Canada Reads

Listen to all 5 of the Canada Reads spotlight episodes now

Given the ongoing developments with COVID-19, Canada Reads has made the difficult decision to postpone the event. Listen to five "spotlight" episodes to learn more about Canada Reads 2020.
The authors and panellists of Canada Reads 2020. (CBC)

Given the ongoing developments with COVID-19 and the related travel concerns, Canada Reads has made the difficult decision to postpone this year's event until we can convene our stellar panel of advocates in front of a live audience. 

To replace the broadcast of the debates, CBC Books created Canada Reads spotlight programming, a series of five one-hour programs dedicated to this year's books, authors and panellists.

Listen to all five of the Canada Reads spotlight series below.

We Have Always Been Here by Samra Habib, defended by Amanda Brugel

Amanda Brugel is defending We Have Always Been Here by Samra Habib on Canada Reads 2020. (CBC)

Samra Habib's memoir We Have Always Been Here is an exploration of the ways we disguise and minimize ourselves for the sake of survival. As a child, Habib hid her faith from Islamic extremists in Pakistan and later, as a refugee in Canada, endured racist bullying and the threat of an arranged marriage. In travelling the world and exploring art and sexuality, Habib searches for the truth of her identity. 

We Have Always Been Here begins with her childhood in Pakistan, becoming a refugee at age 10 and coming of age in a new hostile land.

The Handmaid's Tale and Kim's Convenience actor Amanda Brugel will defend the book on Canada Reads 2020.

Canada Reads 2020 has been postponed. Instead of the debates, CBC Books is airing special one-hour programs dedicated to each book. This episode looks at the memoir We Have Always Been Here by Samra Habib, which will be defended by actor Amanda Brugel. 53:59

From the Ashes by Jesse Thistle, defended by George Canyon

George Canyon is defending From the Ashes by Jesse Thistle on Canada Reads 2020. (CBC)

Jesse Thistle is a Métis-Cree academic specializing in Indigenous homelessness, addiction and inter-generational trauma. For Thistle, these issues are more than just subjects on the page. After a difficult childhood, Thistle spent much of his early adulthood struggling with addiction while living on the streets of Toronto. His memoir, From the Ashes, details how his issues with abandonment and addiction led to homelessness, incarceration and his eventual redemption through higher education. 

Country singer George Canyon will defend the book on Canada Reads 2020.

Canada Reads 2020 has been postponed. Instead of the debates, CBC Books is airing special one-hour programs dedicated to each book. This episode looks at the memoir From the Ashes by Jesse Thistle, which will be defended by country music singer George Canyon. 50:42

Radicalized by Cory Doctorow, defended by Akil Augustine

Akil Augustine is defending Radicalized by Cory Doctorow on Canada Reads 2020. (CBC)

Radicalized is a collection of four novellas that explore the quandaries — social, economic and technological — of contemporary America. Cory Doctorow's characters deal with issues around immigration, corrupt police forces, dark web uprisings and more. 

Radicalized will be defended by sports broadcaster Akil Augustine on Canada Reads 2020.

Canada Reads 2020 has been postponed. Instead of the debates, CBC Books is airing special one-hour programs dedicated to each book. This episode looks at the science fiction novella collection Radicalized by Cory Doctorow, which will be defended by Toronto Raptors personality Akil Augustine. 53:59

Son of a Trickster by Eden Robinson, defended by Kaniehtiio Horn

Kaniehtiio Horn is defending Son of a Trickster by Eden Robinson on Canada Reads 2020. (CBC)

Son of a Trickster is a novel about Jared, a compassionate 16-year-old, maker of famous weed cookies, the caretaker of his elderly neighbours, the son of an unreliable father and unhinged, though loving in her way, mother. As Jared ably cares for those around him, in between getting black-out drunk, he shrugs off the magical and strange happenings that follow him around. 

Son of a Trickster was on the shortlist for the 2017 Scotiabank Giller Prize. It is being adapted into a TV series set to premiere on CBC in 2020

Kaniehtiio Horn will be defending Son of a Trickster on Canada Reads 2020.

Canada Reads 2020 has been postponed. Instead of the debates, CBC Books is airing special one-hour programs dedicated to each book. This episode looks at the novel Son of a Trickster by Eden Robinson, which will be defended by actor Kaniehtiio Horn. 53:59

Small Game Hunting at the Local Coward Gun Club by Megan Gail Coles defended by Alayna Fender

Small Game Hunting at the Local Coward Gun Club by Megan Gail Coles is being defended by Alayna Fender on Canada Reads 2020. (CBC)

Small Game Hunting at the Local Coward Gun Club, Megan Gail Coles's debut novel, revolves around a cast of flawed characters all connected to a trendy St. John's restaurant, The Hazel. Over the course of a snowy February day, they are implicated in each other's hopes, dreams and pains as they try to survive harsh economic times in the province. 

Small Game Hunting at the Local Coward Gun Club was shortlisted for the 2019 Scotiabank Giller Prize.

Alayna Fender will defend Small Game Hunting at the Local Coward Gun Club on Canada Reads 2020.

Canada Reads 2020 has been postponed. Instead of the debates, CBC Books is airing special one-hour programs dedicated to each book. This episode looks at the novel Small Game Hunting at the Local Coward Gun Club by Megan Gail Coles, which will be defended by YouTube creator Alayna Fender. 53:59

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