In this place popular culture so often refers to as North of the border we sometimes struggle to define ourselves. Canadian culture is so very closely tied to American culture, in the food we eat, the stores we visit, the television shows we watch, the books we read…
And yet, there is something distinctly Canadian about us… we’re kind, polite, pacifists. We don’t shy away from the cold, from the outdoors (well, big city dwellers might shy away from these). We use the metric system and spell colour with the letter u. But beyond this, how do we define ourselves. How do arts and culture reflect our distinct Canadian-ness?
I read Canadian books… sometimes. Though the American (and the British) publishing industry is simply so much larger, most of the books I read are not Canadian. I dare to assume most Canadians reading this might say the same.
The CBC Canada Reads program (Is there anything more Canadian than the CBC?) tries to encourage us to read more Canadian literature. Each year 5 books are nominated and their literary merit is debated by well-known Canadians. Viewers/listeners/readers are encouraged to read all 5 books and follow the debates.
Now I must admit that I have never read all 5 nominees… but this year I am determined to do just that!
Canada Reads is currently holding a vote to determine this year’s top 5 books, based on the 10 most beloved books from 5 Canadian regions (polls close on Monday November 12). On November 14 the top 5 books will be revealed. I’m really excited to find out what books I’ll be reading over the next few months. Care to join me?
Check out what publishing insiders are saying about the books nominated for this year’s Canada Reads on the Canada Reads blog.