This is probably the last time I’ll report on Canada Reads for this cycle because, like all past cycles, it’s going to end up more of a Canada Reads Prose contest. I realize there’s a poetry book on this longlist, but I have questions about the longlist in general. According to friends who have been on the shortlist before, they’re informed in December or so about their nomination. Further, it’s my understanding that the “contestants” (Sideshow Bob shudder) arrive having picked the book they want to defend. So what is this longlist? Who makes it? Is it a real thing or just a marketing tool trying to build suspense? The whole thing feels gross. Especially with these overly-broad and vague themes. “One book to bring Canada into focus?” What the actual fuck does that mean in the context of these books? That said, I’m glad if one extra person or two picks up Coles or Westhead or Belcourt because of this.