News and Interviews

CBC Canada Reads announces celebrity panelists & chosen books

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Today CBC revealed the celebrity panelists and chosen books for the 2019 edition of the Canada Reads debates.

Simple Plan drummer Chuck Comeau, model, actor, TV host and philanthropist Lisa Ray, TV host and science journalist Ziya Tong (Daily Planet), actor Yanic Truesdale (Gilmore Girls), and stylist, creative director, producer and media personality Joe Zee will duke it out March 25 to 28 until one of their books wins the coveted Canada Reads crown. 

As previously announced, comedian Ali Hassan will return for a third year as host. This year's theme is "one book to move you". 

The 2019 CBC Canada Reads Panelists and Finalists: 

  • Chuck Comeau defends Homes by Abu Bakr al Rabeeah and Winnie Yeung (Freehand Books)
  • Lisa Ray defends Brother by David Chariandy (McClelland & Stewart)
  • Ziya Tong defends By Chance Alone by Max Eisen (HarperCollins)
  • Yanic Truesdale defends Suzanne by Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette, translated by Rhonda Mullins (Coach House Books)
  • Joe Zee defends The Woo-Woo by Lindsay Wong (Arsenal Pulp Press)

The four, hour-long debates will be broadcast on CBC Radio One CBC Radio One at 11 a.m. (1 p.m. AT/1:30 p.m. NT), on CBC at 3 p.m. (3:30 NT), live-streamed online at at 11 a.m. ET and available both live and on demand on the free CBC Gem streaming service. 

The bump in sales the shortlisted books enjoy each year has come to be known as the "Canada Reads effect" and is one of the biggest boosts a Canadian book can receive. 

Stay tuned to Open Book for coverage of the debates in March!