If you click on Canada Reads, you will see that my initial favourite was "Annabel"- the only book that I would recommend to anyone.
But...the panel was fascinating and the discussions were spell-binding!
Sarah Gadon, at 26, did an amazing job of supporting "Annabel" by Kathleen Winter. Sarah was bold and confident. She helped to vote off "The Year of the Flood" by Margaret Atwood right at the beginning, and admitted that she was afraid that Stephen Lewis would sway the panel for his book if given a chance. She was successful in getting that book eliminated first. Next to go was "Half-Blood Blues" by Esi Edugyan. Donovan Bailey, who was supporting it, was obviously out of his element.
Samantha Bee, who was supporting "Cockroach" by Rawi Hage, was a great disappointment to me, personally, because she admitted that she loved "Annabel" and it had changed her life - both of the requirements of the winning book, but she was swayed by Wab on a minor detail of the book- so minor that she had forgotten about it, but she then made the deciding vote to eliminate "Annabel".
Who would believe that "Cockroach" made it to the final round? A dark book of mental illness more than the immigrant experience. Samantha Bee, the defender, was even shocked that it made it through the first cut.
Wab Kinew was the star of the show and did an great job of defending "The Orenda" by Joseph Boyden and showing his amazing intelligence. As Stephen Lewis said, "Wab's defence of the book was better than the book itself". And I was surprised to hear that Stephen was just as disturbed by the violence and torture as I was. He called it "continuous torturous pornography". But he voted for it at the end, because he hated "Cockroach". Stephen voiced my thoughts and was very endearing and light-hearted.
And the winner was........
|Wab Kinew and Joseph Boyden|