2018 Battle of the Books is Oct 15

The Waterloo Reads! Battle of the Books is a fun night of debate, trash talk, draw prizes, delicious refreshments and possibly the most lively book chat you’ve ever witnessed.

Monday, October 15
Waterloo Memorial Recreation Complex, Hauser Haus

10 “Champions” from our community will debate the merits of the 10 awesome books.

At the end of the evening, attendees will vote for the book they think everyone in Waterloo should be reading this year.

Registration is not required for this event. Parking is free. Everyone welcome!

And the 2017 winner is…

What a night it was!  Waterloo Public Library hosted the 5th annual “Waterloo Reads! Battle of the Books”, on October 17 which saw 10 very competitive local “Champions” defend and debate the merits of the 10 books selected by the community as their favourite Canadian novels of all time.

It is safe to say that the 250 people who attended the event at the Waterloo Memorial Recreation Complex totally enjoyed the enthusiastic debate and clever banter.  “Waterloo Reads” truly is the liveliest book chat around.

There was the fun of Jasmine Mangalaseril’s decadent bribe of homebaked cakes and boxer Mandy Bujold’s flashing of a Pan Am gold medal. However, kidding and trash talk aside, all of our panelists shared engaging and thought provoking details about the books they were defending, making it very difficult for attendees to decide just which to vote for.

At the end of the evening, with votes tallied, the win went to Janice Jo Lee, a Korean-Canadian, folk-soul musician, and theatre artist. Lee was defending “Ragged Company” by Richard Wagamese. Congratulations Janice Jo!

Close behind in 2nd place was Senior Director, Community Relations & Events at U of W, Kelly McManus, with Margaret Atwood’s “Handmaid’s Tale” and  3rd place went to WPL Board Member, Alison De Muy with “Still Life” by Louise Penny.

We’d like to thank our champions and attendees for helping to make Waterloo Reads such a terrific success!

Your favourite Canadian novels are…

cdn authorsFor this special Canada 150 edition of Waterloo Reads: the battle of the books, the community was asked to vote on what was their favourite Canadian novel (for adults) of all time. Over 500 ballots were cast and, without further ado, here is the Top 10:

  • “Ragged Company” by Richard Wagamese (defended by Janice Jo Lee)
  • “Room” by Emma Donoghue (defended by Patti Brooks)
  • “Still Life” by Louise Penny (defended by Alison De Muy)
  • “The Best Laid Plans” by Terry Fallis (defended by Joe Pavia)
  • “Bitten” by Kelley Armstrong (defended by Mandy Bujold)
  • “The Book of Negroes” by Lawrence Hill (defended by Fauzia Mazhar)
  • “Crow Lake” by Mary Lawson (defended by Jasmine Mangalaseril)
  • “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood (defended by Kelly McManus)
  • “Life of Pi” by Yann Martel (defended by Scott Wahl)
  • “No Great Mischief” by Alistair MacLeod (defended by Sheldon Pereira)

Our 10 “Champions” will defend their books valiantly on October 17th. Save the date! This is an event you do not want to miss.

Waterloo Reads Champions 2017

The “champions” for the 2017 Waterloo Reads: battle of the books are:

Each champion will be defending one of the 10 most popular Canadian novels of all time, as voted by our community.  Click on the Champions’ names above to learn more about them and the books their are defending.

Thank You!

We would like to once again thank our 10 terrific, enthusiastic and very competitive 2016 Waterloo Reads Champions.


Alex Kinsella, Small & Medium Enterprise Team, Communitech
Under the Visible Life by Kim Echlin

Andrew Coppolino, Food Commentator, Columnist & Critic
The Jaguar’s Children by John Vaillant

Eric Drozd, Broadcaster and Host of The Eric Drozd Show on 570 News
Birdie by Tracey Lindberg

Wendy Tutt, Co-Owner of the Princess Cinemas 
They Left Us Everything: a memoir by Plum Johnson

Nan Forler, Author & Teacher
All Saints: stories by K.D. Miller

Care, Radio Announcer (Country106.7) and TV Show Host
Seconds: a graphic novel by Bryan Lee O’Malley

Mandy Brouse, Co-Owner of Words Worth Books
Local Customs: a novel by Audrey Thomas

Neil Ballantyne, City & Life/Art Editor, Waterloo Region Record
That Lonely Section of Hell: the botched investigation of a serial  killer who almost got away by Lori Shenher

Darryl “Chef D” Fletcher, Professional Chef & TV Show Host
The Hunger of the Wolf by Stephen Marche

Dave Jaworsky, Mayor, City of Waterloo
Punishment by Linden MacIntyre