This past month, five opinionated, successful artists graced the (web)pages of Book Fridge to participate in the first ever Newfoundland and Labrador Reads competition. Inspired by CBC’s Canada Reads, they each chose a book they thought each Newfoundlander and Labradorian should read, and the discussion that followed showcased a fine portion of the large, brilliant writership we have in the province. Check out the entire discussion below.
The five books were This All Happened by Michael Winter (Darcy Fitzpatrick), The Wreckage by Michael Crummey (Jamie Fitzpatrick), February by Lisa Moore (Ruth Lawrence), Hold Fast by Kevin Major (Joel Thomas Hynes), and Come, Thou Tortoise by Jessica Grant (Chad Pelley). After four weeks of debating, cursing, loving, and defending, Grant’s novel took the title.
Here’s what Chad had to say about the win: “Of course the tortoise won the race. It’s just how the fable goes, right? Jessica wrote a gem and I put a lot of thought into my answers. The other four books were fantastic hares, stallions and stalwarts, as were the arguments they were propped up on. Honestly, I write because Winter’s book stirred me into it. The other four writers are icons and influences beyond what you can imagine, I mean that: it’s not about “best and better” here, it’s about the fact that Jessica’s book is simply and admirably untouchable in a way that’s a pleasure to read. Picture fireworks: some burst tomato-red and others Christmas-green and some do a crackling machine gun noise you weren’t expecting. Every book has merit in the same way every firework packs its own punch, but Jessica Grant’s Come, Thou Tortoise is the whole show, start to finish. It’s every colour, pop, and bang.”
Thank you to Darcy, Jamie, Joel, Ruth, and Chad for participating, and making Book Fridge’s first Newfoundland and Labrador Reads a success.