Jian Ghomeshi talks Canada Reads: True Stories on CBC News Network

After revealing the Canada Reads 2012 contenders on Q and then again at a live event at the CBC Broadcast Centre in Toronto, host Jian Ghomeshi stopped by CBC News Network to provide the inside scoop on this year's books and panelists.


Jian Ghomeshi with the authors and panelists at the Canada Reads 2012 launch event (Tanja-Tiziana Burdi/CBC)

"We also have tremendously talented non-fiction writers and a great legacy of non-fiction work," Jian said, referring to the decision to explore non-fiction on Canada Reads for the first time ever. "Sometimes it doesn't get as celebrated as novels do."

Jian pointed to the exploding popularity of documentaries and reality television, as well as the contemporary political reality, as reasons for the growing interest in non-fiction.

As the host of Canada Reads, Jian will be the unbiased moderator of the debates in February, but he offered a sneak peek into what he thinks is going to happen. He said that Prisoner of Tehran, written by Marina Nemat and being defended by Arlene Dickinson, will "be difficult to argue for and argue against," given its serious and hard-hitting content. He described John Vaillant's The Tiger, being defended by Anne-France Goldwater, as "a really, really powerful book." And he praised On a Cold Road, which is being defended by Stacey McKenzie, as "classic Bidini," adding that "it is funny and it is gritty" — characteristics that make it a book to pay attention to as we head into the debates. As for Carmen Aguirre's Something Fierce, which will be championed by Shad, Jian feels that it's "particularly timely" because of the current political turmoil in different parts of the world. Finally, The Game, written by Ken Dryden and defended by Alan Thicke, is "the Canadian classic hockey book" and "one of the most celebrated sports books of all time."

So each book has its selling point, in Jian's view. Watch our well-read host's conversation with CBC News Network and find out more about his thoughts on this year's contenders below the jump!

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Which book will you be cheering for on February 6,7,8 and 9? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook or in the comments below!

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