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Canada Reads author Marina Nemat shows literary types can bring the drama

The opening day of debates for CBC’s annual Canada Reads competition was as full of leaked information and sour grapes as a finale of The Bachelor. First, book enthusiasts reprimanded resident blogger Terry Fallis (whose novel The Best Laid Plans won last year’s competition) for tweeting a spoiler—that Marina Nemats Prisoner of Tehran was the first book to be ousted. Then, Nemat published a blistering Facebook post in response to the elimination, writing that “Prisoner of Tehran was just voted off Canada Reads simply because it is the most popular in Canada according to the polls.” She added, “The judges seemed to be interested in winning only and not in which book actually has more merit. Very disappointing and irresponsible I think.” Yikes! We always thought the format of Canada Reads—in which celebrities like Alan Thicke and Stacey McKenzie defend their chosen book—allowed authors to rise above the debate and avoid looking petty. If only they would.