As Canada Reads approaches, CBC employees recall influential books

Has Anne of Green Gables 'gone Hollywood'?

Canada Reads, CBC's annual battle of the books, is about to begin. This year's list of five contenders includes books by Sheila Watt-Cloutier, André Alexis, Madeline Ashby, Katherena Vermette and M.G. Vassanji.

So with the search for the book all Canadians should read about to get underway, Shauna Powers, host of CBC Radio's Saskatchewan Weekend, decided to ask around the CBC Saskatchewan newsroom to find out which books stick out in the minds of CBC employees. 

The responses included both modern books and some which are a little more weathered.

Reporter Stefani Langenegger's choice is Watership Down by Richard Adams, which she said may have been the first adult-oriented book she read.

The 1972 novel follows a group of rabbits who encounter various dangers as they search for a new home.

Langenegger was drawn to the complexity and depth of the rabbit's society and the allegory for the political and social climate in the United Kingdom at the time the novel was published.

Meteorologist Christy Climenhaga's choice was Andy Weir's The Martian, the 2011 novel turned into a movie starring Matt Damon.

Climenhaga said the book gave her insight into a branch of science she had not seen a lot of during her career.

Associate producer Tory Gillis's choice was the Canadian classic Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. 

She says she has read the 1908 novel again and again over the years, and it's one she felt proud to read as a child, since it was a chapter book and not just a picture book.

For Peter Mills, it's the trio of books by Swedish author Stieg Larsson, referred to as the Millennium series: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest.

Mills said he would stay up into the early hours, enamoured by the story, despite admitting he is not much of a reader. Staying up until 4 a.m. in some cases, he finished the long novels in days.

Canada Reads begins March 27 and runs until March 30.