The CBC just announced the five books and panelists for this year's Canada Reads competition:
"Canada Reads announced the contenders Tuesday for its annual contest to choose a single book all Canadians would enjoy reading.
The field has five Canadian books, including two debut novels and works by Quebec's Michael Tremblay and New Brunswick's David Adams Richards.
CBC Radio One, host of the Canada Reads series, also announced members of the panel who will defend the five books in an effort to get theirs chosen.
- TV personality Avi Lewis defending The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill.
- Singer Sarah Slean defending Mercy Among the Children by David Adams Richards.
- Actor Nicholas Campbell defending The Outlander by Gil Adamson.
- TV host Anne-Marie Withenshaw defending The Fat Woman Next Door is Pregnant (La grosse femme d'à côté est enceinte ) by Michel Tremblay, translated by Sheila Fischman.
- Author Jen Sookfong Lee defending Fruit by Brian Francis."
I haven't really paid attention to Canada Reads since the first year. This year's list however, contains two of the best books that I have read in 2008 - The Outlander and The Book of Negroes (which I loved so much that I might actually get emotional if someone says anything bad about it. It was published in the US and elsewhere as Someone Knows My Name, something the author had mixed feelings about). This makes me intrigued enough to want to read the others (Mercy Among the Children is the only one I had heard of. It's about a part of the world I know very well and I fear it will depress the hell out of me).
The panelists will make it interesting, too. I like Avi Lewis, and Nicholas Campbell is always entertaining.
I think I need to log onto my library' s web site and place some requests.
Care to join me? Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them?