Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Battle of the Books. . .

If you like a little bit of literary tussle, there are two fun competitions going on this week. Canada Reads on the CBC will have narrowed down its list of five books it thinks the country should all be reading, to one winner by Friday. If you can't get to the radio to hear the daily battle, That Shakespearean Rag is offering a recap and amusing commentary on how well the celebrities are defending (or not) their chosen books. I'm still rooting for Nikolski by Nicolas Dickner, translated by Lazer Lederhendler.

Over the border, the Morning News Tournament of Books has just gotten underway. Each day a different judge (they are bloggers, writers, critics) evaluates two books and picks the winner out of each. That book then goes on to a semi-final round against another book, and so on, until there is a winner. (There's also a Zombie round, where discarded books get a second chance). The list of books chosen is always a good one and the commentary by the judges is very astute and often quite entertaining. There is also commentary on the judges' choices. I'm particularly looking forward to the March 12th match-up when one of Lahring's favourite Diva picks, Burnt Shadows by Kamila Shamsie goes up against one of my favourite Diva picks, Richard Russo's That Old Cape Magic. Two completely different type of books - I can't imagine which will come out on top. You can follow the whole tournament here.

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