Words have power. But can a single novel make the world a better place?
Consider the latest edition of Canada Reads
-- "One Novel to Change Our Nation" -- an experiment in finding the answer.
But the first step on this mission involves turning the power over to you.
Canada Reads needs to find its reading list, and it's looking to the public for tips. Maybe you've devoured something by a homegrown author, a book that inspired change -- of both the personal and political variety.
Let Canada Reads know all about it by visiting CBC Books
and submitting your pick -- or picks! -- online. (They'll let you share up to five titles.)
You have until Sunday, Oct. 20 at 11:59 p.m. ET to tell them all about your favourite selections. Once the deadline is reached, the CBC Books team will consider everyone's tips and reveal a Top 40 list of the most popular titles -- your contenders for Canada Reads 2014.
But before you send them a 3,500 word Marxist Feminist critique of Anne of Green Gables, there are some points to consider. Canada Reads contenders must adhere to a few guidelines.
Is the novel's author Canadian?
Is the novel printed by a traditional publisher?
Is the novel currently in print, and available in English?
Would the novel be a first-time Canada Reads finalist?
And, most importantly, is the novel the one book that could change Canada?
If you answer "yes" to all the questions in that checklist, your book could qualify.
"Reading inspires us and novels have the capacity to bring about real and lasting change," Jian Ghomeshi, Canada Reads' returning host, said in a statement. "That's why we're asking Canadians to tell us about the novels they feel will inspire a change. We are looking for stories of compassion, tolerance, humour, political engagement, diversity, reconciliation...the stories you feel our nation needs now."
After the Top 40
is revealed October 24
, the customary public voting rounds will proceed, ultimately resulting in a Top 10 list of titles, and by November 27
, the final five will be revealed.
Each 2014 finalist will be matched with a celebrity defender. (2013 featured Jay Baruchel, Carol Huynh, Charlotte Gray, Trent McClellan and Ron MacLean.) The five readers will face off, x-treme book club stylez, in the Canada Reads debates.
You can watch live as part of the Toronto Broadcast Centre audience, or follow the battle royale on CBC Radio and TV or online at CBC Books, until the "One Novel to Change Our Nation" emerges victorious.