Entertainment

Canada Reads aims to find book of decade

Canada Reads, the popular CBC Radio book debate, is taking a new approach to choosing books for 2011 — asking Canadians to nominate the best books of the decade.

Canada Reads, the popular CBC Radio book debate, is taking a new approach to choosing books for 2011 — asking Canadians to nominate the best books of the decade.

Beginning Tuesday, Canada Reads is inviting readers to weigh in online to nominate a book that can be considered the essential Canadian novel of the past decade.

"It's going to be a public debate about what will be the books that matter from the past decade," said Canada Reads producer Ann Jansen.

Only Canadian novels, not including short stories, published in the last 10 years are eligible, though past Canada Reads contenders and winners can make the list again.

The choices Canadians put forward will determine what the panelists — as yet unknown — will discuss next February.

The first Canada Reads was in 2001 and the new format was a way to "kick it up a bit" to celebrate the 10th anniversary, Jansen said.

"We don't know what will come from it," she said, "but I think we'll discover what people consider essential contemporary novels."

On Oct. 26, a list of 40 books will be announced based on nominations by readers and suggestions by librarians, booksellers and other industry experts.

The panelists will then choose 10 books — two each — from that list before whittling the list down to the final five.