Sunday, May 01, 2011

The Canadian Book Challenge 4- 10th Roundup!

It's the homestretch, three more roundups (including this one) to go. I'm resisting the urge to start tallying up the final stats already, but I know I'm very impressed-- and not just with the numbers, but also with the well-written, thought provoking reviews, the different books that have been brought to the table, and the general camaraderie amongst the participants.

Over the past couple of months, I've been thinking about Japan a lot and what they must be going through. The physical and emotional toll of what they've had to endure must just be overwhelming. So I had an idea. Next month, instead of offering a book prize, I offer a different kind of mini-challenge. If we can read and review 10 or more Canadian books with a Japan connection, I'll donate $200 to the Red Cross. If we read and review less than ten, I'll donate $10 per book. What's a Japanese connection? If it's written by a 1st, 2nd, or even 3rd generation Japanese Canadian. If it's written by a Canadian but has a Japanese character, or is set in Japan. Perhaps you can find a book by a Japanese author that has a Canadian character, or is set in Canada. How about a book of Canadian manga or Canadian haiku? The connection may be obvious or maybe you'll want to explain it, but in any case it's mostly up to your discretion. I'll be reading the nonfiction book Looking For Momo in Tomo Domo by Nils Andrew Thompson, the true story of a Canadian's experience teaching English in Japan:

But here are a few more suggestions:
2. Joy Kogawa- Many novels, children's books and poetry books to her credit, but her most popular are definitely Obasan and its sequel Itsuka (now renamed Emily Kato):

3. Skim by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki

4. Suki's Kimono by Chieri Uegaki and Stephane Jorisch

5. You and the Pirates by Jocelyne Allen

6. Lake and Other Stories by Gerry Shikatani

7. Mannequin Rising by Roy Miki

8. Sidekicks: The Transfer Student by J. Torres and Takeshi Miyazawa

9. The Electric Field by Kerri Sakamoto

10. The Enemy That Never Was: a History of Japanese Canadians by Ken Adachi

These are, of course, but suggestions. Even if you don't plan on participating in this month's mini-challenge, but you know of another book or author we can add to this list, by all means do so in the comments below.

For more ideas on Japanese literature, Canadian connected or otherwise, for ways to help, and for more Japanese reading challenges please check out Tanabata's blog, In Spring It Is The Dawn. She's an ex-pat Canadian who's lived in Japan for 10 years and her blog, started in 2006, is very fun and informative.

And for last month's challenge, a big congratulations goes out to Heather Pearson for winning the Gooselane Poetry Pack!

Soraya Peerbaye Poems for the Advisory Committee on Antarctic Names

Brian Bartlett- The Watchmaker's Table

Katia Grubisic- What if red ran out

I would like to once again remind you that the 5th edition of the Canadian Book Challenge is around the corner. I want to make this one, as it's a milestone of sorts, the biggest and best yet. So please let me know if you're interested in signing up again (email me with the subject "Canadian Book Challenge 5- Sign Me Up!) and if you have any ideas on how to improve, special tweaks or challenges, let me know. Once again, I'm looking for prizes to giveaway so if you're an author, publisher, or bookstore owner, please consider making a donation or two. (Though non-book prizes are also welcome!) Email me at jmutford (at) hotmail [dot] com.

Also, any of you creative types who care to submit a logo idea, I'd be ever so grateful.

One of the new ideas for the 5th Edition? A 24 Hour Canadian Read-a-Thon!!! From noon July 2nd to noon July 3rd, I plan on hosting an online Canadian Read-a-Thon. Are you in? (More details will follow, but feel free to ask questions...)

And finally, while we're all gathered here today: the roundup. What Canadian books did you read and review in April? 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...

Here are my April reads and reviews:

21. Modecai Richler: The Incomparable Atuk

22. Alice Blondin-Perrin: My Heart Shook Like a Drum

Chrisbookarama said...

My daughter read Suki's Kimono. It was cute.

I have another review (that makes 14!):

The Canadian Housewife: An Affectionate History

pooker said...

Hi John and everyone. I'm still here despite appearances to the contrary. I have been reading like a fiend but reviewing like a sloth. Here's two reviews from the not too distant past to bring my total to 15:

14. The Canterbury Trail by Angie Abdou

15. Be Good by Stacey May Fowles

Kate said...

Two more books for me for a total of 23.

22. In Praise of Slow by Carl Honoré

22. Drawn into the Mystery of Jesus through the Gospel of John by Jean Vanier

(I was fasting from fiction during Lent, hence the NF reviews!)

I just ordered a copy of Skim last night, so will be participating in your Japan mini-challenge!

Kate said...

Oops! The Jean Vanier book was #23 (not #22)!

Swordsman said...

This month I only managed one book. Thankfully graphic novels are acceptable. I read Captain Canuck, thanks to a posting I saw in the round-up last month. This brings my total to 15.

Teena in Toronto said...

I read 4 books in April bringing my total to 31 books read ...

"The Top 100 Canadian Singles" (2010) Bob Mersereau
"Driven: How to Succeed in Business and in Life" (2010) Robert Herjavec
"Water for Elephants" (2006) Sara Gruen
"The Guilty Plea" (2011) Robert Rotenberg - I participated in his blogger tour

Sarah M said...

My April reviews:

8. Still Missing by Chevy Stevens
9. Snowball, Dragonfly, Jew by Stuart Ross

Nikki in Niagara said...

Here are my April reads, bringing my total up to 58:

54. Quiver by Holly Luhning
55. Merci Mister Dash! by Monica Kulling
56. The Mystery of Ireland's Eye by Shane Peacock
57. Nearly Nonsense: Hoja Tales from Turkey by Rina Singh
58. High Flight: A Story of World War II by Linda Granfield

PS: If there is a prize this year for most books read, I am removing myself from the running since I won last year.

Shan said...

I read 5 books this month bringing my total to 24.

Arranged by Catherine McKenzie

In From The Cold by Deborah Ellis

There's Lead in your Lipstickby Gillian Deacon

Apocalypse For Beginners by Nicolas Dickner

Doing Dangerously Wellby Carole Enahoro

Melwyk said...

John, you have so many great ideas I hardly know where to begin. Love the Japanese mini-challenge; I'll do my best to join in on that. And I love read-a-thons! Will have to make sure I have that weekend off....

But for now, here are my reads for April, 3 books by Canadian men new to me, for a total of 22:

Into that Darkness / Steven Price

Light Lifting / Alexander MacLeod

The Order of Good Cheer / Bill Gaston

Steph said...

I have four for April:

-Bird Eat Bird by Katrina Best
-Snowball, Dragonfly, Jew by Stuart Ross,
-Better Living Through Plastic Explosives by Zsuszi Garner
-The Incident Report by Martha Baillie (video review!)

I can't remember how to make these links! I'm so sorry! If you go to my blog and click on book reviews, you'll find them there; or scroll through the most recent posts. Off to check out others' reviews!

Also, I think that makes 16 for me since last July.

Anonymous said...

I have an interview with Camilla Gibb up at Bookslut, and I also have a review of a talk by three Canadian writers, but I guess neither counts for the challenge?

What might count: Hiromi Goto is a Japanese-Canadian writer; her last book was the YA novel Half World. I'll post a review of that one for the mini-challenge.

Luanne said...

Hmm, I somehow missed posting my March reviews...And it doesn't look like my two in February got added to my total John. ( 19 as of the end of April)

15. Now You See Her - Joy Fielding

16. One Bird's Choice - Iain Reid

17. The Woefield Poultry Collective

And on to April!

18. There's Lead in Your Lipstick - Gillian Deacon

19. The Guilty Plea - Robert Rotenberg

Claire (The Captive Reader) said...

Only one review for April but very appropriate for election season!:

9. The Russian Album by Michael Ignatieff

Anonymous said...

I'm running way behind this year (posting reviews, not in terms of the reading), but I'm actually at four right now:

1. The Bloodlight Chronicles: Reconciliation, by Steve Stanton

2. One Bird's Choice, by Iain Reid

3. How Should A Person Be?, by Sheila Heti

4. L (and things come apart), by Ian Orti

Anonymous said...

Sorry, "fishsauce" was August. Apparently Blogger doesn't let me fill in something that isn't from some other authentication thing, and I never sign up for those with my real names...

Wanda said...

I did manage to get one book review up for April. Miss Elva by Stephens Gerard Malone is my 8th selection for CBC4.

Heather said...

Hi John,
I have sent you a private email with my mailing address. That was my first poetry book in over 20 years. Thanks for the nudge to read it. I wrote a very entertaining review. The author enjoyed it and has agreed to write a guest post for my blog.

14 The Cold Panes of Surfaces by Chris Banks

15 Demon Princess: Reign Check by Michelle Rowen

16 Stone for my Father by Trilby Kent participated in Tundra Books blog tour

Concerning the election, I did read Michael Ignatieff's Scar Tissue, but didn't get the review posted, hopefully today.

Corey said...

2 more this month. 5, if you count reviews I was actually paid a wee bit for (I don't count those).

15. Room, by Emma Donoghue

16. Sarah Court, by Craig Davidson

Unknown said...

Have been reading a lot but not writing reviews -- noticed that I am still listed at having read 9 -- the total is actually now 14.

jeanne said...

Hi John, my April read/review is Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman. This brings my total to a grand 6, not 5. Don't know which one got skipped. Wonderful challenges coming up!

Shannon (Giraffe Days) said...

I keep having trouble leaving comments here, I don't know why!

I've finished my 8th book:

The King's Last Song by Geoff Ryman

I love the new challenge. I have a couple of the books on your list but I think I'm going to read another you didn't mention, Odori by Darcy Tamayose, a Japanese-Canadian. The story is about a Japanese family emigrating to Canada and I think it takes place in both countries.

Jules said...

Just one book this month for me, now at 17 books!

17) Late Nights on the Air - Elizabeth Hay - This was a great book, the setting reminded be of a book I read last year, Yellowknife.

raidergirl3 said...

19. Various Miracles - Carol Shields Mar 25
20. The Brutal Telling - Louise Penny Mar 27
21. Waiting for Gertrude - Bill Richardson Apr 10
22. The Night Wanderer - Drew Hayden Taylor May 7

I hadn't updated in a while!

Teddy Rose said...

Congrats to Heather!

I read one in April:
14. Sweet Tooth: In Captivity by Jeff Lemire (Volume 2)

Buried In Print said...

All the ideas for the 5th sound amazing: I love the idea of a Read-a-Thon, a Canadian one.

Here are my links for March and April:
38. Catherine M.A. Wiebe’s Second Rising (2009)
39. Caroline Stellings’ The Contest (2010)
40. Sharon Jennings’ Home Free (2009)
41. Alice Munro’s Dance of the Happy Shades (1968)
42. Anthony Bidulka’s Amuse Bouche (2003)
43. Alice Munro’s Lives of Girls and Women (1971)
44. Massimo Marcone’s Acquired Tastes (2010)

And, now, onto the homestretch!