Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Second Canadian Book Challenge

I've been brooding on my choice of books for this challenge for a couple of weeks now. I'd have liked to read something from each province but, while authors from Ontario are over-represented in British bookshops, it can often be hard to find books from anywhere else in Canada. The easy route is to choose 13 Canadian books more or less at random, as I did in the first challenge (though I only managed to read seven), but I thought it would be fun to try something a little different this time. "New Canadians" was tempting, and would have offered the chance to re-read a book I liked very much: Van de Graaff Days by Ven Begamudré, a writer who came to Canada from Bangalore, but now lives in Regina.

In the end, though, I decided to take advantage some of the un-read books from the first challenge, and go for The McClung, 13 books by women. I haven't chosen all of them yet, but here is the core list:

The Tent by Margaret Atwood
The View from Castle Rock
by Alice Munro
The Green Library
by Janice Kulyk Keefer
Oryx and Crake
by Margaret Atwood
by Carol Shields
A Boy of Good Breeding
by Miriam Toews
The Last Stronghold
by Margaret Bennett (about the Gaelic diaspora to Newfoundland)
Fugitive Pieces
by Anne Michaels

That leaves me with five books to find, perhaps from new works published during the course of the year or – and I like this option - chosen from reviews by fellow participants from either the first or second challenge.


  1. I'm just about to re-read 'Fugitive Pieces' for a book group. Some books don't bear a second 'go', but this one is different and will lighten up my weekend.

  2. I've never heard of The Tent-- how interesting. Loved Oryx and Crake though.

  3. Fugitive Pieces has been on my TBR for more years than I can bear to admit, and for no good reason - perhaps I will start with it.

    John, The Tent is described on the cover as fictional essays, so much along the lines of Good Bones, I think.

  4. thank you for saying in your earlier post that Atwood has a whiny voice! I'm not the only one who thinks this! She's clever, and I enjoy her earlier stuff when she wasn't so aware of her place in Canadian literature. I loved The Edible Woman! I have to read the Penelopiad...and I like your idea of reading all women authors! I'm reading all Charles de Lint...guess I'd better go post about it now....

  5. Susan, I've just discovered a de Lint book in the TBR pile - oh good! I'm looking forward to reading your posts.

  6. This is what I find so much fun about the Canadian Book Challenge. There are so many ways of doing it. I'll be interested in your reviews as they come in. My choices are all nonfiction.

  7. Great choices! Let me know if there are any Canadian books you're having trouble finding; I may just have a spare copy to send your way.