Thursday, August 8, 2013

The 7th Canadian Book Challenge


Maybe it's a crazy idea, but it seems to me that if countries share a border, then they should offer one another's literature in high school and college. With regard to the US, I would think that at the very least those states which share a border with Canada or Mexico should present that country's authors in school. I've lived my whole life less than a couple hours from the Canadian border and never read a book by a Canadian for most of it. When my kids were young, and we got a Bose radio, I was finally able to listen to Morningside with Peter Gzowski and Shelagh Rogers. I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. I learned about Canadian authors and my life became much richer. 

Though I have yet to complete a Canadian Book Challenge, I have still read several books by Canadian authors over the years of the blog. For this year's challenge I visited my library's website and found several books, and I own a fair few. 

This is what John Mutford has to say about his excellent reading challenge:
The Canadian Book Challenge is an annual online reading challenge in which participants from Canada and around the world aim to read and review 13 or more Canadian books in a one year span: Canada Day to Canada Day. Reviews must be posted online and participants are asked to share links to their reviews with other participants.
You may find more information about the challenge here.

Books read:

1. Remembering the Bones by Frances Itani - finished August 8
2. Old City Hall by Robert Rotenberg - finished September 8
3. Stuck by Stacey D. Atkinson - finished December 6
4. I'll Never Marry a Farmer by Lois Hole - finished January 27
5. My Turquoise Years by M.A.C. Farrant - finished February 1

19 comments:

  1. Interesting! I confess most of the Canadian art that I'm in tune with - no pun intended - is through those amazing musicians - Leonard Cohen,Joni Mitchell, and Gordon Lightfoot just to name a few. Of course Cohen's a writer too.
    Not a Canadian border state, here in PA, but I like the idea of this challenge. Thanks for the information.
    Mary

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    1. There are a lot of musicians from there!

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  2. I have always thought we should also learn French and Spanish in school too.

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    1. Both are offered in our high school, but fewer and fewer take French. The French-Canadian population is much lower than when I was a kid.

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  3. Participated last year and found a lot of new wonderful authors! For mysteries you must include L.R. Wright! Suspect is the first in the series.

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    1. I have a note to read Wright from your post!

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  4. Thanks for the plug!

    It's kind of amusing to me that an American would have to put in a conscious effort to read more Canadian books. I'd say a large number of Canadians feel the same way. Not that they need to put in an effort to more American books, but more Canadian books!

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  5. Agree with you completely ... and not just for border states. Isn't Margaret Atwood Canadian? And I am pretty sure about Louise Penny who definitely writes mysteries with a strong Canadian sense of place.

    If I am right about those two, I have definitely read some Canadian authors (not exactly on purpose). But I think I should try some more!

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    1. Yes, they are both Canadian, but sadly I don't care for either of their work. (in the minority here, I know)
      I'm really quite excited about this challenge.

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  6. I could not agree more, Nan; we should be reading more of neighbors good works. I always mean to take part of the Canadian challenge, but, that seems to go by way of a great many things I mean to do, it seams. Maybe next year. I believe Sallie is right about Margaret Atwood, whose books I've also enjoyed.

    Then, there is Lucy Maud Montgomery - and dear Anne of Green Gables.

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    1. This is the first time I've been really serious about it. I do love Anne.

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    2. Oh Nan, I don't really love Margaret Atwood at all either. I was just saying off the top of my head that I'd read a couple of her books. I do love Louise Penny though. And of course how could I forget Lucy Maud and wonderful Anne (well I guess I could forget because I read those books a million years ago!)

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  7. Glad you are joining in. Have you read Louise Penny? I think you'd like her, and her books are set in Quebec City and souther Quebec, which is very near you.
    As was I! We had our trip to Sherbrooke, and just got home today, after coming home through Maine. We stayed in Bangor last night, and got to an LL Bean outlet, plus a Macy's and JC Penny so we had a great quick shopping trip. Canada Games were incredible, and such a great experience for my son. Little ole PEI finished 8th out of 11 teams, far outplaying our population ranking.

    What books are you planning to read?

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    1. I wish I liked her mysteries but I just don't. I read the first three, I think, and just didn't enjoy them.
      Good for PEI!!
      I don't have any exact plan. I have put the books I own in a special area, and I've got an online 'bookbag' at my library. I'll choose from among them. Reading Helen Potrebenko just now.

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  8. Hi there,
    I've just been perusing your blog and came across The Canadian Literature Challenge (and the concept of reading the works of neighbouring countries). I found that I've been reading a lot of what I will call ABC Literature - American, British, or Canadian. I've kind of been thinking that I need to expand my reading as well! While I don't read a lot of mysteries....Louise Penny does seem to be quite popular. Cheers to expanding our literary horizons. For a good Canadian read, I would recommend a novel called The Nine Lives of Charlotte Taylor by Sally Armstrong. It's historical fiction - but she started with the intention of writing a bio of her family - it turned to fiction when she realized there were too many gaps in her findings. Female protagonist, harsh pioneer times, and good solid writing combine to make for a great story. Now I'm off to check out your recipes! J.K.S. (jks3ontheshelf.blogspot.com)

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    1. I agaree - The Nine Lives of Charlotte Taylor was excellent!

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    2. Glad to meet a fellow fan of Sally Armstrong's writing! I just read an old magazine article about her and the town of her ancestors...it was neat to see the financial boom it gave to the area...a sort of ripple effect of her writing.....

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  9. Thanks to you both for the recommendation. I'm having a lot of fun looking into Canadian authors.

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