Once & Future

Charlotte Ashley – Book seller, collector, writer, editor, historian

December 1, 2009

Canada Reads 2010 Quickie Thoughts

I won’t be back on this subject for months now, but I have to quickly state my apprehension at this year’s Canada Reads books.

For starters, I own four out of five of them already.  Of those, I have read two (Generation X and Fall On Your Knees), gave up on one because I found it very, very dull (Jade Peony) and was anxiously looking forward to reading the fourth (Nikolski).  So I suppose that makes this year’s list very inexpensive for me to acquire (here I come, Good To A Fault).

I will give Jade Peony another try I suppose, but the Coupland & Macdonald are headscratchers.   I could read Generation X again to refresh my memory, though I don’t remember liking it enough to actually want to.  Meanwhile Fall On Your Knees still lives in my mind as the single most painful thing I’ve ever read.  I didn’t dislike it; it was quite good.  But do I really want to live through that read again?  I mean, eek.  I won’t spoil it for anyone, but I doubt anyone would claim it is a pleasant read.

Interesting, though.  Hm.  Yes, hm.

6 Responses to “Canada Reads 2010 Quickie Thoughts”

  • rpriske says:

    I jsut realized that while we have two of these, I haven’t read either of them. Of course, since they are the Choy and MacDonald choices, your reviews are hardly an incentive.

    Since I have a (tenuos) family connection to Choy (and reference him in one of my poems), I should really give it a try.


  • Kerry Clare says:

    I am disappointed, and may not be playing along. I don’t really want to buy books I used to own but gave away because I didn’t love them. I also really don’t want to reread Good to a Fault again. Definitely.


  • Charlotte says:

    I think after some reflection and a scan of the bloggosphere, I’m prepared to call this list a yawn. They really are all safe choices, well-trod and well-known – or new enough to remember. I’m disappointed that none of them consist of a genuine recommendation or discovery for me. Maybe Good To a Fault, except prior to this it didn’t really come very highly recommended. :/

    I was going to read Nikolski soon anyway, so maybe I’ll love it and get all excited about it.


  • rpriske says:

    I just saw that the Coupland book is being defended by Cadence Weapon. I am a little disappointed that he did not choose a book of poetry… or at least ‘poetic’ prose like ‘George & Rue’.


  • melanie says:

    Because I like hosting the Canada Reads Challenge I’m excited for Canada Reads by default – but not really about the books. I remember getting into Fall on Your Knees but never thought I would read it again. When I heard it was one of the contenders I thought “I guess every Canada Reads has to have one seriously depressing, life will never get any better” Canadian novel. Maybe for fun I’ll create a battle between Fall On Your Knees and last year’s wrist slicer Mercy Among the Children.


  • Charlotte says:

    When they introduced who he was, I was sure he would pull out some kind of experimental novel-in-prose book or something, like George Elliot Clarke’s Whylah Falls. Generation X just felt so… safe.

    Then later I saw that Nalo Hopkinson already defended Whylah Falls in some previous Canada Reads, go fig.


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