The Canada Reads competition list has been announced, and certainly the taping is already finished. Folks at the CBC, the panelists and the publishers know who is the winner. The rest of us won’t know how it all plays out until the spring. That’s fine though because we all need some time to read the picks, and the CBC needs to tape promo spots.
Blogger Ragdoll calls the list “uninspired”. That wasn’t my first reaction, but rather, I was bummed that Bill Richardson has stepped down as host. He is the funniest smart man on radio today. Maybe he’s tired of it because I doubt that the CBC audience is tired of him. This year, they’ve hired the omnipresent Jian Ghomeshi to lead the very cool panel to “heated debates”. Even though Ghomeshi was part of the wonder that brought us the fab song, “My Baby Loves a Bunch of Authors,” and even though Q is a lot smarter and more entertaining than whatever the forgetful show was that used to be on in that timespot, Ghomeshi has a difficult role to fill. I think he should get a new tie to help him along.
But back to the list. I’ve got to check it out. As I’ve heard in the past of publishers’ complaints about this project, the books are not new, they don’t highlight new Canadian talent. Anyway, that is what I’ve read about the 2008 list so far. I, personally, like it because I’ve not read any of the books. And, I read a lot of books. Maybe the list doesn’t have to highlight new work. Maybe it’s well enough that it reminds us Canadians of what’s out there yet to be discovered.