I’m not sure what kind of hovel I’ve been in during the last 13 years that CANADA READS has been on the air, but I guess now is better late than never! This year (for the first time), I happened upon the 2014 Canada Reads broadcast with the indomitable Jian Ghomeshi and a brilliant panel of celebrity panelists ranging from an Olympic athlete, a diplomat, a journalist, an actress and a comedian.
What struck me the most about this FOUR day broadcast on CBC was that here were 6 people (including the host), speaking, arguing, debating so vehemently about BOOKS! These people were on TV talking about BOOKS!!! *Gasp* It pleased me to no end. I was riveted, compelled, glued to the television for 4 days to see what the panelists would say and how they would vote. Even my partner, who does not read regularly, was utterly captivated by the broadcast.
Both diverse and intelligent, all the panelists bravely championed and defended each of their books with such an ardor, it felt as if they had written the book themselves! As a writer, I could not think of any higher compliment or the extreme joy to be gleaned from the idea of perfect strangers/celebrity panelists vehemently defending the merits of your book as if they were a mother bear protecting her young.
It was gripping television and it proved that yes, books CAN be exciting!
THE ORENDA by Joseph Boyden emerged as this year winner’s, brilliantly represented by Wab Kinew – And it is now sitting on my coffee table.
Thank you CBC, Canada Reads and of course, great CANADIAN LITERATURE! 🙂