Of all the books, I thought Not Wanted on the Voyage deserved the prize. In my own opinion, it was the most flawless selection in the group. It went one step beyond the average run of the mill novel. I’m not entirely disappointed with the King Leary win though. I thought the ending fell a little flat, but beyond that it was a great read and I’m happy for the author. I was a little surprised that Icefields didn’t make it to the final round, but it was leading the popular vote last I looked. I found Lisa Moore’s arguments rather strident and not a little inconsistent: she wants to “grow” (think of that word being uplifted by choirs of angels) but she dislikes when a book has any kind of obvious message or agenda. I think her choice of From the Fifteenth District is a clear indication that she doesn’t really have an understanding of the Canada Reads contest. As for Hopkinson’s book, I found it annoying how Jemini kept saying that she was sorry that “Canada wasn’t ready” for Brown Girl in the Ring — in fact, that attitude is rather insulting to me as a reader. I’m sure Canada was as ready to like Brown Girl as King Leary. It just wasn’t as well written a book.
I hope that we get some real classic CanLit on the list next year though.
My plans for next year: to buy all the books, to read them quickly, to journal each one here as I read it, to send them all out as bookrings. I just wish they did it more often!