I was reminded of John's quest this morning when I noticed a Vancouver Sun article about the 2008 programs that will be aired next week.
The format, which produces an energetic, often heated conversation, stays the same: Starting Monday, five celebrity panelists will each bring a favourite work of fiction to the table. At the end of each day, one book will be voted off. The book all Canadians are urged to read in 2008 will emerge Friday.Perhaps the best news about "Canada Reads" is that those of us out of range of a CBC radio station will be able to listen in this year because podcasts are being produced for each of the daily segments.
This year, the debate can be heard on CBC Radio One at 11:30 a.m. or 7:30 p.m. In addition, it's being televised on the digital channel Country Canada (Cbccountrycanada.ca) and, for the first time, there's a podcast (see Cbc.ca/canadareads) so that, as Jansen says, you can follow the debate while walking the dog.Perhaps John shouldn't feel too badly about being left off the 2008 panel. It looks as if he's been beaten out by a Canadian astronaut.
This year, the wow factor will be provided by astronaut Steve MacLean, who will represent the novel Icefields, by Thomas Wharton. How often do you get to hear an astronaut muse about literature?Frankly, I think that the CBC is still missing a sure bet by not including someone like John on the show to debate his favorite Canadian book of the year. I doubt seriously that anyone chosen this year will exhibit the kind of passion that a true book lover like John would have shown.
But since I'm always a little bit irritated that I know so little about Canadian authors and what is happening in the book world north of the border, I'm going to try to make the podcasts work for me...maybe next year, John, maybe next year.