Starting July 1st, 2008 and running to July 1st, 2009, I challenge you to read (and write about) 13 Canadian books (by Canadians and/or about Canadians).
The first Canadian Book Challenge was a huge success, and hopefully the 2nd will prove to be even more fun. If you haven't already, sign up now. Sign up any time within the year as long as you think you can finish.
Unsure what books to read? I've compiled a huge, but by no means complete, list here. These of course are simply suggestions, perhaps you've got an entirely different 13 in mind.
What do I mean by writing about the books you read? I want a 30-essay on my desk the next morning, with footnotes and... just kidding. All I request is a few lines about each book. Call it a review, call it a blurb, call it whatever you want--just post your thoughts somewhere online. I'll again be doing monthly updates charting each participants progress to the 13 goal, and linking to your thoughts. Last time around it was fascinating to see what books other people chose and to read all the differing opinions. The most common way of posting thoughts about finished books is through a blog. However, for those of you without blogs and no intention of starting one, there are loads of other options. BookCrossing allows its members to write a piece about the books on their shelves. Both Chapters and Amazon allows people to post reviews. And if all else fails, email me with your reviews and I can post them here. To help me keep track a little easier, when you finish a book, please email me with the number completed so far and a link to your latest review. jmutford (at) hotmail (dot) com
Last time the most popular method of completing the challenge was to pick a book from each province and territory (hence 13 books). That's fine, and it's the way I plan on completing it again, but it's not the only way. Here's a list of ways to theme your books:
1. From Sea To Sea To Sea- Books from each province and territory
2. The Prize Pack- Books that have won awards (Gillers, Governor General, Stephen Leacock, etc)
3. New Canadians- Many of our best authors weren't born here (Carol Shields, Michael Ondaatje, etc). Why not celebrate with 13 books they've added to the great Canadian library?
4. The Lesser Knowns- Want to introduce people to authors who haven't gotten the recognition they deserve? This approach would aim to pick 13 books published by small firms or even self-published.
5. Missed Books- Check out the list of books read for the 1st edition of this Challenge. Try to pick 13 books that no one read the first time around.
6. The Double Double- Pick 13 books that also fit the criteria for another book Challenge that you've signed up for.
7. The McClung- How about 13 Canadian books written by women?
8. The Individuals- Many of our authors have been quite prolific, having written 13 or more books. Want to devote the challenge entirely to Lucy Maud Montgomery? Margaret Atwood? Robert Munsch? It's 13 books by a single author.
9. The Provincial/Territorial- Host a sub-challenge if you like! 13 Albertan books, for example, would still fit the mandate for the 2nd Canadian Book Challenge.
10. The Genres- 13 poetry books? 13 picture books? Non-fiction? Sci-fi? If you can find 13 books and define a genre, you can do this approach.
11. Publishers Choice- Pick 13 books all by a single publisher.
12. Titles- 13 books with Canada (or some version of) in the title (ex. Eve Wiseman's Kanada, Will Ferguson's Why I Hate Canadians, or Douglas Coupland's Souvenir of Canada)
13. The Free Spirit- Just pick 13 Canadian books and have fun!
Perhaps you can think of another approach. I hope I've made it clear that I'm not picky!
This time around, I've decided not to give away any prizes. Let the literature be its own reward.
Nuts to that! Here be the goodies...
2. the rossiter file by Thomas Rendell Curran
3. The March Hare Anthology edited by Adrian Fowler and featuring works by Wayne Johnston, Bernice Morgan, Joan Clarke, Michael Winter and many more.
4. Ghosts, Heroes and Oddities by Jack Fitzgerald
5. Newfoundland Portfolio: A History in Portraits by J. M. Sullivan
Lobster Press Prize Pack
1. Tin Angel by Shannon Cowan
2. The Secret of Grim Hill by Linda DeMeulemeester
3. The Uncle Duncle Chronicles: Escape From Treasure Island by Darren Krill
4. The Hockey Card by Jack Siemiatycki, Avi Slodovnick and illustrated by Doris Barrette
5. When Pigs Fly by Valerie Couman and illustrated by Rogé
1. The Luck of Ginger Coffey by Brian Moore
2. The Clockmaker by Thomas Chandler Haliburton
3. Such Is My Beloved by Morley Callaghan
1. Pontypool Changes Everything by Tony Burgess
2. To Be Continued...Volume 1 by Gordon j. h. Leenders
3. Joyland by Emily Schultz and illustrated by Nate Powell
A touque (or tuque or toque-- I'm not sure how you spell it but it rhymes with "Luke") designed and handknit by 1st Canadian Book Challenge participant Sam Lamb.
And maple syrup!
As well, there'll be monthly prizes available at each monthly update. Stay tuned for those.
These are the folks on board so far:
Bride of the Book God
If you're not on the list and you want to be, leave a comment below. As well, everyone above is welcome to send me their email addresses (if you haven't already) to be put on a mailing list for updates related to the Challenge (see my email address above). It's entirely optional.
If any author or publishers out there wish to donate books for monthly updates, again contact me via email and we can work out the details.
Come July 1st it's time to celebrate, promote and explore Canadian books!!!