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canada readsI wrote earlier about Canada Reads, the annual ‘battle of the books’ hosted by Canada’s national broadcaster, the CBC. Well, the top ten list has now been revealed, and it has some surprises!

It has some non-surprises, too. I was expecting The Orenda by Joseph Boyden and Half-Blood Blues by Esi Edudgyan to make the cut because they are buzzed-about (The Orenda tells the story of a Jesuit priest, a captured Iroquois girl and a Huron chief, and is exactly the sort of book the awards people salivate over here). I was expecting the ever-green Michael Ondaatje and Margaret Atwood to advance to round 2 as well.

But there were two books I had hoped for, but not counted on—Little Brother by indie darling Cory Doctorow, and Annabel by the much-under-rated Kathleen Winter. The former is a high-tech urban adventure of a teenaged hacker in a post-911 world; the latter the coming-of-age of an intersexed child growing up in Labrador. I can’t think of two more different stories for the Canada Reads audiences to consider!

The next step? On November 27, CBC will release the identities of their chosen panelists for this year’s contest. Each panelist will then choose one of the books to champion, until the ‘winner’ is finally unveiled in March.

 
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