Tomorrow night I’m going to the MacEwan Book of the Year event featuring Michael Ondaatje. Not only will I be at an event with grown ups and out of the house after 7:00pm, I will also get to hear the iconic Canadian author read from his book The Cat’s Table and take home a signed copy. I hope it fares better than my last signed book (see the footprint incident.)
I have to tell you something, though. I’ve never read any of Ondaatje’s books. It gets worse: I started The English Patient but didn’t finish it. I am a book-finisher, so when I DNF, that’s pretty bad. I read the synopsis for The Cat’s Table and it sounds pretty far removed from The English Patient, so I want to give it a try. I’m still going to feel like a straight up poser at this event, though.
Here are a few more shameful CanLit Confessions. Please share yours!
1. I’ve only read two of Margaret Atwood’s books, and I only liked one of them (The Handmaid’s Tale, duh.) Surfacing was a little too out there for me, and her books are just not high on my list of priorities right now.
2. I hated Fifth Business by Robertson Davies. Yeah, I was forced to read it in high school, but I was also forced to read books that became favourites (CanLit classic The Stone Angel was one,) so I can’t use that excuse. I just read the plot summary over on Wikipedia and I think a reread is in order. I forgot about the “he wanted it so badly” part. That’s a killer line.
3. I hated The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz by Mordechai Richler. I was forced to read this in high school too. In fact, I often get Fifth Business and Duddy mixed up, which is pretty silly, now that I’ve read the plot summaries of each. No desire to reread this one though.
4. Until recently, I’d never heard of M.G. Vassanji. I just finished his latest novel The Magic of Saida. It was difficult to get into, and challenging to read, and brilliant, just brilliant. The guy has won two Giller Prizes. Where the heck have I been?
5. I’ve only read one of Alice Munro’s books. Too Much Happiness was so utterly devastating that I’m kind of scared to read more, though I know that I must.
6. I don’t understand all the fuss about Ann-Marie MacDonald’s Fall on Your Knees. I should have loved it. I wish I had loved it. I did not.
7. I have no clue how to pronounce Ondaatje. I guess I’ll just call him Mike.