Book lovers looking for homegrown literary works can find it in the new series GREAT CANADIAN BOOKS, premiering Sunday, January 17 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT exclusively on BookTelevision. GREAT CANADIAN BOOKS calls on some of Canada’s most high-profile personalities to help celebrate and bring literary masterpieces onto the small screen. Encore presentations air Wednesdays at 8:30 p.m. ET / 5:30 p.m. PT beginning January 20.
Each episode of GREAT CANADIAN BOOKS features an elite Canadian figurehead including Justin Trudeau, Lisa Ray, Molly Johnson, and Canadian Olympic champion Silken Laumann presenting and reviewing their favourite Canadian literary work. In addition to the engaging celebrity readings, the series highlights animations, original art, and gorgeously filmed landscapes that make each episode a treat for both the eyes and mind. Some of the books featured include the award-winning novels Late Nights On Air, Whale Music, The Book of Negroes, and Fugitive Pieces.
Kicking off the 13-part series on January 17 is Canadian comedian and actress Mary Walsh who celebrates the novel Hard Light by Michael Crummey. Each of the GREAT CANADIAN BOOKS episodes are produced in association with Bravo!. Airdates, times and synopses info for each episode are below:
GREAT CANADIAN BOOKS – Hard Light
Sunday, January 17 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT
In this episode of GREAT CANADIAN BOOKS, Canadian comedian and actress Mary Walsh celebrates Hard Light by Michael Crummey – a powerful series of short stories and poems about the people from her home Conception Bay, Newfoundland. Featuring commentary by authors Anthony De Sa and Sally Cooper.
GREAT CANADIAN BOOKS – Who Has Seen The Wind
Sunday, January 24 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT
Television personality and journalist Valerie Pringle reads from the beautiful classic story Who Has Seen The Wind by W.O. Mitchell.
GREAT CANADIAN BOOKS – Stunt
Sunday, January 31 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT
Canadian ballet dancer Rex Harrington (SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE CANADA) celebrates Stunt, the quirky first novel of Claudia Dey. The humour and oddness of the story are beautifully heightened by the musical score and animations.
GREAT CANADIAN BOOKS – This Can’t Be Happening At MacDonald Hall
Sunday, February 7 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT
In this episode of GREAT CANADIAN BOOKS, Justin Trudeau reads his favourite passages from This Can’t Be Happening At MacDonald Hall by Gordon Korman. Trudeau proves to be thoroughly engaging as he celebrates this wonderfully funny story that appeals to the adolescent in all of us.
GREAT CANADIAN BOOKS – The Golden Spruce
Sunday, February 14 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT
Valerie Pringle returns to GREAT CANADIAN BOOKS to celebrate The Golden Spruce by John Vaillant. An incredible true story of a man who cuts down a rare tree and sacred to the Haida people is thoroughly riveting. The beauty of the Queen Charlotte Islands acts as a stunning visual backdrop for this episode.
GREAT CANADIAN BOOKS – The Birth House
Sunday, February 21 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT
Canadian Olympic champion Silken Laumann reviews The Birth House by Ami McKay – a moving novel set on the Bay of Fundy coast in Nova Scotia. Laumann reveals one of the many reasons she loves this novel including its young protagonist who champions the cause of midwifery during the years of World War I.
GREAT CANADIAN BOOKS – Late Nights On Air
Sunday, February 28 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT
Canadian actress Lisa Ray (Water, Bollywood/Hollywood) celebrates the award-winning novel Late Nights On Air by Elizabeth Hay. The northern setting and the engaging characters are just two of the many reasons Ray has chosen this book.
GREAT CANADIAN BOOKS – The Diviners
Sunday, March 7 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT
In this episode of GREAT CANADIAN BOOKS, Mary Walsh returns to celebrate The Diviners by Margaret Laurence.
GREAT CANADIAN BOOKS – Coming Through Slaughter
Sunday, March 14 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT
As a musician, Patricia O’Callaghan has a special relationship with the novel Coming Through Slaughter by Michael Ondaatje – the fictionalized story of a real jazz cornetist in the early 20th Century who ends up going mad. For O’Callaghan, this gorgeously poetic book truly articulates many aspects of the creative experience.
GREAT CANADIAN BOOKS – Fugitive Pieces
Sunday, March 21 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT
Singer-songwriter Amy Sky celebrates the award-winning Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels. The book’s gorgeously poetic writing and its powerful emotional story are two of the reasons Sky loves this incredible book.
GREAT CANADIAN BOOKS – The Book of Negroes
Sunday, March 28 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT
Canadian jazz singer and radio personality Molly Johnson celebrates the award-winning novel The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill – which examines the experience of slavery with an elegance rare in literature.
GREAT CANADIAN BOOKS – Whale Music
Sunday, April 4 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT
Patricia O’Callaghan returns to celebrate the award-winning novel Whale Music by Paul Quarrington, which was adapted into a film in 1994 and starred Paul Gross.
GREAT CANADIAN BOOKS – Three Day Road
Sunday, April 11 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT
In this episode, actor Lorne Cardinal celebrates Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden, an incredible novel of two Native Canadian sharpshooters in World War I.