CBC Books announces Canada Reads 2017 theme, host and longlist

CBC Books today announced the Canada Reads 2017 longlist of 15 books. Debating the question, “What is the one book Canadians need now?” Canada Reads 2017 is looking at stories that help us explore the diverse perspectives that make this nation what it is today, and to reflect on where we’re heading. Hosted by CBC Laugh Out Loud’s Ali HassanCBC’s annual battle of the books, now in its 16th year, will take place March 27-30, 2017.

“I'm thrilled to be the host of Canada Reads for 2017,” said Hassan. “In my eyes, it's the most important literary endeavour in the country, bringing together people to celebrate these diverse Canadian authors. My father, an English professor of 40 years, will also posthumously be pleased.”

From science fiction to nonfiction, futuristic to fable, the longlisted books are:

The Break by Katherena Vermette (House of Anansi)

Company Town by Madeline Ashby (Tor Books)

The Elephants in My Backyard by Rajiv Surendrja (Random House Canada)

even this page is white by Vivek Shraya (Arsenal Pulp Press)

Fifteen Dogs by André Alexis (Coach House Books)

I Am Woman by Lee Maracle (Press Gang)

The Just City by Jo Walton (Tor Books)

Knucklehead by Matt Lennox (HarperCollins)

Nostalgia by M.G. Vassanji (Doubleday Canada)

One Hour in Paris by Karyn L. Freedman (Freehand Books)

Quantum Night by Robert J. Sawyer (Viking Canada)

The Right to Be Cold by Sheila Watt-Cloutier (Penguin Canada)

Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel (Del Rey)

Today I Learned It Was You by Edward Riche (House of Anansi)

Waiting for First Light by Roméo Dallaire, with Jessica Dee Humphreys (Random House Canada)

The Canada Reads panel and the final five books will be announced on January 31, 2017. 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 two years, all five shortlisted titles appeared on Canadian bestseller lists in the weeks leading up to the debates.

Notable past winners include Joseph Boyden’s The Orenda, which went on to become the top-selling Canadian book of the year in 2014; 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-TV in early 2015; and both 2007’s winner Lullabies for Little Criminals by Heather O’Neill, and Ru by Kim Thúy — debut novels that became international bestsellers.

CBC Books is pleased to announce that Indigo is returning for a third year as a sponsor of Canada Reads.

The Canada Reads debates will take place in front of live audiences over four days from March 27-30, 2017, and will be broadcast on CBC Radio One, CBC TV and online at CBCbooks.ca.  Each day of the competition, one book will be eliminated by the panellists, until a winner is voted the must-read book for Canadians in 2017. Olympian and humanitarian Clara Hughes was the winning panellist for Canada Reads 2016, defending  The Illegal by Lawrence Hill.

For more information, please visit CBCbooks.ca, and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram  @CBCbooks #CanadaReads.

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