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Canada reads here

Jane and I had been planning to go to Lacy to grab a ton of tools for a couple weeks now, but only recently realized the day we’d chosen coincided with Canada Reads. As soon as I did, I emailed about tickets.

Even though we were 30 minutes late because of the murderous morning drive to Toronto, we made it into the studio with about 15 minutes to spare.

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Want more proof? See if you can spot us in the crowd.

It was pretty awesome and I have to say, day two confirmed my day one suspicion that Trent McClellan may be my fave panelist of all-time. Don’t get me wrong – I’m gunning for Two Solitudes (though I really loved February), but I appreciated his day one proclamation he’d be going with his gut and leaving behind all the strategies people usually employ to push their books through to the end. There have been too many years where panelists deliberately vote against amazing books just because they know how great the competition from them is.

Does no one care more about serving the people of Canada than satisfying their own competitive spirits?! Maybe* I’m being dramatic, but I love that all five of the defenders this year seem to be on board with the straightforward approach – open to discussion and changing their minds and voting on the up and up rather than according to some complicated reality tv show formula. I’m loving it.

*definitely

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The leaning tower of literature

Things are getting out of hand. We have three shelves, much taller and wider than me, full of books and stacked with books. There’s also a mountain of borrowed books beside said shelves. Recently I found five additional massive boxes of books in the basement (I knew I was missing some). There are books in the bathroom, books on the coffee table, books beside the bed and (I just realized while cleaning today) books under the bed.

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Fortunately, and I don’t want to jinx us before it’s happened but, I think we may be embarking on phase one of my dream this winter – built-in floor-to-ceiling bookshelves (dare I hope for a rolling ladder?). My only concern is that they will be immediately filled. At absolute least we’ll have five more books to add when next year’s Canada Reads rolls around.

Speaking of which, is anyone else following along? Only a few more days now…

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I initially started burning through them at a breakneck pace and then stopped to read Half-Blood Blues and The Jungle. Now I’m worried about catching up.

So far I think The Age of Hope is my fave, though I only just started Two Solitudes and I suspect it’s going to come out on top for me.  After that I have to finish Away (PS – why is Agent Scully on the cover of that Amazon copy?) which I actually started reading over the summer but couldn’t get into. Not that that necessarily means anything. In 2008 I found it tough to start The Outlander and put it off until the very last minute. It ended up being not only my number one of the competition, but one of my all-time favourite books.

Anyone else reading along this year?

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Up to my Elbows…

…in leather.

One piece of writing off in the email and though I’m sure that won’t be the last I see of it, that will be all for a couple days at least.

In the meantime, I have orders to catch up on – observe! A group of five flask covers – just sprayed and waiting for some highlighter.

A National Parks strap – freshly tooled and waiting for a triple coat of resist.

I also have a dog collar that doesn’t look like much right now, but you wait!

Please excuse. I’m off and running to Bryan Prince to pick up some books.  I’m stoked about all the panelists this year, particularly Sara Quin (who I find awesome) and Georges Laraque (who I find hilarious).

The Birth House is the only book I’ve read and, while I really liked it, I think Debbie Travis has already screwed herself and her pick by pitching it hardcore as A) something that will appeal strongly to female readers and B) something she’ll use to teach the male panelists a thing or two.

Wroooooong tactic. The competition is about finding the book that every Canadian should read. Debbie just shot herself in the foot by ruling out 50% (roughly 50%? I don’t know – I’m not StatsCan) of the population.

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DEADLINES

Up the wazoo!

It’s really a pretty awesome problem to have, but it means I probably won’t be posting anything until Tuesday.

It also means that once all this writing’s off my plate, I’m going on a reading bender with an assist from CBC. Hopefully it’ll be better than last year. 2009 was a fantastic year; 2010 was marginally exciting in that I only loved the two books I already knew.

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It’s an upset!

What an ending.

In other news, last night’s Crawl was a wet one. I completely forgot I had my camera with me until it was too late, so all of these are from The Brain at the end of the night. More Crawl than Art.

There is a little art by Christie Sealey – probably my favourite portrait of all time. It’s so beautiful and so sneaky! Oh it’s just a coffee-drinking Heather chilling in a stripe of stripped paint.

Enjoy!

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