The debates generally went how I thought they would but there were a few surprises.
Ziya Tong, defending Max Eisen’s By Chance Alone, beat out Chuck Comeau defending Homes, to win this year’s Canada Reads! Both of these books are amazing in their own right and both stories deserved to win but I am thrilled with this decision. I was really impressed with the debates this year too especially from Ziya as it was her great debating that cinched the win between these two amazing stories.
Homes has nothing to be ashamed of and the authors of the book should be immensely proud of their accomplishments in getting this far and in sharing such a brave and amazing story. If you don’t know the backstory on Homes, you have got to read-up on it.
The debates generally went how I thought they would with the voting, though I was surprised that The Woo-Woowas voted off in the first round as I expected it to at least make it to the second. I thought that Susannewould be voted off first. Nothing against Susanne as it was the most beautifully written out of all the books this year but it didn’t match the theme as well as the others. The Woo Woo was a personal favourite of mine but so was By Chance Alone and it was very tough for me to rank them beside each other. I actually really enjoyed all the books this year nearly equally, with my least favourite being Brother. It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy Brother, it just didn’t stack-up as well compared to the other four.
It was a good Canada Reads year, with book selection and debates, and I hope to see more quality like this again next year!
You know it’s really hard to put different types of books against each other. I’ve said it before but I think Canada Reads should pick a type of book for each debate and stick to it. For example, all memoirs, all YA, or all dystopians for example, as it would just be more efficient, effective, and easier to pick the one that meets the select theme for the year. This year included 3 memoirs, a creative memoir and a work of fiction.
I decided on Homes as I think it was truly the most moving as my jaw-dropped when I learned about the age of the author sharing the story. It’s also an extremely important and timely topic that people in Canada need to read more about. While also being moving read, the book is also an extremely enjoyable read and I think it will come out as the fan-favourite this year too.
Soooo this was really hard! I changed my mind so many times about the book I enjoyed the most but in reality I enjoyed all the books but for different reasons. For example, Brother ended being my least favourite but I think it’s because it just didn’t fit in with the other books as it is the only full-on fiction book in the list. Susanne is a creative-memoir that had elements of truth and I found its prose beautiful. Homes and By Chance Alone were intensely moving, where with The Woo-Woo I found it both moving, shocking, humorous, and entertaining.
Four memoirs and a novel, hey? I would have liked to see more fiction. Canada Reads should try doing all five books as the same genre as I’ve always thought that would actually make the debates a lot fairer. Needless to say, I’m still looking forward to reading these books as the two books I wanted to read from the longlist, The Woo Woo and By Chance Alone, made the cut. Let the reading commence!
Debates take place from March 25-28, 2019.
What books are you looking forward to the most? How are you reading the books from the shortlist? Will you wait out the hold list at your local library? Or purchase copies for yourself? Anyone have any luck getting second-hand copies?