Another Sunday, the last one in November! It's time to start thinking about what your favorite books of the year were. I'm sure there will be a deluge of top ten lists starting soon. Speaking of lists... Canada Reads has a new list, a list of panelists and the books they are defending in 2011.
The rules were different this year. Canadians picked the list of books which the panelists then had to chose from. I'm not sure how I feel about this. On the one hand, it's very democratic but on the other, will the panelists defend these books as passionately as the books they might have chosen?
I was happy to see that the list had two books that I actually read before: The Birth House by Ami McKay and Unless by Carol Shields. I even reviewed both books on the blog back in the Dark Ages. I loved them both and find myself torn between them.
The Birth House I loved because of its historical aspect and also it is set in Nova Scotia. I will always have a bias for books set in Nova Scotia. When I saw that Debbie Travis was defending it, I first thought huh? It's kind of like having Mike Holmes or that Property Virgins lady defending it. (If you don't know who Debbie Travis is she's a popular Canadian host of Do-It-Yourself shows like Painted House). But then I thought, why not? It's not like musicians, hockey players and actors are in any better position to defend a book. Plus, she's actually written some books. So there you go.
Now Unless is a very different book by one of my favorite authors Carol Shields. Unless is not my favorite book by her though, that's The Stone Diaries. Unless is a complex novel with themes of feminism and motherhood, so I thought it was an interesting choice by Lorne Cardinal. Not that I don't think a man can defend it, I'm just curious to see how he handles it. (And Officer Davis was one of my favorite Corner Gas characters.)
Have you read any of the Canada Reads 2011 books? Any favorites?