CBC Reader’s Choice and One Cool Thing

Above All Things made the top ten for the CBC Scotiabank Giller’s Prize Reader’s Choice (that’s a mouthful)! Which is fun and exciting.

I know there are skeptics out there who think of this as nothing more than a popularity contest – who can stage the best Facebook campaign, who has the most friends – and there’s some truth to that. At the same time – as a writer – I want to take every opportunity I can to get my book to a reader who might not come across it otherwise. If I won’t do my best to get the book attention than why on earth would I expect my publicist or publisher or even book sellers to do it?

Does everything need to be democratised? Of course not. But this CBC contest won’t change the shape of the Scotiabank Giller Prize. And it is absolutely unfair to books that are coming out in the fall, like Miranda Hill’s short story collection, that the jury has had a chance to read, but the rest of us haven’t. Still it’s a way for books to get a little more press and a little more attention and that can’t be a bad thing. There are a few books in the top ten that I didn’t know about before, that’s for sure.

So – if you feel like it – head on over to CBC Books and vote for Above All Things. You can vote once a day if you want. Sure, there were lots of deserving books that didn’t make this list, but there are great books that did, like Aga Maksimowska’s Giant.

And One Cool Thing for the week: Last week I went hiking in the Adirondacks and managed to climb Mt. Marcy. She’s no Everest, but she is the highest peak in New York State and while my body felt good on the 10 hour hike, my feet didn’t. I was breaking in new boots in hopes they’ll be ready for a slightly larger adventure that’s being planned down the road and man did they do in my feet!

I tried a couple of combinations of moleskin and waterproof Band-Aids that ended up as rubbery globs in the bottom of my boot. Thankfully, though, I had just finished Cheryl Strayed’s Wild in which she sings the praises of New Skin. I bought a no-name bottle, slathered it liberally on my feet and voila – I could walk! I even managed another peak a day later.

I plan on carrying a bottle in my bag from now on for all those strappy sandals and high heels that look so good and hurt so bad.

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