Canada Reads 2016: Starting over with five new book champions!

This year's battle of the books is all about transformation and second chances. Meet this year's panel and their chosen books.
Canada Reads Panel Assemble! As per tradition, this year's books and their high profile champions were revealed live today on q! The 2016 contenders are: Bruce Poon Tip, defending "Birdie" by Tracey Lindberg; Farah Mohamed, defending "Bone and Bread" by Saleema Nawaz; Clara Hughes, defending "The Illegal" by Lawrence Hill; Adam "Edge" Copeland, defending "Minister Without Portfolio" by Michael Winter; and Vinay Virmani, defending "The Hero's Walk" by Anita Rau Badami. 13:17
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Update, Feb. 2, 2016: Wab Kinew will not return as host of Canada Reads in 2016. We thank Wab Kinew for his contribution to Canada Reads. We wish him all the best, and we'll announce a new host for Canada Reads 2016 soon.

Okay, bibliophiles — put the kettle on and ready your reading nooks. It's time once again to launch Canada Reads, CBC's annual battle of the books. 

As per tradition, this year's books and their high profile champions were revealed live on q! The 2016 contenders are:

  • Bruce Poon Tip, defending Birdie by Tracey Lindberg: "For all of us that care about reconciliation … this book opens that path."
     
  • Farah Mohamed, defending Bone and Bread by Saleema Nawaz: ​"For a fiction book, this book is incredibly real. You go on a roller coaster ride and at the end you feel like you know the characters"
  • Clara Hughes, defending The Illegal by Lawrence Hill: "It puts a face to the faceless and it brings a humanity to the struggle … it's a thriller that sweeps you along."
     
  • Adam "Edge" Copeland, defending Minister Without Portfolio by Michael Winter: "It's about falling flat on your face, dusting yourself off and how do you walk on."
     
  • Vinay Virmani, defending The Hero's Walk by Anita Rau Badami: "It shows us that each one of us can be a hero that can look change in the eye and walk a road that leads to transformation and betterment."

Read more at CBC Books' Canada Reads hub. This year's host is author, broadcaster and previous Canada Reads winner Wab Kinew. 

Are you ready to start over?

Canada Reads 2016 is all about starting over. All five books centre on themes of transformation and second chances; stories about people choosing — or being forced to choose — a dramatically different course in life. 

If you like, you can also explore the long list.

The official debates will begin on March 21 and run until March 24.

Clara Hughes, Farah Mohamed, Bruce Poon Tip, Vinay Virmani and Adam "Edge" Copeland. (Fabiola Carletti/CBC)

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