Louis Riel makes the final 10 in Canada Reads ’12

Announced earlier this week, Louis Riel: A Comic-Strip Biography by 2011 Canadian Comic Book Creator Hall of Fame inductee CHESTER BROWN was selected to be one of the 10 final books in the CANADA READS: TRUE STORIES competition for 2012.

Between now and November 22, CBC will be be selecting the celebrity panelists that will be choosing the five final books – each celebrity will defend one of the final 10 books in the February 2012 debates. On November 23, they will announce who those celebrities are and what books they are defending.

Congratulations to Chester Brown and publisher Drawn & Quarterly!

The top 10:

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The Boy in the Moon by Ian Brown

In this touching and candid memoir, Globe and Mail columnist Ian Brown writes about life with his severely disabled son Walker, who was born with an extremely rare genetic mutation. At eight, Walker is functionally autistic, unable to speak or swallow (he is fed through a feeding tube) and has a propensity for self-harm.

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Cockeyed by Ryan Knighton

At 18, Ryan Knighton was told he was going blind. Sound depressing? Well, yes. But fortunately Ryan Knighton has a sharp sense of humour, and he makes Cockeyed a hilarious and touching coming-of-age story.

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The Game by Ken Dryden

This 1983 insider’s look at Canada’s favourite sport is still held up as one of the defining books about hockey. Ken Dryden, a former goalie, chronicles his 1979 season with the Montreal Canadiens in this Canadian classic.

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Louis Riel by Chester Brown

Chester Brown’s 2004 comic biography of Louis Riel, the crusader for Métis rights and leader of the Red River Rebellion, isn’t comic in the humorous sense (although it has its moments), but in its format: Chester Brown is a comic-book artist who has turned his inimitable style to a compelling moment in Canadian history. Not a graphic novel so much as a graphic history book, and one that transforms history into legend.

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On a Cold Road by Dave Bidini

Former Rheostatics guitarist Dave Bidini made his transition to the writing world when this book, his first, was published in 1998. It’s an account of the life of a touring Canadian musician. Bidini kept a diary while on tour with The Tragically Hip in 1996 (the Rheostatics were their opening act), and On a Cold Road is a mix of Bidini’s own touring experiences and anecdotes from other Canadian musicians.

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Paris 1919 by Margaret MacMillan

The international peace talks following the First World War, when American president Woodrow Wilson, British prime minister David Lloyd George and French premier Georges Clemenceau met in Paris for six months. Margaret MacMillan’s chronicle of these tense days is “a blueprint of the political and social upheavals bedeviling the planet now,” according to the New York Times.

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Prisoner of Tehran by Marina Nemat

As a teenager, Marina Nemat was arrested and spent two years in a political prison in Iran after the Islamic revolution. This book is her memoir of those horrifying years in jail, where she was tortured and almost executed.

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Shake Hands with the Devil by Roméo Dallaire

In 1993, Lt.-Gen. Roméo Dallaire went to Rwanda on what he thought would be a straightforward peacekeeping mission. He returned home a year later, shattered by his team’s failure to stop the slaughter of 800,000 Rwandans. His book is an account of the events that turned him from a confident military leader into a man plagued by uncertainty after witnessing the worst of humanity.

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Something Fierce by Carmen Aguirre

Carmen Aguirre’s life was more eventful before she hit puberty than most people’s lives ever get. Her family fled to Vancouver from Pinochet’s regime in Chile when she was five, and only six years later, her mother moved Aguirre and her sister back to South America to join the resistance.

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The Tiger by John Vaillant

A man-eating tiger is on the prowl in Russia! Really. Vaillant recounts this true story of a small, poverty-stricken village and the vicious Siberian tiger with a personal vendetta against the village poachers. It’s a gripping thriller about the delicate relationship between two fierce predators: humans and tigers.

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