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Georges Laraque, Ali Velshi among Canada Reads panelists | Afterword | National Post

In Canada on November 24, 2010 at 12:55

Georges Laraque, Ali Velshi among Canada Reads panelists

  November 24, 2010 – 11:00 am

John Mahoney/Postmedia News

George Laraque fights with San Jose Sharks Jody Shelley in the first period of NHL action in Montreal Saturday, February 28, 2009.

A former NHL enforcer and a fashion-forward CNN broadcaster are among the panelists for the 10th anniversary edition of Canada Reads, CBC’s popular annual literary competition.

This year, instead of asking panelists to choose their own book to defend on the program, the public was asked to nominate their favourite Canadian novels of the past decade. From this list of suggestions, a longlist of 40 books was formed. From there, the public was then asked to vote for their favourite titles, a process which produced a shortlist of ten books. The panelists were required to choose a book from among the finalists.

Without further ado, here are the panelists for Canada Reads, along with the books they will defend:

• Actor Lorne Cardinal will defend Unless by the late Carol Shields.

• Former NHL tough guy Georges Laraque will defend The Bone Cage by Angie Abdou.

• One half of Tegan and Sara, Sara Quin, will defend the graphic novel Essex County by Jeff Lemire.

• Design guru Debbie Travis will defend The Birth House by Ami McKay.

• CNN broadcaster Ali Velshi will defend The Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis.

It’s not a bad list, considering the long and shortlists were filled with bestsellers and former Canada Reads winners — a fact that did not escape criticism. While McKay’s 2006 novel was a national bestseller, The Best Laid Plans won the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour in 2008, and 2002′s Unless was nominated for a slew of awards, it’s nice to see a graphic novel in the mix, and Abdou is a virtual unknown.

Once again, the competition will be hosted by CBC personality Jian Ghomeshi.

Posted in: Afterword  Tags: ,

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