Canada Reads 2016 Books, Ranked by How Likely I Think They Are to Win

As I mentioned in my last list, every year Canada has a game show where five Canadian celebrities defend five Canadian books. One book is voted off every day until a winner is declared at the end of the week. This year's theme is "starting over." Yesterday I ranked my favourites. Here I put my personal feelings aside, and rank the likely winners
  1. 5.
    Birdie by Tracey Lindberg
    Bruce Poon Tip seems like an articulate defender based on the previews, but I predict hard going based on stylistic grounds.
  2. 4.
    Minister Without Portfolio by Michael Winter
    How will Martha and Henry's relationship fly with the panel? Will the ladies be willing to put up with Henry's paternalist attitude towards Martha? Then again, this book is losing the public popularity poll, and in past years underdogs have tended to last longer than expected.
  3. 3.
    Bone and Bread by Saleema Nawaz
    This book beautifully articulates the complexity of sisterhood and is my personal favourite, but the ending is ambiguous, and I wonder if panelists will be seeking a more hopeful conclusion to embody second chances.
  4. 2.
    The Hero's Walk by Anita Rau Badami
    This book is colourful, lively, and sympathetic, as well as the best established novel on this year's list. But the plot doesn't have quite as neat an arc as...
  5. 1.
    The Illegal by Lawrence Hill
    Lawrence Hill is a past Canada Reads winner (for The Book of Negroes). This book has a timely focus on the refugee crisis, and a hopeful ending going for it. But the again, if this is a perceived front runner, panelists might gang up against it.