Sunday, July 31, 2011

5th annual Canadian Book Challenge- 1st update

Here we are with one month under our belts and I'd venture to say that the 5th annual Canadian Book Challenge is off to a wonderfully successful start. Over 75 books read already and 27 participants well on their way, with even more waiting in the wings.

A few highlights from July:

1. The first ever Under the Midnight Sun 24 Hour Read-a-thon was a success. There weren't a lot of participants, but for those of us who did (including my daughter and one person who participated as a cheerleader), we had a lot of fun and did a lot of reading. It was an exhausting night and at some point the challenge became staying awake, not reading, but definitely worth it. Check out some of my highlights here.

2. There have been a few prizes handed out already. Randomly chosen among all those who participated in the Under the Midnight Sun Read-a-thon, Melwyk won a Northern Authors Prize Pack, featuring:

1. Jamie Bastedo's Tracking Triple Seven

2. Annelies Pool's Iceberg Tea

3. Cathy Jewison's The Ugly Truck and Dog Contest

4. Richard Van Camp- The Moon of Letting Go

As well, for being the very first person to review a book for this 5th edition of the Canadian Book Challenge, Amy has won a prize pack donated by Arbeiter Ring Publishing including:

1. John S. Saul's Revolutionary Traveler

2. Susan Close's Framing Identity

3. Caelum Vatnsdal's They Came From Within

3. Lots of great reviews last month featuring a wide variety of genres and formats: children's chapter books and picture books, poetry, plays, short stories, novels, non-fiction, graphic novels, memoirs, mysteries, and more. Recent bestsellers were represented, as were out of print books. I'd commented at the end of the 4th Canadian Book Challenge that I was surprised not to see any Joseph Boyden or Richard Van Camp in the list of the authors read, and with only one month in to the 5th edition, and already they're represented. July's links is a great resource to add to your TBR list. Check it out!

Now, for next month's prize pack, I'm going to offer up a fantastic collection of books kindly donated by Breakwater Books, out of Newfoundland:

1. Double Talk- Patrick Warner
2. Island Maid: Voices of Outport Women- Rhonda Pelley (text), Sheilagh O'Leary (Photography)

3. Down by Jim Long's Stage- Al Pittman (Rhymes), Pam Hall (Illustrations)

To win this prize, all I ask is that give me a top 10 list of books from one province and/or territory. This might be a top ten list of books you want to read, ten you'd recommend, or some combination of the two. Do a list for the province/territory you're currently living in, one you used to live in, or even one you just want to visit. For my non-Canadian participants, you may simply pick ten Canadians titles you wish to read, and don't worry about the province or territory component. Don't worry about the birth place of the authors if you feel the book represents the province/territory adequately.

Way back when I began the Canadian Book Challenges, I compiled a huge list of books from each province or territory. It's quite dated already, and I can note some huge omissions, but still you may want to use it as a resource to at least help compile your top 10 list. I've decided to do 3, yes 3, to get us started, seeing as I've called 3 provinces/territories my home:

Newfoundland and Labrador
1. Wayne Johnston- Colony of Unrequited Dreams
2. Michael Crummey- Galore
3. Cassie Brown- Death on the Ice
4. Randall Maggs- Night Work: The Sawchuck Poems
5. Percy Janes- House of Hate
6. Al Pittman- Down by Jim Long's Stage**
7. Joan Clark- Latitudes of Melt
8. Bernice Morgan- Random Passage
9. Kevin Major- Eh? to Zed
10. Donna Morrissey- Kit's Law*

** I was so happy to see that Breakwater donated this book and it was the inspiration behind this month's top 10 challenge

1. Michael Kusugak and Robert Munsch- A Promise is a Promise
2. Kenn Harper- Give Me My Father's Body
3. Zachariah Wells- Unsettled
4. Pierre Berton- The Arctic Grail
5. Ernie Lyall- An Arctic Man
6. John Bennett and Susan Rowley (editors)- Uqalurait*
7. Jan Brett- Three Snow Bears
8. Neil Christopher and Larry MacDougall- Stories of the Amautalik
9. Knud Rasmussen (compiler), Tom Lowenstein (Translator)- >Eskimo Poems
10. Alootook Ipeelie- Arctic Dreams and Nightmares*

Northwest Territories-
1. Steve Zipp- Yellowknife
2. Elizabeth Hay- Late Nights on Air
3. Cathleen With- Having Faith in the Polar Girls' Prison
4. Richard Van Camp- Lesser Blessed*
5. Jamie Bastedo- Tracking Triple Seven*
6. Annelies Pool- Iceberg Tea*
7. Cathy Jewison- The Ugly Truck and Dog Contest
8. Edith Iglauer- Denison's Ice Road*
9. René Fumoleau: Here I Sit
10. Bren Kolson- Myth of the Barrens

*indicates books I've yet to read, but basing their placement in these lists based on my wanting to read them and the positive reviews I've read.

Now get cracking on your own top 10 list! Someone already did the province/territory you wanted to do? Not to worry! I'm sure your lists will be somewhat different. I'd love to compare your recommendations. Anyone who enters a top 10 list in the comments below will have their name put in a random draw for the Breakwater Books Prize pack. Do more than one province/territory and your name will be entered more than once. Contest closes at midnight on August 31st and the winner will be announced in September. Good luck!

In the meantime, keep reading and reviewing Canadian books in August and don't forget to add links to your reviews at the roundup post!


Anonymous said...

This should be fun!
I feel really guilty about my lack of book reviews this month. Ah well, I've been on a mission. Hopefully, I'll be better this month.

Wanda said...

Ohhh fun! I'll give it some thought and see what I can come up with ...

Perogyo said...

Here's my list for Alberta

Franklin said...

Franklin says: Here's my ten for Ontario:
Jean Little – From Anna

Rohinton Mistry – A Fine Balance, Family Matters

Jane Urquhart – Away

Michael Ondaatje – In The Skin of A Lion, The English Patient

Michael Helm – Cities of Refuge

Anne Marie MacDonald – Fall On Your Knees, Good Night Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet)

Margaret Atwood – The Edible Woman, Wilderness Tips

Wanda said...

OK, I have two lists ready, one for Nova Scotia and one for Newfoundland. You can find them here.

Nikki in Niagara said...

OK, I've made a list for Saskatchewan. The first 8 books I've read and recommend and the last 2 are ones I want to read.

1. Butter Down the Well: Reflections of a Canadian Childhood by Robert Collins

2. Owls in the Family by Farley Mowat

3. The Horseman's Grave by Jaqueline Baker

4. Jake and the Kid by W.O. Mitchell

5. Why Shoot the Teacher by Max Braithwaite

6. Dust by Arthur Slade

7. Storm Child by Brenda Bellingham

8. Alone in the Classroom by Elizabeth Hay

9. As for Me and My House by Sinclair Ross

10. Our Daily Bread by Frederick Philip Grove

Kathy McDonald said...

Hi John: Here's my list for Ontario, with an admitted bias towards Toronto:
Lori Lansens - The Girls
Jane Urquhart - Stone Carvers
Michael Ondaatje - Skin of a Lion
Joseph Boyden - Through Black Spruce
Margaret Atwood - Cat's Eye
Richard Wright - Clara Callan
Alice Munro - Too Much Happiness
Dionne Brand - What we all Long For
Robert Rotenberg - Old City Hall
Vincent Lam - Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures

John Mutford said...

Em: looking forward to your list!

Wanda: Great list-- I really wanted to compare our Newfoundland list!

Medea: A province that always stumps me, great list!

Franklin: I never have trouble coming up with Ontario books, but I've read few on your list (only In the Skin of a Lion and Fall on Your Knees).

Nicola: Interesting! I only purchased Butter Down the Well recently at a garage sale. I hadn't heard of it before, but it's definitely moved up my TBR pile now based on your recommendation.

Kathy: Your the 2nd Ontario list that recommended In the Skin of a Lion. And yet, I really didn't enjoy it-- maybe you need to have a Toronto connection to appreciate it? ;)

And Clara Callan is probably the book to sit longest on my bookshelf without being read. I really should remedy that soon.

John Mutford said...

Awesome lists! Now the only ones were still missing:

Amy said...

Thank you again so much for hosting, I'm so excited about the prize books! I can't recall if I let you know (I'm really sorry if I didn't!!!) that the books showed up last week. I can't wait to read one of them!

And ummm sadly... I am from PEI and know a whole 1 author from there - LM Montgomery. Embarrassing!

John Mutford said...

Amy: Well, I see you've already found Raidergirl's list of PEI books, but seeing as others may be in the same boat as you (see, I have to make it sound maritimey), and as Raidergirl seems to have forgotten to have linked to her (quite fantastic) list, you can all find it here.

Perogyo said...

I made a list of expat Canadian books. Not really in the same spirit, but hopefully someone will think it interesting.

Hope someone comes up with lists for the missing provinces and territory!

pooker said...

Oops. I almost missed this. Here are some of my favourites from Manitoba:

1. All the Pretty Girls by Chandra Mayor
2. Watch You Don't Fall by Bettina von Kampen
3. The Republic of Love by Carol Shields
4. Summer of My Amazing Luck by Miriam Toews
5. In Search of April Raintree by Beatrice Culleton
6. Reading by Lightning by Joan Thomas
7. Where Nests the Water Hen by Gabrielle Roy
8. An Unexpected Break in the Weather by Deborah Schnitzer
9. The Life of Helen Betty Osborne by David Robertson
10. The Case of Lena S. by David Bergen

Oh and I see I've missed something by Margaret Laurence! So I'll add, for bonus points:
11. A Bird in the House by Margaret Laurence