Canada Reads

Past Canada Reads contenders and winners

Get to know the past books, panellists and authors of CBC's battle of the books.
Amanda Brugel successfully defended the memoir We Have Always Been Here by Samra Habib and won Canada Reads 2020. (Viking/CBC)

Get to know the past books, panellists and authors of CBC's annual battle of the books.

2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019 | 2020


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


Ziya Tong, defending By Chance Alone by Max Eisen, won Canada Reads 2019. (CBC)


Science journalist Ziya Tong successfully defended By Chance Alone by Max Eisen in 2019. (CBC, HarperCollins)


Jeanne Beker hosted the show FashionTelevision for 27 years. (CBC/HarperCollins Canada)



Humble The Poet is a rapper, author and spoken word artist. (Craig Cooper/Coach House Books/Fabiola Carletti)



Clara Hughes is a five-time Olympic medallist. (Simon and Schuster/HarperCollins/CBC)



Cameron Bailey is the artistic director of the Toronto International Film Festival. (Vintage Canada/Frank Gunn, CP)



Wab Kinew is a former broadcaster and current MPP in Manitoba. He hosted Canada Reads in 2015. (Hamish Hamilton)
  • Winner: February by Lisa Moore, defended by Trent McClellan
  • The Age of Hope by David Bergen, defended by Ron MacLean
  • Two Solitudes by Hugh MacLennan, defended by Jay Baruchel
  • Away by Jane Urquhart, defended by Charlotte Gray 
  • Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese, defended by Carol Huynh



Trent McClellan is a stand-up comedian from Corner Brook, Newfoundland. (House of Anansi Press)



In addition to his time hosting q, Shad has also won a Juno Award and has been shortlisted for the Polaris Prize for his music. (Vintage Canada/CBC)



Ali Velshi is the chief business correspondent for NBC News. (Emblem Editions)
  • Winner: Nikolski by Nicolas Dickner, translated by Lazer Lederhendler, defended by Michel Vézina
  • The Jade Peony by Wayson Choy, defended by Samantha Nutt
  • Generation X by Douglas Coupland, defended by Cadence Weapon
  • Good to a Fault by Marina Endicott, defended by Simi Sara
  • Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald, defended by Perdita Felicien



Defender Michel Vézina is an author, actor and clown from Quebec. (Roline Laporte/Vintage Canada/Penguin Random House)



Avi Lewis is a documentary filmmaker and former host on Al Jazeera and on the CBC. (CP/HarperCollins)



Dave Bidini was a founding member of the band Rheostatics. (Anchor Canada)



John K. Samson is the frontman of the band the Weakerthans. (Leif Norman/HarperCollins)



Defender John K. Samson was a bass player for the Winnipeg band Propagandhi. (Leif Norman/Vintage Canada)



Donna Morrissey is an author from Newfoundland. (University of Toronto Press/Mount Alison University)



Jim Cuddy is a founding member of the band Blue Rodeo. (Chris Young, CP/Emblem Editions/Grant McConnell)



Denise Bombardier is a journalist and media personality with Radio Canada. (New Canadian Library)




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