It’s that time of year friends… No, I’m not talking about Valentine’s Day. I’m thinking along the lines of books, which of course means… CANADA READS. Each year, especially since moving to Toronto, I’ve been an avid listener/watcher of CBC’s annual Canada Reads debates, mostly because I think it’s exciting to see books celebrated in such a national way, but also because each year the books that are chosen are books that matter and strike up exciting conversation. This year will be no different. The books that have been chosen and advocated for on March 3-6, 2014 on CBC Radio and CBC-TV are,
- Sarah Gadon defends Annabel by Kathleen Winter
- Samantha Bee defends Cockroach by Rawi Hage
- Donovan Bailey defends Half-Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan
- Wab Kinew defends The Orenda by Joseph Boyden
- Stephen Lewis defends The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood
Now because I’m a gal that really enjoys a good list, I’ve come up with five reasons on why you need to tune into this year’s debates:
1. It’s a chance to read and discover new books/authors.
I understand that many of you may have read past books by the authors included in this year’s picks. Heck, you might have already read one or two of the contending books, but who doesn’t enjoy a good reread? If you’re like me and have only read one of the books, it’s good a time as any to read some well loved books. With the amount of support and advocacy behind these books in the book community, there’s no doubt that you’re bound to discover a new favourite!
2. Listening to people debate literature is a book lovers paradise.
From one book lover to another, there is nothing better than a friendly debate when it comes to literature. I love going to book clubs for this very reason. One’s reading experience can vary from person to person and listening to this talented list of panelists advocate for why their book should be read by all of Canada is going to be something to watch. Especially since the books represent such a range of topics.
3. You can join the conversation and meet fellow book lovers.
This is actually a personal favourite reason of mine, mostly because I’m a huge advocate for excessive Twitter use (#sorrynotsorry). Leading up to and during the debates, using the hashtag #CanadaReads2014 will result in an arrangement of opinions condensed to a 140 characters. In the past, by joining the chatter online, I’ve made new friends (online and IRL), which is nothing short of amazing. I encourage each and every one of you to pop in, say hello and meet Canadians from all over our country by including #CanadaReads2014 in your tweets.
4. You can read Margaret Atwood… again.
She’s a national treasure, she orcheastrates Google+ hangouts with Alice Munro and there’s probably a good chance she’s chatted with you online. And thanks to Canada Reads 2014, we, as as a nation, get another opportunity to read The Year of the Flood. Many of you have just finished reading the final book in the MaddAddam trilogy, aptly named MaddAddam. So this is a great opportunity to reread the second book in the trilogy or in my case, start reading the series for the first time. Whatever the case may be, it’s exciting to have Margaret Atwood included in the list and it’ll be a thrill to listen to Stephen Lewis defend the book.
5. Reading as a nation is pretty awesome.
The #1 reason why we all need to be tuning into year’s Canada Reads debates tie into the name itself, let’s get all Canadians reading! From the East to the West, it’s exciting to think that we, as a nation, can all be reading the same book. The panelists will go into these debates with a lot of passion and dedication to prove to Canada why their book should be the book every one is reading. Their arguments and points will all be valid and exciting to listen to, but whatever the outcome, we all know that getting a nation reading and chatting about Canadian books is the real winner. So join me in tuning into the debates on March 3 – 6th, hosted by Jian Ghomeshi on CBC Radio and CBC-TV.
*For lots of great coverage, be sure to check out the CBC Books Canada Reads website.