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Battle of the Books!


What do you get when you pit two science fiction novels, a book about dogs who can talk, a call for action about climate change, and the story of a violent crime in Winnipeg’s North End against each other?  You guessed it – the 2017 Canada Reads! Here are the five books that are in the ring:  

  • André Alexis’ Fifteen Dogs is the tale (pun intended!) of a group of dogs on an overnight stay at a Toronto animal hospital who become unwitting pawns in a bet made by the gods. Hermes and Apollo grant human consciousness and language to the dogs, and what follows is an examination of the perils and pitfalls of human nature.
  • The Break by Katherena Vermette is a story about a possible crime, the young Métis mother who witnesses it, and how this crime affects a number of people connected by it.  Told through multiple narratives, The Break delves into the lives of those affected by a violent crime, and gives insight into a type of fear that many women experience every day.
  • Madeline Ashby’s Company Town takes place in New Arcadia, an oil rig the size of a city off the coast of where almost everyone is “bio-enhanced.”  The last organic person in New Arcadia, Hwa’s self-defence skills land her a job as the bodyguard to the town bigwig’s youngest son. But how can see protect him from a seemingly invisible serial killer, especially when all clues lead to Hwa herself?
  • In The Right to Be Cold, environmental activist and nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize Sheila Watt-Cloutier discusses how climate change in the Arctic has affected Inuit culture, and the importance of protecting both our climate and our cultural heritage.
  • Another novel set in the future, M.G. Vassanji’s Nostalgia features a world where immortality is no longer impossible. The final impediment to eternal life? Those pesky memories filling up our brain. The solution is to replace our old lives with new ones and erase all traces of our old selves – but what happens when memories of our old selves start to reappear?

The debates will run from March 27-30th so tune in to find out which book is the winner!