Earlier in the week I tried to predict how the Canada Reads debates would shake out. For those not familiar, it is an annual Canadian program where 5 Canadian celebrities defend 5 Canadian books and vote one off each day. It is now midway through the competition so let's see how I am doing!
  1. Not so well, actually.
    But it could be worse! It's not like my first or even second pick went home on day one!
  2. The first book to go was Minister Without Portfolio by Michael Winter
    I thought Birdie might get it first, but in retrospect they usually start with a theme question (this year is "starting over") and not a style question, which is where I thought Birdie might run into trouble.
  3. I think I may have been VERY wrong about Birdie's chances
    At this point, I actually think it is likely to go to the final, probably against The Hero's Walk, though I wouldn't totally count The Illegal out. Both got some harsh words today.
  4. We said goodbye to my personal favourite, Bone and Bread by Saleema Nawaz
    I gave it a middling ranking, based on the more ambiguous ending compared to the hopeful conclusions in the other books. Panelists did mention that factor on day one, but today the problem seemed to be length, and focus. One panelist called it "tedious." Ouch!
  5. A previous win might actually be a liability
    I ranked The Illegal first partly because Lawrence Hill is a Canadian favourite and a previous winner for The Book of Negroes. But some panelists seem to think that another author should have the chance to win. Based on the debates to this point, I think The Illegal is most likely to go home tomorrow.
  6. I didn't at all foresee the most debated point about The Hero's Walk
    I could have cited a lot of potential problems for this book. The action is subtle, and many of the characters are unlikeable (sometimes extremely so). But it seems to keep coming back to the fact that the book is set in India, not Canada.
  7. But maybe I am a great at predictions after all
    When I shared my list to Twitter, my comment was "no doubt the panelists will immediately overthrow my predictions." So at least I got that much right!