Tuesday, November 09, 2010


Look at that. Top row, 2nd from the left. No, 2nd. 2nd. Geez, it's like you've never seen cleavage before.

Yes, it's Essex County by Jeff Lemire and it's made it into the top 10 Essential Reads of the decade over at the Canada Reads site. If you'll recall, I nominated it back in October as my official book blogger pick.*

Awesome. The next step is for a panelist to choose to defend it as the Top 10 becomes a Top 5 on November 24th. No, no, it won't be me. You've never heard of me. But my fingers are crossed that maybe Mariko Tamaki will be asked. She also nominated it and as the author of the wonderful and critically acclaimed Skim, might just qualify as a celebrity. But regardless of what happens from here on, you really should read Essex County. Wonderful, wonderful book. Some would even say essential.

*An embarrassing footnote: When I submitted my recommendation, I ended with the sentence, "Move over Manawaka." Manawaka is, of course, the fictional Manitoban town created by Margaret Laurence. I've been under the mistaken impression that Lemire's Essex County was also a fictional place and only discovered the difference very recently. No doubt his version is a fictionalized version, but there is an actual Essex County in Ontario. Though my wife is from Ontario and though I've got relatives all over Ontario, my geographic knowledge of the province is clearly lacking.

5 comments:

Kate said...

LOL! My sister lives in Essex County!

Congratulations on the win - I did pick Essex County when I was submitting my ballot yesterday, trying to predict the top 5.

raidergirl3 said...

query - when I looked in my library for Essex County, I found 2 books - Tales from the Farm, and Ghost Stories, labelled vol 1 and vol 2. Is this the same book?

John Mutford said...

Kate: Is she real?

Raidergirl: Yes and no. Essex County is the collected volumes 1-3, though they work together as a single novel. The one you're missing is the Country Nurse.

Kate said...

Last time I checked! Or maybe she is just a figment of my imagination (and our parent's imaginations, and her husband's imagination and....)

I have ordered a copy of Essex County (all 3 volumes in one) and look forward to reading it. Our local library doesn't have a copy :-(

Wanda said...

As excited as I am to see Essex County make the top 10, I am at least as sad not to see Corey's Shelf Monkey crack the top 10. Oh well, guess I can't have it both ways. Fingers crossed for EC!