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Pickle Me This

February 22, 2010

Canada Reads 2010: UPDATE 6

Four down, one to go, and I know lots of other readers are making good progress. Pretty soon I’ll be providing details of the vote we’ll be using to determine which title comes out on top, and I hope you’ll all show support for your favourites.

In the meantime, there’s plenty of reading going on– my husband is eating up How Happy to Be as I type this, and August Bourre had plenty of good things to say about Katrina Onstad’s novel: “Onstad’s send-up of self-important celebrities and the media apparatus that seems structured soley to support their egos is dead-on… and I laughed out loud more than once while Maxime was interviewing Ethan Hawke. It all seems like such a laugh, really, watching Maxime deliberately sabotaging her career, eviscerating her coworkers with her wit, navigating parties and talk shows and fucking Ad Sales out of boredom. And then for a moment it’s all ripped away and we can see the insecurity that underlies it all…”

This week, Charlotte Ashley read Moody Food and found it “engrossing, a genuine page-turner, and uncomfortably evocative of a seriously messed-up time.  But so very not my thing.” Buried in Print read it too, found it not exactly up her street, but wrote, “The dialogue is truly stand-out. It’s walk-off-the-page good. Not overly clever, just damn straight and believable. ” Writer Guy reads Century and suspects it’s untoppable: “Ultimately, the real strength of this work is Smith’s assertive and limpid (a word he actually uses at least three times!) prose. There’s a confidence in his style, a writer who’s totally in command of the language.”

In wider Canada Reads news, can I please credit the CBC people for being so cool and supportive about their imitators? For taking it all on as flattery instead of threat? And certainly, there is much flattery– the National Post announced their Canada Also Reads shortlist, which includes Pickle Me This favourites Come Thou, Tortoise and Yellowknife. And having read Julie Forrest’s review, I’m also going to read Stacey-May Fowles’ novel Fear of Fighting (which is available for free download). And then the fantastic KIRBC pepole bring you Civilians Read, which is the CBC Canada Reads lineup, but with a different panel of defenders. And so it will be interesting to see how things go down there.

March promises to be quite the showdown .

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