Festivity and Canada Reads

10:08 sunrise
15:47 sunset

Weird. Sunset has been at the same time each day for four days now. I guess this is how we get to sol-sistere.

Our wonderful and travel-crazy friends Hugh and Wendy are flying up to Whitehorse to visit us on the solstice for all of 36 hours tonight. I know, they’re bonkers. I mean, if it was just the two of them, maybe it wouldn’t be too nuts, but they come with two children in tow! On an airplane! To winter! For less than the weekend! Crazy. But we are totally looking forward to having them here.

In order to make our place, in all of its renovation glory, look slightly festive I even borrowed a tree from work. How’s that for commitment to the friendship?! Isn’t it lovely? I figured our office doesn’t need it for the weekend and Wendy will appreciate that it now looks at least vaguely Christmas-like at our house.

We received, today, our last book in the mail so that we (Ben, Hugh, Wendy and me) can all participate in this year’s Canada Reads. If you aren’t familiar with the show, it’s a celebration of Canadian authors in a Survivor-style competition whereby each week one book is voted off the list. Each year five books are championed by five celebrity panelists, each defending his/her favourite work of fiction. One by one books are voted out – by the panelists – until one book is left standing at the end. This becomes “the book” that Canadians should read that year.


I haven’t paid close attention since the first year (2002) when I had just happened to have read 4 of the 5 novels on the show. I also worked at home then so I was able to listen to the debates live on the radio. I’ve read some of the past winners, but I haven’t been able to enjoy the debates because I didn’t want to ruin any of the plots of the books that I intend, sometime, to read. So, Wendy came up with the idea that we all read the books before the debates begin and then we can discuss amongst ourselves and listen in to the panel. Great idea. Five books to read between now and March 8, 2010. I think this is the first year that I haven’t read a single one of the selected titles, so I have my work cut out for me. But it should be fun. If anyone wants to join in (and I highly encourage you to do so – the panel discussions are always really engaging and you can listen online or download everything from the cbc website) this year’s books are:

Good to a Fault, Marina Endicott
Nikolski, Nicolas Dickner
Generation X, Douglas Coupland
The Jade Peony, Wayson Choy
Fall on Your Knees, Ann-Marie MacDonald

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