Where to start . . .

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So, the hard part came when I asked myself, “What book should be my inaugural choice?” I thought for a while about this – weeks, actually. I wanted my first choice to be a Canadian novel because I am quite partial to the Canadian literary scene. But how was I to narrow my choices? I scoured the pages of Quill & Quire for good recommendations (an oft-visited source used to determine my next book purchase) but, oddly, nothing seemed appealing. Then I thought of revisiting a favourite novel. However, I figured this approach was too biased to start a ‘book review’ blog.

Just a few days ago I was listening to the radio when one of my favourite radio specials was being discussed: CBC Canada Reads 2009. Canada Reads is an annual radio debate regarding five Canadian novels reviewed and discussed by a panel of judges. Over the course of a week the panellists narrow the five novels down to just one, and this one novel is labelled as the book Canadians must read this year.

“Ahhh! Perfect!” I thought. “How suitable it would be for me to read along with the panellists and other Canadians and determine my choice for the must read novel of the year.”

Given that one of my favourite novels, Lullabies for Little Criminals by Heather O’Neill, was a winner a few years ago, I am actively relying on the assumption that there will be at least one book of the five that I enjoy (gulp!). The five books are: The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill, The Fat Woman Next Door is Pregnant by Michel Tremblay, Fruit by Brian Francis, Mercy Among the Children by David Adams Richards, and The Outlander by Gil Adamson.

The one I’ll start with? Mercy Among the Children by David Adams Richards. There is no particular reason for selecting this novel first over the other four, other than it was the first one I found in the book store!

Anyway, here goes my reading . . . In the meantime, find yourself a book to enjoy too!