Wednesday, October 07, 2009


Those that have been reading my blog for more than a couple months will know that every year I make the lofty goal of reading the Giller-nominated books for the given year. I wasn't sure if I was going to do it this year because of financial restraints (meaning I really don't need anymore books, so stay away from the bookstore) and timing (so many books I want to read, so little time). Then, yesterday, the short-list was announced. I have not read any of the books on it, but I own them all! I was shocked! This means that I will be doing my Giller-a-thon afterall. The goal is to read all five books before the winner is announced.

The short listed books are:

Linden MacIntyre – The Bishop’s Man
Kim Echlin – The Disappeared
Colin McAdam – Fall
Anne Michaels – The Winter Vault
Annabel Lyon – The Golden Mean

As to the list. If the Michaels wasn't on the long-list, I probably never would have got it or read it. I am one of those few human beings that didn't like Fugitive Pieces at all! Otherwise, I have another book by Linden MacIntyre on my TBR pile. That is the extent of my familiarity with these authors.

And, yes, I was shocked that Margaret Atwood didn't make the list. I also wondered about Alice Munro, but I guess she removed herself from the running! I missed that announcement. As to Atwood, I am actually not a bit Atwood fan. The only book by her I have ever read and enjoyed was Oryx & Crake. The Handmaid's Tale was all right, but it took me three or four tries to finish that book. There is something about her writing that just doesn't appeal to me. So, even though it didn't make the list, I will still be reading Year of the Flood because it is a companion book to the only book by her I ever really enjoyed!

Speaking of Canadian books, there is something else on the agenda for today! I was talking to Chris, from Stuff as Dreams are Made on on Twitter the other night and we got on the topic of Canadian books and authors. It turns out that Chris has not read very many Canadian authors! This lead to me being given (or, well volunteering) the chance to pick a Canadian book for Chris to read! Unfortunately, the book I wanted him to read is not available at his library. He is on a book-buying ban, so buying was really out.

After careful consideration, though, I have decided that he should read Green Grass, Running Water by Thomas King. It is one of my favourite Canadian fiction books.


  1. I have a like-hate relationship with Atwood. I've read The Handmaid's Tale (ok), The Edible Woman (meh), The Blind Assassin (ok), and Oryx and Crake (good). I really have no desire to read anything else by her. Not even her latest.

    I haven't read a lot of Canadian authors, but I did recognize Thomas King's name! I read Medicine River many years ago in a lit class. Haven't read Green, Grass, Running Water, though.

  2. I feel really bad saying it, but I have no idea what the Giller award is, and I've never heard of those books or those authors. Shame.

  3. I've kind of wondered if Atwood not making the shortlist is kind of because of the Munro thing. Like Munro she's won before (and has served on the jury). It's not a BIG name year. I kind of like that.

    I'm anxiously waiting for the GG list. I really like the GGs.

  4. Yay!!! I'm excited about reading Green Grass, Running Water :D I've been wanting to read that!! Maybe I can read it during the read-a-thon! You know what? I think we should do this more often!!

  5. I read The Disappeared and didn't like it. MacIntyre's first book did nothing for me either. Maybe Bishop's Man might be better- it's certainly topical.

  6. I have Fall on my bookshelf waiting to be read. I imagine you'll get to it before me so I'll be interested to see what you think of it. :)

  7. The Bishop's Man is very topical! The Bishop in the book is the bishop of Antigonish. I enjoyed that book.

    I haven't heard of the book you recommended, or the author. And I think I read a lot of Canadian authors.
    Chris - no Coupland? Louise Penny's mystery series? The Book of Negroes? Life of Pi? Anne of Green Gables?
    Oh, The Lizard Cage is excellent.

  8. Happy reading for your Giller-a-thon!

  9. That's awesome you have all the shortlisters already! :)

    Green Grass, Running Water's on my Canadian list-now I definitely want to read it!

  10. I love that you had every single book on the shortlist!

  11. Thanks for doing this post because I've never heard of Giller!!

  12. I kind of really want to read these books because I've never heard of them for shame! I look forward to hearing your favorite so I can read it!

  13. Les: I know what you mean about Atwood... If her newest wasn't connected with Oryx & Crake I wouldn't even consider reading it.

    Amanda: The Giller awards are a Canadian book award. They were started by a man whose wife died and are named after her. Been around 18 years, I think... 16... Something like that!

    Karen: I can't wait for the GGs either! I just need to read the Gillers first...

    Chris: I think we should do this more often, too! It was fun picking a book for you!

    Chris: That's not great to hear... I have only read FALL so far. Detouring to read two other books. (One being Atwood which I am reading with you) and then back to the Giller books...

    Michelle: I actually really liked Fall. It's the only one I have read so far!

    raidergirl: Chris has read Coupland. He is one of his few Canadian authors. I recommended something he owns, but next time I am going off his TBR pile! As to the Bishop's Man, I remember your review and actually wanted to read it because of that before it was even announced as a Giller short-list book.

    Alice: Thank you!

    Eva: You totally should!

    Ali: Me too! First time that has ever happened!

    Staci: Really? I need to do a post on the history of the Giller it seems!

    Amy: I will be sure to let you know what my favourite is when I figure that out. :)


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