From a media release:
CBCbooks.ca is thrilled to announce that Canada Reads 2014‘s winning defender, Wab Kinew, will host Canada Reads 2015. Kinew becomes the fourth host of CBC’s battle of the books, now entering its 14th year.
Earlier this year, Kinew successfully defended Joseph Boyden’s The Orenda as, “the one novel to change the nation.” He is the interim Associate Vice-President for Indigenous Relations at The University of Winnipeg and a correspondent with Al Jazeera America. His hip-hop music and journalism projects have won numerous awards, including an Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards for Best Rap/Hip-Hop CD, an Adrienne Clarkson RTNDA Award (from the Association of Electronic Journalists) and a Gabriel Award.
This year’s theme is “one book to break barriers.” Panelists will debate books that change perspectives, challenge stereotypes and illuminate issues. Canada Reads will consider both fiction and nonfiction books. Readers can submit their suggestions at CBCbooks.ca until Sunday, November 30.
The Canada Reads panelists and their chosen books will be announced on January 20, 2015.
The Canada Reads debates will take place in front of live audiences over four days from March 16-19, 2015, and will be broadcast on radio, TV and online at CBCbooks.ca. Each day of the competition, one book will be eliminated by the panelists, until the winner is chosen as the must-read book for Canadians in 2015.
Every year, the five shortlisted Canada Reads books see a significant rise in sales, and past winners have become national bestsellers. Past successes include The Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis, which began as a self-published book and won Canada Reads in 2011; and The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill, the 2009 winner, which will be broadcast as a mini-series on CBC-TV beginning January 7, 2015.
I’ll never look at pigeons the same way again.
Living in Toronto for over a decade has taught this small-town boy a few things, including watching out for the ubiquitous grey-feathered beasts fluttering around the downtown core. They bob and coo their way up to people sitting on park benches, eager to dart in and scoop up any morsel of food that tumbles to the ground. I viewed them with scorn and labelled them as pests. But I’ll show them a little more respect the next time we cross paths.
This week’s excellent episode of The Nature of Things, “The Secret Life of Pigeons,” pulls back the curtain on a bird that was once an important part of our daily lives. Written and directed by Scott Harper (The Age of Anxiety), “Pigeons” goes back in time to reveal that they were the first animal on earth to be domesticated and the crucial role they played during wartime of old by flying important messages to troops.
And the suckers are smart. Among the uncanny skills revealed during the episode: pigeons recognize human faces, spread themselves out amid food scraps so each gets some, and their young are among the fastest-growing on the planet. The highlight of the instalment for me was not only an explanation into how pigeons find their way back home from long distances, but the moment an HD camera was strapped to a bird’s back, offering a glimpse into what life is like for a pigeon in flight.
My second favourite segment? A peek into the life of pigeon fanciers, who strive to prolong the life of some of the world’s rarest–and pretty freaky-looking–pigeons.
The Nature of Things, “The Secret Life of Pigeons,” airs Thursday at 8 p.m. on CBC.
Tuesday’s new episode of Blackstone was called “Deeper and Deeper,” and from the outset it was obvious the title referred to Gail, Andy and Jumbo.
Gail’s descent into the rabbit hole of sleep to hide from the fact she stabbed Darrien advanced into dangerous territory. Her dreams were haunted by Natalie and soon her waking moments were filled by her too. Natalie asking Gail where Wendy had gone, taunting her to take more pills, imploring her to take a drink of alcohol (which Gail did) finally led to her offering Gail a knife and stating “there are faster ways to kill yourself.” Gail’s attempts to hide her lapses in time–and forgetting she had dropped Wendy off at Sarah’s house–were revealed to Leona, Marilyn, Wilma and Greg in a horrible public scene.
Actress Michelle Thrush won a Gemini for her role as Gail. It was well-deserved and she may just win a Canadian Screen Award this year. Her Gail is so tortured, so real, so pitiful … I wanted to look away but couldn’t, particularly when she was careening around the yard, trying to keep her numerous stories straight The only glimmer of hope by the end of the episode was that Leona realized how far Gail has fallen and will get her the help she so desperately needs.
Andy has been hitting the medication as well thanks to the stab wound he received last week. Of course, his father was there to mock and guffaw as Andy begged for more pain meds from the jail doctor. Angel, the stripper Andy shot to death, dropped by for a brief visit too, causing the former Blackstone chief to pee himself with fear. (Show creator Ron E. Scott advanced the overall prison story arc by having Andy converse with a young Native man who had been found guilty of manslaughter despite having an alibi. Andy promised to have his own lawyer look into the case, but he may be too drug-addled to make good on it.)
And finally there was Jumbo. Daryl’s right-hand man at the club has developed quite the addiction to online poker and was so desperate to play he took money from the night’s take to help supplant his gambling. He’s sinking deeper and deeper into debt (he’s going to lose the club’s money, of that I am sure) and Daryl is not going to be happy when he finds out.
Blackstone airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET on APTN.