Tuesday, November 1, 2011 |
We held a public campaign to find out which memoirs, biographies and literary non-fiction titles Canadians want to see on Canada Reads: True Stories. Throughout the past few weeks, Canadians took up this challenge and nominated books for the Canada Reads: True Stories Top 40.
Then, we asked you to vote for your favourites on that terrific Top 40, to narrow the list down to the Canada Reads: True Stories Top 10. More than 20,000 votes were cast...and we now have our Top 10!
Here are the books:
The Boy in the Moon by Ian Brown
In this touching and candid memoir, Globe and Mail columnist Ian Brown writes about life with his severely disabled son Walker, who was born with an extremely rare genetic mutation. At eight, Walker is functionally autistic, unable to speak or swallow (he is fed through a feeding tube) and has a propensity for self-harm.
Cockeyed by Ryan Knighton
At 18, Ryan Knighton was told he was going blind. Sound depressing? Well, yes. But fortunately Ryan Knighton has a sharp sense of humour, and he makes Cockeyed a hilarious and touching coming-of-age story.
The Game by Ken Dryden
This 1983 insider's look at Canada's favourite sport is still held up as one of the defining books about hockey. Ken Dryden, a former goalie, chronicles his 1979 season with the Montreal Canadiens in this Canadian classic.
Louis Riel by Chester Brown
Chester Brown's 2004 comic biography of Louis Riel, the crusader for Métis rights and leader of the Red River Rebellion, isn't comic in the humorous sense (although it has its moments), but in its format: Chester Brown is a comic-book artist who has turned his inimitable style to a compelling moment in Canadian history. Not a graphic novel so much as a graphic history book, and one that transforms history into legend.
On a Cold Road by Dave Bidini
Former Rheostatics guitarist Dave Bidini made his transition to the writing world when this book, his first, was published in 1998. It's an account of the life of a touring Canadian musician. Bidini kept a diary while on tour with The Tragically Hip in 1996 (the Rheostatics were their opening act), and On a Cold Road is a mix of Bidini's own touring experiences and anecdotes from other Canadian musicians.
Paris 1919 by Margaret MacMillan
The international peace talks following the First World War, when American president Woodrow Wilson, British prime minister David Lloyd George and French premier Georges Clemenceau met in Paris for six months. Margaret MacMillan's chronicle of these tense days is "a blueprint of the political and social upheavals bedeviling the planet now," according to the New York Times.
Prisoner of Tehran by Marina Nemat
As a teenager, Marina Nemat was arrested and spent two years in a political prison in Iran after the Islamic revolution. This book is her memoir of those horrifying years in jail, where she was tortured and almost executed.
Shake Hands with the Devil by Roméo Dallaire
In 1993, Lt.-Gen. Roméo Dallaire went to Rwanda on what he thought would be a straightforward peacekeeping mission. He returned home a year later, shattered by his team's failure to stop the slaughter of 800,000 Rwandans. His book is an account of the events that turned him from a confident military leader into a man plagued by uncertainty after witnessing the worst of humanity.
Something Fierce by Carmen Aguirre
Carmen Aguirre's life was more eventful before she hit puberty than most people's lives ever get. Her family fled to Vancouver from Pinochet's regime in Chile when she was five, and only six years later, her mother moved Aguirre and her sister back to South America to join the resistance.
The Tiger by John Vaillant
A man-eating tiger is on the prowl in Russia! Really. Vaillant recounts this true story of a small, poverty-stricken village and the vicious Siberian tiger with a personal vendetta against the village poachers. It's a gripping thriller about the delicate relationship between two fierce predators: humans and tigers.
What's next, Canada? It's out of your hands now. The panelists are going to go over these books and choose the title they want to defend in the debates in February.
The panelists and their choices will be revealed on Q and at a live launch at CBC in Toronto on November 23 (which will be livestreamed right here on CBC Books). We hope you can tune in.
In the meantime, share your "perfect pairing" with us for a chance to win a Canada Reads: True Stories Top 10 prize pack.
Is there a Canadian celebrity who would be perfect to defend one of these Top 10 titles? Let us know who, which book they'd pick and why they're your perfect pairing in the comments below for a chance to win!
The deadline is midnight. ET on Sunday, November 19. We will draw for a prize pack every Monday morning. The complete rules and regulations are here. Good luck!