Are you ready for the 20th anniversary of Canada Reads? From March 8-11, the CBC will be hosting its annual Canada Reads competition, in which five books by Canadian authors are selected by five different representatives, each one tasked with defending the title in fun “battle of the books” style debates, voting out titles until only one is left standing. That last book will be this year’s winner, crowned “the book that every Canadian should read”.
The debates are broadcast for public viewing, and this year will be no different! You can catch the debates on multiple platforms like CBC Gem, CBC Radio One, CBC TV, and CBC Books. You can even get involved in the discussion over on the CBC Canada Reads Facebook group!
Check out this year’s competing titles below:
The Midnight Bargain by CL Polk
The Midnight Bargain is the latest novel from Calgary’s CL Polk, author of 2019’s hit fantasy Witchmark (which was nominated at the Nebula, Locus, and Lambda Awards, and won the 2019 World Fantasy Award for Best Novel). This time, Polk concocts a fantasy world that’s part Regency (think Jane Austen or Bridgerton), part The Handmaid’s Tale, and all magical. In this world, women are forbidden from using magic while still in childbearing years—but that won’t stop our protagonist Beatrice Clayborn! Kirkus Reviews calls it “An expertly concocted mélange of sweet romance and sharp social commentary.” The book is being defended by Rosey Edeh, a three-time Canadian Olympian turned television host (she can be found on CTV Morning Live Ottawa). Edeh calls the The Midnight Bargain “a fantastic journey filled with magic, love and self-determination. It’s abiding, beautifully paced social commentary”.