Thursday, February 08, 2007

Canada Reads 2007- Predictions and Hopes

Since my abysmal skill at predicting last year's winner, I vowed never to look into my crystal ball ever again (actually, I vowed to read a Tom Clancy book if I was wrong- and that hasn't happened either). But nuts to resolutions, predicting is fun.

So here we go, the losers and winner of Canada Reads 2007:

Day Two: Children of My Heart will stop beating. Personally, I think it and Stanley Park are the long shots. I don't think either one is all that great, and Roy is too big of a name. Plus, for some reason I don't think its defender, Denise Bombardier will fit in well with the rockstars.

Day Three: Lullabies For Little Criminals will say "Good Night"- The big shocker. It probably poses the biggest threat. It's deals with children, which is a major aspect of three of the books, but unlike the others it's funny and somewhat hopeful. Most importantly, it's being defended by John K. Samson. He's the most recent winner and therefore, the biggest target. Bombardier will say it's too trendy, Donna Morrissey will say the ending feels too unbelievable. The real reason it'll go this early? It's the best book. No one wants to compete against it.

Day Four: This will mark "the end" of Natasha and Other Stories- Steven Page will be this book's biggest enemy. He's going to push too hard and offend the others (maybe declaring that he didn't even read the other selections perhaps?). The other panelists won't blame him outright however. Given reasons will include: it was lacklustre, it was not as good as the two remaining books, and the voting was just strategic.

This will leave just Stanley Park and The Song of Kahunsha. Today, Morrissey will do some damage to her defense. She'll insist, despite quite aggressive insistence otherwise, that Kahunsha is hopeful. As much I like this book, it is not optimistic, and though I'd love to hear otherwise, I think her argument will be unconvincing. Cuddy on the other hand will suggest that Stanley Park on the other hand, is a hopeful book (he'll spot the weakness of his prey and pounce). Furthermore, he'll make an appeal that as artists, everyone on the panel should be able to relate to the trials of Jeremy, the artistic chef from his book. Adding one of his trademark "subtleties", host Bill Richardson will end the show by reminding everyone that rockstars always win. But...

Day Five: Stanley Park will be hit with a cold, almost winterlike truth- Really, the only reason it will make it this far is because it never really stood a chance (sadly, this is what happened to Al Purdy's book last year). Bombardier will say it was too trendy and Morrissey will say it was too dull. Samson will say that he really enjoyed the "surprise ending" and declare that The Song of Kahunsha was still too bleak (and apologize profusely to Morrissey, even offering to take her out for dinner to make it up to her). Of course that means the voting will be 2-2 (Cuddy isn't going to pull a Trudeau and vote against his own book). Page will now be providing the "nail-biting" suspense. He'll ramble on (perhaps with the insistence of a director in his headset), trying to make us think that he'd actually for one second considered Stanley Park, but in the end he'll pick

Winner- Canada Reads 2007!!!
And I won't be disappointed. It's often been the case in the past that my second favourite book has won the debates. But, if I could pick, my list would go, from worst (5) to best (1)-
5. Stanley Park-Timothy Taylor
4. Children Of My Heart- Gabrielle Roy
3. Natasha and Other Stories- David Bezmozgis
2. The Song Of Kahunsha- Anosh Irani
1. Lullabies For Little Criminals- Heather O'Neill


Barbara Bruederlin said...

You make some strong arguments. It will be interesting to see how it all pans out.

I'm about 1/3 through Lullabies and loving it. I hope to get another one read before Canada Reads starts.

John Mutford said...

I hope you do get to read another one. It's been my experience that the more selections you read, the more you enjoy the program. Though I know a lot of people just wait to read the winner.

I'm trying to get a few people together to have a Canada Reads "pre-game" party here (am I a geek, or what?). I was hoping to find people who have read all 5 books, but's that's proving to be easier said than done. From what I'm finding, Canada Reads does have an effect on reading habits- plenty people are like yourself, choosing at least one of the books to read prior to the program, but it doesn't consume as many people as completely as it has me!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Bravo John! I think a Canada Reads pre-game party is a brilliant move. Heck they have parties for sports stuff all the time, this would be far better. Well done, I say.

John Mutford said...

If I get it off its feet, I'll post about it.

Allison said...

A Canada Reads pre-game party sounds excellent, you'll have to let us know how it goes.

I'm so behind this year in my reading, sadly just reading school texts. I'd like to read another Roy book, we'll see.

John Mutford said...

Hi Allison, The Pregame party doesn't seem to be shaping up at all. But I've haven't given up on it entirely- I did find a recipe for beet marinated duck breast (in honour of Stanley Park- there's a beet marinated goose recipe mentioned there, but I doubt I'll be able to find goose here.)

John Mutford said...

I see from the trusty old Counter at the bottom that I'm getting several hits a day from a link I posted over at the Canada Reads site, yet I'm not getting any comments from them- Come on Canada Reads fans, what are your predictions?