Monday, February 19, 2007

Canada Reads 2007- One Week Away!!!

Just one week from now the entire nation will be shushing their kids, pulling over in their cars, and buying batteries for their radios in case there's a power outage. Canada Reads 2007. I've bought a giant foam finger with "Lullabies #1!!!" scrawled across the front.

Maybe not. Nor will I be having a Canada Reads pre-game party. I found only 4 people who had read all 5 contenders and we would have to have met this past weekend. One of those 4 came down with the flu, and let's face it, four's pretty sad for a party. Three's even sadder. (Maybe having a Canada Reads party in the first place is saddest of all- but then, what do I care?). And now, one of the readers has up and gone to Costa Rica. Didn't they hear the memo on This Hour Has 22 Minutes? The day the dates were set, we were all supposed to cancel our vacation plans.

But even without the party, I'm still psyched. Due in part to the Canada Reads site and the CBC Words At Large site. On the first, there's a letter from a friend of mine who's read all 5 books and given her predictions (the only difference from mine is picking Kahunsha over Lullabies). Plus, there's a response to me from Heather O'Neill (which is pretty cool!).

I've also passed along a couple of suggestions to post on the "Your Say" section. I'll offer them here as well, in case they don't use them. Design a 10 song playlist for this year's debates (keeping in mind all 5 books and panelists). And, design a menu (same considerations).

Finally, the Words at Large site. Their pre-Canada Reads stuff is fantastic. They have interviews with the authors, the panelists, and interviews of the authors by the panelists! It's great for geeks like me who just can't wait.

And now that I've plugged the CBC relentlessly, where the heck's my trip to Toronto?


Barbara Bruederlin said...

This distresses me greatly, for a number of reasons:
1. I have less than a week to finish Lullabies and read the other 4 books,
2. I have missed so much of a great debate by not following the Canada Reads website, and yet I have great fear of being sucked into the site and never reappearing,
3. I have no chance of being invited to the party, as 3/4 of a book is a pathetic attempt.

But how lovely that you were getting into discussions with Heather O'Neill. She was up against a formidable debater.

I am fully chuffed for this!

John Mutford said...

Maybe you can still read them after the fact- or at least the winner. What are you thinking of Lullabies?

My Canada Reads Playlist-

1. Neil Young- Only Love Can Break Your Heart (For Children Of My Heart- Neil Young has a Manitoba connection, the title is sentimental like the book, plus it seems to echo the same themes)

2. Celine Dion- Beautiful Boy (I'll never ever put Celine Dion in a playlist again unless it's crappy Canadian music week. However, this is for panelist Denise Bombardier. She revealed on Words At Large that she's a fan. As Dion songs go, it's tolerable- it's a remake of John Lennon's classic- but why she adds a calypso feel is beyond me. It's about a child, so it's still on topic).

3. The Weakerthans- The Last Last One (For John K. Samson, mostly I admit for the title, but it's a great song and I think it could be argued that the feeling applies).

4. Nena- 99 Red Balloons (For Lullabies For Little Criminals- there's a lot of music mentioned in the book, but this song captures the decade, Baby's naivete and hope, and I love how it is used in the book.)

5. Barenaked Ladies- Grade Nine (For Steven Page, the reminiscing reminds me of Natasha and Other Stories)

6. Matisyahu- Jerusalem (Giving Natasha and Other Stories a quick re-glance, I saw references to Michael Jackson, Bizet, and Led Zeppelin, yet I've decided to something a bit more contemporary, something not mentioned in the book. It's reggae from a Jewish perspective. I just think it captures the melding of cultures that the book suggests).

7. David Usher- Unholy, Dirty, and Beautiful (For Song of Kahunsha, it's like being sung from the voice of a cynical Chamdi, who in the book doesn't become cynical at all)

8. Ron Hynes- Sonny's Dream (for Donna Morrissey. I know other Ron Hynes songs, yes, but I thought a song which captures Newfoundland storytelling without being overly traditional is a good representation of Morrissey)

9. Tom Waits- The Piano Has Been Drinking (For Stanley Park, I'll admit, I'm a big fan of Waits, so any mention of him in a book overrides other possibilities. Just a cool tune, but it does capture a man on a crash course with reality).

10. Blue Rodeo- Bad Timing (for Jim Cuddy, it's my way of comforting him for his guaranteed loss at this year's debates.)

*Btw, Canada Reads has used my menu suggestion!

John Mutford said...

On the 7th of February I posted a comment on the Canada Reads site which read:

"I just finished all five books (thanks to my lovely wife who got them for me as a Christmas gift). I've been considering having a Canada Reads party with others that have read all 5 to discuss our favourites. Maybe even a Canada Reads themed menu, raccoon steaks anyone?"

and then on the 14th CBC Ottawa does this.... A case of great minds think alike, or did they use my idea? Either way, it's cool.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

John - you are simply amazing! What a fabulous Canada Reads playlist! You picked a good Weakerthan's song, which is tough because there are so many great ones.

I am really being drawn into Lullabies. I love Baby; she is simultaneously sweet and doomed. The book is very funny but it is heartwrenching at the same time.
I will certainly try to read the rest of them as well. Just have to be able to stay awake longer.

(those CBC idea thiefs - next year they better invite you on the panel)

John Mutford said...

Yay! I could almost see you shaking your head over the Celine Dion song, but I passed!