Canada Reads

Canada Reads is an annual battle of the books organized and broadcast by the CBC. During the program's run, five "defenders" extoll the virtues of their chosen book, with each episode voting out one title until just one book remains. The winner is then billed as the book that all of Canada should read. Below, discover past winners and their defenders.
    • Forgiveness

    • A Gift from My Grandparents
    • Written by: Mark Sakamoto
    • Narrated by: Geoff Sugiyama
    • Length: 7 hrs and 41 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 211
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 199
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 198

    When the Second World War broke out, Ralph MacLean chose to escape his troubled life on the Magdalen Islands in eastern Canada and volunteer to serve his country overseas....

    • 3 out of 5 stars
    • Canada picked wrong

    • By Anonymous User on 2018-05-31
    • A Gift from My Grandparents
    • Written by: Mark Sakamoto
    • Narrated by: Geoff Sugiyama
    • Length: 7 hrs and 41 mins
    • Release date: 2018-04-03
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 211 ratings
    • 2018 winner
    • Defender: Jeanne Beker

    Price: CDN$ 26.81

    • Fifteen Dogs

    • Written by: André Alexis
    • Narrated by: André Alexis
    • Length: 6 hrs and 20 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 149
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 137
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 137

    A bet between the gods Hermes and Apollo leads them to grant human consciousness and language to a group of dogs overnighting at a Toronto veterinary clinic....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Brilliant, unique, and entertaining!

    • By Cameron Britton on 2018-04-05

    Price: CDN$ 24.12

    • The Illegal

    • Written by: Lawrence Hill
    • Narrated by: Gideon Emery
    • Length: 12 hrs and 19 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 82
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 76
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 75

    Keita Ali has nothing: no bank account, no papers, no legal identity. A runner, he has fled home - a brutal dictatorship that produces the world's fastest marathoners....

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • 4 stars because

    • By Solome on 2018-06-23
    • Written by: Lawrence Hill
    • Narrated by: Gideon Emery
    • Length: 12 hrs and 19 mins
    • Release date: 2016-01-25
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 82 ratings
    • 2016 winner
    • Defender: Clara Hughes

    Price: CDN$ 37.04

    • Ru

    • Written by: Kim Thuy, Sheila Fischman
    • Narrated by: Kim Thuy
    • Length: 3 hrs and 13 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      3.5 out of 5 stars 11
    • Performance
      3.5 out of 5 stars 10
    • Story
      3.5 out of 5 stars 10

    In vignettes of exquisite clarity, sharp observation, and sly wit, we are carried along on an unforgettable journey from a palatial residence in Saigon to a crowded and muddy Malaysian refugee camp, and onward to a new life in Quebec....

    • Written by: Kim Thuy, Sheila Fischman
    • Narrated by: Kim Thuy
    • Length: 3 hrs and 13 mins
    • Release date: 2018-03-27
    • 3.5 out of 5 stars 11 ratings
    • 2015 winner
    • Defender: Cameron Bailey

    Price: CDN$ 38.60

    • The Orenda

    • A Novel
    • Written by: Joseph Boyden
    • Narrated by: Ali Ahn, Graham Rowat, Edoardo Ballerini
    • Length: 17 hrs and 37 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 85
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 78
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 78

    History reveals itself when, in the 17th century, a Jesuit missionary ventures into the Canadian wilderness in search of converts....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Excellent, and enlightening

    • By william gary irwin on 2018-03-22

    Price: CDN$ 40.36

    • February

    • Written by: Lisa Moore
    • Narrated by: Mary Lewis
    • Length: 10 hrs and 4 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 7
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 7
    • Story
      3.5 out of 5 stars 7

    Lisa Moore's unforgettable second novel examines the aftermath of 1982's Ocean Ranger disaster within the community of St. John's and its effects on one family in particular....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • I loved the narration

    • By Jodi on 2018-09-13
    • Written by: Lisa Moore
    • Narrated by: Mary Lewis
    • Length: 10 hrs and 4 mins
    • Release date: 2018-06-04
    • 4 out of 5 stars 7 ratings
    • 2013 winner
    • Defender: Trent McClellan

    Price: CDN$ 20.99

    • Something Fierce

    • Memoirs of a Revolutionary Daughter
    • Written by: Carmen Aguirre
    • Narrated by: Carmen Aguirre
    • Length: 9 hrs and 30 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 3
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 3
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 3

    A gripping, darkly comic memoir of a young underground revolutionary during the Pinochet dictatorship in 1980s Chile....

    Price: CDN$ 31.27

    • Nikolski

    • Written by: Nicolas Dickner, Lazer Lederhendler (translator)
    • Narrated by: Chris Patton
    • Length: 6 hrs and 28 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      5 out of 5 stars 1
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 1
    • Story
      5 out of 5 stars 1

    Intricately plotted and shimmering with originality, Nikolski charts the curious and unexpected courses of personal migration, and shows how they just might eventually lead us to home.....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • A very good book for those interested in exploration or Canadians

    • By Anonymous User on 2017-10-28

    Price: CDN$ 23.75

    • The Book of Negroes

    • A Novel
    • Written by: Lawrence Hill
    • Narrated by: Khadijah Roberts-Abdullah
    • Length: 15 hrs and 46 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      5 out of 5 stars 115
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 107
    • Story
      5 out of 5 stars 107

    Abducted as an 11-year-old child from her village in West Africa, Aminata Diallo is sent to live as a slave in South Carolina. But years later she forges her way to freedom....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • One of the best listens to date.

    • By David Hagel on 2018-03-05

    Price: CDN$ 42.25

    • Lullabies For Little Criminals

    • Written by: Heather O'Neill
    • Narrated by: Miriam McDonald
    • Length: 8 hrs and 53 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 15
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 14
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 14

    Baby vacillates between childhood comforts and adult temptation: still young enough to drag her dolls around yet old enough to know more than she should about urban cruelties....

    Price: CDN$ 28.67

    • A Complicated Kindness

    • Written by: Miriam Toews
    • Narrated by: Miriam Toews
    • Length: 6 hrs and 44 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 47
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 45
    • Story
      3.5 out of 5 stars 45

    Sixteen-year-old Nomi Nickel longs to hang out with Lou Reed and Marianne Faithfull in New York City's East Village. Instead she's trapped in East Village, Manitoba, a Mennonite town....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • A mellow listen

    • By Kristy Westendorp on 2019-04-18

    Price: CDN$ 29.83

    • Rockbound

    • Written by: Frank Parker Day
    • Narrated by: James Banning
    • Length: 6 hrs and 20 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 7
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 7
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 7

    To the harsh domain of Rockbound - governed by the sternly righteous and rapacious Uriah Jung - comes the youthful David Jung to claim his small share of the island....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Rockbound - Perfect for Car Trip to Nova Scotia

    • By Revtdi on 2018-09-19

    Price: CDN$ 26.54

    • The Last Crossing

    • A Novel
    • Written by: Guy Vanderhaeghe
    • Narrated by: John Henry Cox, John Keating, Colin Lane, and others
    • Length: 11 hrs and 18 mins
    • Abridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 4
    • Performance
      3.5 out of 5 stars 3
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 3

    This epic tale sweeps across continents and time, hovers over a key era in American history, and deftly realizes the humanity of a whole cast of characters....

    Price: CDN$ 34.23

    • In the Skin of a Lion

    • Written by: Michael Ondaatje
    • Narrated by: Tom McCamus
    • Length: 6 hrs and 10 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 45
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 43
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 43

    Patrick Lewis arrives in Toronto in the 1920s and earns his living searching for a vanished millionaire and tunneling beneath Lake Ontario....

    • 3 out of 5 stars
    • I couldn't finish this.

    • By clevrgrl on 2018-09-20

    Price: CDN$ 26.81