Happy Canada Day!
It's actually already Thursday here in Japan but it's still July 1st in Canada, and my home country is 142 years old today. Hmm...we should've had some cake. :P
It's also the last day of the 2nd Canadian Book Challenge, eh? The goal was to read 13 books (the number of provinces and territories) over the period of a year. I was behind in my reading for the challenge so I mostly focused on Canadian authors the last couple of months. However, moving slowed me down in June and I didn't quite make it to 13. I came very close though by completing 12 books, a few of which were on my list of possibities, and have even started on a 13th. Oh well, I guess I'll have a head start on round 3!
Even though the common theme for these books is Canada, they represent a variety of genres. Humour, fantasy, short stories, a graphic novel, a couple of mysteries, a couple of award-winners, literary fiction, and a couple that I don't know how to define. A nice selection, I think.
(click on the title to read my review)
1. How to Be a Canadian - Will Ferguson & Ian Ferguson
2. Griffin & Sabine - Nick Bantock
3. Dingo - Charles de Lint
4. Lighting the Dark Side - William R. Potter
5. Skim - Mariko Tamaki & Jillian Tamaki
6. Mother Superior - Saleema Nawaz
7. Still Life - Louise Penny
8. The Museum Guard - Howard Norman
9. No Great Mischief - Alistair MacLeod
10. Last Night in Montreal - Emily St. John Mandel
11. The Delicate Storm - Giles Blunt (review pending)
12. Yellowknife - Steve Zipp (review pending)
Best book(s) I read for the challenge?
I read some great books so it's hard to choose favourites. How to Be a Canadian made me laugh. I admired the art in Griffin & Sabine, and was touched by the story in Skim. Mother Superior and Lighting the Dark Side had some great short stories. It was fun to revisit one detective in The Delicate Storm and meet a new one in Still Life. Last Night in Montreal was beautifully written. Yellowknife was tantalizingly surreal, and so on. But if I had to choose, I guess I was most impressed by the touching, and realistic story in the graphic novel, Skim, and the art and imagination in Griffin & Sabine.
Book(s) I could have done without?
They were all worth reading but of these, the one I liked the least would be The Museum Guard. I just didn't enjoy it, or relate to it, as much as I wanted to.
Any new authors? Will I read them again?
Except for Will Ferguson and Giles Blunt, the remaining ten were all new-to-me authors, and I think for about half of those this was their first published book. So some of them don't have any other books out yet, but I will certainly look forward their new work, and I'd happily read something else by any of these authors. I already have a few books on hand by Nick Bantock, Will Ferguson and Charles de Lint so I imagine I'll be reading them again first. Although we all know how that goes! I also plan to continue with both mystery series, so when I get a chance I'll be buying the next book in each series by Louise Penny and Giles Blunt. And I'll be on the lookout for new books by Saleema Nawaz, Emily St. John Mandel and the others that have yet to have another book published.
Best thing about the challenge?
The fact that it encouraged me to read some of the Canadian books that had been languishing in my TBR for far too long. It's also fun to hear about new books to add to my ever-growing wishlist. Thanks so much for hosting, John. I'll definitely be joining the 3rd Canadian Book Challenge for another year of great Canadian reads.