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The Battle of the Books is On! Day One of Canada Reads

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CBC's Canada Reads 2012

CBC’s Canada Reads, a week-long debate to determine the book every Canadian should read this year, commenced this morning. Jian Ghomeshi hosts the event which, for the first time ever, is devoted to works of non-fiction. This year’s panel includes:

Actor Alan Thicke defending The Game by Ken Dryden
Supermodel Stacey McKenzie defending On a Cold Road by Dave Bidini
Dragons' Den star Arlene Dickinson defending Prisoner of Tehran by Marina Nemat
Juno award-winning musician Shad defending Something Fierce by Carmen Aguirre
Quebec's Judge Judy, Anne-France Goldwater defending The Tiger by John Vaillant

If the opening discussion is any indication of what’s to come, we are in for a lively—and very surprising—week of contention. The panelists came armed with passion, thoughtful arguments and a few secret weapons—Stacey wore a pink dress dedicated to the bands that spoke to her the most in On a Cold Road and Anne-France had a stack of heavily-marked notes in her arsenal. Whether or not these strategies pay off will be determined over the next few days.

The question of which character the panelists found the least engaging quickly turned into a heated discussion of whether or not the books speak to the Canadian experience. In the end, it all boiled down to a vote by the panelists as to which book would be dropped from the running. Alan and Anne-France voted to have The Prisoner of Tehran out of the competition, while Arlene and Shad voted for The Tiger. The final decision was left to Stacey (who had voted for The Game) and she made the strategic choice to take out The Prisoner of Tehran, the book most popular with online pollers.

Four books are left. Tomorrow one more will be voted out of the running.

You can catch all the action on February 7,8 and 9 on CBC Books at 10 a.m. ET; at 11 a.m. on CBC Radio One; and at 7 p.m. ET on CBC's documentary channel.

For more information on Canada Reads 2012: True Stories and to watch a replay of today's livestream visit CBC Books: Canada Reads.

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