Wednesday, December 01, 2010

The Canadian Book Challenge 4- 5th Roundup!

5 Months down!!!

Before we get down to business, I'd like to offer my apologies for dropping the ball on the sidebar updates these past two months. I know there are probably some mistakes outstanding and please bring them to my attention, but hopefully most of the numbers are now accurate.

Let's see what good, bad, and meh Canadian books we all read in November. (Assuming you weren't too busy with NaNaWriMo or Movember or Sacrificing your Digital Life or leaking diplomatic cables or something.) Congrats go out to Wollamshram for finishing 13+ last month.

How about that Canada Reads announcement last month, eh? There's certainly been a fair share of criticism, even more than last year. Public voting, authors campaigning, for right or for wrong, the producers certainly got people talking. But in the end (and I'm still not sure the ends justifies the means), I am excited to see Jeff Lemire's Essex County make the top 5. Will it win? Not likely. I predict Unless to go first, followed by Bone Cage, then The Birth House, and finally Essex County and the winner-- keep in mind, I haven't even read it-- The Best Laid Plans. But for now, I'll celebrate that a graphic novel even stands a chance. Though I've already heard some of the naysayers. "A comic?" they scoff. George Laraque, defender of the Bone Cage, dismissed it as "just a cartoon." I don't get it. Most reading Canadians would say they respect the visual arts. Most visual art admirers would say they respect literature. So why the resistance in combining the two? I blame the nerds. You know, the ones who get all out of sorts when someone calls it a "graphic novel" instead of a comic. Most of us don't really care what they're called. The arguing just scares people away. Non-nerds can't admit to enjoying Star Trek or else they're forced into taking sides in the whole Kirk/Picard debate. So leave us be nerds. Comics/ graphic novels. Who cares?! Just let us read them in peace, please. Rant over.

In the meantime, a lot of you took me up on the challenge to read a graphic novel last month. And one of those is the randomly drawn lucky winner of a graphic novel prize pack from Von Allan... Congratulations goes out to Wanda at A Season to Read!!!

Christmas is just around the corner, right? Looking forward to all those Canadian books under your Christmas tree ? Christmas goodies? How about both? If you'd like to win a copy of 3 Chefs: The Kitchen Men by Michael Bonacini, Massimo Capra and Jason Parsons, you can have your name entered into a random draw in one of two ways:
1. Submit a favourite Christmas recipe in the comments below
2. Review a Canadian cookbook for the challenge (we've not had a cookbook reviewed in 4 years of the challenge!)

3 Chefs: The Kitchen Men is published by Whitecap Books and was generously donated by Pooker!

Now, once again, the reason for the round-up! What Canadian books did you read and review for the Canadian Book Challenge 4 in November? Let everyone know in the comments below.

- Make sure you tell me how many you've completed so far so that I can record it in the sidebar progress report
- It doesn't count as complete until the review is done!
- When people leave links, try to visit one another's blogs and read what they had to say. Comment. Encourage. The discussion of Canadian books is what this challenge is all about.


John Mutford said...

For some reason I didn't update in November, so I've included those here as well:

8. Margaret Atwood -Oryx & Crake
9. Rex Murphy- Canada and Other Matters of Opinion
10. Derek Winkler- Pitouie
11. Sarah Felix Burns- Song Over Quiet Lake

Teddy Rose said...

Congratulations Wanda!!

I read 4 this month, bringing my total up to 9.

Here's what I read in November:

6Room by Emma Donoghue

7On the Proper Use of Stars by Dominique Fortier

8Essex County Vol. 2, Ghost Stories by Jeff Lemire

9The World of the Polar Bear by Norbert Rosing

Bernadette said...

Only 1 book for me this month, bringing my total to 8

A Colder Kind of Death by Gail Bowen

The Book Chick said...

I just squeaked in there this month with one Canadian book read and reviewed! I read:

Elusive Dawnby Gabriele Wills, putting my total up to 10.

I love the cookbook theme for December! Anyone have any good suggestions for a Canadian one to read?

Swordsman said...

Hey, welcome to December. 2010 is nearly over!

In November I managed to read 3 books which brings my total to 9. This month I read Player One: What Is to Become of Us, long listed for the Giller, A Soldier First: bullets, bureaucrats and the politics of war,and Wings of a Hero: Canadian Pioneer Flying Ace Wilfrid Wop May.

Some lighter reading is definitely needed for December

Nikki in Niagara said...

Well I read 10 (included quite a few GNs) and brought my total up t0 40.

31. Mercury by Hope Larson
32. It's Not About the Apple! by Veronika Martenova Charles
33. Binky to the Rescue by Ashley Spires
34. Dear George Clooney, Please Marry My Mom by Susin Nielsen
35. Lila & Ecco's Do-It-Yourself Comics Club by Willow Dawson
36. Daniel Boom #1: Sound Off! by D.J. Steinberg
37. Daniel Boom #2: Mac Attack! by D.J. Steinberg
38. Daniel Boom #3: Game On! by D.J. Steinberg
39. Daniel Boom #4: Grow Up! by D.J. Steinberg
40. Lucy Unstrung by Carole Lazar

Nikki in Niagara said...

Congratulations Wanda! I've read "the road to god knows...." and it's very good, and the other sounds good as well. Enjoy!

Kate said...

I read 3 more, for a total of 14! Don't worry - I'm not going to stop reading and reviewing Canadian Books just because I've finished the challenge.

12. Streams of Faith by Lois M. Wilson

13. Lucy's Launderette by Betsy Burke

14. Seasons by Marianne Jones, artwork by Karen Reinikka

A wide variety for me this month - a book about faith, Chick Lit, and a poetry collection!

Claire (The Captive Reader) said...

I read The Best Laid Plans back in September and while I mostly enjoyed it, it was still significantly flawed. I'm really hoping one of the other titles wins!

Was sick again in November so only one title to add to my total:

6. Locavore by Sarah Elton

Teena in Toronto said...

I read two Canadian books this month, bringing my total to 20:

"Stroll: Psychogeographic Walking Tours of Toronto" (2010) Shawn Micallef

"Unbuilt Toronto: A History of the City That Might Have Been" (2008) Mark Osbaldeston

Wanda said...

I will seriously gag and/or cry tears of frustration if "Unless" wins top pick for Canada Reads! Moving along to happier thoughts ... I'm looking forward to reading the Von Allen prize pack, thanks. :)

Two books from me this month brings my total to 7. They were The Mystery of the Moonlight Murder by Roderick Benns and Sweet Tooth Vol.1: Out of the Deep Woods by Jeff Lemire.

pooker said...

I've read three this month for a total of 13, enough to complete the challenge. I too will continue on, but I have this feeling that this might not be the year that I beat Nicola. Way to go Nicola!

Congrats too to Wanda on the graphic novel win. I started a graphic novel, but the review will have to wait til next month. Actually, it turned out to be a book of short stories. Hmmm, now what should we call a book of those? The author (Joe Ollmann) simply subtitled the book "Comics".

Here's my three:

11. Wild Animals I Have Known by Ernest Thompson Seton
12. Norman Bray in the Performance of his Life by Trevor Cole
13. The Bone Cage by Angie Abdou

Gavin said...

I read

#8 February by Lisa Moore

#9 The Wayfinders by Wade Davis

This brings my total to 9.

Carina said...

I read two more books this month (well, actually three, but I haven't written the review yet for the third so I'll include it in next month's round-up).

18. The Book of Trees by Leanne Lieberman
19. After Tehran: A Life Reclaimed by Marina Nemat

Melwyk said...

I read lots but reviewed just one, in the nick of time! My read this month:

The Letter Opener by Kyo Maclear

That brings me to a total of 10.

Melwyk said...

PS - forgot to say that while I don't review cookbooks as part of my challenge reading, I did review one of my fave Canadian ones in August this year:

How It All Vegan, 10th anniversary edition by Sarah Kramer and Tanya Barnard.

Amy said...

I'm up to 11 books now with the addition of four more this month:

8. Rhythm and Blues by Jill Murray - ya lesbian literature about coming out and being true to yourself.
9. Bosnia: In the Footsteps of Gavrilo Princip by Tony Fabijanćić - history and travelogue.
10. Between Sisters by Adwao Badoe - Canadian now, but from Ghana. A ya novel set in Ghana.
11. Jukebox by Gina Noelle Daggett - lesbian fiction.

Steve said...

6. The Sentimentalists by Johanna Skibsrud

Anonymous said...

This month I read and reviewed Losing Faith by Denise Jaden:

Charleydog said...

I am waiting for the next book from Wayne Johnston; he never fails to delight. Plus, I truly miss Ray Guy's books from Newfoundland; he hasn't published one in years.

pboylecharley AT hotmail DOT com

gypsysmom said...

I only read one book in November that counts for my personal challenge i.e. a Canadian author that I haven't read anything of before. That was The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley. I enjoyed it especially because I was once a girl doing chemistry experiments. Fortunately, I never ran across any corpses in the garden as Flavia does.

One of my favourite Canadian cookbook writers in Jean Hoare and her book Jean's Beans is essential for me. Try the Haitian Beans and Rice from it.

My favourite Christmas cookie is my mother's Brown Sugar Shortbread which I'll share here.
1 lb Butter
1 c. Light brown sugar
5 c. All-purpose flour (I’ve used cake and pastry flour as well)
1. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
2. Add flour, 1 cup at a time, and incorporate into butter sugar mixture. Mom’s instructions say to use a wooden spoon but I just use my Braun kitchen machine. Dough will be stiff.
3. Refrigerate dough for several hours.
4. Preheat oven to 300°F.
5. Roll one half of dough one-third of an inch thick, keeping the rest refrigerated, on lightly floured board. Cut into desired shapes (Mom always made diamonds and then pricked them several times with a fork.)
6. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 25 minutes. Cool on a rack.
7. Repeat with remaining dough.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Luanne said...

Two more for me this month bringing my total to 8.

7. After the Falls - Catherine Gildener

8. Knit the Season - Kate Jacobs

In our family these easy cookies are known as Aunt Jessie cookies and are pretty much gone in a day if I don't hide them ( under frozen veggies in the freezer)

I use a double boiler. Melt one package chocolate and one package butterscotch chips together. Add in one package of chow mein noodles and one package of spanish peanuts ( we use skin on). Stir until everything is coated. Spoon onto a sheet and cool until hardened. Quantities of ingredients are definitely not hard and fast. Some batches have more peanuts than noodles etc.

Lahni said...

This month I read:
4. Practical Jean by Trevor Cole
5. Half Brother by Kenneth Oppel
6. Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda
7. Ape House by Sara Gruen
8. Silverwing by Kenneth Oppel

Heather said...

I had wondered about cookbook reviews. I have one this month. It would be great to win as I love Massimo as a chef.
5 Robin Hood Baking
6 graphic novel
The Life of Betty Helen Osborne by David Alexander Robertson
7 Virginia by Susan Hughes

there is a good recipe for squares included in the review of the Robin Hood Baking book.

Buried In Print said...

16. Giles Blunt's Crime Machine (2010)
17. Cynthia Flood's The English Stories (2009)
18. Donna Xiques' Margaret Laurence: Making of a Writer (2005)
19. Margaret Laurence's A Jest of God (1966)
20. Margaret Laurence's The Stone Angel (1964)
21. Suzette Mayr's Venous Hum (2004)

I know there are lots of readers who've had bad experiences being forced to read Margaret Laurence novels in school, and some readers who just don't enjoy her style, but I loved re-reading these two novels, especially with the study of her development as a writer alongside.

Off now to read some of the many enticing reviews posted here!

Anonymous said...

I have two, bringing my total to seven. My review of TOK5 appeared in This magazine.

Can'tLit: Fearless fiction from Broken Pencil Magazine

TOK5: Writing the New Toronto

Btw, I reviewed a cookbook for the challenge in July: How it all Vegan by Kramer and Barnard

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Wanda!

I wasn't very productive in reviewing this month either, only one more for me, which brings me to a total of 6.


Bybee said...

My prize book arrived! So happy! Thank you so much!

Anonymous said...

I read a few books this month but only managed to get one review done:

18: Alphabetum Romanum by Felice Feliciano.

raidergirl3 said...

I can't remember what I last updated, so here's where I am now:

10. The Murder Stone - Louise Penny
11. Gretzky's Tears - Stephen Brunt
12. What is Stephen Harper Reading - Yann Martel
13. Essex County Vol 1, Vol 2 - Jeff Lemire

and done! but I'll carry on, don't worry.

Canadian Cookbooks? I highly recommend The Best of Bridge ladies. The Best of The Best of Bridge and The Rest of the Best of Bridge are their best compilations. Their website includes many recipes, for free.