Mar 29, 2018

Forgiveness by Mark Sakamoto has won CANADA READS 2018. Forgiveness was championed by media personality Jeanne Beker, and was chosen by the five celebrity panellists as the book for Canadians to read in 2018. This year's title fight asked the question: What is the one book to open your eyes?

After four days of debate in front of live audiences, Beker survived the final vote today to be crowned this year's winner. The runner-up was American War by Omar El Akkad, which was defended by actor Tahmoh Penikett. The debates aired on CBC Radio One, CBC and were live streamed at

”Those of us lucky enough to have heard our families' survival stories firsthand share a window onto a world of unspeakable loss and profound pain. But it's these very tales of toughness and tenacity that light our paths and often define who we are. Forgiveness sheds light on a shameful chapter in our history, but it also shows us that healing is possible with tolerance and compassion. The message for Canadians is a timely one. Forgive in order to move forward and never, ever forget, ” said Beker.

This year’s debates took place March 26-29, 2018, and were hosted by actor, stand-up comedian and host of CBC Radio's Laugh Out Loud, Ali Hassan.

The books voted off earlier this week, in order of elimination, were:
The Boat People by Sharon Bala (McClelland & Stewart), defended by Mozhdah Jamalzadah
Precious Cargo by Craig Davidson (Knopf Canada), defended by Greg Johnson
The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline (DCB/Cormorant Books), defended by Jully Black

Forgiveness is published by HarperCollins. In celebration of the win, HarperCollins will make a financial and/or an in-kind donation to Frontier College, a national charitable literacy organization. The contribution will help to support student-centered literacy programs for new Canadians, Indigenous Peoples, and vulnerable populations across Canada.

CBC Books would also like to thank this year's sponsor, Rakuten Kobo. Created in Canada in 2009 to give book lovers the option of reading digitally, Kobo enables readers to enjoy their favourite books whenever they wish and wherever they go.

The CANADA READS conversation continues on social media @CBCbooks on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram #CanadaReads. Go to for this year's videos and more on all five books.


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

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.

About Rakuten Kobo Inc.
Owned by Tokyo-based Rakuten and headquartered in Toronto, Rakuten Kobo Inc. is one of the world’s most innovative eReading services offering more than 5 million eBooks and audiobooks to millions of customers in 190 countries. Kobo offers a family of E Ink eReaders, including Kobo Aura, Kobo Aura H2O, and Kobo Aura ONE, as well as free top-ranking eReading apps for the most popular iOS and Android smartphones and tablets. For more information, visit

For further information, contact:
Nicola Makoway
Publicist, CBC Radio