The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, CBC, has a program called Canada Reads which runs for four days every year on radio and television. The program features five Canadians, each of whom champions a book by a Canadian author. The French division of the broadcaster runs the series for French language books as well.
Every year, our book club members are among the many Canadians who enjoy the series featuring debate about which of the books best exemplifies a theme for the year. The winning book is judged to be one which all Canadians should read. This year's Canada Reads occurred last week with the theme Starting Over.
The books discussed by the panelists this year were
Minister Without Portfolio by Michael Winter,
Bone and Bread by Saleema Narwaz,
Birdie by Tracey Lindberg,
The Hero's Walk by Anita Rau Badami,
The Illegal by Lawrence Hill.
The selection of books reflects the multi-cultural nature of Canada and the breadth of literary talent in the country.
The program is unique in its focus on Canadian books and has done much to promote Canadian literature in the last fifteen years on the air. It is great to hear books discussed on air and elsewhere during the series. Every year, I, along with many others, purchase or borrow and read the books featured.
The winner of Canada Reads this year was The Illegal by Lawrence Hill. I am working my way through the books and enjoying them, saving The Illegal for last.