I just finished watching the Day 2 recap and have to admit that I am still feeling a bit bruised after The Break, which I thought was the strongest book, was voted off. It is clear that strategic voting and personal politics are part of this competition. Each defender is committed to strategy and support for the book that they represent!
After an overview of the dramatic voting of the first day, Candy Palmater was given and opportunity to say good bye to The Break. She shared that the book is spurring on feminist discussion, attention for the author and that #TheBreak was trending on Canadian twitter. Candy’s vote still counts and she will continue at until the final decision is made as to which book is the one book that Canadian’s need now.
Each author described their book in an audio clip and then the defender had 30 seconds to make an opening statement. Here are the highlights:
Nostalgia: “is a great book because M.J. took about 15 years to write it… race and identify became a side note, almost a fashion accessory… shows a possible world ahead”.
Right to Be Cold: “a great book because it is relatable to people of all ages… autobiographical… kids can read it… for a future generation”
Fifteen Dogs: “what is the root of every single issue is us… to best know ourselves… to understand how we got to the point we are right now”.
Company Town: “new and original female voice in Canadian science fiction…multi-generaltional dialogue… diverse cast reflecting a diverse country”
Today the debating started with conversation related to inclusivity. It was identified that Candy was taking Canada Reads very personally – she even ‘schooled’ Humble on his choice of words when using the word ‘our’ when speaking of Canadian’s indigenous people. He clearly did not mean this in a negative way and the host quickly moved the conversation forward to focus on the books. Although Candy had voted against The Right to be Cold on Day 1, she seemed to advocate strongly for it on Day 2.
The defenders clearly support climate change yet there were continued concerns about the amount of detail in The Right to be Cold. It was even described as a “sleeping pill in book form” by Measha. An apology was provided to Jody, with Chantal excusing her reaction on Day 1 because she was trying to defend her book.
This apology did not seem as heartfelt when she voted against Nostalgia and stated how well Measha and Humble had defended their books (it seemed the meta message was that she was not voting against the book but by the lack of defence mounted by Jody). Candy also voted against Nostalgia after she shared that the author had made unspecified negative comments against indigenous individuals at a previous event.
Fifteen Dogs continued to garner discussion on how the defenders could relate to dogs. Company Town was described as a “futuristic Young and the Restless” and experienced comments about the authenticity of Hwa who then has life-saving, unprotected sex at the end to become new and improved. Concerns about the ending being “tied up with a bow” seemed to frustrate Measha who reminded the group that all of Hwa’s friends were murdered!
The votes were tallied with 1 vote for each remaining book. Candy had the deciding vote and opted to say good bye to Nostalgia. I am not sorry to see Nostalgia go since I had struggled to read chapter after chapter and could not relate to this story.
I continued to struggle with the negativity and tone at times but appreciated the passion for CanLit which has engaged 1.6 million viewers (according to the host). In the end, all the books are winners. What will be the next book voted off? I am extremely curious to see which two books will be defended on Thursday when I join the audience at the CBC studio!