Thoughts on the 2021 Debates?

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Thoughts on the 2021 Debates?

Mar 8, 2021, 12:03 pm

Much better panel than last year, I think. They listen respectfully to each other and seem genuinely interested in what others are saying.

I like they are all in the studio. When some are in the room and some on line, it's harder to have a conversation.

I am surprised Two Trees Make a Forest was eliminated first. Looks like Midnight Bargain might be next.........

Mar 8, 2021, 4:00 pm

I just finished watching the first debate and definitely agree that this seems like a better panel. But the week is young.... :)

I started Two Trees Make a Forest but I'm still on page 50 or so - I will finish it after the debate as I still have two others to go. I'll see how far I get with Midnight Bargain tonight so if it does go tomorrow, I'll have an idea of why.

I was working while watching, so I didn't make note of anyone's name (I'm old and live in a bubble because I never know who anyone is any more) - the guy who championed Two Trees didn't seem to fight too hard for it. He obviously loved the book and I'm glad it meant so much to him, but it almost seemed like he was relieved to lose. I'm curious if anyone else felt that way.

Mar 8, 2021, 8:31 pm

>2 Yells: I was working while watching, so I didn't make note of anyone's name (I'm old and live in a bubble because I never know who anyone is any more)

Me too. It's been a couple of years at least when I haven't known any of the panel.

I haven't paid much attention to the books -- I tend to listen and then pick which ones to read AFTER the contest (unless they were previously on my radar, of course). I thought Two Trees Make a Forest sounded the most interesting, although not particularly Canadian.

Mar 8, 2021, 11:26 pm

I just finished watching the debate. I still haven't read any of the books so I don't have a favourite to hope for. I've been doing a lot of reading and thinking about the climate crisis lately so in a way I hoped Two Trees would get more attention because it is about the ecological devastation humanity has wrought.

I agree that the panelists seem quite respectful of each other; in fact they all said "with respect" as they were voting. But it's probably too early to see if any alliances will form or if any knives will get drawn.

If the people who voted against The Midnight Bargain today continue with that then I can see it disappearing tomorrow but the champion for the book speaks passionately and forcefully for it so maybe it will hang in there. Personally Hench doesn't seem to have much in the way of a deeper message to it but maybe I'm mistaken.

On to Tuesday's debates.

Mar 9, 2021, 8:48 am

I think Hench's messages are about data/social media manipulation. And about how we define "good". At what price do we protect some members of society and fight against others? It was interesting in that way, but I couldn't see the characters as real and there was way more action than character development. Well done, if you like that sort of thing...which I don't much.

Mar 9, 2021, 9:51 pm

>5 LynnB: Thanks for that. I got a little bit more of that from today's debate. It still doesn't really grab my interest.

So The Midnight Bargain did go today. Not totally surprising since it is fantasy and I think fantasy is a pretty specialized field (I'm not even much of a fan except for a few authors like Guy Gavriel Kay and Naomi Novik). It's looking to me like the showdown will be between Butter Honey Pig Bread and Hench because so far no-one has voted against BHPB and only one vote today against Hench.

I must say I am impressed by all the panelists ability to express their feelings but not resort to much shouting. The chef guy did let go a bit but the others are very good about letting people speak.

Mar 9, 2021, 10:10 pm

I am enjoying the banter this year as well. Roger (I remember a name!) was a little passionate, but he reigned it in. Yesterday I thought Butter Honey Pig Bread was the clear winner, but today I would agree that Hench could also pull it off. I haven't read it but it sounds like it fits the theme better. I'm eager to see what tomorrow brings!

Mar 10, 2021, 10:58 am

I think Hench will go today!

Editado: Mar 10, 2021, 10:41 pm

LynnB for the win! Yesterday I would have bet money that Hench would stay - I never get these right :)

The only two books that I read completely are in the final - that also never happens. I loved both of them but if I have to choose, I'm pulling for Butter Honey Pig Bread. Maybe I'm just hungry and the parts about delicious food won me over, but there was something rather sensuous about this book. I'm finding it hard to concentrate these days but this book sucked me right in.

Editado: Mar 10, 2021, 9:28 pm

>8 LynnB: Good call.

>9 Yells: Although I haven't read any of them the two that are left are the two that I have wanted to read even before they were chosen for Canada Reads. So I'll be happy with either one of them winning.

I am going to try my darndest to watch the live program tomorrow. Each other day I've had something going on that meant I couldn't watch til later but I want to be in on the real thing for the end.

Mar 11, 2021, 8:53 am

From watching, I predict that Paul will vote against Butter Honey Pig Bread and Rosey will vote against Jonny Appleseed, which both have done before. This leaves Scott as the wild card. He hasn't voted against either of the two remaining contenders.

I liked both of these books...I'll be happy either way.

Some people mentioned Roger's passion on Day 2, and when he brought in his personal tragedy, I thought it was inappropriate for Canada Reads. But it does speak to how much his book touched him. They were all strong champions for their books this year.

Mar 11, 2021, 2:25 pm

I was wrong again, but it’s all good. Jonny Appleseed is definitely not a book I would have read on my own and yet I loved it.

Mar 11, 2021, 2:59 pm

I'm quite happy that Jonny Appleseed won. Devery did a great job of advocating for it. I loved how she got choked up for the final pitch. I'm going to my local independent bookstores tomorrow so I plan to by a copy of Jonny Appleseed. My hold on Butter Honey Pig Bread at the library is working its way up the queue so I'll be reading it too.

Mar 11, 2021, 3:44 pm

I started my thought while waiting for my cat at the vets and never finished it :)

Jonny Appleseed is a book that I never would have picked up on my own, and honestly, the only reason I had a copy is because it was a few bucks on amazon kindle and was nominated for something else. That being said, I loved it and I'm so glad that it was chosen for Canada Reads. I agree that Devery did an amazing job advocating for it. I love when advocates have a personal connection because they champion as if it was their own work. Excellent debate this year!

Mar 11, 2021, 4:19 pm

I agree that the debates were excellent this year. I think Roger's defense of Butter Honey Pig Bread floundered a bit today. He spent more time talking about it as a well-crafted work of art than about the humanity of the characters. And, I'm not sure quoting other panelists' words back at them was a good idea.

When Rosey said she was an ogbanje, I was floored! What a powerful moment.

Mar 11, 2021, 5:19 pm

Haven't read the thread. I meant - at some point soon - to come check (again) when this was happening. Oops, apparently I missed it. :-(

I will go back and watch/listen, but I'm annoyed that Indigo sent out an email with the winner plasted at the top. I hate knowing who won before I get a chance to see it myself.

Mar 11, 2021, 6:37 pm

I guess I'm an outlier, because I really didn't enjoy Canada Reads this year. I'm not interested in any of the books, although I would consider reading the winner. I found myself feeling annoyed more often than not, and the guy that defended Butter Honey Pig Bread got on my last nerve. He was so self-important and condescending. I agree that Devery Jacob did a fine job defending her book.

Editado: Mar 18, 2021, 6:02 pm

Well, I just finished (finally!) Part 3. Since I already know which one won, I will still listen to the part 4, but wanted to come read the comments here. :-)

I tend to not necessarily read them all, but I use the debates to choose which ones I will add to the tbr.

Without having listened to the last episode yet, I'm saying I'll likely be adding
Jonny Appleseed (shoot, used to be able to do a ctrl-f to find a touchstone in a long list, but that doesn't seem to work anymore, and I can't find it! ETA: Well, I guess it would help if I spelled it right!)
Midnight Bargain

Unless something changes my mind (I plan to listen to the last episode on the weekend sometime... or maybe I'll get to it this evening), I will not likely read the other two.

Mar 18, 2021, 5:58 pm

>3 Nickelini: I thought Two Trees Make a Forest sounded the most interesting, although not particularly Canadian.

I liked the idea of this one from the environmental standpoint, but listening to the rest of the discussion around it, I sort of lost some of that interest.

Mar 21, 2021, 3:44 pm

Finally finished watching! It was so close!! Didn't realize it was going to be that close!

Mar 21, 2021, 3:46 pm

it was much better this year than last!