Happy Canada Reads!

Monday, 31 October 2011

While the rest of the world is out celebrating goblins and ghouls, I'm at home blogging about tomorrow's Canada Reads announcement. Though I love fiction, the majority of my favourite books are non-fiction, so CBC's decision to celebrate true stories this year seems perfect. Many of my favourites made the Top 40, and I'm hoping to hear at least a few of them tomorrow when Jian Ghomeshi announces the top ten. If I were the queen of all things books, these would be my top picks.

And No Birds Sang by Farley Mowat

This is a nostolgic pick for me. Buried in a box somewhere in storage is a high-school English essay that is covered in horrible clipart and probably way too many adjectives. And No Birds Sang was the first memoir I read about a World War, and only my second Farley Mowat book (following Lost in the Barrens, of course). I didn't know it then, but it would be the first of many more Farley Mowat memoirs I would devour. The specifics of this book have become hazy to me in the ten years since I've read it, but I remember being unable to put it down. Without a doubt, it helped to shape my love for memoirs. I'm long overdue for a second read.


The Boy in the Moon by Ian Brown

If there is one book I want to see in the top ten more than any others it's The Boy in the Moon. It, to me, is the best example of why I gravitate toward non-fiction. It's so raw and beautiful in its honesty that I was captivated by it the second I cracked the book's spine. On one hand, it's the story of Walker Brown who was born with a rare disorder called cardiofaciocutaneous syndrome. But equally, it's a story about Ian Brown and his quest to find meaning in his son's life. I wouldn't normally call a book perfect, but if a perfect book exists, this could be it.


The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary by Andrew Westoll

This choice won't come as a surprise; I already gushed about Andrew Westoll's book last week. It may be a new release, but The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary is affecting enough to deserve a top spot beside classics like Mowat's And No Birds Sang and Jane Jacobs' The Death and Life of Great American Cities. I actually can't stop talking about it (and apparently I can't stop writing about it either!) It's truly an incredible read, and I think a spot on the Canada Reads top ten list could give it a lot of great exposure.

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