I am disappointed that this debate takes place over only a three day period. I will listen to Q tomorrow to listen about the winning book; the author; the debater.
My prediction: The first book voted out: The Best Laid Plans and the second: Unless with the winner being, The Birth House. I am not sure if this is a true prediction or if it is a wish I'm holding onto. I mean, I guess I really want Unless to win, but there have been a lot of ridiculous arguments against it. By ridiculous arguments I mean:
1. It's too good (really?) - should the Canada Reads' book be good?
2. She's already gotten her fair share of fame (really?) - Carol Shields died in 2003 and I don't think she's fame reaching.
3. People will read her anyway (really?) - I wasn't ever going to read her. I was put off because one of her books was made into a 'made for TV' movie.
I haven't given Sara Quinn her fair due. I love Sara Quinn. Well, as much as you can love someone you don't know at all. I like her music and I like the book that she did the introduction for.
Tegan and Sara - I kind of followed them around for about a year...well, it was convenient. They played in Windsor and then London and then I moved to Peterborough and they played at the coffee shop I attended near daily, The Only. So, there you have it. I was a huge fan a few years back (eight!) and I still get all their new stuff and still enjoy it.
Georges: "I don't do anything to lose." Really? Who does? I wonder what type of deal he had with Debbie Travis. She apparently got him back by voting out her book. His book wasn't that great. It was good enough to make it to the top five - apparently - and she should be happy. She should be happy.
Debbie: "I'm an ordinary person who enjoys a good read." She's owning that it's not about her or the other people on the panel - it's really about the books. If it's all about the books, Debbie, how come you didn't finish all the books? She didn't finish the book and she didn't vote it out. Why? Thank you Jian. Thank-you for asking her. And thank-you Debbie for finishing the book last night. I'm glad you heard what we were saying. She's comparing The Best Laid Plans to The Birth House. I'm not sure where she's going with this. WHAT? I don't get it. People clapped, but I don't understand.
Sara: "Everything that's being said, no one is trying to mean, no one is trying to be cruel." I'm pretty sure she's talking about the response Canada is giving and the panelists themselves. Good point to bring us back to reality. I'm pretty sure we're all being respectful. She might be worried about how the other panelists are feeling. Interesting for sure.
Ali: "This is a call to action...in support of the book." I think he's living in the clouds a bit. He thinks that people will go out to look for their Angus McClintock. I don't know if there really is someone out there like that. I would love for there to be someone like that and vote for them...even in the book, he only got in because of a giant scandal. People didn't vote him in.
Lorne: "I love the passion everyone has for books." I now realize I MUST be more IN to Twitter. I have an account, but I don't think I want to spend my time tweeting. This is something I believe could really take over my reality. I must remain more connected to my reality...not the reality out there in cyber-space.
The First Debate:
1. The Birth House: Hasn't been mentioned much. Why not?
Lorne believes this is a folk story being told and he liked the medicine in the back of the book. He also believes it is too regional. He didn't feel that he could relate to it being from the prairies.
Georges believes this book empowers women. Right on, Georges. He doesn't believe that this book speaks to men. He might be right. However, men need women and women need men. If everyone read it - everyone would understand how much men and women have changed and have not.
Debbie has heard from the author saying she's been getting feedback from people who are now going into midwifery and nursing after reading this book - after reading a BOOK. Awesome.
Ali: He enjoyed the book. He was enveloped by it. He would like to see it in movie format. He loved Dora - believes she is an everyman. She has everything against her and she's making it work and it's inspirational.
Sara : She didn't feel invested. To be fair, she was asked, 'what didn't work for you in TBH?'. She wasn't as moved by the book.
2. Unless: This book is a feminist polemic, it doesn't relate to today. What's the question? Did I miss it? Lorne says that women are not being listened to and not heard like yesterday.
Sara: she turned the story to talk about how TBLP has a feminist voice like all the books.
JIAN hear my cry - cut them off! CUT off Debbie Travis when she talks too much. If you really want the debate to go as you laid out - YOU HAVE TO cut them off. You do. Debbie, I hear your passion, but all debaters deserve to be heard. When you talk to much, people get all annoyed with the book. You are speaking for a book with passion, but you can be off-putting at times. Okay, for me because I love the book you are pulling for and I'm getting annoyed. Only because I talk too much and put people off too sometimes. I'll own it.
BOOK THREE VOTED OUT? LORNE why did you vote for TBH? Sara? Seriously? What the hell? Now it's down to the two best books in the entire competition and there you have it. I think Jian should have been the one to take out a book in the case of a tie. Of course Debbie is NOT going to vote for her book to be taken out. Carol Shields', Unless has been voted out.
The Second Debate:
DEAR LORD hear my prayer - Please let The Best Laid Plans to be voted out.
1. TBLP - talks about how he was ignored by EVERYONE and had to self-publish. He won the Stephen Lecock award and then got published. I wonder why he was ignored...hmm...Okay, I don't wonder that much.
Sara: She doesn't think success or lack thereof matters in the end if a book should win or not win. We should pick something we believe is great.
Lorne: He doesn't think we should vote based on the success of a book and if it should win.
Debbie: She thinks an essential book should be gripping and TBLP didn't grip her at all. She thinks that either book could win and it would be great.
Ali: He believes that the story behind the story relates to the book he's campion'ing.
I don't like TBLP. I don't like it. I have a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach that The Best Laid Plans will win. I hate it.
Georges: He believes that TBLP is better because it is more current and TBH is not. Frick off, seriously.
Sara: She doesn't believe that the books will inspire anyone. I think TBH will have a great impact on young women to be inspired to do midwifery and nursing.
2. Which of the books would you recommend to someone you love (Valentine's Day): Lorne said he would give TBLP to his brother or some crap like that...sorry, I'm annoyed. Sara said she would gift TBLP to her dad - whatever. Georges said he would give TBLP to someone because of love and the letters that Angus wrote to his dead wife - whatever.
Ali: TBLP made him laugh and cry. He thinks it will inspire people to vote and understand politics.
Debbie: Change begins at home and it is inspirational, TBH. It says you can make it and have a voice.
FINAL VOTE: I'm pissed. I can't believe The Best Laid Plans won this entire thing. I guess I shouldn't be surprised. It wasn't a great book at all. REALLY? Canada Reads, you need to make some changes. So, because MORE WOMEN read we are going to vote in a book so that we can ENCOURAGE more men to read. Why not actually listen to women who are reading and encourage that. I don't know. I can't really speak honestly about it right now. I'm living in an angry place. If more women are listening to the show - why are we, in this country, pandering to men? Here we go again, let's coddle the men of this country. How about we do exactly what The Best Laid Plans proved: Men will be held up and cradled by women. Women will train and teach men to run the country and take all the credit and sit back and relish in the success that MEN have in this country instead of WOMEN. I mean, Carol Shields' Unless is definitely alive and well - Women are only good - not great. That is the message I heard after this year's Canada Reads.