Canada Reads, Day 2: Watch the replay

Day Two show:


Emotions ramped up on the second day of Canada Reads, as the panellists debated aspects specific to the remaining books.


While the panellists were full of praise for the masterful writing of Lawrence Hill, some found the fantastical elements and plot of his novel The Illegal to be too simplistic and predictable. Vinay Virmani wondered if the book would have been more effective if it was a true story about refugees as opposed to a fictional future. Defender Clara Hughes countered that the fictional setting of the book allowed her to use her imagination and to "let go of everything."

"The place where this book is set in the future is where we might go," she said.

The conversation also got heated when it turned to the issue of how much it should matter when a book is primarily set outside of Canada, like The Hero's Walk by Anita Rau BadamiAdam Copeland, whose book Minister Without Portfolio was eliminated yesterday, agreed with Bruce Poon Tip that it is a factor, while Farah Mohamed and Vinay Virmani vehemently disagreed.

Other questions focused on the accessibility of Birdie's writing, and whether Bone and Bread, the longest work among this year's contenders, was overwhelming to read.

Here is the Day Two voting breakdown:

  • Vinay Virmani voted to eliminate Bone and Bread
  • Clara Hughes voted to eliminate Bone and Bread
  • Farah Mohamed voted to eliminate Birdie
  • Bruce Poon Tip voted to eliminate Bone and Bread
  • Adam Copeland voted to eliminate Bone and Bread
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    Bone and Bread by Saleema Nawaz has been eliminated from Canada Reads.

    "Look, I hope I gave it my best," said Mohamed. "I love this book, I love this author... she's a new author, I don't think you've seen the last of her. It's a book that ignited a feeling in me that I haven't had in a while, which is [about] really wanting to delve deeper."


    On Monday, Minister Without Portfolio was the first book to be knocked out of the competition. In a nail-biting and emotional decision, panellist Clara Hughes had to break a tie between Minister and The Hero's Walk, as each had received two elimination votes. Watch the Day One replay here.


    On the 15th edition of CBC's annual battle of the books, five Canadian panellists with very different backgrounds - and a shared fighting spirit - will champion novels that offer different takes on the same theme: starting over. The Canada Reads 2016 books are all about transformation and second chances, including stories of migrants, immigrants and others who are choosing - or forced - to make major changes in their lives.

    The 2016 contenders are:

  • Bruce Poon Tip, defending Birdie by Tracey Lindberg
  • Farah Mohamed, defending Bone and Bread by Saleema Nawaz
  • Clara Hughes, defending The Illegal by Lawrence Hill
  • Adam "Edge" Copeland, defending Minister Without Portfolio by Michael Winter (eliminated on Day One)
  • Vinay Virmani, defending The Hero's Walk by Anita Rau Badami



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