As I work on my third mashup of 2015, a few things are distracting me from that task. One of them is the upcoming edition of Canada Reads, CBC’s annual literary contest where five panelists pick a book and defend its merits versus the other ones. It’s like a literary version of Survivor; heck, at the end of each of the four episodes, one book is eliminated.
In light of Jian Ghomeshi’s swift fall from grace, it’s no surprise that a new host is taking over this year. He just happens to be last year’s winning panelist: Wab Kinew, who brilliantly defended The Orenda by Joseph Boyden.
Yesterday, the books and panelists were revealed:
- And The Birds Rained Down by Jocelyne Saucier (panelist: Martha Wainwright)
- The Inconvenient Indian by Thomas King (panelist: Craig Kielburger)
- Intolerable by Kamal Al-Solaylee (panelist: Kristin Kreuk)
- Ru by Kim Thúy (panelist: Cameron Bailey)
- When Everything Feels Like The Movies by Raziel Reid (panelist: Elaine “Lainey” Lui)
It’ll be interesting to see if any of these panelists come close to matching Mr. Kinew’s opening statement from last year. I also fondly remember Samantha Bee‘s defense of Cockroach, particularly her closing statement. I did not like that book, but her defense was so tight that I would have been pleased if it won.
I don’t have a favourite panelist yet, though I’m hoping that Mr. Bailey does well since we both have roots in Barbados. I’m also hoping that I can attend this year’s tapings, though given the option between doing that and going to work, I’d pick the latter. (I’m still unemployed and I’m very much in the red.)