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What's more Can Lit than moose bookends?

For the first time in a long, long time, I’m making a new year’s resolution. And due to my love of reading and writing (as well as due to having a wonderful blog which I never get around to updating), I’m going to roll those loves together into a resolution that will be entertaining, will be educational, and, perhaps most importantly, will be something I can actually stick to through ’til the end of 2010. So, without further ado, my reading challenge resolution for 2010:

Read Canadian.

Okay, so maybe that was a bit of a long lead up for a rather simple challenge. There is only one key rule to my reading challenge this year, and that is that all the books I personally choose to read* must be written by a Canadian or have significant Canadian content. From Canadian classics I’ve never gotten around to reading,** to small-press gems from indie presses across the country, I want to show my love for all things Canadian, as well as gain further knowledge of the diversity of our nation’s written works. I’m a patriotic girl and a book-loving girl, so I figure I might as well combine the two for good rather than evil, right?***

Over the course of the next year, I hope to read a wide cross-section of Canadian books, and although I already have a huge to-read list (my to-read shelf on Goodreads is fast-approaching 800 books, and I’d wager that a sizable number of those are Canadian), I always love great personal recommendations. I want to read the best that Canada has to offer, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on that. I’m primarily a fiction lover, with a special love for short stories and YA, but I’d love suggestions in all areas, because although I plan on picking some books that are high on my to-read list, this challenge is also about broadening my horizons and stepping outside of my reading comfort zone every now and again.

So have at it! Suggest to me some of your favourite Canadian works both new and old, fiction and non-fiction. I already have plans to read this year’s Canada Reads picks, as well as many on the Canada Also Reads list. And if you’re not sure what to suggest just yet, feel free to comment along the way (maybe one of my new favourite reads will inspire you to recommend a related book!) or send me an e-mail.

To document my progress, I’ll be blogging right here at suzannegardner.ca. All reviews and commentary-related to the challenge will be posted on the blog’s main feed, which you can subscribe to here. I’ve also created a Canadiana Reading Challenge 2010 page which will feature a continually updated list of what I’ve read (with links to the reviews) and an archive of my commentary on the challenge. While I won’t be able to do a full review of each book, my goal is to write at least a few sentences on everything that I read, and longer reviews when time allows. I love writing reviews and I know that the only way I’ll improve my skills is to keep on writing them.

I hope you’ll all enjoy reading about my challenge as much as I’ll enjoy reading the challenge itself! Please feel free to suggest books to me whenever the mood strikes you, either in the comments, via e-mail, on Twitter, or wherever you might meet me in real life. Happy new year to you all and a very happy year full of reading!

* My reading challenge only applies to books I personally choose to read, meaning that books chosen for me to read by my book club or by any employer, are exempt.
** In other words, I’ll finally read a Margaret Atwood book.
*** I’m not actually sure how one would go about combining their Canada love and book love for evil. But it’s an intriguing idea. Suggestions?