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Archives 2018 > Canada Reads Predictions

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message 1: by ❀ Susan (new)

❀ Susan G (susanayearofbooksblogcom) | 4277 comments Mod
Hi all - a place to comment on your predictions vs. your favourites.


message 2: by ❀ Susan (new)

❀ Susan G (susanayearofbooksblogcom) | 4277 comments Mod
Let the voting begin: http://www.cbc.ca/books/vote-for-your...


message 3: by Susan (new)

Susan | 941 comments Wow, The Marrow Thieves is well ahead in that poll.


message 4: by Louise (new)

Louise | 1585 comments Well my favorite won't be chosen that's for sure because it was not chosen by any panelist. Yet Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death, and Hard Truths in a Northern City is THE book to open every Canadian's eyes to something that is happening NOW, not in the past, and not in the future, but NOW and this book needs to be read NOW and it will open your eyes.


message 5: by Megan (new)

Megan  | 628 comments I thought the break would win last year so what do I know? It’s all down to the presenter many times.


message 6: by Anne (new)

Anne (artemis91) | 43 comments Following the template of a post on the Short List Discussion, here's how I would rank the books based on "opening eyes"

1. Boat People - while this book is about Tamil refugees, it could be about Syrian just as easily - the rhetoric around whether they are Isis in hiding or "legitimate" is one that has been repeated ad nauseam through history. I thought Bala did an expert job of weaving the lives of all the players together to show how weak that argument is.

2. Precious Cargo - I found myself made a little uncomfortable by this book because Craig talks about he himself was made uncomfortable thinking about working with kids with special needs, and is very frank about how most of us don't "step through that door".

3. American War - I've seen a lot of discussion about how this book shouldn't be in CR, but I think it is extremely applicable to Canada, with our current pipeline issues, carbon taxes, and renewable discussions alienating the interior provinces from the coastal ones. This book can open one's eyes to how when people are alienated, they can go to great lengths to get vengeance.

4. Forgiveness - I thought this was an excellent book, but I think in terms of "opening our eyes", it will need an excellent champion to compete against other books where the message is much clearer. The first part of the novel does a great job on the discussion of forgiveness, but I had to think hard about the last half to get the connection.

5. Marrow Thieves - I thought this was a great novel, but I just didn't like it as much as the other novels. I'd originally pinned it on it being a sci-fi novel, but so is American War, so it wasn't that. Perhaps its that it didn't particularly open my eyes to anything.

As @Megan mentioned, the picks are so hard to make as it can depend so much on the champion (and I have yet to pick a winner), so we'll see what happens, but I know it will be exciting!


message 7: by Ann-Marie (new)

Ann-Marie | 213 comments This is the first time I've followed along in real time, so I don't know exactly how the winner is chosen? Do Canadians vote based on the debates? Does the CBC?

My favourites of the 5, based on the CR theme & their story: are The Boat People or Forgiveness.

{But ... I haven't read Marrow Thieves & just started American War}


Allison ༻hikes the bookwoods༺ (allisonhikesthebookwoods) | 2056 comments This isn’t a prediction, but I am looking forward to getting to know the defenders better. I gained enormous respect last year for Humble the Poet and Measha Brueggergosman, while feeling extremely disappointed with a couple others. My predictions for the best defenders are Jeanne Beker and maybe Jully Black.


message 9: by Srividya (new)

Srividya Rao | 83 comments As I mentioned in the short list thread, I am rooting for Marrow Thieves. I seem to be in minority here!! @Anne, I agree it didn't 'open my eyes' as such but did made me realize how easily we could slide back. And where I want to believe we would, as a society, never again, commit such atrocities, this book brought into focus how easily 'for a greater good' things could go wrong and in a bid for survival, humanity could be lost. I, also, liked the writing in many places and enjoyed it as a YA book. I do read and enjoy YA and dystopian books as they sometimes have a unique way of framing current topics.

This being said, I have just started American War. If it lives up to its hype, I may change my vote!!


message 10: by Tara (new)

Tara (taramora) | 38 comments Ann-Marie wrote: "Do Canadians vote based on the debates? Does the CBC?"

Hi Ann-Marie and welcome to Canada Reads! The show is one hour each day for four days. At the end of each hour, the five panellists vote for the book they want to eliminate. The book left at the end of the fourth show is the winner. It is 100% in the hands of the five panellists.


message 11: by ✿✿✿May (last edited Mar 22, 2018 05:44AM) (new)

✿✿✿May  | 990 comments I love this thread! It's like the Oscar for books!

I am going to list my ranking of preference of the 5 books:
1) Precious Cargo - love the humour and the unpretentious of it. Also, having a non-verbal, autistic 15 year old, like Gavin, definitely has a lot to do with why I rank it #1.
2) Boat People - it's a timely piece with the current influx of refugees. I think this book brings out what we, as a nation, never saw. Definitely an eye opener. Writing is a bit flat for me.
3) Forgiveness - Agreed that it's choppy, but I like the story. It's about reconciliation ultimately. It made me angry to think about how the "white' government can make unilateral decisions in general. It made me angry to think about how Chinese railway workers were made to pay $500 head tax to come into the country. It also made me think about how indigenous kids were dragged away from their families and put into residential schools. We have come a long way, but we still have a lot of work to do.
4) Marrow Thieves - it's got a decent story and not bad writing. But it's just not for me. And I can only try to equate Marrow to the roots of these kids, maybe the DNA?
5) American War - Just don't like it. Writing is flat to me. The bigger picture behind it was lost amidst the first half for me because it was so flat. The second half is slightly better, but overall didn't enjoy it. I just wanted to get it over with.

Canada Reads ultimately is about the defending of the titles. So although I am hoping that Precious Cargo wins, I am not surprised if either Marrow Thieves or American War takes the cake!


message 12: by Megan (new)

Megan  | 628 comments @Allison ༻hikes the bookwoods༺ those are the two defenders that I am most excited about!


message 13: by Ann-Marie (new)

Ann-Marie | 213 comments So there we could be strategy in the first round of votes? Like, a defender could vote off the book(s) they see as the biggest threat to win?


message 14: by Anne (new)

Anne (artemis91) | 43 comments @ Ann-Marie you'll definitely see that happen. I find there's no way to predict a winner because so much of it comes down to the debaters, but I think that's what makes CR so exciting :)


message 15: by ❀ Susan (new)

❀ Susan G (susanayearofbooksblogcom) | 4277 comments Mod
@Ann Marie - I like to think of it as both a contest and a game show! You never know what can happen and it highlights great books to Canadians.

Unlike last year, I liked all the books in their own way so am having trouble even ranking them.


message 16: by Anne (new)

Anne (artemis91) | 43 comments @Susan I feel the complete opposite. I don't feel half as strongly about this year's books as I did last year's books (I was rooting for Nostalgia). That being said, I still ended up enjoying all the books this year.


message 17: by ❀ Susan (new)

❀ Susan G (susanayearofbooksblogcom) | 4277 comments Mod
Lol Anne - to each their own!! Last year I couldn't even finish The Right To Be Cold: One Woman's Story of Protecting Her Culture, the Arctic and the Whole Planet, struggled through Nostalgia and was sad to see The Breakout on the first day... but perhaps it all comes down to individual taste and timing.


message 18: by Mj (last edited Mar 21, 2018 08:02PM) (new)

Mj | 1195 comments This is a copy of my post #160 posted on March 20, 2018 at 10:04 am Canada Reads Shortlist.

@ Susan was the first to post her ideas in the same thread @158 at 9:23 a.m. and I was responding.

@ Susan - definitely agree with you about how to get in the cheerleader mode for 1 particular book. I think all were good choices for the theme and all opened my eyes to varying degrees. The writing skills and my engagement level varied quite widely between books.

Like you, I rated the books via the theme and how they opened my eyes.

1. Precious Cargo
2 (tied) American War & Forgiveness
4 (tied) The Marrow Thieves & The Boat People

The more I thought about how I would rank the books in order and how I would rate them on Goodreads (without giving them all the same or fairly comparable ratings), the more confused I got. lol. So I listed 10 criteria & ranked each book from 1-5 with respect to that criteria. I then took an average out of 5.

The results based on various criteria:

American War & Precious Cargo tied at 4.2
The Marrow Thieves at 3.8
Forgiveness & The Boat People tied at 3.5

I am still leaning to cheering for Precious Cargo. Am not predicting a win - just hope it gets the credit it deserves. Going to listen to some podcasts as well and see what the defenders sound like. I agree the defenders are the unknown factor and will be a huge influence on the outcome.

Some interesting debates ahead!!


message 19: by Louise (last edited Mar 22, 2018 05:54AM) (new)

Louise | 1585 comments ❀ Susan wrote: "Lol Anne - to each their own!! Last year I couldn't even finish The Right To Be Cold: One Woman's Story of Protecting Her Culture, the Arctic and the Whole Planet, struggled through..."

Yeah we definitely perceive each year differently. I've been watching the show since the very beginning and I am finding the quality in the choice of books is declining every year, but on the flip side the CBC folks are doing more and more to make the entire Canada Reads experience more fun so I guess it all balances out. I think I need to stop expecting great reads but instead encompass the whole notion of debating books and I feel the debates will be geared more towards the topics that the book addresses (all important topics), than the actual quality of writing and ultimately it does come down to the best defender, not the best book. But hey, debating books, you just can't beat that. Despite some of the groaning I've done over the book choices, I still absolutely LOVE Canada Reads!


message 20: by Anne (new)

Anne (artemis91) | 43 comments @Louise I've only been heavily involved for the last 4 (?) years, but seeing the books they used to debate was fascinating! The line up in 2002 would have been killer -- A Fine Balance would be a heck of a book to debate in Canada Reads. I think that the book getting more populous is great for engagement, as more people will probably pick up Precious Cargo (and read it through) than A Fine Balance, and I think that is part of the point, and for those of us who enjoy more difficult reads, there are always the prize lists.


message 21: by Louise (new)

Louise | 1585 comments That is a good point Anne. The books chosen now I suppose appeal more to the general masses.


message 22: by Sonia (last edited Mar 22, 2018 03:35PM) (new)

Sonia (sonid) | 15 comments I’ve only read 3 of the books so far : American War, The Marrow Thieves and Forgiveness: A Gift from My Grandparents. I’ve just started The Boat People.
Of the three that I’ve read my favourite is The Marrow Thieves because it reinforces the importance of culture, community and hope for survival. I like that at the end, this book has a positive message for Indigenous youth.
I think for myself personally, Forgiveness was the most eye opening of the three books I read. I knew that the Japanese Canadians had been treated with suspicion during WW2 by the Canadian government but I didn’t know any of the details. I did know about the horrors of the Japanese POW camps through reading books like Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption.


message 23: by Susan (new)

Susan | 941 comments Are there any rules about posting once the debates begin tomorrow? Are we holding comments until after a certain time of day? Posting but using the spoiler feature? No rules? I know not everyone can watch or listen live.


message 24: by ❀ Susan (new)

❀ Susan G (susanayearofbooksblogcom) | 4277 comments Mod
The debate results will be published all over the media so feel free to post comments all day. For those of us that want to avoid the results (like me on Tuesday/Wednesday) we can choose to either try and avoid the threads or peek in as we can!


message 25: by Srividya (new)

Srividya Rao | 83 comments I just finished American War (literally, just moments ago) and I am changing my vote from Marrow Thieves to American War. IMHO, a very powerful, well written book. It is going to take me some time to process all the themes explored.

This being said, I still think MT will win the Canada Reads 2018.


message 26: by Mj (new)

Mj | 1195 comments I'm ok with which ever book wins. Although the writing and my engagement varied between books, I think each book opened my eyes and will do the same for all Canadians.

My top 2 favourites are Precious Cargo and American War (tied.)

I think the last 2 books standing will be Precious Cargo and Bone Marrow. From the little I've seen, not only are these books fairly upbeat, so are their defenders.

My choice to win is Precious Cargo. I liked the book and Greg's, its defender's style and humour, at the 2018 CBC Canada Reads book launch. However, I think The Marrow Thieves will win, probably due to a perceived wider audience appeal and its timeliness - a positive Aboriginal message (assuming that Jully Black settles into being funny and nice and not coming across as another Candy Palmeter i.e. "my book should win because it's the best. period." If Jully Black has an attitude - Precious Cargo could win.

Think Mozhdah Jamalzadah could be the surprise sleeper defender.


message 27: by Srividya (new)

Srividya Rao | 83 comments Mj wrote: "I'm ok with which ever book wins. Although the writing and my engagement varied between books, I think each book opened my eyes and will do the same for all Canadians.

My top 2 favourites are Prec..."


@MJ, I like your analysis of the champions. I can never really see how the debates are going to go. I hope they are civil to each other, but the recent years have been full of fireworks which can either be great or completely off-putting.


message 28: by Louise (new)

Louise | 1585 comments Is this thread where we will be talking about the show?


message 29: by Srividya (new)

Srividya Rao | 83 comments I don't know but it is starting!!!!


message 30: by Louise (new)

Louise | 1585 comments Thank you Greg!!!! re comments about American War. Right on the money.


message 31: by Louise (new)

Louise | 1585 comments Half hour into the show I am going to predict that American War is the first to go.


message 32: by Ann-Marie (new)

Ann-Marie | 213 comments Can we talk about it here? I'm livestreaming an yelling (in my head.

I liked Greg's comment about AR too. And seriously Jully? You didn't know Sarat was half black? Kudos to T for not rudely responding to her.


message 33: by Ann-Marie (new)

Ann-Marie | 213 comments Great line:

"I'd rather have The Marrow Thieves in school versus Shakespeare" said Greg.


message 34: by Srividya (new)

Srividya Rao | 83 comments Jully is really being this year's Candy. Disappointed.


message 35: by Ann-Marie (new)

Ann-Marie | 213 comments I had been thinking the same thing as was just mentioned (ie: refugee camps) -- that both themes and elements of AR & Forgiveness are included inside BP.

@Srividya - what do you mean abt Jully/Candy? Aggressive/ dominant?


message 36: by Srividya (new)

Srividya Rao | 83 comments That went really fast.


message 37: by Ann-Marie (new)

Ann-Marie | 213 comments @Louise - I agree, I don't think the defenders will keep it around Jeanne & Greg will kick it off first for sure)


message 38: by Srividya (new)

Srividya Rao | 83 comments Didn't see that coming.


message 39: by Ann-Marie (new)

Ann-Marie | 213 comments Damn.


message 40: by Srividya (new)

Srividya Rao | 83 comments No Q&A stream?


message 41: by Susan (new)

Susan | 941 comments Wow. That was some strategic voting, in my opinion. I’m not sure how you can possibly look at the eliminated book as the weakest in terms of the theme or the writing, although it’s not a perfect book.


message 42: by Louise (last edited Mar 26, 2018 09:05AM) (new)

Louise | 1585 comments I LOVE Canada Reads. It's no secret that I don't like this year's roster of books but I do love the show, In fact, I think I enjoyed it even more by not having any favorites. I was able to simply listen and absorb the debates which were fantastic. It's a great panel of defenders. But the first show really does need to be 90min. long to really give all 5 books a fair chance at representation.


message 43: by Srividya (new)

Srividya Rao | 83 comments In my opinion, the debating was very weak - all of them were just getting a feel of how to go about. And the voting was completely strategic.


message 44: by Srividya (new)

Srividya Rao | 83 comments Was that Susan?


message 45: by Louise (new)

Louise | 1585 comments Hi Susan and May!


message 46: by Srividya (new)

Srividya Rao | 83 comments Congrats, Susan!


message 47: by Louise (new)

Louise | 1585 comments Wow Susan!!!!! You won a KOBO!!!! How awesome is that and I can't think of anyone who deserves it more.


message 48: by Mj (new)

Mj | 1195 comments I was surprised at the book that was voted off as well because it seemed to have such a strong following. @ Susan, it was possibly strategic, although from my perspective it was tied for last on each of my lists - both "opening eyes criteria" and "using multiple criteria."

@ Ann-Marie - I too was miffed that Jully didn't realize Sarat was black and think that if Jully doesn't tone down a bit, she's going to alienate the other defenders and the moderator (if she hasn't done it a bit already.) At times Jully made some good comments and was positive but there were some other not so nice comments and a bit too much talking over other people. Thought the other 4 defenders were fairly positive in their comments overall and any criticisms of the other books were articulated well.


message 49: by Mj (new)

Mj | 1195 comments I missed Susan, May & Rainey and the KOBO win. I tuned out when it didn't look like there was going to be any Q&A. Congrats!! Hope everyone enjoyed the 1st Day (totally agree that Day 1 needs to be longer). If they don't want to do that - add an extra day, or if that's a NO GO and it seems to be - why not wait until Day 2 and then vote 2 books off.

Looking forward to defenders feeling more comfortable and some more discussions about the remaining books tomorrow!!


message 50: by Louise (new)

Louise | 1585 comments Mj wrote: " why not wait until Day 2 and then vote 2 books off.."

That's how they used to do it at the very beginning and that didn't work as well either. I think having Day one run a half hour longer would be the best solution.


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