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Canada Reads 2012

Jian Ghomeshi

Canada Reads 2012 is a wrap. Shad's choice Something Fierce: Memoirs of a Revolutionary Daughter was crowned the winner after four days of heated debate.

The Debates

The Canada Reads 2012 debates took place from February 6-9, 2012. They were livestreamed on CBC Books, broadcast on the radio on CBC Radio One and on television on CBC's documentary channel. The debates can be relived here.

The Canada Reads 2012 contenders were:

  • The Game by Ken Dryden, defended by Alan Thicke
  • On a Cold Road by Dave Bidini, defended by Stacey McKenzie
  • Prisoner of Tehran by Marina Nemat, defended by Arlene Dickinson
  • Something Fierce by Carmen Aguirre, defended by Shad
  • The Tiger by John Vaillant, defended by Anne-France Goldwater

The Public Campaign

From September 27, 2011, to midnight ET on October 14, Canada Reads asked for recommendations from readers, Canadian celebrities and people in the literary know.

The books had to be page-turners with captivating narratives, memorable characters and vivid prose. They had to be by Canadian authors, currently in print and available in English (original or translated). Titles had to be memoirs, biographies or literary non-fiction, and should be accessible to the general interest reader. Scholarly works, essay collections or reference works are not eligible.

Each recommendation counted as one point for the book. Each vote in the polls counted as a point for the book. Canadians could submit one recommendation and vote once in each poll.

The 40 books with the most support were named to the Canada Reads: True Stories Top 40. This list can be found here.

From the Top 40, the public voted for their favourite books (up to five titles), and the results will be used to name a Canada Reads: True Stories Top 10.

This Top 10 list was revealed on Tuesday, November 1 on CBC Radio's Q and on CBC Books.

This year's celebrity panel chose the titles they'll defend in the February debates from the Top 10 list.

The Canada Reads host

Jian Ghomeshi is an award-winning broadcaster, writer, musician and producer who was born in London, England, and is based in Toronto. He is the host and co-creator of the national arts and entertainment program Q on CBC Radio One and bold TV. Since its inception in 2007, Q has garnered the largest audience of any cultural affairs program in Canada and has become the highest-rated show in its morning time slot in CBC history.

Read Jian Ghomeshi’s full bio here.

Canada Reads history

Started in 2001, Canada Reads is CBC's annual battle of the books, where five Canadian personalities each select a book they want Canadians to read. They defend their chosen title in a series of debates, and the books are eliminated one by one until a winner is declared. The debates air on CBC Radio One, CBC TV and are livestreamed online through CBC Books.

In 2007, Canada Reads hosted an All-Star season. The winners from the previous five seasons returned with new picks to battle to for their second Canada Reads crown.

In 2011, Canada Reads celebrated its 10th anniversary by introducing a public campaign and a theme. Canadians around the world were asked to recommend the book they thought was the “essential Canadian novel of the decade.” The panelist chose their books from the 10 most popular titles.

Past Canada Reads debates can be checked out here.

Connect with Canada Reads

Find Canada Reads on Facebook, Twitter and GoodReads.

Still have questions? Email canadareads@cbc.ca.