In the Ottawa Citizen on the weekend there was a Canadian booksellers list of the top books of the decade.
The source is a bit lacklustre (the major bookselling company in Canada, you know who I’m talking about), but I was still unjustifiable pleased to see that I had read eight out of the eleven (eleven?) top fiction books. The criteria for how the books were chosen further undermine the list: the works that most impacted booklovers. And that means what exactly? Well, the list was driven by the book’s impact and popularity. Um, what? Are people who read books but are not book lovers per se included here? How much is the bestseller list weighted, and how exactly would one measure impact?
I mean, I really did think The Time Traveller’s (sic) Wife was a good read, but I don’t think it belongs on the top (eleven?) of the whole decade. It’s a bit like the Tiger Woods story making the top stories of the decade, in the same sized type as September 11.
I didn’t do as well in the non-fiction sections of the list though a notable read was Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a great but really difficult book about a woman from Somalia; and Anne of Green Gables made the list of “Life-Changing Books”. I believe that category was compiled by surveying. Fair enough.
On a side note, did you know that Prospero is also a part of the Chapters Indigo umbrella? I was in the store on Bank Street before Christmas and noticed that all of the headings on the walls were exactly the same as those in Chapters. And then the cashier confirmed that I could indeed use my Chapters reward card at that store. Now you need to know that I really really want to buy my books at the independent book stores here in town, and I have two of great reputation within walking distance of my house, but I have just had poor luck finding what I was looking for in those stores. I do keep trying though because I think it’s important.
I would love to hear what you think of the list, and what you are reading too. Can this list be complete without any Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje, Jane Urquhart, Carol Shields, Wayne Johnston, or any other favourite of yours?
And one last thing – did anyone catch 18 to Life on Monday night on CBC? I thought it was cute and has some potential.