The CBC launched Canada Reads 2011 – the tenth anniversary edition! – on Jian Ghomeshi’s radio program Q on Wednesday morning, and now it’s official: time to start reading, Canada. Your five contenders are:
- The Best Laid Plans – by Terri Fallis, championed by superstar journalist Ali Velshi (who, incidentally, cameoed in Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps)
- The Birth House by Ami McKay, championed by the queen of Canadian home reno television, Debbie Travis
- The Bone Cage by Angie Abdou, championed by NHL enforcer Georges Laraque
- Essex County by Jeff Lamire, championed by the “Sara” half of Tegan & Sara (aka Sara Quin)
- Unless by Carol Shields, championed by Lorne Cardinal from Corner Gas (amongst other acting roles)
It just happens that, for the first time ever, I’ve read one of the books on this list. That’d be Unless, which my mom loaned to me after she borrowed it from my brother’s girlfriend’s mom (or something like that). And being able to recognize the story when the Canada Reads contenders talk about it makes the whole contest a lot more exciting. So I decided that this is the year: on the tenth anniversary of Canada Reads, I’m finally going to make a point of reading all the nominees and figuring out which one I would champion.
A slight problem, though. My local library systems – and yes, there are two – don’t have copies of all five books.
It’s not that the book records are already stuffed to the hilt with requests and I have no chance of getting my hands on a copy before July. It’s not that they’re brand new copies that haven’t hit the shelves yet. The libraries don’t own copies.