Ever since 2002, CBC has been broadcasting an annual ‘battle of the books’ under the name Canada Reads. The premise of the program is that 5 panelists each choose one Canadian book and then have to defend it in a series of debates. After each debate, one book is eliminated until only one book remains. This book is then billed as the book that all of Canada should read. The publisher of the winning Canada Reads title then donates a portion of sales proceeds from the winning book to a charitable organization working in the field of literacy. 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.
This year’s list of books featured on Canada Reads is centered on the theme ‘One Book to Move You’ and the panelists have just been announced: Simple Plan’s drummer Chuck Comeau, who’s an avid reader, will be joining the team of panelists of Canada Reads and will be defending the book ‘Homes’ by Abu Bakr al Rabeeah and Winnie Yeung. His competing panelists include Yanic Truesdale (actor – Gilmore Girls), Lisa Ray (actress, model), Ziya Tong (TV personality) and Joe Zee (fashion stylist)
On Thursday, Chuck was in Toronto, Canada to launch the start of the Canada Reads competition and to meet the other panelists he will be debating about the chosen books with. Check out some of the pictures taken during this promo event in our gallery:
Chuck discussed his excitement over being involved with Canada Reads on his Instagram and also revealed what the book ‘Homes’, that he’s defending, is about and why everyone should give it a read. Check it out:
This is the life that Abu Bark Al Rahbeeah lived in Syria until he escaped to Canada and “Homes” reads like the private diary of an innocent child stuck in a world of senseless violence.
In this strange moment in our collective history where ignorance, disinformation, racist policies and building walls have somehow become our new normal, this incredible memoir is important and timely. It will shake you to your core, open your eyes to the plight of refugees worldwide and make you feel compassion and empathy for families who are willing to risk everything for a better life. It will make you profoundly grateful that your children don’t have to fall asleep to the sound of machine guns and fighter jets. And it will remind you of what a special place Canada is, for welcoming Bark and his family with open arms.
Please go check out this book – it might just change the way you feel about your own life and the underlying love story between a father and his son will hit you so hard… “
You can also check out Chuck giving a short pitch of the book below:
Four live, hour-long debates in front of a Toronto audience are set to take place from March 25th to 28th. One book will be eliminated each day of the competition until the winner is chosen on March 28th. The debates will be broadcast daily on CBC Radio One and CBC-TV, and live streamed online at CBCbooks.ca.