Canada Reads 2009.
Francis was entertaining and funny and, I think, convinced a few people that his book should win. Also, someone made up a batch of his gingerbread cookies and I can attest that they're very good.
What I found most interesting, however, was the interpretation of Michel Tremblay's The Fat Woman Next Door is Pregnant. The man who presented it is a professional actor and his reading made the book far more entertaining than it was when I read it by myself. I think it would do really well in the competition (not to mention sales) if everyone could hear it read aloud by someone who knows what he's doing.
I'm almost halfway through the final book, far enough, I think, to make my rankings. Until I started The Book of Negroes, I was 100% behind Fruit for the win. Now I'm not so sure. I am still giving Fruit the edge though, partly because Peter Paddington is one of my all time favourite literary characters and partly because I think everyone is already reading The Book of Negroes.
Mercy Among the Children is in last place, not because it's not well written (it is), but because it's so overwhelmingly bleak and depressing. I think it's the last thing everyone in Canada needs to read, especially these days. If people want bleak and depressing, they can just watch the news.
1. Fruit by Brian Francis
2. The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill
3. The Outlander by Gil Adamson
4. The Fat Woman Next Door is Pregnant by Michel Tremblay
5. Mercy Among the Children by David Adams Richards
The competition starts tomorrow.