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A new twist on the Canada Reads spin-off trend

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, the CBC must be feeling pretty good right now. Just in case you can’t get enough of the various spin-offs of the CBC’s Canada Reads competition “ including the National Post‘s Canada Also Reads and literary blog Pickle Me This’ Canada Reads Independently “ the Keepin’ It Real Book Club has just announced their very own adaptation, called Civilians Read.

However, instead of offering yet another new booklist for readers to take on, Civilians Read uses the original CBC Canada Reads list, with lesser-known book lovers defending each title. The civilian panelists include:

  • Erin Balser, senior editor for Books@Torontoist, defending Wayson Choy’s The Jade Peony
  • Nic Boshart, digital projects co-ordinator for the Association of Canadian Publishers, defending Nicholas Dickner’s Nikolski
  • Sarah Labrie, project co-ordinator for the Association of Canadian Publishers, defending Marina Endicott’s Good to a Fault
  • Ashleigh Gardner, manager of digital development for Dundurn Press, defending Douglas Coupland’s Generation X
  • Natalie St. Pierre, freelance editor and assistant to a literary agent, defending Ann-Marie Macdonald’s Fall On Your Knees

From the Keepin’ It Real Book Club:

We don’t have any training on the radio. We don’t have professional equipment. It’s going to be a little rough and tumble ” it’ll likely lack finesse, basic courtesy, and a catchy theme song. But hopefully we’ll also say some smart things, spark some interesting discussion, and determine how weighty the panelist-X factor is.

All discussions will be hosted by Jen Knoch, associate editor at ECW Press and the main blogger at the KIRBC website. The Civilians Read panelists will release one podcast per day starting March 1, leading up to the official Canada Reads debate itself, which runs March 8-12.