Entertainment: CBC Reads debate recap

The 2020 Canada Reads debates have concluded and a winner has been crowned! The theme of this year’s competition was “what one book should  all of Canada read to bring Canada into focus”. It was not an easy pick. Much like everything else around the globe, the competition was originally planned for March but needed to be postponed due to the pandemic. During the months between lockdown and now, many social injustice issues have been brought to the forefront of our lives. All of the books in this year’s competition touch on these various issues that we both as a nation and globally, are dealing with. How is it then, that anyone can pick one book, one issue to focus on? I did not envy the panellists or wish to be in their shoes this year. The global tensions definitely made it to the panellist roundtable on day two, when a couple of the panellists got into heated discussions, resulting in name calling and insults. Day two also brought the elimination of the clear fan favourite, Jesse Thistle’s From the Ashes, bringing into question whether gender biases could be left at the door, and if the panellists were capable of staying on task and judge a book as a whole. As a viewer, it was awkward to witness, but ultimately the discussions were necessary.

After the waves of day two, days three and four brought us calmer waters, with civilized discussions that stayed on point. Ultimately, Samra Habib’s We Have Always Been Here: A Queer Muslim Memoir took home the title of Canada Read’s champion.

I want to thank CBC Books for the five great titles that were selected this year. This year’s selections were fantastic books, and I highly recommend all of the them. Now more than ever Canada, we need to read, and these five books are a great starting point to open up a myriad of much needed discussions.

Meredith is a Disney obsessed stay-at-home mom. When she’s not planning a trip, you’ll find her with her nose in a book.