Sri Lanka and the Avalon Mall? Readers will visit both in this year's selections for NL Reads

Only one of the four competing authors can be crowned champ, and you've got a say.

This year's books take readers through time and across the globe

Which of these books will be the 2019 NL reads champ? You get to help decide. (Sarah Smellie/CBC)

Crack the spine of one of this year's NL Reads books and you may hear the ping of the little bell above the door of the 1930s Rabbittown corner store in Trudy Morgan Cole's Most Anything You Please.

Or the droning peal of a rocket just before it hits the ground in war-torn Sri Lanka, just before a young father who survives sets sail for Vancouver in Sharon Bala's The Boat People.

Or the cardboard thud of toppling shoe boxes from "A Beautiful Flare," one of the short stories in Lisa Moore's collection Something for Everyone.

Or the click of shoes from all over the world over the brightly polished floors of the Gander airport from Jamie Fitzpatrick's The End of Music.

Clockwise from top left: Lisa Moore, Sharon Bala, Trudy Morgan-Cole and Jamie Fitzpatrick. (CBC)

This year's NL Reads books take readers across the globe and through time, telling stories of struggle, heart and home, and we need your help to pick the best one.

The Newfoundland and Labrador Public Libraries and CBC Newfoundland and Labrador want you to read each of these books — one a month from November 2018 to February 2019.

And then we want you to help us choose the best of the four and crown the 2019 NL Reads winner.

Here's how you can take part.

1. Read along with us each month. 

Each month, we'll dive into one of the four books and then, on Feb. 28, 2019, four chosen people will advocate for their chosen book as the winner of NL Reads at a gala event at the A.C. Hunter Library. 

Thanks to the Newfoundland and Labrador Public Libraries, you won't need a physical copy of the book to play along and cast your vote. They're providing free downloads of each of the competing titles through their eLibrary.

Here's the reading schedule:

  • November 2018: Most Anything You Please by Trudy Morgan-Cole

Most Anything You Please traces the story of three generations of Holloway women who run a small corner store in the Rabbittown neighbourhood of St. John's. 

Most Anything You Please by Trudy Morgan-Cole is one of the 2018 NL Reads contenders. (Stephanie Tobin/CBC)
  • December 2018: The End of Music by Jamie Fitzpatrick

The End of Music tells the story of Joyce, a modern young woman navigating the mores and expectations of a small town, and her son Carter, more than 50 years later, as he says goodbye to his rock-and-roll dreams. 

Jamie Fitzpatrick's End of Music is one of this year's NL Reads contenders. (Stephanie Tobin/CBC)
  • January 2019: The Boat People by Sharon Bala

The Boat People deftly weaves the stories of Mahindan, a young father who has travelled to Canada from the raging civil war in Sri Lanka with his six-year-old-son; Priya, the lawyer trying to help him stay in the country; and Grace, the third-generation Japanese-Canadian adjudicator who will determine his fate. 

The Boat People by Sharon Bala is one of this year's NL Reads contenders. (Stephanie Tobin/CBC)
  • February 2019: Something for Everyone by Lisa Moore

From a rock star who's disappeared in the fjords of Iceland to a small family dealing with the aftermath of the 2016 shooting at Orlando's Pulse nightclub, the stories in Something for Everyone play with theme, structure and style without ever compromising its characters' hearts and dreams.

Something for Everyone is Lisa Moore's latest collection of short stories. (Stephanie Tobin/CBC)

2. Vote, vote, vote

With four exceptional books up for this year's title, we need your help choosing a winner. After you've read the books, you can vote for your favourite — the one you think should be crowned winner of NL Reads 2019 — right here.

Voting is open now and will close right after the 2019 NL Reads Gala event on Feb. 28, 2019.

Speaking of which ...

3. Attend or watch the 2019 NL Reads debate

On Feb. 28, 2019, at the A.C. Hunter Library, four advocates will square off against each other, arguing for their favoured book to win this year's title.

CBC's Stephanie Tobin will argue for Trudy Morgan-Cole's Most Anything You Please, Merb'ys founder Hasan Hai will go to bat for Sharaon Bala's The Boat People, Librarian Leigha Chiasson-Locke will be vouching for The End of Music by Jamie Fitzpatrick, and poet and City of St. John's counsellor Maggie Burton will argue for Lisa Moore's Something For Everyone.

The event will be moderated by CBC's Fred Hutton and all of the NL Reads authors will be there.

If you can't attend in person, ask your local library if they'll be hosting a screening of the live-streamed event. 

Happy reading!

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