Canada Reads 2014 vote for the top 10 here

Canada Reads 2011

Discover your next great read from the Canada Reads 2011 Top 40

For Canada Reads 2011, we asked the public to nominate books for the title of "the essential Canadian novel of the decade." The 40 books with the most nominations made the long list, and it's exciting, diverse and represents the......

forage by Rita Wong wins Canada Reads Poetry

CBC Books and the National Post celebrated National Poetry month by co-hosting Canada Reads Poetry, an online initiative inspired by Canada Reads and its spin-offs, including the National Post's Canada Also Reads. Over three weeks, five panelists champion five books......

Canada Reads Poetry: Vote for the winner!

The Canada Reads Poetry online debate took place at 2 p.m. ET on Wednesday, April 20! The books and panelists are: Forage by Rita Wong, defended by Sonnet L'Abbé Inventory by Dionne Brand, defended by George Murray Selected Poems by Alden Nowlan,......

Vote for the Canada Reads Poetry title you think should win

The books were chosen. The arguments were made. Now it's up to you, the public, to decide the winner. Cast your vote for which title you think should take the Canada Reads Poetry crown! The poll will be open until......

Canada Reads Poetry: Recommendation Round-Up

In yesterday's Canada Reads Poetry online roundtable, our panelists (and some commenters too!) got into the spirit of recommending great poetry reads. Below is a round-up of all the poets and collections suggested. This a a great start for anyone......

Erin Mouré discusses Sheep's Vigil by a Fervent Person

Canada Reads Poetry is a three-week online initiative presented by CBC Books and the National Post. Inspired by the original Canada Reads format, Canada Reads Poetry features five panelists defending five collections of poetry. That's where the similarities end; while......

Canada Reads Poetry: Sheep's Vigil by a Fervent Person by Erin Mouré

Canada Reads Poetry is a three-week online initiative presented by CBC Books and the National Post. Inspired by the original Canada Reads format, Canada Reads Poetry features five panelists defending five collections of poetry. That's where the similarities end;......

From the archives: Anne Carson's Lannan Foundation conversation with Brigdhe Mullins

Canada Reads Poetry is a three-week online initiative presented by CBC Books and the National Post. Inspired by the original Canada Reads format, Canada Reads Poetry features five panelists defending five collections of poetry. That's where the similarities end;......

Canada Reads Poetry: Nox by Anne Carson

Canada Reads Poetry is a three-week online initiative presented by CBC Books and the National Post. Inspired by the original Canada Reads format, Canada Reads Poetry features five panelists defending five collections of poetry. That's where the similarities end; while......

From the CBC archives: Dionne Brand speaks to Eleanor Wachtel

Canada Reads Poetry is a three-week online initiative presented by CBC Books and the National Post. Inspired by the original Canada Reads format, Canada Reads Poetry features five panelists defending five collections of poetry. That's where the similarities end; while......

Canada Reads Poetry: Inventory by Dionne Brand

Canada Reads Poetry is a three-week online initiative presented by CBC Books and the National Post. Inspired by the original Canada Reads format, Canada Reads Poetry features five panelists defending five collections of poetry. That's where the similarities end;......

Patrick Lane discusses Selected Poems by Alden Nowlan

Canada Reads Poetry is a three-week online initiative presented by CBC Books and the National Post. Inspired by the original Canada Reads format, Canada Reads Poetry features five panelists defending five collections of poetry. That's where the similarities end; while......

Canada Reads Poetry: Selected Poems by Alden Nowlan

Canada Reads Poetry is a three-week online initiative presented by CBC Books and the National Post. Inspired by the original Canada Reads format, Canada Reads Poetry features five panelists defending five collections of poetry. That's where the similarities end; while......

Rita Wong discusses forage and Canada Reads Poetry

Canada Reads Poetry is a three-week online initiative presented by CBC Books and the National Post. Inspired by the original Canada Reads format, Canada Reads Poetry features five panelists defending five collections of poetry. That's where the similarities end;......

Canada Reads Poetry: forage by Rita Wong

Canada Reads Poetry is a three-week online initiative presented by CBC Books and the National Post. Inspired by the original Canada Reads format, Canada Reads Poetry features five panelists defending five collections of poetry. That's where the similarities end;......

Introducing Canada Reads Poetry

CBC Books and the National Post are pleased to announce Canada Reads Poetry, a three-week online event coinciding with National Poetry Month. Inspired by the original Canada Reads format -- and mimicked last year by the Post's Canada Also Reads......

The Best Laid Plans podcast rewind

For the past few weeks we've been presenting a chapter-by-chapter podcast of the winner of Canada Reads 2011, The Best Laid Plans, read by author Terry Fallis. If you missed an episode or two, don't worry, you can find links......

Exploring The Best Laid Plans: Chapter 19

CBC Books is about conversation and community, which is why we want to explore the Canada Reads 2011 champion, The Best Laid Plans, chapter by chapter. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday we will release an audio version of one......

Canada Reads Poetry Live Chat

Join us for the Canada Reads Poetry online debate at 2 p.m. ET on Wednesday, April 20! The books and panelists are: Forage by Rita Wong, defended by Sonnet L'Abbé Inventory by Dionne Brand, defended by George Murray Selected Poems...... Read More »

Exploring The Best Laid Plans: Chapter 18

CBC Books is all about conversation and community, which is why we want to explore the Canada Reads 2011 champion, The Best Laid Plans, chapter by chapter. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday we will release an audio version of......

Exploring The Best Laid Plans: Chapter 17

CBC Books is all about conversation and community, which is why we want to explore the Canada Reads 2011 champion, The Best Laid Plans, chapter by chapter. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday we will release an audio version of......

Exploring The Best Laid Plans: Chapter 16

CBC Books is all about conversation and community, which is why we want to explore the Canada Reads 2011 champion, The Best Laid Plans, chapter by chapter. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday we will release an audio version of......

Exploring The Best Laid Plans: Chapter 15

CBC Books is all about conversation and community, which is why we want to explore the Canada Reads 2011 champion, The Best Laid Plans, chapter by chapter. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday we will release an audio version of......

Exploring The Best Laid Plans: Chapter 14

CBC Books is all about conversation and community, which is why we want to explore the Canada Reads 2011 champion, The Best Laid Plans, chapter by chapter. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday we will release an audio version of......

Exploring The Best Laid Plans: Chapter 13

CBC Books is all about conversation and community, which is why we want to explore the Canada Reads 2011 champion, The Best Laid Plans, chapter by chapter. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday we will release an audio version of......

Exploring The Best Laid Plans: Chapter 12

CBC Books is all about conversation and community, which is why we want to explore the Canada Reads 2011 champion, The Best Laid Plans, chapter by chapter. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday we will release an audio version of......

The Win a Visit from Terry Fallis contest winner revealed!

Hundreds of entries across the country came in for our Win a Visit from Terry Fallis contest. We learned about book clubs of all shapes and sizes. Some of you like to drink, some of you like to argue, some......

Exploring The Best Laid Plans: Chapter 11

CBC Books is all about conversation and community, which is why we want to explore the Canada Reads 2011 champion, The Best Laid Plans, chapter by chapter. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday we will release an audio version of......

Exploring The Best Laid Plans: Chapter 10

CBC Books is all about conversation and community, which is why we want to explore the Canada Reads 2011 champion, The Best Laid Plans, chapter by chapter. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday we will release an audio version of......

Exploring The Best Laid Plans: Chapter 9

CBC Books is all about conversation and community, which is why we want to explore the Canada Reads 2011 champion, The Best Laid Plans, chapter by chapter. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday we will release an audio version of......

Exploring The Best Laid Plans: Chapter 8

CBC Books is all about conversation and community, which is why we want to explore the Canada Reads 2011 champion, The Best Laid Plans, chapter by chapter. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday we will release an audio version of......

Exploring The Best Laid Plans: Chapter 7

CBC Books is all about conversation and community, which is why we want to explore the Canada Reads 2011 champion, The Best Laid Plans, chapter by chapter. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday we will release an audio version of......

Exploring The Best Laid Plans: Chapter 6

CBC Books is all about conversation and community, which is why we want to explore the Canada Reads 2011 champion, The Best Laid Plans, chapter by chapter. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday we will release an audio version of......

Exploring The Best Laid Plans: Chapter 5

CBC Books is all about conversation and community, which is why we want to explore the Canada Reads 2011 champion, The Best Laid Plans, chapter by chapter. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday we will release an audio version of......

Exploring The Best Laid Plans: Chapter 4

CBC Books is all about conversation and community, which is why we want to explore the Canada Reads 2011 champion, The Best Laid Plans, chapter by chapter. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday we will release an audio version of......

Exploring The Best Laid Plans: Chapter 3

CBC Books is all about conversation and community, which is why we want to explore the Canada Reads 2011 champion, The Best Laid Plans, chapter by chapter. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday we will release an audio version of......

Exploring The Best Laid Plans: Chapter 2

CBC Books is all about conversation and community, which is why we want to explore the Canada Reads 2011 champion, The Best Laid Plans, chapter by chapter. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday we will release an audio version of......

Exploring The Best Laid Plans: Prologue and Chapter One

CBC Books is about conversation and community, which is why we want to explore the Canada Reads 2011 champion, The Best Laid Plans, chapter by chapter. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday we will release an audio version of one......

Book clubs: Win a visit from Terry Fallis

Canada Reads-winning author Terry Fallis loves visiting book clubs. He even visited one the evening it was announced that his debut novel, The Best Laid Plans, was crowned the Canada Reads 2011 champion. We want to celebrate Terry's love of......

Terry Fallis on Fresh Air

If you and your book club want to tackle The Best Laid Plans, now is your chance! CBC Books is running a contest for book clubs across the country: win a visit from author Terry Fallis. The lucky book club......

Terry Fallis on The National

If you and your book club want to tackle The Best Laid Plans, now is your chance! CBC Books is running a contest for book clubs across the country: win a visit from author Terry Fallis. The lucky book club......

Brian Francis reflects on the noise of Canada Reads

It's been a scant two years since my book was on the Canada Reads list and I already feel like I'm a generation away from this year's debates. [In cranky elderly man's voice] "In my day, the public wasn't involved.......

Ali Velshi and Terry Fallis on Q

If you and your book club want to tackle The Best Laid Plans, now is your chance! CBC Books is running a contest for book clubs across the country: win a visit from author Terry Fallis. The lucky book club......

Day Three: The Best Laid Plans wins Canada Reads!

We have a winner!The Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis has been crowned the winner of Canada Reads 2011! You could win a visit for your book club from Terry Fallis! Become a CBC Books Member and enter to win.......

Day Two: The Bone Cage goes down for the count

Welcome to Canada Reads Day Two: Tuesday, February 8. The debate was streamed across the country at 10:06 a.m. ET. Sign up for an email reminder to join us Wednesday, February 9 at 10 a.m. for the final debate. A......

Day One: Essex County eliminated from Canada Reads

Welcome to the Canada Reads live stream and live chat for Canada Reads Day One: Monday, February 7. The debate was streamed across the country at 10:06 a.m. ET. Sign up for an email reminder to join us Tuesday, February......

It's showtime for Canada Reads!

Today, Canada Reads 2011 begins. Five panelists will battle for five books. But only one can come out on top. Are you ready to listen? Would you rather watch? How about watch and chat at the same time? There are......

Final words from the Canada Reads in-house defenders

Well, folks, here we are. On Monday morning, our steadfast Canada Reads defenders will turn the reins over to the celebrity panelists. From there, it will be three days of live, no-holds-barred fighting. So, as they say their goodbyes, the......

Podcast: Lorne Cardinal defends Unless

Our preview chats with panelists started on the East Coast. We've crossed the country to end with a panelist who makes his home on the West Coast, actor Lorne Cardinal. He's best known for his role as police officer Davis......

The Great Northwest explores the Canada Reads books

CBC's morning show in Thunder Bay, Ontario, The Great Northwest, decided to take the celebrity out of Canada Reads. They asked five ordinary people in the community to read this year's Canada Reads contenders. But there was a catch:......

Designer C.S. Richardson sheds light on the cover of Unless

Editor's note: We asked C.S Richardson, the man responsible for the cover design of Unless, to shed some light on why he chose such a simple design and what it says about the story Carol Shields chose to tell.  ......

Listen to resident blogger Brian Francis on Here and Now

Author Brian Francis has been sharing his thoughts on the Canada Reads contenders all season long. Who better to give CBC listeners the inside track on which book may triumph next week during the debates? Yesterday afternoon, Brian stopped by......

Brian Francis ponders Unless

At the Canada Reads launch, Carol Shields's daughter, Anne Giardini (who is also a writer), said that she had an interesting story about Unless and if people wanted to ask her about it, she would tell it to them. I......

Listen to the Canada Reads authors' Airplay interviews

Throughout the Canada Reads campaign, authors Jeff Lemire, Angie Abdou, Ami McKay, Terry Fallis and Anne Giardini (on behalf of her mother, Carol Shields) spoke to CBC regional stations across the country. Airplay is the afternoon show in Whitehorse.......

Anne Giardini reflects on Unless

Unless was published in 2002 when my mother, Carol Shields, was in the final stages of breast cancer. As the story of a daughter lost to her mother, Unless is a mirror of my experience — a daughter who has......

Homerun celebrates Jeff Lemire and the graphic novel

Can graphic novels be considered another form of literature? Or are they a unique genre that shouldn't be lumped in with the traditional novel? And what does the buzzworthy term "graphic novel" mean anyway? How is it changing the......

Meet actor Lorne Cardinal

Last week, we visited Essex County by Jeff Lemire. This week, we move from the country to the suburbs as we explore Carol Shields's Unless, which will be defended by actor Lorne Cardinal. One of Canada's most recognizable actors, with numerous......

The Canada Reads advice contest

Last week, we asked you which Canadian author you would most like to meet. The answers you sent in were as varied and diverse as the authors themselves! This week's winner is Bev Church. Bev chose a Canada Reads author, Terry......

The Canada Reads team offers advice

The Canada Reads team has stepped up to the plate to defend their chosen title every week. They're now experts on the subtleties of strategy, how to dodge punches (both metaphorical and physical) and what it takes to give it......

Listen to Fresh Air's Canada Reads panel

On Sunday, January 23, Mary Ito of Fresh Air talked to two of the biggest Canada Reads fans around. Mark Lefebvre is the manager of Titles Bookstore at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. Mark is not only a Canada Reads......

Listen to Island Morning's Battle of the Book Clubs

  Every year, Island Morning, the CBC Radio morning show on Prince Edward Island, hosts the Battle of the Book Clubs. Five book clubs across the province choose a Canada Reads contender to defend, and then share their thoughts with the......

Podcast: Sara Quin defends Essex County

There are only two weeks left until the Canada Reads contenders duke it our for the coveted title. Until then, we've got you covered, offering you a first look at this year's panelists, and how they plan to take down......

The Beguiling bookstore gives us the inside scoop on Essex County

Editor's note: The Beguiling, a comic book store in Toronto, is a long-time supporter of Jeff Lemire's career. We touched base with the shop's owner, Peter Birkemoe, and manager Chris Butcher, to find out their thoughts on Essex County cracking......

Brian Francis visits Essex County

There's a golden rule when it comes to writing; one that most writers need to be reminded of time and time again, regardless of what stage they're at in their careers. Show, don't tell. In a nutshell, the "show, don't......

Jeff Lemire gives us a tour of Essex County

It's been a while since I left Essex County. By that I mean both the fictional version of the place as well as the real Essex County where I grew up. Yet I keep getting pulled back. I finished writing......

Meet indie artist Sara Quin

Last week, we dove into The Bone Cage by Angie Abdou. This week, we turn our attention to Essex County by Jeff Lemire. We'll talk to his title's defender, Sara Quin, and hold a live chat with the author. It should......

The Canada Reads weekly contest: Who's your favourite Canadian author?

One of the favourite topics of conversation in the Canada Reads offices is our favourite bookish places: great places to read, our cherished library nooks, an undiscovered bookstore or friendly bookseller. Literary landmarks are all over this great country, so......

The Canada Reads team sizes up the competition

This week we asked the Canada Reads defenders to take the measure of their competition: who would be their chosen book's toughest opponent in the debates? All were equally respectful of their rivals, but they certainly had different notions of......

Podcast: Georges Laraque makes a splash with The Bone Cage

The countdown to Canada Reads is on. We're less than a month away to the battle of the books. We visited Nova Scotia with Debbie Travis. She's championing The Birth House by Ami McKay. We climbed to the top of......

Editor Suzette Mayr and designer Ruth Linka on The Bone Cage

Editor's note: We wanted to dive a little deeper into how Angie Abodu's The Bone Cage came together, and its editor, Suzette Mayr, and its designer, Ruth Linka, were kind enough to talk about how they helped shape Angie's manuscript......

Brian Francis gets into The Bone Cage

I think Angie Abdou deserves a gold medal for The Bone Cage because she managed to achieve something I never thought possible. She made me feel like a jock. I've never been much of an athlete. The closest I ever......

Angie Abdou on embracing her 'inner dumb jock'

I hear people talk about embracing their inner book geek, but there's nothing inner about my book geek. I've long made a full-time living out of loving books and encouraging others to do the same. What I've had to work......

Meet former NHL tough guy Georges Laraque

Last week, we looked at Terry Fallis's The Best Laid Plans here on the Canada Reads site. This week, we're moving from the political ring to the athletics arena, as we turn our attention to Angie Abodu's The Bone Cage.......

The Canada Reads literary places contest

Last week, the Canada Reads debaters revealed their favourite characters from this year's novels. This inspired us to turn the tables and ask you: who is your favourite fictional character? Everyone from venomous villains to handsome heroes got a vote......

The Canada Reads team chooses their favourite scenes

The Canada Reads defenders are back this week, this time ready to declare their favourite scenes in their chosen books. From hovercrafts to healers, each scene is as striking and memorable as the last. How this team chose a favourite,......

Podcast: Ali Velshi talks The Best Laid Plans

As this year's Canada Reads debates draw closer — have you circled February 7, 8 and 9 on your calendar? — we're gearing up by putting the spotlight on each of the panelists. Last week, we caught up with Debbie......

Terry Fallis spins The Best Laid Plans playlist

Editor's note: We asked Terry to share five songs that he feels are most in tune with The Best Laid Plans. This is his response! A Good Song by Valdi This is a wonderful and largely forgotten song written by......

Brian Francis tackles The Best Laid Plans

I was watching an entertainment show the other night and saw a story most of you may be familiar with by this point. A homeless man from Ohio with a velvety radio voice has become an overnight sensation (a phrase......

Terry Fallis on how his best laid plans turned out better than planned

My best laid plans for my first novel did not unfold as... umm... planned. The idea had been to write a hilarious yet tender side-splitter of a manuscript, send it out to a raft of agents, then sit back and......

Meet CNN broadcaster Ali Velshi

Last week, we looked at Ami McKay's The Birth House here on the Canada Reads site. This week, we're going from small-town gossip to big-time politics as we turn our attention to The Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis. We'll......

The Canada Reads favourite character contest

Last week, we wanted to know about your literary resolutions and did you ever come through! Many people resolved to read more, whether it was more Canadian books, more non-fiction, more genre books or just more in general. And many......

The Canada Reads team explores their favourite characters

Before the holidays, we had members of the Canada Reads team each pick a current contender to defend. They explored their chosen title's first impressions, essentialness and Canadianness. Now it is 2011 and the team is back in action. The first......

Podcast: Debbie Travis takes us to The Birth House

For 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......

Inside The Birth House: From design concept to cover

Editor's note: Back in 2006, when The Birth House was originally published, Ami McKay interviewed the talented designer behind the beautiful cover of her book, Random House's Kelly Hill. Ami was kind enough to let us reprint that interview below.......

Brian Francis moves into The Birth House

"We change, whether we like it or not." Ralph Waldo Emerson   Halifax underwent great change after the Halifax Explosion, an event that figures in Ami McKay's The Birth House. Image: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division   It's......

Kitchen ghosts and a birth house

My house stands at the edge of the earth. Together, the house and I have held strong against the churning tides of Fundy. Two sisters, stubborn in our bones. Ami's home in Scots Bay during restoration work Just over a......

Meet design maven Debbie Travis

Greeting the new year is doubly exciting for the Canada Reads team, because it means we're edging closer to the debates. We can't wait to get our panelists in the ring and see what happens! In the meantime, there's plenty......

The Canada Reads resolution contest

We were full of the festive spirit last week and wanted to know which Canada Reads panelist you'd like to have over for dinner. These panelists are all lively people and any one of them would pack a punch (some metaphorically,......

Listen to the Canada Reads 2011 authors on The Next Chapter

Shelagh Rogers interviewed each of the Canada Reads 2011 authors for The Next Chapter. These interviews aired weekly from November 29, 2010 to December 27, 2010. Ami McKay talked about how her own home inspired the story that would becomeThe......

Debbie Travis and Ami McKay on Canada Reads launch day

With the holidays upon us and a New Year on the horizon, this week at Canada Reads has been dedicated to revisiting video highlights of our launch event on November 24, when host Jian Ghomeshi introduced the panelists and the authors to a......

Ali Velshi and Terry Fallis at the Canada Reads launch

This is the time of year when it's customary to review the highlights of the past 12 months and trot out "best of" and "worst of" lists in various categories. This week at Canada Reads, we've put together our own look back: we're posting video......

Lorne Cardinal and Anne Giardini on Canada Reads launch day

This holiday week, kick back and relive the highlights of our live launch, which took place on November 24. Jian Ghomeshi hosted the event, which featured all the players at the CBC Broadcast Centre in downtown Toronto. This year's......

Georges Laraque and Angie Abdou on Canada Reads launch day

Lots of great Canada Reads material is still to come in the New Year. But this holiday week, we're taking a look back at some video highlights of the campaign. We hope you enjoy this encore viewing! On November 24,......

Sara Quin and Jeff Lemire on Canada Reads launch day

We'll be rolling out lots of exciting Canada Reads material in the weeks to come. But this holiday week, as the end of the year approaches, we're taking the opportunity to revisit some highlights. On November 24, this year's Canada......

The Canada Reads dinner party contest

Last week we asked you to tell us which Canada Reads book was most "Canadian." It's a topic that comes up time and time again in Canadian literature, so it's always interesting to see how readers define what makes a read......

Terry Fallis's gift guide

We asked our Canada Reads authors to share what they'll be giving their friends and family this holiday season. Here's hoping it will inspire a few last-minute buys — or Boxing Week splurges — for you and your loved ones!......

Jeff Lemire's holiday gift guide

We asked our Canada Reads authors to share what they'll be giving their friends and family this holiday season. Here's hoping it will inspire a few last-minute buys for you and your loved ones! Today's gift guide was compiled by......

Taking the Canada Reads challenge

Since I haven't read any of this year's Canada Reads titles before, I've been questioning what I would have assumed about each book if I came across it in a bookstore. In other words, outside of the Canada Reads context.......

Ami McKay's holiday gift guide

We asked our Canada Reads authors to share what they'll be giving their friends and family this holiday season. Here's hoping it will inspire a few last-minute buys for you and your loved ones! Today's gift guide is from Ami......

Angie Abdou's holiday gift guide

We asked our Canada Reads authors to share what they'll be giving their friends and family this holiday season. Here's hoping it will inspire a few last-minute buys for you and your loved ones! First up: The to-give items on......

The weekly contest goes Canadian

Last week we asked you to name your dream book and panelist combo and we got some great responses! Don Cherry, Stephen Harper and Sarah MacLachlan all made appearances on the list as panelists and the book picks ranged from......

Which book is the 'most Canadian'? The Canada Reads team weighs in

Whenever the Canada Reads debates roll around, the topic of which book is the "most Canadian" always comes up. And why not? Canada Reads is a Canadian show asking Canadians to read a book by a Canadian selected by a......

Carol Shields' daughter Anne Giardini talks about Unless

Canada was Carol Shields' adopted country, but she rose to become one of our most beloved literary figures. Shields was born in Oak Park, Illinois. She moved to Canada at the age of 22, where she spent most of her......

Meet Carol Shields' Unless

Listen: In the clip below, Carol Shields' daughter Anne Giardini reads from Chapter 5 of Unless. In this scene Reta recalls the history of the house where she raised her family and speculates about the mother who lived there......

Holiday shopping with a little help from Canada Reads

The other night, I decided to get in a little Christmas shopping and headed to my local Chapters. The store was packed with a line-up that snaked around the corner, which, as a shopper, frustrated me. But, as a writer,......

Jeff Lemire talks about Essex County

Jeff Lemire's Essex County consists of three interconnected graphic novels (a Canada Reads first!) — Tales from the Farm, Ghost Stories and The Country Nurse. Centred on the lives of three characters who are loosely connected — a boy being......

Meet Jeff Lemire's Essex County

Listen: In the clip below, author Jeff Lemire reads from a bonus story from Essex County. The Essex County Boxing Club explores the history of one of Essex County's most beloved pastimes: boxing. The fighting farmers turn into a local legend when their little......

Introducing the Canada Reads weekly contest

We've got plenty of prize packs to give away and we're ready to do just that, starting right now! Every week, we'll pose a question. If you answer it, you'll be entered in a draw to win a set of......

The Canada Reads team debates the 'essentialness' of their chosen books

The theme of this year's Canada Reads campaign was finding the "Essential Canadian Novels of the Decade." Given the theme, the final five were very surprising. Only one is a major award-winner (The Best Laid Plans won the Stephen Leacock Medal......

Ami McKay talks about The Birth House

The Birth House is set in rural Nova Scotia nearly a hundred years ago, but this remarkable story didn't find its way onto the page until an aspiring American writer, Ami McKay, relocated from Chicago to Scots Bay, Nova Scotia, to be with......

Meet Ami McKay's The Birth House

Listen: In the clip below, author Ami McKay reads from Chapter 26 of The Birth House. On December 6, 1917, Halifax was devastated by an explosion (you can learn more about this real-life event on the CBC's commemorative page). Dora and her......

Where fiction and fact meet, and the Canada Reads books

"How much of your book is true?" This is a question that most writers will face at some point in their careers. I think it goes without saying that if someone reads a book and likes it -- or loves......

Terry Fallis talks about The Best Laid Plans

If there is a Cinderella story in this year's Canada Reads line-up, it would have to be Terry Fallis. His book, The Best Laid Plans, had a rocky start — it was ignored by literary agents and Terry had to......

Meet Terry Fallis's The Best Laid Plans

Listen: In the clip below, author Terry Fallis reads from Chapter 2 of The Best Laid Plans. In this scene, former political speechwriter Daniel Addison has decided the answer to his get-out-of-politics prayers is his new landlord, engineering professor......

First impressions: The Canada Reads team on their contenders

Last week, we meet those from the Canada Reads team tough enough to stand up for their favourite contenders. This week, we asked them to share their first impressions of their chosen novel and what, if anything, surprised them, delighted......

Meet Angie Abdou's The Bone Cage

Listen: In the clip below, author Angie Abdou reads from Chapter 9 of The Bone Cage. In this scene, aspiring Olympic wrestler Digger Stapleton has one more match to win before he can qualify for the 2000 Games in......

Behind the scenes with a former Canada Reads panelist

Jen Sookfong Lee was my book's defender on Canada Reads 2009. She was smart, articulate, funny and passionate. In short, my dream defender. I wanted to get her perspective on her Canada Reads experience and also her thoughts about this......

BookNet Canada explains the 'Canada Reads effect'

Everyone says that being named a Canada Reads books affects sales. National recognition, instant acclaim, skyrocketing sales, Canada Reads is up there with the Scotiabank Giller Prize when it comes to shaking up the CanLit landscape. (We're not quite in......

Book bloggers weigh in on the Canada Reads final five

  There was a lot of conversation surrounding this year's Canada Reads campaign, both on and off our website. We love when people get into the spirit of Canada Reads and take to Twitter, Facebook and their personal blogs to......

Members of the Canada Reads team go to bat for their fave contender

Here at the Canada Reads office, we get into the competitive aspect of the debates. Really get into it. Bets are made, hands are shaken, trash talk ensues — nothing is off limits when bragging rights are on the line.......

What a week at Canada Reads!

Wow, what a whirlwind it's been. The secret is out and now the world knows who the panelists are and what books they chose to champion. We're thrilled with the calibre of panelists we have stepping up to bat this......

An open letter to the Canada Reads 2011 authors

(With the announcement of this week's Canada Reads finalists, I thought I'd use this week's space to write a letter to the five authors. Unfortunately, I can only address it to four, as Carol Shields is sadly no longer......

Meet the Canada Reads 2011 contenders

Ali Velshi defends: The Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis The book: The peccadilloes of Parliament Hill's political animals are the subject of The Best Laid Plans, Terry Fallis's hilarious first novel, which won the 2008 Stephen Leacock Medal......

Preparing to launch: The Canada Reads 2011 panelists and books are on deck!

First there were 40. Then 10. Soon it will be down to the final five. On Wednesday, November 24, we'll reveal the five books chosen for the Canada Reads 2011 debates and their five celebrity defenders. Who could it be?......

10 for the Top 10: Yann Martel answers the Canada Reads Questionnaire

Life of Pi brings to life the unforgettable journey of Pi, a 16-year-old boy whose family is taking their zoo from India to Canada. Disaster strikes and Pi does whatever he can to survive. Martel weaves together science and religion,......

10 for the Top 10: Ami McKay answers the Canada Reads Questionnaire

Ami McKay is now an author synonymous with Atlantic Canadian fiction, but this former music teacher grew up in Indiana and spent many years in Chicago before she followed love to the Bay of Fundy. There, she penned her phenomenal......

Canada Reads looks back at Eleanor Wachtel's conversation with Carol Shields

We've been getting to know the authors of the Top 10 by posting their responses to the Canada Reads Questionnaire. Sadly, Carol Shields, author of Unless, died in 2003, so we're taking a different approach to introducing this celebrated,......

10 for the Top 10: Jeff Lemire answers the Canada Reads Questionnaire

Essex County (the book) introduces people to Essex County (the place) across three generations and explores how the place and its people, and the relationship between the two, change over time. If Essex County makes the final five, it will......

10 for the Top 10: Lawrence Hill answers the Canada Reads Questionnaire

I think it's safe to say that The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill has been the biggest Canadian book of the decade: winner of the 2008 Commonwealth Writers' Prize for overall best book and 2009 champion of Canada Reads;......

'Getting it' with Canada Reads

Image by Caitlinator. Licensed via Creative Commons "I didn't get it." "Did you get that?" "I totally got that." "What was I supposed to get?" The question of "getting it" is unavoidable in life, especially when it comes to......

10 for the Top 10: Terry Fallis answers the Canada Reads Questionnaire

When Terry Fallis, a communications strategist, set out to become a published author, he shopped his manuscript to plenty of publishing houses — but they all turned it down. That didn't stop him, and he started podcasting (for free!) his......

10 for the Top 10: Zoe Whittall answers the Canada Reads Questionnaire

"The cockiest, brashest, funniest, toughest, most life-affirming, elegant, scruffy, no-holds-barred writer to emerge from Montreal since Mordecai Richler" (as described by the Globe and Mail) is none other than Toronto's Zoe Whittall. This Quebec born-and-raised poet caught critics' eyes when......

10 for the Top 10: William Gibson answers the Canada Reads Questionnaire

In 1984 William Gibson published his groundbreaking first novel, Neuromancer, and revolutionalized the world of science fiction. Widely considered "the archetypal cyberpunk work," it brought Gibson mainstream recognition, as well as accolades and awards from his sci fi peers, and......

10 for the Top 10: Angie Abdou answers the Canada Reads Questionnaire

We've got a few days before the panelists make their picks and we reveal who they are and what they chose! (November 24 on Q, to be exact.) In the meantime, we thought it would be nice for the Top......

Losing control with the Canada Reads Top 10

Fiction writers, for the most part, spend the better part of their working lives in controlled environments. By that I mean their primary job is to create (or re-create) believable worlds. Lawrence Hill transports you into the past in The......

Meet your Canada Reads Top 10

Our Top 40 is now a Top 10. We asked you to vote for the books you most wanted to see on Canada Reads — the Essential Top 10 Canadian Novels of the Decade, if you will. What you gave......

Fun on the Canada Reads Top 10 campaign trail

The Canada Reads Top 10 vote inspired some silly and serious online chatter. We had tons of fun following the conversations and creativity online and wanted to share some of the best goodies with you. Goodie # 1: Cake! Top......

Time is running out: Get your Canada Reads Top 10 vote in!

This is your last chance to have your say, Canada! The voting for the Canada Reads Top 10 Essential Canadian Novels of the Decade closes on Sunday, November 7, at midnight ET. One vote per person. The race is a......

Exploring the Canada Reads Top 40: The big(ger) players

Looking to vote on the Canada Reads Top 40? You can do that if you click here! Well, here we are. We've come to the end of a week of briefly introducing each novel on the Canada Reads Top 40.......

Exploring the Canada Reads Top 40: The independents have their day

Looking to vote on the Canada Reads Top 40? You can do that if you click here! Today, we're going to look at the Top 40 titles that fit the category of "independent" — whether they were published by a......

Exploring the Canada Reads Top 40: Historical fiction for here and now

Looking to vote on the Canada Reads Top 40? You can do that if you click here! Canadian literature and historical fiction often go hand in hand. Some of the best Canadian novels look to the past — as do......

The (Canada Reads) life of Brian: Reflections on the Canada Reads Top 40

For a number of years, I worked in the marketing department of a magazine. One of the magazine's most popular issues (with readers and advertisers alike) was its annual Readers' Poll. The issue featured the public-chosen winners in a variety......

Exploring the Canada Reads Top 40: Through eastern eyes

Looking to vote on the Canada Reads Top 40? You can do that if you click here! Our Top 40 is all over the map (literally!), with authors representing nearly every region from coast to coast to coast. However, the......

Exploring the Top 40: The Canada Reads contenders

Looking to vote on the Canada Reads Top 40? You can do that if you click here! Over the next few days, we're going to briefly introduce the novels that made the Canada Reads Top 40 — provide a stats......

The verdict is in: The Top 40 revealed and your chance to choose the Canada Reads Top 10

Canada has spoken! We asked you for your nominations for the Top 40 Essential Canadian Novels of the Decade and did you ever answer. Canadians around the world sent in their suggestions through our recommendation form, e-mail, Facebook and Twitter.......

The Canada Reads Top 40 list is just around the corner

Jian Ghomeshi will be making an exciting announcement today — he'll introduce the Top 40 list of essential novels of the past decade as chosen by YOU. Catch that Canada Reads' breaking news on Q (CBC Radio One: 10-11:30 a.m.......

The (Canada Reads) life of Brian: Getting on the radar

Brian Francis is the Canada Reads 2011 resident blogger. His thoughts on Canada Reads will appear every Wednesday until the Canada Reads debates. Say hello to Brian Francis, the Canada Reads 2011 resident blogger! A recent post on the Canada......

Canada, we want YOU...again!

Yesterday, we gushed about your overwhelming response to the call for nominations for the Top 40 Essential Canadian Novels of the Decade. And we're going to gush again. We love you so much we want to play more with you.........

Top 40 deadline day: Vote before midnight and stay tuned for results

We sent out a call for nominations and, wow (!!), did Canada respond! Over the course of our three-week public campaign for the Top 40 Essential Canadian Novels of the Decade, we received thousands of nominations for hundreds of books.......

My Canada Reads includes Quebec fiction

Most of the fiction from Quebec that I've read in the past nine years has been connected to Canada Reads, whether I was being introduced to Nikolski or revisiting an already-loved book such as The Fat Woman Next Door Is......

Reader Recommendation Daily: October 25

Today is it. Get your recommendation in by midnight tonight to have your say! Our online form, Facebook, Twitter and the comments section below are all great options for expressing your opinion. But before you go, check out today's reader......

Reader Recommendation Daily: October 24

There's only one week until Halloween. Do you have your costume picked out yet? Maybe one of the reader recommendations below can provide you with some creative costume inspiration! Barbara Carter recommends: The Beauty of Humanity Movement by Camilla Gibb......

Reader Recommendation Daily: October 23

Happy Saturday! Let's get right to the reader recommendations, shall we? William Dechman recommends: Blackstrap Hawco by Kenneth J. Harvey An epic work. A wonderful mix of myth and historical fiction. Each chapter could stand alone as a short story.......

The Lam (Vincent Lam, that is) picks a lion

Canada Reads is still looking for that fabulous read you can't put down! The one you're dying to finish but don't want to end. We want you to help us find it — the essential Canadian novel of the last......

Reader Recommendation Daily: October 22

TGIF! It's been a busy week here at Canada Reads HQ, but an exciting one. Don't forget: the deadline for the top 40 has been extended to midnight on Monday, October 25, and the top 40 reveal will take place......

Canadian publishers make their recommendations for our Top 40

We asked a number of publishers from across the country to weigh in with their choices for our Top 40 essential Canadian novels of the past decade. You can also find more in the upcoming weeks at the Canada......

Top 40 contenders redux: The Governor General's Award finalists, 2001-2010

We've already looked at the Scotiabank Giller Prize nominees of the decade, now it's time to turn to the awards that are, arguably, the most Canadian of them all: the Governor General's Literary Awards. Given out annually since 1936,......

Michael Winter shines light on Newfoundland titles

What does Canada Reads have in common with Sherlock Holmes? We're taking on the role of super-sleuth, deciphering the clues you send us to find the essential Canadian novel of the last decade. Ok, so your suggestions don't need much......

Reader Recommendation Daily: October 21

Another day, another daily round-up! Check out today's fab 20 below! Lisa Dalrymple recommends: Amphibian by Carla Gunn Both Carla Gunn and her narrator, 9 yr old Phineas Walsh, are fresh unique voices in Canadian fiction. Funny, serious, and......

Librarians get their Canada Reads say!

Earlier this month, we featured fantastic videos by four librarians from the Edmonton Public Library pitching their Canada Reads picks. We loved them so much that we rounded up more recommendations from librarians across the country! Jane Pyper from the......

Mariko Tamaki's 'essential' reads are graphic novels

To be or not to be, that is the question. Well, not for Canada Reads. We're too busy for existential angst. We're searching for the must-read Canadian book of the last 10 years. Our key question is: what's your essential......

Reader Recommendation Daily: October 20

Have you been noticing any trends in the daily round-ups? Any surprises? Share your top 40 predictions in the comments below! And don't forget to have your day by nominating your novel of choice using our online form or via......

Reader Recommendation Daily: October 19

Can you believe there are only seven days left until we reveal the Top 40 Essential Canadian Novels of the Decade? if you haven't had your say yet, you'd better hurry up: use our online form or get in touch......

Author Jane Urquhart on the essential Canadian novel of the decade

Is it on your bookshelf? Standing by on your bedside table? Canada Reads continues its search for the essential Canadian novel of the last 10 years, and we want to hear from you. What's your must-read book of the decade?......

More chart-toppers: The decade in bestsellers, part two: 2001-2005

Earlier this month, we looked at the bestseller lists from the past five years.Sure, being a bestseller doesn't necessarily make a book an "essential" read, but isn't it possible that a lot of "essential" reads became bestsellers? We think......

Reader Recommendation Daily: October 18

Another week, another 40-book library to give away! Congratulations to Michael Dawson! He'll receive 40 books courtesy of six great publishers: Cormorant Books, Fitzhenry & Whiteside, Goose Lane Editions, HarperCollins Canada, Invisible Publishing, Penguin Canada, Random House of Canada......

Reader Recommendation Daily: October 17

Is there a better way to spend a Sunday morning with a cup of coffee in hand reading some Canada Reads recommendations? I think not! Cynthia Andrew recommends: The Birth House by Ami McKay In The Birth House, Ami McKay......

Bookstores share their Canada Reads recommendations

October 16 is Independents' Day, a day where book lovers come together and celebrate their favourite independent book store. We wanted to celebrate by getting some bookstores in the on the Canada Reads recommendation action. Their choices are eclectic, exciting......

Reader Recommendation Daily: October 16

You're not here to read my ramblings, you're here for the reader recommendations. Behold below! Alexis Everitt recommends: Moody Food by Ray Robertson Voted one of CBC's top 10 Rock & Roll novels, Moody Food was a hilarious, rollicking novel......

Book bloggers offer their picks for the essential novel of the decade

At Canada Reads HQ, we've been busy taking in your nominations and looking across the country for recommendations from authors, publishers, and other industry professionals. Today, we bring you picks from the people who live, breath, and possibly eat books:...... Read More »

Reader Recommendation Daily: October 15

We're entering the home stretch for the Canada Reads open nominations. There are only 10 days left to get your recommendation in. Do so using our online form, or via Twitter or on Facebook. But first, be sure to read......

Edmonton Public Library wants you to watch, then read!

I have a huge crush on libraries. I always have. When I was in school, I spent loads of time at the various university libraries on campus (Killam, Law and King's all got great use) and at the Halifax......

Reader Recommendation Daily: October 14

Things are heating up in the race to the top 40! Several authors aren't taking any chances and have started campaigns of their own: Corey Redekop, author of Shelf Monkey, has a Facebook page dedicated to getting his novel on......

Canadian authors weigh in...

In our continued quest to find the essential Canadian novel of the last 10 years, we sallied forth and quizzed several authors at a recent event in Toronto. We figured they've read a few books here and there. Their responses......

Reader Recommendation Daily: October 13

Let's get right to it, shall we? Here's today's round-up of recommendations sent in by you! Cathy Ashley recommends: A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews It captures a keen sense of Canadian place — growing up in a small community......

Reader Recommendation Daily: October 12

Thanks to everyone who sent in a reader recommendation last week. The response was fantastic and we received more than 1,000 responses! With week one over, we have a 40-book library to give away and the lucky winner is...Nicole Dardarian.......

Giller: An 'essential' name for Canada Reads?

Ah, "essential." We here at Canada Reads HQ think a variety of factors should be considered when deciding whether or not a novel is an "essential" read, including public reception, personal opinion, critical acclaim and the Canada Reads "X" factor.......

Reader Recommendation Daily: October 11

Is everyone stuffed with turkey (or, as in my case, tofurkey) yet? What about reader recommendations? You better not be, because we've got loads more to roll out in the coming days, including the lovely list below! Amy Wilson......

Reader Recommendation Daily: October 10

Happy holiday weekend, everyone! Just because it's a Sunday doesn't mean we'll stop with the daily reader recommendations! Here we go, another fabulous 15 for you to check out: Lorie Mills recommends: The Birth House by Ami McKay A great......

Reader Recommendation Daily: October 9

It's a holiday weekend, but never fear! Reader recommendations aren't going anywhere. That's how dedicated I am to the Canada Reads cause! Below are 15 reader recommendations we've received in the last week. Louise Woods recommends: Bottle Rocket Hearts by......

Reader Recommendation Daily: October 8

Another day, another round-up of reader recommendations! Remember, each recommendation is worth one point to the book of your choice! Haven't sent in a recommendation yet? You can do so here!  Christie Dennison recommends: Elle by Douglas Glover This is......

A novel approach to Canada Reads this year

Last year I had a dream in which I was describing the five Canada Reads books to someone who hadn't read them, and doing so in terms of fruit — maybe my subconscious was crunching along with Brian Francis's......

Sell, sell, sell! The decade in bestsellers, part one: 2006-2010

We can't think about the essential novels of the decade without thinking about the best-selling novels of the decade. Sales certainly aren't the only indicator of critical success or cultural importance, but it's a pretty important one. It's one of......

Reader Recommendation Daily: October 7

Another day, another set of fabulous reader recommendations. What do you think? As always, share your thoughts with us on Facebook, Twitter or in the comments below! Anna Camara recommends: Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden Three Day Road......

Reader Recommendation Daily: October 6

Wow! We've been blown away by the submissions everyone has sent in. Canada is filled with passionate and informed readers and we want to share your recommendations with everyone else. Every afternoon, we'll be highlighting random reader recommendations on the......

Get out and vote: Defining 'essential' and adding past Canada Reads contenders to the mix

As you may know by now (and if you don't, you can catch up by reading yesterday's post), Canada Reads is looking for the essential Canadian novels of the past decade. But what makes a novel essential? Is it the......

Let the games begin! Canada Reads' 10th anniversary will explore the past decade in Canadian fiction

Can you believe Canada Reads has been around for 10 entire years? Ten years ago, I was an awkward high school student who captained my Envirothon team (don't ask) and was channelling my gangly limbs and sharp elbows into Nova......

The big 10... Canada Reads is set to celebrate

Canada Reads 2011, the 10th anniversary season, will be coming to a radio, TV, computer or hand-held device near you soon. We'll announce the five chosen books and their passionate defenders in a couple of months, and by next February there'll be a 10th book in the Canada Reads winners' circle. ...

Canada Reads Top 40 Contest: Rules and Regulations

We're looking for regular readers to submit recommendations to us to create the list of the Top 40 Essential Canadian Novels of the Decade. If you have a suggestion, you can fill out this handy form here. We have three......

Canada Reads Top 40 Contest: Reader Recommendation Form

The period for Canada Reads "The Essential Top 40 Novels of the Decade" is now closed. Stay tuned to this space for other great Canada Reads contests.......
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