What is Canada Reads?

What is Canada Reads?

Started in 2001, Canada Reads is CBC's annual battle of the books, where five Canadian personalities select the book they think Canadians should read. Each personality selects a book to defend and the books are eliminated one by one until a winner is declared. The debates air on CBC Radio One. Jian Ghomeshi has hosted Canada Reads since 2008.

In 2011, the contenders were:

 The Best Laid Plans is the Canada Reads 2011 champion!


 Listen to the debates

Relive the debates by visiting our Watch/Listen Player or downloading the Canada Reads podcasts.

A one-hour recap special of the Canada Reads 2011 debates will air on Saturday, February 12 at 4 p.m., except in Newfoundland, where it will air at 4:30 p.m.


Watch the debates


Video replays of the debates can be been on our Watch/Listen Player.

Replays of the video and the companion live chat can be found here:


 Regional Canada Reads events

Lots of events and programming related to Canada Reads 2011 happened from coast to coast. Check it all out on our Watch/Listen Player.


Show your support

Show your support for your favourite Canada Reads 2011 title by using a Twitter or Facebook Twibbon.

Become our Facebook fan.

Follow Canada Reads on Twitter.


Media Contact

Have a media inquiry? Email canadareads@cbc.ca.

Photos for media use can be found here.


Have questions?

Ask us anything here!


Who is our literacy partner?

The Canada Reads 2011 literacy partner is Frontier College's Aboriginal Literacy Program.

As Canada's original literacy organization (since 1899), Frontier College works in communities across Canada by training volunteers to help children, youth and adults with low literacy improve their skills.

Frontier College has been working with Aboriginal communities for more than 40 years. Currently we work with close to 60 Aboriginal communities in Manitoba, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Quebec and Ontario. Our student centered approach focuses on material and learning that is relevant and related to the learner's life. As such, we develop materials and approaches that reflect the diversity and traditions of the groups we work with.

To learn more about Frontier College and their Aboriginal literary program, visit their website.


What is special about the 2011 debates?

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the debates, Canada Reads 2011 introduced a new element to this season's format. On October 5, we launched a three-week public campaign to determine the Top 40 Essential Canadian Novels of the Past Decade, and invited all book lovers to nominate their favourite titles. That list was revealed on October 28, and another round of public voting was undertaken, to arrive at the Top 10 Essential Novels of the Past Decade. That Top 10 list was revealed on November 9. The panelists then chose the final five from this Top 10. We revealed the five panelists and their picks on Wednesday, November 24. The debates took place for the first time ever in front of a live studio audience on February 7, 8 and 9. The Best Laid Plans was declared the Canada Reads 2011 champion.

Looking for your next great read? Singer/songwriter Jimmy Rankin has a suggestion.

Eleanor Wachtel's exploration of Spanish writers comes to an end. Listen to the entire five-part series.

Michael Bhardwaj and the Cookbook Club tackle the cuisine of Southeast Asia with Hot Sour Salty Sweet. Is it worth slaving over the stove for?

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The Canada Reads publishers support literacy by donating books to libraries, and the publisher of the winning book makes a financial donation to a national adult literacy organization. This year's recipient is Frontier College's Aboriginal Literacy Program.