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Introducing Canada Reads: True Stories

Fall is like Christmas for literary lovers. It's when big books are published and big awards are given out. It's also the time for the Canada Reads public campaign -- and this year, we are switching it up.

Welcome to Canada Reads: True Stories.


For the first time ever, CBCs annual battle of the books will focus on non-fiction. Canadian non-fiction is a rich and diverse genre (John Vaillant! Stevie Cameron! Chester Brown! Margaret MacMillan!), and we think it's high time that Canada Reads shines the spotlight on these great writers and their storytelling skills and five great non-fiction reads battle it out for the Canada Reads crown.

How will this work?

For the next three weeks, we are asking for great true story recommendations from readers, outstanding Canadians and people in the literary know. We'll round our favourite recommendations up on our Featured Recommendations page. Some recommendations and some award winners will be turned into polls, and you can vote on the titles you'd most like to see move on to the next round, the Canada Reads: True Stories Top 40. We will feature polls and reader recommendations almost every day, so be sure to keep coming back to stay up-to-date on all the Canada Reads action. The call for recommendations will close at midnight ET on Friday October 14 and the Canada Reads: True Stories Top 40 will be revealed on October 18.

Once the Canada Reads: True Stories Top 40 list is revealed, the public will vote for their favourite book, narrowing it down to a Top 10. This year's celebrity panel will choose the titles they'll defend in the February debates from the Top 10 list.

Are there prizes involved?

You bet! By recommending a book, you will be entered to win a weekly $50 Chapters/Indigo gift certificate. But that's not all! You'll also be entered to win the grand prize: a trip for two to Toronto to see the final Canada Reads debate live. Interested? You can find all the details here.

What kind of books are we looking for?

We want stories. Books that are page-turners with captivating narratives, memorable characters and vivid prose. Books so riveting you forget they are non-fiction. Books that introduce readers to a brand new world and bring them wholly into it. While we love the work that Canadian essayists, academics, chefs, decorators and self-help gurus do, those books aren't quite right. We want the final five to have stories that captivate the country.

They also have to be in English, in print and Canadian.

Are you ready, Canada? Submit your recommendations now!

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