Hosted by Ali Hassan, the 2017 Canada Reads debates will be broadcast on CBC Radio One, CBC-TV and live-streamed daily at CBCBooks.ca, March 27 to March 30, 2017

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 Hassan, CBC’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 Press)

Company Town by Madeline Ashby (TOR)

The Elephants in My Backyard by Rajiv Surendra (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)

Knucklehead by Matt Lennox (Harper Collins)

Nostalgia by M.G. Vassanji (Doubleday Canada)

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

Quantum Night by Robert J. Sawyer (Viking)

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 Press)

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.


About Ali Hassan

Ali Hassan is an Actor, Stand-Up Comedian and host of CBC Radio’s Laugh Out Loud. CBC television viewers may remember him from his season as the lead comedy panelist on George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight. He can currently be seen in his recurring roles on Man Seeking Woman (FXX), Odd Squad (PBS Kids) and Cardinal (CTV). Ali recently returned from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival where he did a month long-run of his solo show Muslim Interrupted.

About CBC Books

Home to Canada Reads, Writers & Company with Eleanor Wachtel, The Next Chapter with Shelagh Rogers, Canada Writes and the CBC Literary Prizes, CBC Books connects Canadians with books, encouraging a shared love of reading and writing. For book news, writing challenges, reading lists, book recommendations and more, visit www.cbcbooks.ca.

About CBC/Radio-Canada

CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada’s national public broadcaster and one of its largest cultural institutions. We are Canada’s trusted source of news, information and Canadian entertainment. Deeply rooted in communities all across the country, CBC/Radio-Canada offers diverse content in English, French and eight Indigenous languages. We also provide international news and information from a uniquely Canadian perspective. In 2017, CBC/Radio-Canada will be at the heart of the celebrations and conversations with special 2017-themed multiplatform programming and events across Canada.