Bread. Either could win and I’d be happy. The other two will get read, but who knows when.

Mar 14, 2021, 11:28 am

I just started Hench and I love it! What a neat concept for a book. I generally avoid Super Hero related stuff so I wasn't all that interested in reading this one. This is why I love programs like this - I end up reading way outside my comfort zone and find some gems.

Mar 14, 2021, 12:35 pm

>12 Yells:, I agree 100% that Canada Reads expands my reading horizons.

Jul 14, 2021, 11:17 pm

The Midnight Bargain / C.L. Polk
3.5 stars

Beatrice wants to spend her life learning magic, doing magic, and becoming a mage. With this, she wants to help her merchant father. Unfortunately, society (and her father) have other plans for her: marriage and children. And as soon as a woman is married, on goes the collar to stifle all magic because it might hurt any forthcoming children. So, women don’t get to do magic (only men) until they are beyond childbearing years.

In a bookstore, as Beatrice hunts for grimoires (textbooks) to help her learn magic, she runs into a brother and sister from a wealthy family who could have an influence on her father’s business. The sister, Ysbeta, wants the same grimoire Beatirce has her hands on. Playing peacemaker, Ysbeta’s brother suggests Beatrice and Ysbeta learn together, but Ysbeta buys the book and walks out without providing an invitation/calling card for Beatrice to meet her to study. In the meantime, it is bargaining season when the eligible men come to woo the eligible daughters and/or bargain with their fathers.

This was good. Fantasy can be hit or miss for me, depending on the type of fantasy. This was urban fantasy, so more my “thing”. There is also a romance mixed in, but not too much romance for my liking, either. Overall, I liked it.

Jul 14, 2021, 11:17 pm

It's so rare I read one of the Canada Reads books the year it's in the competition! Thought I'd come post my review. :-)

Jul 16, 2021, 3:28 pm

>14 LibraryCin: I quite liked The Midnight Bargain as well. I read Butter Honey Pig Bread as soon as my library hold came through and I really liked it. I have since read Jonny Appleseed and I was very impressed by it. I can see many people would not like the sexual discussions but it is so much a part of Jonny that I think they were necessary. I am quite glad that it won this year's debate. I am going to listen to Hench at some point but I think I will pass on Two Trees Make a Forest because all the criticism of it I heard during the debates and then here makes me think I would find it frustrating.

Jul 16, 2021, 5:39 pm

>16 gypsysmom: >14 LibraryCin: Hench is such fun! I loved Butter Honey Pig Bread and Jonny Appleseed. Stalled on Two Trees Make a Forest (I found it jumped around too much and my brain at the time couldn’t handle it). I’ll return to it at some point. Never picked up The Midnight Bargain and I’m not sure why. It sounds like it’s right up my alley but I keep passing it over for other books.

Jul 16, 2021, 9:16 pm

>16 gypsysmom: I don't think I added "Butter Honey Pig Bread" to my tbr. Just didn't sound like my kind of thing.

I do plan to read "Jonny Appleseed" at some point, though, as well as "Hench".

I also left "Two Trees" off my tbr.

Jul 18, 2021, 9:35 am

I read them all. Like many, I couldn't get into Two Trees. I found Hench rather boring as I couldn't identify with the characters.