Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Canada Reads

Well as I noted, I actually won all the books nominated for Canada Reads on CBC. I had already read Carol Shield's Unless and Ami McKay's The Birth House some time ago before I won them. I have now finished The Bone Cage and am in the midst of The Best Laid Plans. What I always love about books is they can take me places that I will never get to normally. The Bone Cage focuses on a swimmer and a wrestler as they find out that they have qualified for the Sydney Olympics. Strangers initially, they meet in the gym and become as involved as two people can be who are in the midst of pursuing an almost lifetime goal.
I, personally, can't imagine the type of single minded purposefulness this has to involve so it's fascinating just being taken into this world. The plot is well crafted and the characters interesting.

Now I am reading The Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis, which was the winner of Canada Reads. I must say I was a bit incredulous to think that this book beat out Unless and The Birth House and The Bone Cage, but now that I am reading it I am absorbed in it. Again politics is not a huge interest of mine although I have been involved in working in a few elections. I probably have been a bit closer to this world than that of the professional athlete but again there are people who are absorbed in politics and those who are not and I know where I fall.

I found the setting interesting in this book as a former Liberal speechwriter leaves politics to become a university academic and moves a few miles east of Ottawa and is given one last assignment to find a Liberal candidate for the most Conservative riding in the country. The candidate (a crusty Engineering professor who doesn't want to teach English to first year engineers) he finds is promised he won't have to do any campaigning and is guaranteed to lose, but of course anything can happen in politics and it does. As I read this book I find myself laughing and totally enjoying the experience as I sneak into the backrooms of Parliament. Or maybe better yet is the opportunity to glide in an experimental hovercraft over the Ottawa River.

One more Canada Reads pick to go, and I just brought home a bunch of young adult books to read. Stay tuned!

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