Canada Reads 2014 Contenders Who will win the battle of the books?

Podcast: Debbie Travis takes us to The Birth House

Debbie TravisFor the next five weeks, we'll be offering you a sneak peek at this year's panel...how they'll prep for the debates and why they think their book should come out on top.

The first panelist we talked to was the Queen of Home Renovations and a pioneering force in the now popular TV makeover genre.

In her new CBC series, All For One, she fuses her design skills with her philanthropic bent.

You met her briefly on Monday when she introduced herself to the Canada Reads world via video.

That's right, design maven Debbie Travis will take the Canada Reads stage to defend The Birth House by Ami McKay. We're sure Debbie's creative flair and competitive spirit will be assets in this competition!

The Birth House takes place in rural Nova Scotia in the early 19th century, and follows the life of Dora Rare, a young midwife whose traditions are being challenged by the rise of modern medicine.

The Birth House may be rooted in the past, but Debbie Travis is confident it will resonate with readers today. Debbie joined us in the CBC studios in Toronto to talk about why she chose The Birth House, and what Ami's memorable tale tells us about history, community, gender and more. Have a listen to her conversation with Canada Reads associate producer Debbie Pacheco below.

The debates will air on February 7, 8 and 9 on CBC Radio One at 11 a.m. and again at 8 p.m. (2:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. in Newfoundland).

Join us next week, too, as we talk to Ali Velshi. He's championing The Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis.

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