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Celebrity panelists are Arlene Dickinson, Alan Thicke, Shad, Stacey McKenzie and Anne-France Goldwater

This morning, host Jian Ghomeshi announced the CANADA READS 2012 panelists on CBC's Q: Arlene Dickinson of CBC's Dragons' Den; iconic actor and TV's favourite dad Alan Thicke; Juno Award-winning rapper Shad; supermodel Stacey McKenzie; and Anne-France Goldwater, star of Quebec's reality-TV courtroom show l'Arbitre. The panelists and authors will meet today at noon EST at a public event in the CBC Broadcasting Centre in Toronto, which will be live-streamed on CBC Books.

This year's CANADA READS line-up:

"We kicked off our second decade by switching to non-fiction titles for the first time, and the response has been tremendous," said Jian Ghomeshi, host of CBC's national cultural affairs program Q and CANADA READS. "With this combination of powerful personalities and compelling true stories, we expect sparks to fly in the debates."

From now until the February debates, CBC Books is the destination for the latest news and views on CANADA READS: TRUE STORIES. Visit often for updates, contests and blog posts from this year's authors and panelists, as well as weekly updates from resident blogger Terry Fallis, whose novel The Best Laid Plans won last year's CANADA READS.

The panelists will determine Canada's must-read non-fiction title for 2012 during four hour-long debates, Feb. 6-9, in front of audiences in Toronto (an extra show has been added). The shows will air live on CBC Radio One and will be live-streamed on CBC Books. They will also air daily on CBC's documentary channel, with recap specials the following weekend on CBC TV and CBC Radio One.

More information on the CANADA READS contenders:

Prisoner of Tehran is a searing account of Marina Nemat's imprisonment in Iran in the wake of the 1979 Islamic Revolution and her escape to Canada in 1991. An international bestseller, the book will be defended by Arlene Dickinson.

The Tiger, by John Vaillant, recounts the story of a man-eating Siberian tiger terrorizing the residents of a remote Russian village. The internationally acclaimed book will be defended by Anne-France Goldwater.

Written by former Rheostatics guitarist Dave Bidini, On a Cold Road is a chronicle of the musician's cross-Canada touring experiences in the late 1990s. Bidini's first book will be defended by Stacey McKenzie.

Published last spring, Something Fierce is a coming-of-age memoir of Carmen Aguirre's teenaged experiences in the Chilean resistance movement in the era of Augusto Pinochet. Already receiving rave reviews, the book will be defended by Shad.

Ken Dryden's The Game, one of the best sports books of all time, offers an insider's look at Canada's national pastime. Based on Dryden's experiences as a goalie with the legendary 1979 Montreal Canadiens team, the memoir will be defended by Alan Thicke.

About CBC Books
CBC Books features all of CBC's rich literary content across all platforms - audio, video and digital. This one-stop destination for book lovers and writers includes in-depth information on books, exclusive interviews with authors, the latest news stories from the publishing world, book reviews, best-seller lists, discussions and blogs. It's an online meeting place where literary enthusiasts can find the books they want to read, share their writing and connect with other Canadians who love to read and write as much as they do, while keeping up with all of CBC's major literary events and programs such as Canada Reads, the Massey Lectures and Canada Writes. Visit us at www.cbc.ca/books.

About CBC/Radio-Canada
CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada's national public broadcaster and one of its largest cultural institutions. The Corporation is a leader in reaching Canadians on new platforms and delivers a comprehensive range of radio, television, Internet, and satellite-based services. Deeply rooted in the regions, CBC/Radio-Canada is the only domestic broadcaster to offer diverse regional and cultural perspectives in English, French and eight Aboriginal languages, plus seven languages for international audiences. In 2011, CBC/Radio-Canada is celebrating 75 years of serving Canadians and being at the centre of the democratic, social and cultural life of Canada. 

For further information, contact:

Melissa Prince
Veritas Communications
416 482-2669 (o)
416 704-8733 (c)

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