The CBC's Canada Reads - True Stories Top 40 books have been chosen. This year, it's non-fiction only.
I can agree handily with some of these - And No Birds Sang by Farley Mowat, The Last Spike by Pierre Berton, Paper Shadows by Wayson Choy, Mordecai by Charles Foran (notice a pattern here?) but if Louis Riel: A Comic-Strip Biography by Chester Brown doesn't win, I likely will be very unhappy (again). Some may be surprised I'd say that.
Chester Brown's graphic biography of Louis Riel isn't perfect - he missed one of the 'best moments' in Canadian history, I think - and overall the academic and political emphasis on Riel has sometimes obscured the aspirations, actions and fate of his contemporaries, but Riel's is a story that resonated all across Canada during his lifetime and certainly at the time of his death, and has found expression ever since.
I've found in talking about this book that many younger-than-me Canadians know little if anything about him, or about the Northwest Rebellions. Shame! The appeal of a graphic historical biography to those who won't pick up a weightier looking book can't be underestimated in my opinion - Canadians will read this, if it's widely promoted!
One of my copies of Louis Riel is circulating throughout Canada as a BookCrossing book. Keep an eye out for it or, better yet, get yourself to an independent book shop and pick up your own copy.