Monday, March 1, 2010

Canada Also Reads

Next week, CBC's Canada Reads will kick off their annual battle of the books. This week, though, marks the start of another kind literary slugfest: the National Post's Canada Also Reads.

Started as a way to draw attention to lesser-known (and therefore lesser-read) Canadian books, Canada Also Reads features eight books (all written by Canadians) to be defended by other Canadian authors. Where Canada Reads tends toward crowd-pleasers, Canada Also Reads is definitely looking to promote less-mainstream CanLit - the contest also let their audience weigh-in on what they would like to see included, which resulted in a pretty great long-list of potential selections.

Canada Also Reads may be set up as a kind of alternative to Canada Reads, but really, both "competitions" (they're more like publicized literary discussions to my mind) achieve the same goal: They get people talking about Canadian literature. And whether that literature is already out there in the mainstream or hanging around dark corners in independent bookstores makes almost no difference, because in the long run, getting people excited about our national book scene is good for all Canadian authors, publishers and booksellers.

I listed the Canada Reads nominees in an earlier post, but here are the Canada Also Reads contenders:
My White Planet by Mark Anthony Jarman (Thomas Allen & Sons) - defended by writer and critic Stephen Beattie

The Day the Falls Stood Still by Cathy Marie Buchanan (HarperCollins Canada) - defended by author Tish Cohen

Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis (McLelland & Stewart) - defended by singer/songwriter Andy Maize

The Last Shot by Leon Rooke (Thomas Allen & Sons) - defended by poet Jacob McArthur Mooney

Yellowknife by Stephen Zipp (Res Telluris) - defended by blogger John Mutford

You and the Pirates by Jocelyn Allen (The Workhorsery) - defended by author Lisa Pasold (get this as a free eBook)

Come Thou Tortoise by Jessica Grant (Knopf Canada) - defended by author Neil Smith

Fear of Fighting by Stacey May Fowles (Invisible Publishing) - defended by author Zoe Whittall (get this as a free eBook)
You can vote for the winner at the end of the week and write about the winner on Monday, just in time to get ready for a week of Canada Reads. November may be awards season for books in Canada, but apparently the real competition goes down in March.


  1. I was really let down by the Canada Reads selections this year (for the same reasons as many others have said better than I can), so I'm excited by the Canada Also Reads competition as a reader. But also excited as a publisher (or part of one anyway!) to see our debut novel, Jocelyne's You and the Pirates thrust front and centre like this. So great to see that Canadians care enough about reading to hold a lit competition in response to another lit competition! (And to help everyone be a part of the thing, we're giving away the e-book of You and the Pirates on our blog until the end of the competition on Monday.)

  2. Hello from Nouméa, thanks for sharing.


Real Time Web Analytics
Powered By Ringsurf