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Pickle Me This

March 3, 2010

Canada Reads: Independently 2010: UPDATE 7

Fun fact I’ve noted is that two out of five Canada Reads: Independently picks reference my alma mater Victoria College. In Moody Food, Ray Robertson has his characters meeting up on the stone steps of Old Vic, and Carrie Snyder goes one better in Hair Hat and has her character in “Flirtations” return three books to the Victoria College Library (though was it the library pre or post renos? I wonder…). Anyway, I will try not to let these references colour my perceptions (and as the post below makes clear, I am always very open-minded when it comes to literary perceptions).

I am just about done Moody Food, which took a while to grow on me, but this afternoon when I was this far into the drug-soaked downward spiral, I found myself hooked. Though it’s pretty clear that things aren’t going to end well. Review to follow in a day or two…

Meanwhile, Julie Forrest (who I met today! She’s lovely) read Century this week, and she puts it on top of the rankings: “Powerful and poetic, Century tackles big issues for such a slim volume. Inadvertent as it was, I’m glad I saved the best for last.” Buried in Print struggled with Century, but found it not without rewards in her post “How many clever readers does it take to make a “great” book?”: “I can see that it’s well-written and carefully constructed, but I think I’ve missed a lot of what I was meant to notice, and that’s an uncomfortable feeling.” August reads Moody Food, and found it “damned near impossible for me to put down because there was so much life in it”, though as a self-confessed music snob, he didn’t buy The Duckhead Secret Society. He also read Hair Hat, hated the hair hat, but was more impressed with the book than he expected to be: “Carrie Snyder writes like she knows.” And my husband Stuart read How Happy to Be, finding its heroine reprehensible but, oddly enough, the book much compelling all the same.

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