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Pickle Me This

January 4, 2010

My Canada Reads: Independently Reactions

First, I’m glad my excitement has been a little contagious, or maybe this books list is just really good, because I’ve received a fantastic response to the Canada Reads: Independently lineup. I’m pleased that quite a few readers will be reading along with some or all of the picks, and I look forward to comparing responses.

I’m pretty pleased with the range of books we’ve got here. Of course, the list is stacked with books by men called Ray, but that’s just par for the course, isn’t it? Men not called Ray are always excluded from this sort of thing. I’ve only read one book from the list before (How Happy to Be) but I read it for fun and didn’t review it, so to look at it a bit more critically will be a different experience. It is worth noting, of course, that my “celebrity panelists” are all friends of mine in some capacity, but I figured, who better than friends to ask for a favour? And finally, that the panel is entirely constructed of bookish people, which was quite deliberate, for the same reason I don’t get my hair cut at the dentist.

We’re friends of Biblioasis here at Pickle Me This (and friends of friends of Biblioasis), so it’s not a big surprise that they’ve got two books on the list. Dan Wells is the publisher of Biblioasis and he’s championing his own book, which might constitute a conflict of interest, but I decided that was fine. For really, what is more of a conflict of interest than loving a book, and isn’t that the very point? If Dan liked Century enough to publish it, isn’t that just another way of him saying that he really likes it a lot?

Being the Canada Reads Indies, we bent the rules to our heart’s content. Dan touts his own book, Patricia Storms brings a book of stories to the table, and Rona Maynard’s book I’ve already read. Happily, happily, anything goes, and I think the list is better for it.

My aim is to get through these by March, to post reviews on my site as I read them, to rate the books against one another, and then the week after Canada Reads is broadcast in March to reflect on these books in relation to one another, and to other peoples’ reaction to them.

Should you wish to read along, go here for details on purchasing Hair Hat, and the other books are available on Amazon or your local independent bookstore. And how nice to suppose that I won’t be reading so independently after all.

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