Canada Reads 2019

Five books, five champions, one winner: CBC's annual Battle of the Books has been getting people listening, watching and reading since 2001. Canada Reads is a "literary Survivor," with celebrities championing books. Books are voted "off the bookshelf" until one book is chosen as the title the whole country should read this year. The 2019 theme is One Book To Move You. In this collection, hear from the writers of this year's shortlisted books, past Canada Reads champions on their debating tips, and past contenders.

Below, check out our How to Use Canada Reads in the Classroom teacher guide, along with book excerpts and backgrounders for the 2019 books.


Watch or listen to CBC's Canada Reads debates March 25-28, 2019 at cbc.ca/canadareads.

  • 2018
  • 13-14
  • 16 Titles

Included in this collection

CBC Books Canada Reads 2019: Lindsay Wong on The Woo-Woo

In this video Lindsay Wong discusses The Woo-Woo, her dark, witty and touching memoir that gives an honest account of the impact of mental illness on her family. The Vancouver-based writer delivers a raw and emotional look at whispered secrets, dysfunctional relationships — and how her grandmother, mother, aunt and even herself initially blamed the mythical "woo-woo," Chinese spirits that plague ...
  • 2019
  • 00:03:02
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 02/27/2019

CBC Books Canada Reads 2019: Max Eisen on By Chance Alone

In this video Max Eisen discusses his deeply moving memoir By Chance Alone. When Eisen was 15 years old he and his family were taken from their home to Auschwitz, where he worked as a slave labourer. He survived the Holocaust and emigrated to Canada in 1949. Eisen has toured the world, educating people about the horrors he survived during the ...
  • 2019
  • 00:04:32
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 02/27/2019

CBC Books Canada Reads: Ali Hassan on the art of moderating a debate

Actor, stand-up comedian, host of CBC Radio's Laugh Out Loud, and host of Canada Reads 2018, Ali Hassan shares what he's learned about the tricky job of moderating a debate.
  • 2018
  • 00:07:45
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 03/16/2018

CBC Books Canada Reads: Cameron Bailey on the art of debate

Artistic director of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), past panellist and winner of Canada Reads 2015, Cameron Bailey shares what he should have paid more attention to from the beginning when defending the book Ru by Kim Thúy, plus other debating tips.
  • 2018
  • 00:07:14
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 03/16/2018

CBC Books Canada Reads: Elaine "Lainey" Lui on the art of debate

Elaine "Lainey" Lui is proud of her competitive spirit and argues for the importance of women showing their competitive side, along with other aspects of her debating strategy. She defended Raziel Reid's debut novel When Everything Feels like the Movies in Canada Reads 2015.
  • 2018
  • 00:07:54
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 03/16/2018

CBC Books Canada Reads: Humble The Poet on the art of debate

Writer and rapper Humble The Poet talks about the importance of letting the other person know that you hear what they have to say, along with other debating tips. He championed the André Alexis novel Fifteen Dogs and emerged the winner on Canada Reads 2017.
  • 2018
  • 00:08:58
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 03/16/2018

CBC Books Canada Reads: Kristin Kreuk on the art of debate

Actress Kristin Kreuk emphasizes the importance of being prepared for difficult conversations, plus other debating advice. She defended Kamal Al-Solaylee's memoir Intolerable in Canada Reads 2015.
  • 2018
  • 00:07:19
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 03/16/2018

CBC Books Canada Reads: Stephen Lewis on the art of debate

Former UN ambassador Stephen Lewis stresses the importance of being well-organized, but also maintaining the ability to enjoy a great argument from another debater (like Wab Kinew). Stephen defended The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood in Canada Reads 2014.
  • 2018
  • 00:08:48
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 03/19/2018