Saturday, September 22

Giller Fever

It's that time of year, the days are shorter, and cooler, the leaves on the trees are changing, the longlist of the Scotiabank Giller Prize has been released, which all add up to one thing. Giller Fever. What is Giller Fever? It's the undeniable urge to read all the books on the Giller Longlist. And I've, sadly (or is it happily?), caught it. In case you don't know here is the longlist below. Come back and I'll link up my reviews as I read the books.

The Longlist

Y - Marjorie Celona - My Review
Our Daily Bread - Lauren B. Davis - My Review
My Life Among the Apes - Cary Fagan
419 - Will Ferguson - My Review
Dr. Brinkley's Tower - Robert Hough - My Review
One Good Hustle - Billie Livingston - My Review
The Sweet Girl - Annabel Lyon
Inside - Alix Ohlin - My Review
Everybody Has Everything - Katrina Onstad
The Emperor of Paris - C.S. Richardson - My Review
The Impostor Bride - Nancy Richler - My Review
Ru - Kim Thuy - My Review
Whirl Away - Russell Wangersky - My Review

So, what exactly are the symptoms of Giller Fever.....

The first symptom: Looking at the list of books that were eligible for the longlist. For me it was reading the descriptions (all 142 of them) and creating a list of TBR books which was 73 for me, not including the Longlisted books. When I'll get to these books doesn't matter. But the list was well worth checking out. I found a whole bunch of Canadian Authors/Books I never heard of before. Sorry book shelves. (Click here to see the list of all the books that were eligible)

The second symptom: Upon learning of the longlist, hunting down the best options for obtaining and reading books. For me this included buying some of the books and getting myself onto the holds list at the library, before anyone else. This sort of worked. One book had no wait list, so I snatched it right away, but four of the books I had a hold on, came at once and two of are on order. So now I have a lot to read, and a lot to look forward to. And resist the urge to buying more books. Although one book I may still get the ebook copy of.

The third symptom: Avidly trying to read the longlist, before the shortlist is revealed. I'm trying to do this, although I don't think I'll actually get though the entire list from now until October 1. Unless I give up sleep. I've read two books, and am close to finishing two more. But that still leaves a lot of books to read. I've also been making my own predictions, for the shortlist. Originally I made my predictions based on the descriptions of the books which was:

1) Y - Marjorie Celona
2) Dr. Brinkley's Tower - Robert Hough
3) Everybody Has Everything - Katrina Onstad
4) Ru - Kim Thu
5) Whirl Away - Russell Wangersky

I also downloaded previews of all the books (that were available) of the books on my Kobo. After reading the preview for Y, I immediately bought it, and I'm looking forward to reading it. (Update, I'm almost half way through it and am absolutely captivated by it). Inside looks interesting and seems to have a similar themes to Good to a Fault, which wasn't a bad read. The Emperor of Paris also looks very promising, who I've also heard great things about in reviews. And 419 has also caught my interest. So now I'm trying to figure out who will appear on the shortlist, and of course win this year's prize, and I have to say, based on first impressions and reading experts from the books, I haven't a clue. I'm going to have to see how I feel once I finish a few more books. But I am looking forward to seeing who makes it to the shortlist.

Have you caught Giller fever? Have you read any of the books? What Are your predictions?


  1. I'm curious to read them, but in terms of fevers, I usually catch Canada Reads fever more so than Giller. I've been more than a little annoyed in the past few years that they put mostly non-Canadians on the Giller jury. What are your thoughts on that?

    1. Canada Reads is something I've recently discovered, and I was avidly checking my phone during the 2011, debates to see what happened during my lunch breaks. I didn't pay much attention last year, because of it being non-fiction. Hope they go back to fiction for 2013. As for the Giller judges, I choose to ignore that, as I was more focused on trying to figure out why they picked the books they did. Why those judges were picked. Although I'd prefer a Canadian award to selected and judged by a Canadian jury, it can be away to prevent bias opinion (or so someone sitting next to me tells me). This is the first year I've really focused on it. So I'll have to see how the jury does. I just would like more open interaction about the books, like with Canada Reads, I really want to know why the jury choose the books they did, over the 140+ that were eligible.

  2. That open interaction is what I like about Canada Reads, though I, too, hope that they go back to their original formula (only ditch the "celebrity" panel).

    1. I'd have preferred, if they choose to have a "celebrity panel", at least make it bookish celebrities.