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Canada Reads

Canada Reads 2014: Highlight Reel

Canada Reads is CBC's annual battle of the books program. This year's champion, Wab Kinew, successfully defended Joseph Boyden's The Orenda. Watch highlights from the intense week of debates and to learn more about the other finalists....

Wab Kinew, Joseph Boyden celebrate Canada Reads victory on Q

Joseph Boyden and Wab Kinew joined Q and Canada Reads host Jian Ghomeshi on Friday to elaborate further on the insights one can draw from Canada Reads 2014-winning book The Orenda....

Canada Reads 2015 will be in 3D!

OK. This was actually an April Fool's Day joke. Great books don't need bells and whistles. But we will try to make the best show possible....

"We're on the verge of change:" Joseph Boyden and Wab Kinew on reconciliation

Is Canada ready for reconciliation? Wab Kinew and Joseph Boyden say yes. ...

Canada Reads 2014: The final

What a spectacular end to a week of incredible debates. You can now watch the on-demand video replay. ...

Samantha Bee: "For them there is no Wab Kinew to speak..."

In her final address to the panelists before the vote, Bee summed up her feelings about Cockroach in an emotional moment, while also paying tribute to the remarkable performance of her competitor Wab....

How The Orenda could change Canada

Many Canada Reads fans felt Wab Kinew did a masterful job of highlighting the book's strengths and addressing it's perceived weaknesses. ...

Canada Reads 2014: Some of the greatest moments

Who knew a reality show about books could lead to such emotional, intense, and insightful moments? Watch our highlight reel....

Samantha Bee: Immigrants should be allowed to express themselves

Samantha Bee, defending Rawi Hage's Cockroach, responds to criticisms about the book's pessimistic tone. Bee argued that immigrant experiences are diverse and some of them are "ugly." That doesn't make them less worthy of sharing....

Stephen Lewis: What other country rallies around books?

Stephen Lewis knows a thing or two about the world. So we trust him when he says, with pride, that Canada is a country that rallies around books and that Canada Reads is a unique experience. A popular reality show about literature -- only in Canada, eh?...

VOTE: Which book do you want to see eliminated on Day Four?

It's come down to the final two books. Vote for which book you think should be eliminated by the panelists....

Canada Reads 2014: Predictions

The final two books will contend for the Canada Reads crown on Thursday morning, and it's been quite a wild ride. In fact, this infographic indicates how wild it's been....

Sarah Gadon passionately defends Annabel

Sarah Gadon and the other panelists get into a heated debate over gender and identity in the book....

Canada Reads 2014: Day Three

The final two books have been decided. Watch the on-demand video replay of Wednesday morning's debate....

Wab Kinew and Stephen Lewis debate torture in The Orenda

One of the most intense moments of Day Two happened when Stephen Lewis brought up the graphic depiction of torture in Joseph Boyden's The Orenda. Wab Kinew, who is defending The Orenda, countered with salient cultural and historical points. ...

Canada Reads: Predictions Recap Day Two

Each day we'll be looking at predictions on how the daily voting in Canada Reads would turn out and see how they measured up. ...

Canada Reads 2014: Day Two

Ready to catch up on the second day of debates? Watch the video on-demand replay of Tuesday morning's debate. ...

Sarah Gadon on youth and optimism

Day Two of the debates saw more passionate debate from the panelists. In this one moment, actress Sarah Gadon, who is defending Kathleen Winter's Annabel, addressed critiques that there was too much redemption in the ending of the book....

VOTE: Which book do you want to see eliminated on Day Three?

Two books are down, three remain in contention. Have your say by casting your vote for the novel you want to see eliminated next....

Canada Reads 2014: Day One

The battle of the books is back! Check back later this morning for the on-demand video replay, as well as to see photos from the show. We've got a summary of what happened in this post....

Canada Reads Predictions Recap

As we made our way towards the shows, we launched a contest asking people to predict, each day, on the outcome of the voting. In this post, we'll compare the predictions with that actually transpired. Here's a chart depicting Day One....

Wab Kinew's stellar spoken word opening

One of the most memorable highlights of the first day of debates was Wab Kinew, who is defending Joseph Boyden's The Orenda, launching into an epic spoken word introduction that touched upon the other finalist books while outlining his argument......

VOTE: Which book do you want to see eliminated from Canada Reads second?

Why let the panelists have all the fun? Have your say by casting your vote for the novel you want to see eliminated below!...

Find your next great read in the Turf Wars Top 10s

Need a new book to read? We have 50 of them! Check out the Top 10 from each Turf Wars region for literary inspiration....

Listen to Day One of Canada Reads 2013

Canada Reads 2013: Turf Wars kicked off this morning with five celebrity panelists hoping to bring glory to a book from the region they call home. Q host Jian Ghomeshi hosted the annual literary debate in front of a live......

Fredericton discusses Canada Reads books

Information Morning Fredericton explored New Brunswick readers' connections to this year's Canada Reads books. Listen to their conversations online now. ...

Lisa Moore's music playlist

Check out the February author's Canada Reads music picks. ...

Douglas Gibson's music playlist

Check out Hugh MacLennan's editor and friend's music picks for Two Solitudes....

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......

And the winner is... Flannery takes us inside the thrilling final debate

Hello, readers. OK. This time I really mean it. If you haven't seen or heard today's show, then you must do so here. I don't want to be a surprise-spoiler — not today. Giddy is the term I'd use to...... Read More »

Blogger Flannery says adieu to Canada Reads...and bonjour to Hannah Sung, host of the CBC Book Club

Hello, readers. What a week it was. Just seven days ago, I was anxiously anticipating the outcome of Canada Reads 2010. I surveyed the field before me, trying to get a read on our panelists. Who was the toughest cookie...... Read More »

Flannery dishes on Day Four: Another one bites the dust

Hello, readers. Spoilers ahead. So if you haven't heard or seen today's show, please do so. On this, the fourth day of Canada Reads, the boardroom that acts as informal green room for the panelists was eerily calm. Pleasantries were...... Read More »

The first book falls: Flannery dishes on Day Three of the debates

Hello, readers and debate followers. Day three of Canada Reads 2010 debates has come and gone and — spoiler alert! — so has one of our beloved books. If you'd like to see or hear the show before reading this...... Read More »

Another day, another debate: Flannery recaps the second Canada Reads broadcast

What a morning. Day Two of Canada Reads 2010 was a real treat. Perched on my stool in the control room, I was privy to fascinating insights from our panelists concerning all five nominated books. Adding even more drama...... Read More »

And they're off! Flannery handicaps Day One of the debates

The first shots have been fired in the Canada Reads 2010 debates! Our five panelists were quick on the draw and didn't waste much time making nice before they took aim. There were controversies, passionate defences, insults and a couple......

Flannery gets ready to take us behind the scenes for the first Canada Reads 2010 debate

Hello, readers. It's finally here. In just a few short hours, Jian and our five esteemed panelists are going to kick off the Canada Reads 2010 debates on CBC Radio One. I think it's fair to say that these debates......

Live chats, exclusive content and spoilers ahoy as Canada Reads begins next week

We're ramping up for the Canada Reads 2010 debates next week with lots of great value-added content. All next week, check out our live chats with Book Club host Hannah Sung and her special guests as they debrief on the......

Flannery wonders how things will play out on Canada Reads next week

Hello, readers. The ticking of the clock is deafening. After months of speculation, we're now entering the final, most important leg of our literary journey. Soon questions will morph into certainties. Will the much-beloved Fall On Your Knees take the......

CBC Radio's Colleen Kitts reports on her visits to five very different New Brunswick book clubs to discuss the Canada Reads titles

A good novel is a tiny planet unto itself. For the days or weeks it takes to turn the pages, you become immersed in that world. When reading Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility, I am Elinor Dashwood, forced by circumstance...... Read More »

Past panelist Jen Sookfong Lee on recommending books she loves not wisely but too well

When I first met my husband almost 13 years ago, he cunningly appealed to my ego and asked me to compile a list of books that I thought he should read, leaving out the fact that he was and...... Read More »

Flannery introduces us to yet another offshoot: Civilians Read

It's fair to say that Canada Reads 2010 has both inspired and provoked debate. It has even spurred a few other sites to put their money where their mouth is and join the fray. Over at the National Post,...... Read More »

Panelist Roland Pemberton dishes on why he's championing Generation X

In a couple of weeks, I will be attending a ransom-note reading party. It's simple: you come dressed as your favourite kidnapper/murderer, read your ransom note and mix the drink your character might have drunk. Victims are included too —......

Indecisive blogger Flannery wants to know which book you're rooting for in Canada Reads 2010

We're just two short weeks away from the Canada Reads 2010 debates! Things are starting to heat up around here. The Canada Reads team is working double-time and more than a few are going lunch-less to ensure every thing goes......

Blogger Flannery on a fan's pleasant post and Canada Reads as 'a book nerd's fantasy'

Hello again, readers. I can't believe how quickly time is passing. It seems like only yesterday that I was cracking the spine on Good to a Fault, discovering Clara Purdy and the Gage family for the very first time, and...... Read More »

Samantha Nutt dishes on why The Jade Peony deserves to win Canada Reads

Reading fiction has always been an addiction of mine. I blame my mother. When I was a child, she made a special event out of visiting the public library every alternate weekend to choose a new book. I remember spending......

Blogger Flannery ponders what it might take to win Canada Reads

Hello, readers. I'm sitting pretty over here — got a big, smug smile on my face. It took me a bit longer than I thought it would — thank you, book-shredding, reading-time-thief demon-puppy! — but I can now say that...... Read More »

Flannery reflects on the joys of reading Fall on Your Knees without any spoilers

The experience of reading Fall on Your Knees for the first time really brought home for me the importance of the element of surprise. It's often taken for granted with books, but getting swept away by the unexpected is one......

Champion athlete Perdita Felicien on becoming a public advocate for Fall on Your Knees

When I was approached about Canada Reads, I was a bit nervous at first. Not because it wouldn't be amazing to be a part of such a great event, of course it would. The issue was, as much as I......

Author Douglas Coupland and a former Canada Reads panelist connect with the 2010 Winter Olympics

The Winter Olympics begin in the beautiful city of Vancouver this Friday, and Canada Reads author Douglas Coupland has been asked by the Olympic committee to help commemorate the event. Coupland and Roch Carrier, a panelist in Canada Reads......

Flannery is immersed in the big read, Fall on Your Knees

Hello, fellow readers. I've got a lot on my mind today. My overstuffed brain has everything to do with the fact that I am in the thick of Ann-Marie MacDonald's Fall on Your Knees. Good reader that I try...... Read More »

Flannery dishes on the Canada Reads discussion boards

Hello, fellow readers. As you may have noticed, the Canada Reads reader discussion blogs are up and running on the site. These reader-driven vehicles are fuelled by the collective reading experience that is Canada Reads. Think of it as......

Panelist Michel Vézina describes being hooked by Nikolski

I first met Nikolski when it first came out, in French. Was it in 2005? Perhaps, yes. I remember the publisher's rep (Patricia, already a close friend) calling me every second day to ask me if I had read...... Read More »

Blogger Flannery reflects on the family truths in Nikolski

Hello again, fellow readers. I'm sure everyone is familiar with the saying "never judge a book by its cover." I feel even more certain that no one has ever managed to follow the advice (metaphorical and literal) contained therein —...... Read More »

Blogger Flannery crunches the latest Canada Reads numbers and compares 'social' and 'private' readers

Hello, readers. It sure feels great to have a stack of good books by your side at this time of year, doesn't it? Canada Reads and nightly soaks in colloidal oatmeal are going to see me through February and...... Read More »

Simi Sara describes why she chose Good to a Fault for Canada Reads 2010

It was so easy for me to love Good to a Fault. I sat down by myself, the family was away, on a Saturday afternoon. The house was quiet. I picked it up and started to read and immediately......

Resident blogger Flannery reflects on the complex nature of virtue in Good to a Fault

Hello, readers. I've been immersed in Marina Endicott'sGood to a Fault for the past several days. (I got to talk to Marina, and her Canada Reads champion, panelist Simi Sara, about the book at this year's launch, as you can...... Read More »

Blogger Flannery looks at the Canada Reads effect and considers 'zombie do-overs' in fiction

Hello, readers. We're nearly halfway into our reading and so it seems like the perfect time to set our books down for a moment to discuss the "Canada Reads effect." Canada Reads, as you're well aware, is our national literary...... Read More »

Twenty years on, Douglas Coupland reflects on writing Generation X

I sat down to begin writing Generation X — and it feels like 20 years ago, too — no tempus fugit for me. The book is an updating of The Decameron — a story of people self-banished to the wilderness...... Read More »

Resident blogger Flannery gets swept up in the stories within the story of Generation X

Hello, readers. This week at Canada Reads we're highlighting Douglas Coupland and his novel Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture. I'm more than half way through the book and up to my neck in Dag, Andy and Claire's...... Read More »

Resident blogger Flannery muses on the trio of siblings in The Jade Peony

Hello, fellow readers. I trust you had a good reading week, and that you're full of thoughts, feelings and ideas about the book in which you're currently engrossed. I know I am. I finished The Jade Peony yesterday. (Planning......

Wayson Choy takes us inside the world of The Jade Peony

In The Jade Peony, the little girl known as Only Sister, Jook-Liang, struggles to tell me of her bond with the elderly crippled gentleman the citizens of Chinatown called the Monkey-Man. Jung-Sum, Second Brother, would only speak to me......

Contest and poll update, week ending January 10

Howdy readers! Last week, we polled you about New Year's resolutions — which apparently many of you don't like making (40 per cent). The usual suspects garnered similar numbers (fitness goals 20 per cent; dietary changes 16 per cent; more......

Blogger Flannery muses on The Jade Peony and its subtle history lessons

Hello, fellow readers. Happy Monday. I hope you managed to grab at least an hour or two in the company of one of our five books this past weekend. Cold weather + a warm blanket + a great book...... Read More »

Blogger Flannery on the schizophrenic effects of reading all five books at once

Hello again, fellow readers. We're barely into the New Year — not to mention the new decade — and I'm ashamed to admit that I've spent most of it trying to shake my holiday-induced lethargy. My struggle to get...... Read More »

Contest and poll update, week ending January 3

It's a new year and the Canada Reads debates are just around the corner...have you read this year's selections yet? Didn't get a set for Christmas? Then enter our weekly contest, and like Scott Labelle of Hanmer, Ontario, you may......

Canada Reads executive producer Susan Feldman reflects on the theatrical side of Ann-Marie MacDonald

The phrase "triple threat" could have been invented for Ann-Marie MacDonald. First an actor, then a playwright, finally a novelist. But the lines of this unusual career path are fluid, and don't follow any particular order. At the same time...... Read More »

Blogger Flannery finds that The Jade Peony strikes a chord

Hello, readers. Welcome to another week of Canada Reads 2010, and the first week of the New Year! I love a fresh start and I'm determined to not let the weather affect my feelings about 2010. That determination hasn't...... Read More »

Resident blogger Flannery shares her resolutions for the New Year

Hello, readers. I hope you had a wonderful holiday. I know I did. Even better, there's another one on the way. I live for statutory holidays, and this year it falls on a Friday, no less! TGIF 2010. A......

Translator Lazer Lederhendler on ferrying Nikolski across 'the tricky gulf between French and English'

During the book signing at the tail end of the Canada Reads launch event (in the photo at left, I'm on stage with Jian Ghomeshi) on December 1, a man waiting to have his copy of Nikolski signed asked......

Editor Pamela Murray describes how Nikolski made the leap from French to English

Every writer and every publisher knows there's one thing that sells book better than anything else: word of mouth. I first heard about Nikolski when I was having lunch with a young publisher from Montreal. He said there was......

Season's greetings from resident blogger Flannery

Hello, readers. I don't know where you are right now — whether you're in Toronto, Calgary or St. Johns — but wherever you find yourself, I'm wishing you a very happy holiday. I'm writing this post from my parents'......

Nicolas Dickner reveals the story behind his novel Nikolski

The first inspiration for Nikolski goes back to 1995, when a friend and I were debating the relationship between Moby-Dick and hitchhiking. (As you can see from the photo at left, my obsession with the sea and its creatures......

Contest and poll update, week ending December 20

Howdy amigos! Looking for that last-minute, sure-to-please gift? If you buy all five Canada Reads 2010 books from the CBC Shop they'll throw in a free official Canada Reads tote bag. Or, you could try your hand a winning one,......

Resident blogger Flannery offers the story so far on her reading of the Canada Reads books

Hello, readers. It's Week 4 of Canada Reads, and we're really steaming along. We've got our books, our panelists, we're getting to know our authors better each week, and most of us are going to get a few days of...... Read More »

Resident blogger Flannery answers a reader's question about how the Canada Reads books are chosen

Hello, readers. It's the end of another week here at Canada Reads, and what a week it's been. I'm starting to feel downright festive. My good mood has a lot to do with the fact that I spent most of...... Read More »

Contest and poll update, week ending December 13

Howdy, book lovers! Right now we have two contests running related to Canada Reads: In the weekly contest on this site, we're giving away a full set of the Canada Reads books plus a stylish tote bag. Suzanne Flaro of......

Resident blogger Flannery gets feisty in defence of Canada Reads

Hello again, readers. Welcome to Week 3 of Canada Reads 2010. I'm back after a brief but luxurious reading sabbatical. I was lucky enough to spend most of last week with Marina Endicott's Good to a Fault and Wayson...... Read More »

How designer Jessica Sullivan found the perfect cover image for The Jade Peony

  I designed the current cover of The Jade Peony in 2005. (Which seems like a long time ago now — I was still in my twenties and I didn't have any children!) I remember Peter Cocking (art director at......

Get to know the Canada Reads books: The Jade Peony

Read the opening of Wayson Choy's evocative debut novel, which brings to life Vancouver's Chinatown in the mid-20th-century. One The old man first visited our house when I was five, in 1933. At that time, I had only two brothers......

Designer Scott Richardson opens up about the cover of Nikolski

Few do the visual better than the French. Art, fashion, cinema, cuisine; les Fran├žais know the meaning of presentation. Even when they smoke they look better than the rest of us. Yet ask a French publisher to design a...... Read More »

Get to know the Canada Reads Books: Nikolski

Here's how Nicolas Dickner's engaging novel of coincidences and connections begins. Magnetic Anomaly My name is unimportant. It all started in September 1989, at about seven in the morning. I'm still asleep, curled up in my sleeping bag on the......

Judith Stagnitto Abbate describes following Douglas Coupland's visual cues in her design of Generation X

  There are some books whose designs have to be coaxed laboriously into shape, and others that practically arrive on your desk fully realized due to the sheer personality of both the author and the manuscript. Douglas Coupland's Generation X:...... Read More »

Get to know the Canada Reads books: Generation X

Here's the opening of Douglas Coupland's influential first novel, which went on to become a pop culture phenomenon. THE SUN IS YOUR ENEMY Back in the late 1970s, when I was fifteen years old, I spent every penny I then......

Contest and poll update, week ending December 6

Hello fellow readers, It's been a week since Canada Reads 2010 launched and you haven't wasted any time signing up to play along with our weekly contest. It seems most of you knew that Jian Ghomeshi has been the host......

A tale of two covers: David Drummond on designing both editions of Good to a Fault

I designed the book cover for both the first and second editions of this book. The first one is actually very minimalist in tone, which is characteristic of my work. I wanted to find an image that showed a remnant...... Read More »

Get to know the Canada Reads books: Good to a Fault

Read the opening paragraphs of Marina Endicott's compelling story of a Canadian Good Samaritan. Left turn Thinking about herself and the state of her soul, Clara Purdy drove to the bank one hot Friday in July. The other car came......

Designer Scott Richardson describes how the cover of Fall On Your Knees has evolved

When the original paperback cover for Ann-Marie MacDonald's Fall on your Knees (those in the know shorthand it as FOYK) landed on my desk, the design's heavy lifting had already been done by someone else. The hardcover had been a...... Read More »

Get to know the Canada Reads books: Fall on Your Knees

This week, we'll be running excerpts from the Canada Reads books and blogs from each of their designers. Here's the opening of Ann-Marie MacDonald's compelling family saga, Fall on Your Knees. Silent Pictures They're all dead now. Here's a picture......

What a week: Flannery muses on making connections and Canada Reads

Hello again, readers. This is my first Friday post — the first of many — and I cannot let it go by without first offering up a hearty TGIF. To everyone who is currently reading this post from a...... Read More »

Ready to rumble: Flannery dishes on launch day at Canada Reads

Hello again, readers! What can I say about the lauch-day blitz for this year's Canada Reads other than wow and whew! The official kickoff on Tuesday for Canada Reads 2010 (can I get a whoop, whoop?) left me exhausted and...... Read More »

Time to party — the Canada Reads 2010 list is announced!

Hello again, readers! It's launch day at Canada Reads and that means it's also big announcement time. I have just come from the studio where this year's panelists talked to Jian Ghomeshi about the books they're championing, and I couldn't...... Read More »

Meet Flannery, Canada Reads 2010's resident blogger

Hello, fellow readers and lovers of literary debate. My name is Flannery and I will be your guide to all the action at Canada Reads this year. My book-themed thoughts, posts, over-shares, bits of publishing news and gossip are all...... Read More »
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