Mark Sakamoto's memoir Forgiveness, championed by Jeanne Beker, wins Canada Reads 2018

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      Jeanne Beker successfully championed the memoir Forgiveness by Mark Sakamoto to win CBC's Canada Reads 2018.

      The fashion journalist and TV host won the televised four-day competition, hosted by comedian and CBC radio host Ali Hassan, in a 3-2 vote on March 29.

      The annual CBC show sees five celebrities each presenting a Canadian book that they argue should be the one that all Canadians read.

      Sakamoto's non-fiction book details the experience of his grandfathers during the Second World War: his maternal grandfather Ralph MacLean was a prisoner of war in Japan while his paternal grandfather Mitsue Sakamoto underwent the Japanese-Canadian internment in Alberta.

      Beker drew upon her own experiences as a child of Holocaust survivors to argue for the book's themes of compassion and understanding.

      "Forgiveness sheds light on a shameful chapter in our history, but it also shows us that healing is possible with tolerance and compassion," Beker stated during the competition. "The message for Canadians is a timely one: forgive in order to move forward, but never, ever forget." 

      The book was in competition with runner-up Omar El Akkad's dystopian novel American War, defended by Battlestar Galactica actor Tahmoh Penikett from Vancouver.

      Also in the competition were Sharon Bala's The Boat People, presented by Vancouver-raised Afghan singer Mozhdah Jamalzadah; Craig Davidson's Precious Cargo, advocated for by weather expert Greg Johnson; and Cherie Dimaline's The Marrow Thieves, defended by R&B singer-songwriter Jully Black.

      If you weren't able to watch the finale, here it is below, with some heated and emotional moments as the participants present their final thoughts on the books:

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook