Get ready for the Canada Reads 2024 debate with this years’ theme being: ‘one book to carry us forward.’ “When we are at a crossroads, when uncertainty is upon us, when we have faced challenges and are ready for the future, how do we know where to go next? This collection of books is about finding the resilience and the hope needed to carry on and keep moving forward.”

A list of the five finalist titles and the longlist titles can be found on our online catalogue.

The debates take place March 4-7 on CBC TV, CBC Radio and CBC Books 2024 and the contenders are:

Book cover image of Shut Up You're Pretty

Shut Up You’re Pretty by Téa Mutonji; defended by actor Kudakwashe Rutendo

These punchy, sharply observed stories blur the lines between longing and choosing, exploring the narrator’s experience as an involuntary one. Tinged with pathos and humour, they interrogate the moments in which femininity, womanness, and identity are not only questioned but also imposed.

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Book cover image of Meet Me at the Lake

Meet Me at the Lake by Carley Fortune; defended by fashion influencer Mirian Njoh

One day. One promise. Two lives forever changed. Random connection sends two strangers on a daylong adventure where they make a promise one keeps and the other breaks, with life-changing effects, in this breathtaking new novel from author of the New York Times bestselling and TikTok hit, Every Summer After. More than just a summer beach read romance though, this book also tackles important mental health topics and has a surprising amount of depth, with a personal connection and note by the author included at the end.

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Book cover image of The Future of Catherine Leroux

The Future by Catherine Leroux; translated by Susan Ouriou; defended by author and former Canada Reads winner Heather O’Neill

Set in an alternate history in which the French never surrendered the city of Detroit, where children rule over their own kingdom in the trees and burned houses regenerate themselves, where rivers poison and heal and young and old alike protect with their lives the people and places they love, Catherine Leroux’s The Future is a richly imagined story of community and a plea for persistence in the face of our uncertain future.

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Book cover image of Denison Avenue<br />

Denison Avenue by Christina Wong; Illustrated by Daniel Innes; defended by former Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi

A poignant meditation on loss, aging, gentrification, and the barriers that Chinese Canadian seniors experience in big cities, Denison Avenue beautifully combines visual art, fiction, and the endangered Toisan dialect to create a book that is truly unforgettable.

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Book cover image of Bad Cree

Bad Cree by Jessica Johns; defended by athlete and CBC Sports contributor Dallas Soonias

In this gripping debut tinged with supernatural horror, a young Cree woman’s dreams lead her on a perilous journey of self-discovery that ultimately forces her to confront the toll of a legacy of violence on her family, her community and the land they call home.

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