03/05/2012 10:57 EST | Updated 05/05/2012 05:12 EDT

And the Winner is...

AFP/Getty Images

Congratulations to Andrew Westoll, author of The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary, who won the $25,000 in cash and admiration of Canadians at the ceremony this afternoon. He has also be invited to read at the International Festival of Authors in October.

Meanwhile, we did a straw poll amongst our readers as to whose book they thought should win:

Third prize goes to Andrew Westoll, with just under 20 per cent of the vote.

Second prize goes to Wade Davis, and Into the Silence, with 34 per cent of the vote.

And the winner is ... [insert sound of envelope ripping] ...

J.J. Lee, for The Measure of a Man, with 36 per cent of the vote.

That is what we call a photo finish -- you'd almost think it was a contest between Romney and Santorum!

Thank you authors for sharing your books and thoughts with us; and thank you readers for participating.

But as it has been said many times, the authors are all winners and worthy of your eyeballs. So if you haven't already, check out the videos and excerpts.

ANDREW WESTOLL: The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary

"Two massive chimps are thrashing about on the walkway of the north playroom. They are a ball of flailing limbs, gnashing teeth, and high-pitched shrieks, and all the other chimps in the building are screaming and crashing in their rooms like manic cheerleaders, watching the battle play out." Click here to read more.


"Some people think planting trees is as boring and crazy making as stuffing envelopes or a climbing a StairMaster. A field is a setting so full of all-enveloping sensations that it just sweeps you up and spirits you away, like Vegas does to gamblers or Mount Everest to climbers." Click here to read more.

MADELINE SONIK: Afflictions and Departures

"My father does not tell me that U.S. soldiers were ordered to slaughter South Korean refugees--that they machine gunned old women and small children because they might have been Northern spies. If my father knows about such things, he does not speak of them. It is decades before anyone publicly will." Click here to read more.

WADE DAVIS: Into the Silence

"George Mallory and Sandy Irvine crested the northeast ridge of Everest and were going strong for the summit when the mist rolled in and enveloped their memory in myth. Never were they seen alive again. Whether they reached the summit of the world before meeting their end has long haunted the mountaineering community." Click here to read more.

JJ LEE: The Measure of a Man

"The suit attracts and repels me. It came to me under the saddest of circumstances, and I've dared to wear it in public only once. Most of the time I try to ignore it, and so years can go by without my touching it. But even so, I always know it's there. This is my father's suit." Click here to read more.

And the Winner is...-from-mt-207290