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  • You must include at least one positive keyword with 3 characters or more.
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Poetry, short fiction lovers: Send Canada Reads a message

CBC’s annual horse race, Canada Reads, in which a panel of celebrity guests gather on the radio to pretend they’ve read the other celebrities’ championed books as well as their own, is celebrating it’s 10th year by compiling a list of 40 essential Canadian novels of the last decade, from which this year’s selections will be drawn. Why only novels? Why not “books”? Or  “fiction”? Or “fiction and poetry”? If you read the selection below, they indeed to seem to have conflated the word “novels” with the word “books”. Have the books of short stories and poems from the last decade been non-essential? Or are they just not “books”? This list will be compiled by public suggestion (which is so open to rigging from publicity departments it’s not even funny), so unless you have a specific novel in mind that you actually want to vote for, I’m asking you to use your vote to suggest a book of poetry or short fiction. Sure, it’s a throw-away, but like a write-in candidate or a purposely spoiled ballot, it sends a message. Hopefully they’ll notice.
But Canada Reads has also brought unexpected others — like the almost-forgotten classic Rockbound, the nearly out-of-print comedy King Leary by Paul Quarrington and the small press publication Fruit by Brian Francis — to the forefront of the Canadian literary landscape. Canada Reads is a battlefield, a mystery, a comedy and a tragedy, but, most of all (and most important), it’s a celebration. And who doesn’t like a good party?
So, this year, in honour of the many milestones Canada Reads and Canadian literature have celebrated in the past 10 years, we’re mixing it up. As Jian Ghomeshi announced on Q this morning, instead of giving the panelists free reign to choose whatever books they like, we’re going to give them a few parameters: it has to have been published in the past 10 years, and it has to be selected from a list: the top 40 essential Canadian novels of the past decade.
Hmm, a list you ask? How will this list be populated? Who gets to determine which books are “essential?” This is where you come in! Throughout the month of October, we’ll be soliciting people’s choices for the “essential Canadian novel of the past decade.” Again, it has to be a Canadian novel published after January 1, 2000, in English or translated into English. All books are game, even if they were already on Canada Reads!

"Deliver me from writers who say the way they live doesn't matter. I'm not sure a bad person can write a good book. If art doesn't make us better, then what on earth is it for."
Alice Walker

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Fast fact about writing

Ancient writing (at first pictographic in nature) is best known from clay and stone inscriptions, but the use of perishable materials, mainly palm leaf, papyrus, and paper, began in ancient times.