CBC today announced the 2018 CANADA READS panellists and their chosen books. The celebrity panellists defending this year’s contending titles are: media personality Jeanne Beker; singer and songwriter Jully Black; activist and singer Mozhdah Jamalzadah; storm chaser Greg Johnson; and actor Tahmoh Penikett.
The final five books the CANADA READS 2018 panellists will be defending are:
- Jeanne Beker defends Forgivenessby Mark Sakamoto (HarperCollins)
● Mozhdah Jamalzadah defends The Boat People by Sharon Bala (McClelland & Stewart)
● Greg Johnson defends Precious Cargo by Craig Davidson (Knopf Canada)
● Tahmoh Penikett defends American War by Omar El Akkad (McClelland & Stewart)
Ali Hassan of CBC’s Laugh Out Loud returns for a second year to host CBC’s 17th edition of CANADA READS. Debating the question “What is the one book to open your eyes?” this year’s battle of the books will challenge readers to look differently at themselves, their neighbours and the world around them.
The panellists will fight for their books to become Canada’s must-read title for 2018 during four, hour-long, live CANADA READS debates which will play out in front of audiences in Toronto from March 26–29, 2018. Each day of the competition, one book will be eliminated, until the winner is chosen on March 29. The debates will be broadcast each day on CBC Radio One at 11 a.m. (1 p.m. AT/NT), on CBC at 4 p.m. (4:30 NT) and live streamed online at CBCbooks.ca at 11 a.m. EST.
CBC Books is proud to announce Rakuten Kobo as the exclusive reading sponsor of CANADA READS 2018. 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.
This year’s winning publisher will continue the CANADA READS tradition of supporting reading by making 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.
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 three years, all five shortlisted titles have appeared on Canadian bestseller lists in the weeks leading up to the debates.
Notable past winners include Fifteen Dogs by André Alexis, which was defended by spoken word artist and emcee Humble The Poet in 2017; The Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis, which began as a self-published book and won Canada Reads in 2011; The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill, the 2009 winner, which was broadcast as a mini-series on CBC in early 2015; and 2007’s winner Lullabies for Little Criminals by Heather O’Neill, which became an international bestseller.