Jan 09, 2019

Hosted by Ali Hassan, the 2019 Canada Reads debates will be broadcast on CBC across all platforms and live-streamed daily at CBCbooks.ca, March 25–March 28, 2019

January 10, 2019 – CBC Books has announced the CANADA READS 2019 longlist of 15 books that speak to the theme of “one book to move you.” Spanning separations and reconciliations, wars of the past and present, personal histories and imagined futures, these titles will disturb and disrupt, inspire and incite, and move readers to feel, to think and to act.

CBC Laugh Out Loud’s Ali Hassan returns for his third year as host of CANADA READS, moderating a debate between five high-profile Canadian panellists, whose names will be announced January 31, 2019.

“I'd like to say ‘third time's a charm’ but the first two times have been pretty darn charming already,” said Hassan. “I'm very happy to return to the Canada Reads host chair and to play my small role in this exciting, engaging and important national literary event.”

The CANADA READS 2019 longlisted books are:

●        Homes: A Refugee Story by Abu Bakr al Rabeeah with Winnie Yeung (Freehand Books)

●        Suzanne by Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette, translated by Rhonda Mullins (Coach House Books)

●        This Accident of Being Lost by Leanne Betasamosake Simpson (House of Anansi Press, Astoria)

●        Brother by David Chariandy (McClelland & Stewart)

●        By Chance Alone: A Remarkable True Story of Courage and Survival at Auschwitz by Max Eisen (HarperCollins Canada)

●        Corvus by Harold Johnson (Thistledown Press)

●        The Boy on the Beach by Tima Kurdi (Simon & Schuster)

●        That Time I Loved You by Carrianne Leung (HarperCollins)

●        An Ocean of Minutes by Thea Lim (Penguin Canada)

●        Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot (Doubleday Canada)

●        The Crazy Game by Clint Malarchuk with Dan Robson (HarperCollins)

●        Life on the Ground Floor by James Maskalyk (Doubleday Canada)

●        All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai (Penguin Random House)

●        The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary by Andrew Westoll (Harper Perennial)

●        The Woo-Woo: How I Survived Ice Hockey, Drug Raids, Demons, and My Crazy Chinese Family by Lindsay Wong (Arsenal Pulp Press)

The CANADA READS 2019 panel and the final five books will be announced on January 31, 2019, followed by an event in the Atrium of the Toronto Reference Library at 7 p.m.. The free, unticketed event will feature host Ali Hassan, in conversation with this year's shortlisted authors and their champions.

Each year, the shortlisted CANADA READS books see a significant rise in sales, and the winning book stays on bestseller lists for months. For the past four years, all five shortlisted titles appeared on Canadian bestseller lists in the weeks leading up to the CANADA READS debates.

Notable past winners include Forgiveness by Mark Sakamoto, in 2018; Fifteen Dogs by André Alexis, in 2017; The Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis, which began as a self-published book and won Canada Reads in 2011; and The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill, which won CANADA READS in 2009 and was broadcast as a mini-series on CBC in early 2015.

The CANADA READS debates will take place in front of live audiences over four days from March 25–28, 2019 and will be broadcast on CBC Radio One, CBC, CBC Gem and online at CBCbooks.ca. Each day of the competition one book will be eliminated by the panellists, until a winner is voted the must-read book for Canadians in 2019. Ticket information for the debates will be announced on January 31.

For more information, please visit CBCbooks.ca and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @CBCbooks and using the hashtag #CanadaReads.


About Ali Hassan

Ali Hassan is an actor, stand-up comedian, host of CBC Radio's Laugh Out Loud and frequent guest-host of q. In 2019, you'll also see Ali in Blood & Treasure (CBS), Cardinal (CTV) and the films My Spy and Tammy's Always Dying. He is currently touring two comedy shows - his solo show Muslim Interrupted, which has made 25 stops (and counting!) across Canada, and a new tour with Dave Merheje, entitled We Ain’t Terrorists. www.StandupAli.com

About CBC Books

Home to Canada Reads, Writers & Company with Eleanor Wachtel, The Next Chapter with Shelagh Rogers, Canada Writes and the CBC Literary Prizes, CBC Books connects Canadians with books, encouraging a shared love of reading and writing. For book news, writing challenges, reading lists, book recommendations and more, visit www.CBCbooks.ca.

About CBC/Radio-Canada

CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada’s national public broadcaster. Through our mandate to inform, enlighten and entertain, we play a central role in strengthening Canadian culture. As Canada’s trusted news source, we offer a uniquely Canadian perspective on news, current affairs and world affairs. Our distinctively homegrown entertainment programming draws audiences from across the country. Deeply rooted in communities, CBC/Radio-Canada offers diverse content in English, French and eight Indigenous languages. We are leading the transformation to meet the needs of Canadians in a digital world.

For further information, contact:

Nicola Makoway
Publicist, CBC Radio