Canada Reads 2015 Books & Panelists

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Canada Reads 2015 Books & Panelists

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Jan 20, 2015, 12:59 pm

Let the games begin.

Canada Reads, CBC's annual battle of the books competition, revealed this year's roster of panelists and contending books on Tuesday:

Cameron Bailey, artistic director of the Toronto International Film Festival, will defend Ru by Kim Thúy, translated by Sheila Fischman, a story inspired by the author's own experiences as a refugee from war-torn Vietnam.

Actress Kristin Kreuk (Beauty and the Beast, Smallville) will defend journalist Kamal Al-Solaylee's memoir Intolerable, which chronicles his journey as a Middle Eastern gay man finding a home in Canada while members of his family slip into hard-line interpretations of Islam.

Activist and social entrepreneur Craig Kielburger will defend The Inconvenient Indian by Thomas King, the acclaimed writer's critical and personal missive on what it means to be "Indian" in North America.

Broadcaster Elaine "Lainey" Lui (etalk reporter and co-host of The Social) will defend When Everything Feels like the Movies by Raziel Reid, an edgy work of YA fiction that explores youth, sexuality and the search for identity.

Singer-songwriter Martha Wainwright will defend And the Birds Rained Down by Jocelyne Saucier, translated by Rhonda Mullins, a haunting meditation on aging and identity.

Thoughts? How many have you read? I've read Ru, which I'll probably re-read, and The Inconvenient Indian.

Jan 28, 2015, 10:20 pm

I've not yet read any of them, but I believe The Inconvenient Indian was chosen for my f2f book club for later this year.

Unfortunately, the fact that it's part of Canada Reads means that the holds list for it at the library will probably be terrible. Sigh...

I usually decide after I listen to the debates which ones I want to read (then it can take me years to get to them, but I try!).

Jan 30, 2015, 1:10 am

I think this year's theme ("Book to Break Barriers") is a little too similar to last year's ("A Book to Change Our Nation"). Still, it looks like a strong shorttlist and I'm looking forward to reading along.

I just finished The Inconvenient Indian and found it equal parts informative and entertaining. I'm halfway through Ru right now and am finding the writing to be so elegant and moving. Of the other three books I haven't read, the only one I'm not sold on is the "edgy" young adult one, and I'm trying to keep an open mind.

I am most looking forward to hearing Craig Kielbuger defend his book, as I believe his expertise in human rights will really shine through. Lainey Lui is not my cup of tea, but the defenders on Canada Reads often surprise me. I remember one year appreciating the sincere Alan Thicke while despising the horrid words from thatjudge from Quebec...

Fev 12, 2015, 8:13 pm

#1, Thanks Lynn. I going to keep track this year so have this thread starred.

Mar 17, 2015, 11:33 pm

I think this year's theme ("Book to Break Barriers") is a little too similar to last year's ("A Book to Change Our Nation")

Yes! Thank you for putting my thoughts into a sentence. I get why they pick a theme, but really, there are only so many themes they can find for a project such as this. They need something new. How about "the book that you most want to curl up with on a cold winter night?" I know, not conducive to intellectual debate.

Mar 18, 2015, 8:17 am

I don't recall themes in the earlier years?

Mar 18, 2015, 8:51 am

I'm definitely not enjoying Lainey Lui during the debates but really liking Craig Kielbuger. I agree with the comments on the theme - too similar to last year's and encourages titles that a person really doesn't want to curl up with. I read The Inconvenient Indian - liked what I learned but didn't "love" the book. It's hard to have a non-fiction popped into the middle of fiction books. I'm waiting for Ru from the library but don't think I want to read the others this year. Slim pickings from Canada Reads 2015. Can't they have a year of "Books I most enjoyed", "Books I most looked forward to reading", "Books that most surprised me" or "Books that uplifted me"?

Editado: Mar 18, 2015, 3:11 pm

>7 arcona: I agree about both Lainey and Craig. I had forgotten last year's theme, but yes, it is very similar.

ETA: And I love your suggested themes! :-)

Mar 20, 2015, 6:29 am

Ru by Kim Thuy is the winner of 2015 Canada Reads . I had read it a couple of years ago and very much enjoyed it!

Mar 20, 2015, 2:00 pm

I think the debates were excellent this year. So much passion! But never mean. All the panelists were great -- insightful, thoughtful, and seemed willing to listen as well as talk.