Thursday, July 31, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
While Singularity is Casey’s first fiction novel, she already has five true crime titles to her credit. Singularity introduces Texas Ranger profiler Sarah Armstrong. She is called in to help the Galveston Police Department come up with a profile of a killer who has murdered a local businessman and his mistress, and then arranged the bodies in a creepy tableau. It quickly becomes apparent to her that this murder is the work of a very disturbed serial killer but the local police refuse to accept her profile, and instead arrest the businessman’s estranged wife. Sarah continues her investigation to the point of putting her career on the line and in doing so attracts the personal attention of the killer, who starts to focus in on Sarah- and her family.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Here's the full longlist:
Girl in a Blue Dress by Gaynor Arnold
The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry
From A to X by John Berger
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Friday, July 25, 2008
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Oh, Boris! by Carrie Weston, illustrated by Tim Warnes.
For ages 3-7.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
I can spend hours browsing in foreign bookstores. I love seeing which Canadian authors are stocked in other countries and it's also fun to compare the covers on different editions. In Iceland it was not a surprise to see Atwood, Munro and Ondaatje widely available, but quite nice to see Steven Galloway, Camilla Gibb, and Madeleine Thien displayed among them. There were three huge bookstores within a few blocks of each other near the downtown core of Rekyjavik. My favourite was Eymundsson which also had a cafe with delicious lattes and a lovely outside patio on its second floor (and open late!). There I picked up some more Icelandic literature - The Lodger and Other Stories by Svava Jakobsdottir and Trolls' Cathedral by Olafur Gunnarsson both of which don't seem to be available for sale in North America but a few copies are available in libraries. The Trolls' Cathedral, which was shortlisted for the IMPAC prize was a great follow-up to Independent People. Set in 1950s Rekyjavik, it is the story of a headstrong architect so determined to build his dream project - a large, modern department store complete with a "moving staircase" - that he exploits his friends, tears apart his family, particularly when his young son becomes the victim of violence, and spirals towards a second, devastating tragedy.
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
I’m on vacation for the next two weeks and because I’ve done so much traveling this year already, I’ve decided to stay close to home, doing some day trips and working in my garden. Besides, I’ve finally convinced my cats to forgive me from ‘abandoning’ them for the ten days I spent in Vancouver recently for an academic conference, and as Arthur Miller so famously wrote in his play Death of a Salesman ‘attention must be paid’. I suspect he had cats. So in honour of the furry critters that allow me to share their house, here are a few of my favourite cat books coming out this fall. I adore Nick Bruel’s books. The original Bad Kitty picture book was one of my picks and is a favourite with many children (and librarians) across Canada. Bad Kitty Gets A Bath is an illustrated chapter book that captures all of the humour and bad behaviour of the original book and it’s follow-up Poor Puppy. The narrator takes readers through all of the steps needed to get Bad Kitty (or any cat for that matter) into the tub, including preparations (run the bath, have first aid supplies handy), where to begin the search for Kitty, what to do when you’ve got her trapped in the bathroom, a glossary of common cat sounds and their meanings and lots of fun and educational facts about cats.
The picture above is my cat Mo, who is not a bad kitty, and who humoured me by posing in the tub for this picture. My other cat, Delaney, is the one I can see reacting poorly (i.e. violently) to a bath. She was mysteriously nowhere to be found at the time the picture was taken.
Katie is crushed- she has the best of intentions, and just wants to play after all. John Himmelman is the author of one of my favourite picture books from last year, Chickens to the Rescue. He has the ability to write a story kids will love, and also create detailed illustrations that capture in the simplest lines the emotions of the characters- the kitten’s fear, Katie’s dejection, and (my favourite) the page that depicts Katie trying to fight the urge to howl. This urge starts as a tail wag, and then moves to a full body wag before breaking through Katie’s clenched teeth. All ends well and the last page is hilarious- showing Katie playing with the kittens, who are no longer afraid and are showing that they’ve picked up Katie’s enthusiasm for playing.
I am confident that Wabi Sabi, a stunning new picture book by Mark Reibstein and Ed Young is going to win awards. Written in a mix of haiku and short text, it tells the story of a cat named Wabi Sabi, who sets off on a journey to discover the meaning of his name. Wabi Sabi is a Japanese phrase describing a view of finding beauty in imperfection, the impermanent and incomplete. This is a difficult concept to understand or describe, but Reibstein does so beautifully and simply through his text. The collage illustrations by Ed Young are incredible- I found myself touching the paper as the images are so clear the book feels as though the pages should be three dimensional. The illustrations and text are complemented by haiku written by famous Japanese poets, and are translated and explained in the author’s note at the end of the book. The book is done in a calendar style layout (the binding is at the top of the book and you flip the pages up rather than side to side) and the cover and interior pages are done in rough paper. Gorgeous!