Each year, CBC selects five prominent Canadians, who each pick a Canadian book to defend. Over the course of a few days, in 2022 between March 28 - 31, the panelists will defend their title through debate and, ultimately, one book will be selected as the Canada Reads title for the year.
The theme for 2022 is: One Book to Connect us. Host Ali Hassan, who has hosted since 2017 says: "We know so many of our neighbours are feeling isolated this winter, so the moment feels right to explore stories of community," said Hassan. "This year's books will remind readers that we're all connected and that we're stronger when we come together. We can work through hard things and find the hope we need to keep going.".
The five titles and hosts are:
1, Christian Allaire & Five Little Indians by Michelle Good
Allaire is an Ojibway writer and journalist, and the current fashion and style writer for Vogue. The title he champions surrounds themes of residential schools, intergenerational trauma, and long-lasting friendship. The author's debut novel Five Little Indians has won a number of awards including the 2020 Governor General's Literary Award for fiction and was on the 2020 Scotiabank Giller Prize longlist.
2, Malia Baker & Scarborough by Catherine Hernandez
Baker is a Canadian actress and activist, best known for her role as Mary Anne in the Netflix series The Baby-Sitter's Club. A local story, Scarborough uses multiple narrators and tells the story of a community coming together to face deeply ingrained challenges. Also a debut novel, Scarborough was shortlisted for the 2017 Toronto Book award and was adapted into a movie.
3, Tareq Hadhad & What Strange Paradise by Omar El Akkad
Hadhad is a former Syrian refugee now living on Canada's east coast and is the founder of Peace By Chocolate . What Strange Paradise explores the refugee crisis through a nine-year-old narrator and the teenage girl who keeps him safe all while asking the difficult question "How did we get here".
4, Suzanne Simard & Life in the City of Dirty Water by Clayton Thomas Muller
Simard is an author and academic, and recently published her memoir Finding the Mother Tree, an exploration into the interconnection of forests. Life in the City of Dirty Water is the memoir of Cree activist Clayton Thomas-Muller and explores the entirety of his life to date, including his work as an anti-racist activist, and retaining his ties to Cree heritage and spirituality.
5, Mark Tweksbury & Washington Black by Esi Edugyan
Tweksbury is a former Olympic swimmer and became one of the first openly gay Olympic champions globally. An author himself, Tewksbury also serves as the Vice President of the Canadian Olympic Committee. Washington Black explores slavery on a Barbados sugar plantation through the story of 11-year-old Washington Black and his master, a man obsessed with developing a flying machine.
Want to see which book becomes the Canada Reads winner? The debates will be broadcast on CBC Radio One, CBC Listen, CBC TV, CBC Gem, and written about on CBC Books.
You can also check out the titles selected from Markham Public Library, as well as books written by the panel participants.
Books selected for Canada Reads 2022, as well as books by the panel participants