Previous Winners

2014 Canada Reads Winner

The Orenda

by Joseph Boyden Defended by Wab Kinew

The Orenda is a visceral portrait of life at a crossroads in early Canadian history, and about the arrival of a Jesuit missionary into the life of a Huron elder and a gifted young Iroquois girl.

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2013 Canada Reads Winner


by Lisa Moore Defended by Trent McClellan

February concerns Helen O'Mara, a woman shattered by the death of her husband, Cal, who was one of the crew members on the Ocean Ranger oil rig when it sank in 1982.

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2012 Canada Reads Winner

Something Fierce

by Carmen Aguirre Defended by Shad

Something Fierce is playwright and actor Carmen Aguirre's memoir about coming of age in the Chilean resistance movement.

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2011 Canada Reads Winner

The Best Laid Plans

by Terry Fallis Defended by Ali Veshi

The peccadilloes of Parliament Hill's political animals are the subject of Terry Fallis's comic first novel.

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2010 Canada Reads Winner


by Nicolas Dickner Defended by Michel Vézina

Nikolski is a small village in the Aleutian Islands off the shore of Alaska. It is also a thematic link in Nicolas Dickner's charmingly offbeat novel about three young francophones searching for a sense of connection and unaware of the ties that bind them.

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2009 Canada Reads Winner

The Book of Negroes

by Lawrence Hill Defended by Avi Lewis

Lawrence Hill brings home the brutal realities of the slave trade through the powerful, haunting tale of one woman's extraordinary life.

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2008 Canada Reads Winner

King Leary

by Paul Quarrington Defended by Dave Bidini

Paul Quarrington's 1988 novel, which won the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour, tells the often touching, often hilarious story of a once-great hockey hero.

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2007 Canada Reads Winner

Lullabies for Little Criminals

by Heather O'Neill Defended by John K. Samson

This dazzling debut novel by Heather O'Neill introduces readers to 13-year-old Baby, who teeters between childhood and adulthood as she tries to deal with an impossibly difficult situation.

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2006 Canada Reads Winner

A Complicated Kindness

by Miriam Toews Defended by John K. Samson

Sixteen-year-old Nomi Nickel's dream is to party with rock stars in New York City but she's stuck in her Mennonite hometown, where narrow-mindedness rules and everything fun is forbidden.

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2005 Canada Reads Winner


by Frank Parker Day Defended by Donna Morrissey

In this 1928 novel by Frank Parker Day, Rockbound is an island off the coast of Nova Scotia, and it's a harsh, unforgiving place.

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2004 Canada Reads Winner

The Last Crossing

by Guy Vanderhaeghe Defended by Jim Cuddy

Set in the late 19th century, The Last Crossing takes readers on an epic journey that ranges from the wilds of the American West to Victorian England and Saskatchewan.

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2003 Canada Reads Winner

Next Episode

by Hubert Aquin Defended by Denise Bombardier

A young separatist is being held for trial in the psychiatric ward of a Montreal prison. To pass the time, he decides to write a spy thriller that features a Québecois terrorist on a murderous mission.

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2002 Canada Reads Winner

In the Skin of a Lion

by Michael Ondaatje Defended by Steven Page

Michael Ondaatje's stirring account of those who envisioned a better Toronto, and the immigrants who physically built it, is a powerful saga of privilege, passion and back-breaking toil -- and a dream that engenders both triumph and tragedy.

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