Friday, December 30, 2011

PW's Best Kids Books of the Year

The end of the year is filled with lists. PW's has a great kid's list...with many Dewey picks on it! Check it out.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas!

This picture has been sent to me by a few friends...enjoy!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Moleskine Star Wars

This Fall, Moleskine came out with Star Wars limited editions of their notebooks. Check out this fun video. They have announced the limited edition for next season: LEGO!!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

How to Write (Bad) Copy

Thanks again to  Maureen at HPL who sent one of the funniest pieces I have read in a long time. It's a guide to writing flap copy from Daniel Menaker, the Editor of Grin and Tonic. I have decided to adapt Daniel's advice for my Dewey presentations so watch out while I talk about my "enthralling," "gritty," "original," "remarkable," "magical," "ground-breaking," "arresting," "dazzling," "heartbreaking," "compelling," "devastating," and "captivating" books.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Hollywood Left and Right

This fascinating book describes how movie stars have influenced American politics. Each chapter is focuses on a different movie star beginning with one of the first stars, Charlie Chaplin. He used his fame to promote socialist views and this got him into trouble with the US government.
Jane Fonda was nicknamed “Hanoi Jane” after a disastrous trip to Vietnam to protest the war. She was also involved in many other causes and was a mentor for several younger celebrity activists like Sarah Jessica Parker. The chapter about Harry Belafonte describes his deep involvement with the Civil Rights movement and his close friendship with Martin Luther King Jr.
Hollywood Left and Right also includes chapters on Arnold Schwarznegger, Warren Beatty, Charlton Heston, Ronald Regan and George Murphy, Edward G. Robinson and Louis B. Mayer.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

HarperCollinsCanada Author Events This Weekend Across Canada

Friday November 25:

Helen Humphreys, author of The Reinvention of Love, will be reading at The Lorenzo Reading series from 7-9pm in Saint John, NB. Details here.

Robin Sharma, author of The Secret Letters of the Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, will be speaking at Blue Heron Books in Uxbridge, ON. Details here.

Saturday November 26:

Vicki Grant, author of Betsy Wickwire’s Dirty Secret, will be signing copies of her book at the Chapters in the Bayers Lake Power Centre from 12-1pm in Halifax, NS.

Kenneth Oppel, author of This Dark Endeavor, will be signing copies of his book at Chapters Brampton at 2pm in Brampton, ON. Details here.

Sunday November 27:

Jennifer McLagan, author of Odd Bits, will be discussing her book at Books to Cooks at 5pm in Vancouver, BC. Details here.

Arlene Dickinson, author of Persuasion, will be singing copies of her book at Indigo Burlington at 2pm in Burlington, ON. Details here.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Canada Reads Finalists

The five finalists have been chosen for Canada Reads.
The Game by Ken Dryden
On A Cold Road by Dave Bidini
Prisoner of Tehran by Marina Nemat
Something Fierce by Carmen Aguirre
The Tiger by John Vaillant
There is a good piece from the writer's POV on how Canada Reads has effected them. Click here to listen to Terry Fallis; last year's winner of Canada Reads.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Canada Reads

CBC’s annual battle of the books, devoted for the first time this year to works of non-fiction, has named the titles in its 2012 Canada Reads: True Stories Top 10 list. Two of the titles are Dewey Picks...Louis Riel + The Tiger! Click here for more details.

They are:
Louis Riel by Chester Brown
The Tiger by John Vaillant
The Boy in the Moon by Ian Brown
Cockeyed by Ryan Knighton
The Game by Ken Dryden
On a Cold Road by Dave Bidini
Paris 1919 by Margaret MacMillan
Prisoner of Tehran by Marina Nemat
Shake Hands with the Devil by Romeo Dallaire
Something Fierce by Carmen Aguirre

Monday, October 31, 2011

The Castrato and His Wife

This book tells the story of Giusto Tenducci, an Italian opera singer and castrato, who was wildly famous in the mid-1700s. He sang for Marie Antoinette and was friends with some of the leading composers of the time, including Bach and Mozart, who composed music specifically for Tenducci. He spent most of his adult life living and performing in England, but for a short time lived in Ireland.
In Ireland he was hired to tutor a very talented young woman, Dorothea Maunsell, who was from a rich and influential Protestant family. The two became very close and eventually eloped, causing a huge scandal. First of all, Tenducci was fifteen years older than Dorothea, he was a castrato, and he was also Catholic. Her family was outraged.
Dorothea’s father hired soldiers to chase the pair and Tenducci was thrown in prison twice, but eventually they made their way to England where they lived happily for five or six years. Then the spirited Dorothea eloped with another man.
The Castrato and His Wife is much more than a biography. It tells the story of a group of men, the castrati, who lived unusual lives at the edges of society. It’s also a fascinating look at the history of opera.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Celebrating Canada's Independent Bookstores!

I love my indie bookstore...Book City on the Danforth. The staff is fantastic and I always come out with a whack of great stuff to read. They are big supporters of the community and my paty of the city would be greatly lessend without them. Today is Independents' Day so go and shop at your local bookstore. The CBA website has more details on Why Independents Matter.
"Long before I was a novelist, I was an independent bookseller, working at Toronto's Bakka Books--and ever since, I've made a point of supporting independents whenever I can; they are the heart and soul of the Canadian book trade, the people who are in it for the love of good books. There's nowhere I'd rather spend an afternoon than browsing in one of Canada's many find independent bookstores." - Robert J. Sawyer

                   Think Independent     Read Independent      Buy Independent

Friday, October 14, 2011

Three Cheers for Beer!

The Oxford Companion to Beer is an A-Z guide that features more than 1,100 entries and 140 images. From barley and hops to local pub customs, it touches on every aspect of making and enjoying beer. There are several Canadian contributors and a four page section about beer in Canada. There are also entries about Labatts and Molsons, which happens to be the oldest brewery in North America. Surprisingly, the top selling beer in Canada is Budweiser and not Molson Canadian, which was knocked out of the top spot in 2004. The largest brewery that is still Canadian owned is Moosehead, but it only has about 3% of the market. One of the very first brewers in Canada was a woman named Marie Rollet, who grew up in France and immigrated in 1617, eventually brewing beer for the small community of New France.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Canada Reads and the Dewey Divas!

This year the CBC asked the Deweys to submit  their picks for Canada Reads. For the first time ever they are doing non-fiction. Check it out and don't forget to vote!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Lonely Planet and the UN

There was lots of excitement in the office last Friday over some big news from Lonely Planet: in celebration of World Tourism Day, Lonely Planet is announcing a new partnership with the United Nations to provide information for first responders in humanitarian emergencies. Staff from UN agencies deployed in the event of a disaster will be able to use Lonely Planet’s information to help them familiarize themselves with the country before traveling. You can read more about the partnership here. This is super cool!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Writer's Bill of Rights for the Digital Age

There has been a great deal of conversation going on about e-books. I have been to numerous conferences on digital and one thing I have noticed is that there isn't much mention of the authors. The Writers' Union of Canada has recently posted the Writer's Bill of Rights for the Digital Age. It is worth a read.

Friday, September 30, 2011


Portalndia is a hilarious series that was on IFC. I know people like this...or more worrisome; I might be like this!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Kate Beaton Comic Girl!

Kate Beaton is setting the publishing world on fire. She is the cover girl of this month's Quill and Quire. Her long awaited first graphic novel Hark a Vagrant releases this month and it has already gone back to print. Her website gets over 1.2 million hits a month. Chris Oliveros, publisher of drawn and Quarterly, says he hasn't seen this much buzz about a book in 15 years. It's a hoot!

Friday, September 23, 2011

On the Road Again

As a publishers’ sales rep I spend a lot of time in my car driving to libraries and bookstores, or just the office. In January someone gave me a gift of The Room on CD, and since then I’ve become hooked on listening to books in my car. Now, getting caught in traffic on the QEW is much less aggravating.

The Toronto Public Library has a wonderful selection of books on CD. When it comes to listening to books, fiction works best, and one of my recent favourites was The Help. It is performed like a play, with different actresses taking on the voices of various characters. (I think I developed a slight southern drawl during the week I spent listening to this). A surprise hit for me was a spiritual book called, The Shack. It’s a story about a man who spends a weekend at a shack where he meets and talks with God. I also got very involved in all the Jackson Brody literary mysteries by Kate Atkinson. They’re very dark, but Atkinson is a beautiful writer who is very good at creating characters with a lot of depth. Start with Case Histories and you won’t be able to stop until you’ve listened to all four books in the series.

Unfortunately, non-fiction doesn’t work as well on CD, but the exception is biography because it’s usually got a strong narrative like fiction. I was surprised that I enjoyed My Life by Keith Richards as much as I did – even though I still think the guy’s a jerk. It's read by Johnny Depp, Keith Richards and a British actor. However, my favourite biography on CD is When I Stop Talking, You'll Know I'm Dead: Useful Stories from a Persuasive Man by Jerry Weintraub, a Hollywood producer who started in the music business managing John Denver. He also has some great stories about working with Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, and many contemporary and actors like George Clooney. With a distinct Bronx accent, Weintraub reads his own story for the audio, and it’s an entertaining, funny and poignant tale of a very interesting and full life.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Roslyn Schwartz on the Creation of the Vole Brothers

OwlKids will be coming out this Fall with The Vole Brothers. The Vole Brothers are the antithesis of Schwartz' very successful Mole Sisters...they get into all kinds of situations that those sweet Mole Sisters do not. From School Library Journal: "Publishers, you would do well to emulate this. Please make sure to stick around for “the editorial process”. It is fantastic!"

Monday, September 19, 2011

Castle: Heat Rises

Season 3 of Castle ended with a shocking cliffhanger, but the long wait is finally over- Season 4 starts again tonight! Woo-hoo!Because I'm a fan, I'm celebrating the return of my favourite Monday night show with a giveaway.

Hyperion Books publishes the books of 'Richard Castle'. Yes, that's right, the ones featured in the TV show! Heat Wave, which introduced the character of Nikki Heat, came out in 2009. Naked Heat came out in 2010. Heat Rises, the third book in the series has just gone on sale. Fans of the show will definitely want to pick up this companion book, because you KNOW it will be referenced in the show this season (they always are)!

One lucky blog reader is going to get the prize pack depicted to the left- a hardcover copy of each of the three books in the series, along with an ALA READ poster featuring Nathan Fillion the (Canadian) actor who plays writer Richard Castle on the show. Don't worry- you won't be getting the poster tacked up on my cubbie wall (I'm not parting with THAT one). The winner will get a fresh, still-in-the-package READ poster.

“Richard Castle proves as adept at writing thrillers as he is at solving crimes. HEAT rises to the occasion.” –Dennis Lehane, bestselling author

So, if you are a librarian (in Canada) and interested in winning this prize, please send an e-mail to with the subject Castle Contest.

I'll collect names until September 30th at 9:00 a.m. EST and then notify the winner. Good luck!

Sunday, September 18, 2011


Unshelved is a hilarious website that does comic strips all about the library trade. I am sure you find yourself and your some of your patrons in a few of these strips!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Little Yellow Bottle

The Little Yellow Bottle from Second Story Press is a powerful book that deals with a very difficult subject...the impact of land mines on children. The book is told in a non-sentimental yet poignant manner. CM gave it 3 out of 4 stars and had this to say: "Christine Delezenne echoes Delaunois's authenticity with images,that at times,are both dark and disturbing. She does not shy away from illustrating the reality of war, but honours children of war by bringing to life its true scope."

Monday, September 12, 2011

Happy Mindfulness Day

Mindfulness refers to being completely in touch with and aware of the present moment, as well as taking a non-evaluative and non-judgmental approach to your inner take a few moments today to be mindful...and breathe!

Friday, September 9, 2011

National Reading Summit on You Tube

The National Reading Campaign has announced the dates for their third summit May 2nd-5th in Vancouver. They have also launched their own You Tube Channel. On this channel you will see Terry Fallis speak about what "Reading Means To Me".

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Get Published!

On September 17th, The Canadian Children's Book Centre will be hosting a seminar on how to get published. The panel will include Barbara Reid, Margie Wolfe (publisher of Second Story Press) as well as others...including yours truly! For more information you can contact Dawn Todd at or click here.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Awards News! 2011 Man Booker Shortlist & 2011 Scotiabank Giller

Two major awards lists have been announced today!

The 2011 Man Booker Prize for Fiction Shortlist

The six books, selected from the longlist of 13, are as follows:

  1. Julian Barnes The Sense of an Ending (Random House Canada)

  2. Carol Birch Jamrach’s Menagerie (HarperCollins Canada)

  3. Patrick deWitt The Sisters Brothers (House of Anansi Press)

  4. Esi Edugyan Half Blood Blues (Thomas Allen)

  5. Stephen Kelman Pigeon English (House of Anansi Press)

  6. A.D. Miller Snowdrops (HarperCollins Canada)

The winner of the 2011 Man Booker Prize for Fiction will be announced on Tuesday October 18.

The 2011 Scotiabank Giller Longlist

The jury selected 16 titles out of 143 books – a record-setting number of submissions – put forward by 55 publishers from every region of Canada. And for the first time ever, the longlist includes a Reader's Choice nomination:

  1. THE FREE WORLD by David Bezmozgis (HarperCollins Canada)

  2. THE MEAGRE TARMAC by Clarke Blaise (Biblioasis)

  3. THE BEGGAR'S GARDEN by Michael Christie (HarperCollins Canada)

  4. THE ANTAGONIST by Lynn Coady (House of Anansi Press)

  5. THE SISTERS BROTHERS by Patrick DeWitt (House of Anansi Press)

  6. HALF-BLOOD BLUES by Esi Edugyan for her novel (Thomas Allen Publishers)

  7. THE LITTLE SHADOWS by Marina Endicott (Doubleday Canada)

  8. BETTER LIVING THROUGH PLASTIC EXPLOSIVES by Zsuzsi Gartner (Hamish Hamilton)

  9. SOLITARIA by Genni Gunn (Signature Editions)

  10. INTO THE HEART OF THE COUNTRY by Pauline Holdstock (HarperCollins Canada)

  11. A WORLD ELSEWHERE by Wayne Johnston for his novel (Knopf Canada)

  12. THE RETURN by Dany Laferrière for his novel (translation, David Homel) (Douglas & McIntyre)

  13. MONOCEROS by Suzette Mayr (Coach House Books)

  14. THE CAT’S TABLE by Michael Ondaatje (McClelland & Stewart)

  15. A GOOD MAN by Guy Vanderhaeghe (McClelland & Stewart)

  16. TOUCH by Alexi Zentner (Knopf Canada)

  17. EXTENSIONS* by Myrna Dey (NeWest Press) *Reader’s Choice

The shortlist will be announced at a news conference in Toronto on Tuesday, October 4th.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The History and Future of the Book...Again

I was picking my son up from the airport the other day, when I was talking to another person also waiting for her son. She asked me what I did and I said I sold books...she laughed and said "aren't books dead?". There has been a great deal of ink spilt this past year on the future of the book. Russell Smith's piece in the Globe speaks to this person's amazement that people still buy books in their traditional format. On a much more positive note is Ann Patchett's piece in the NYT about how wonderful bookstores much that she is planning to open her own bookstore.
And finally Lev Grossman wrote a very cool history of the book "From Scroll to Screen" also from the NYT.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

I Don't Want to be a Pea!

Hugo (the Hippo) and Bella (the Bird) are best friends, but when they are invited to a costume party they can't agree on what outfits to wear. Hugo wants to wear a princess costume and tries to convince Bella to dress up like a pea, but she refuses. Bella offers several alternative ideas for matching costumes, such as a mermaid and a rock, but Hugo is offended. He does not look like a rock!

Eventually the two friends come up with an innovative solution and have a wonderful time at the party. I don't want to be a pea! is a warm and funny story about the give and take of friendship. The book is illustrated with simple, brightly coloured pictures and it would be great for reading aloud at storytime.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Jane Lynch's Happy Accidents

I've been a Jane Lynch fan ever since I saw 'Best in Show'. So, I'm really excited about Jane's new autobiography Happy Accidents, which will be hitting stores (and library shelves) September 13th!

Check out the video trailers below! The first, was filmed just after Jane finished recording the audio edition and will tell you a bit more about the book and the process of writing it.

And now- a special message recorded just for us in Canada!

Are you excited too?!! I have a five galleys up for grabs for the first five Canadian librarians to e-mail me at

Please use 'Happy Accidents' as the subject of your e-mail and please be sure to include the full mailing address of your library.


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Trick of The Light

I have just come back from two weeks of glorious holidays. We went on a road trip to California and before we went, I visited my local library to pick up the first four books in Louise Penny's Inspector Gamache series. I like my murders with a cup of tea as they say or Agatha Christie style, so Louise Penny's books were just for me. Her latest book in the series: Trick of the Light is releasing today. In support of the book, Lousie is doing an extensive cross Canada tour: from PEI to Victoria. For a complete list of her tour dates click here.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Canadian Culinary Book Awards

The awards season is truly heating up and it's not even September! Now here's a long list you can really sink your teeth into ;). Cuisine Canada has come out with their nominations for the best Canadian cookbooks. Lots of yummy books on the list including Whitecap's 3 Chefs: The Kitchen Men with Michael Bonacini, Massimo Capra, and Jason Parsons. For a look at all the books click here.

I hope I Win!

This is a pretty cool and original contest brought to you by the folks at Our Public Library. In order to raise awareness about what is happening at City Hall and TPL, they have enlisted some of Canada's best authors such as Michael Ondaatje, Susan Swan and others. They are asking for people to submit "Why My Library Matters to Me”. Each participating author will accompany a small group of contest winners to a Toronto literary site (such as a location in one of their books) followed by lunch with their group at one of the author's favourite Toronto restaurants. The contest opens August 25th...spread this far and wide. Check it out!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Giller Contest

The longlist for the Giller is announced on September 6th. The CBC is running a fun contest asking for people to nominate books for the list. The book that garners the most nominations will be added onto the official longlist.
There are also prizes to be won including a trip for two to the Giller Awards. Click here for more information.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Big Nate is On a Roll!

Big Nate is back and better than ever! Big Nate On A Roll, the third book in this fun series that Kirkus likened to a 'latter-day Peanuts and a kinder, gentler Diary of a Wimpy Kid is now available in stores & on library shelves.

Nate has always looked forward to his Timber Scout meetings (even the berets are cool). But when the practically perfect foreign exchange student Artur joins his troop, Nate is going to have some serious competition to earn first place in the Timber Scout door-to-door sales competition. And Big Nate REALLY wants the customized skateboard that is the prize… Many laughs ensue as the competition heats up! With its mix of text and comic style panels, this book (and the others in the series) appeal to avid & reluctant readers alike.

I must admit to having had a soft spot for Nate- I do like a mischief maker! So, to celebrate the release of Big Nate on A Roll, I’m running a contest for Canadian teachers & librarians. The winner will receive the prize pack depicted in the picture on the right, consisting of an autographed copy of the first two books in the series (Big Nate in A Class By Himself and Big Nate Strikes Again), as well as a copy of Big Nate on a Roll, Big Nate Boredom Busters, the newly arrived ARC of the new comic strip collection Big Nate: What Could Possibly Go Wrong? and a Big Nate cardboard standee.

To enter, please send me an e-mail at with the subject ‘Big Nate’. Be sure to include your full name and the mailing address of your library or school. I’ll collect entries until Friday September 2nd and contact the winner on Tuesday the 6th.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Win A Trip for 2 to Toronto!

To celebrate the release of Lindsey Kelk's new novel, The Single Girl's To-Do List, HarperCollins Canada is sponsoring a contest where the winner will win a trip for 2 to Toronto, a 2 night stay at the Four Seasons Hotel , salon services from Civello and dinner at MoRoCo.

To enter and for rules and regulations, follow this link.

Even if you live in Toronto, this prize would be a great 'staycation'. I only wish I could enter too!

The Single Girl's To-Do List was one of my Spring 2011 Dewey Picks. The main character, Rachel, is devastated after being dumped for the first time in her illustrious dating career. An avid list-maker & follower, Rachel starts a practical 'what to do now' list. The fun begins when her two best friends get hold of the list and decide to spice it up a little. Rachel's list begins with a makeover, moves on to tracking down 'the one that got away' (who now lives in Toronto) & includes a challenge that has Rachel facing her fear of heights. This book has great characters, a lot of laughs and is a fun summer read!

Happy Birthday Mr. McLuhan

This season, we have taken on repping the University of Toronto Press. The first title they presented at their sales conference was a new edition of The Gutenberg Galaxy which they said was the most important book they had ever published...pretty exciting for us. On their blog, they have compiled all of the recent media around the Centenary Year of McLuhan's birth and his legacy which is more relevant today than ever. My favourite piece is by Doug Coupland in the Guardian.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Dear Baobab

Second Story Press' list this Fall is exceptionally strong. One book that is really standing out is Dear Baobab. It is a sweet story about a young boy who is transplated from Tanzania to North America. His story has alot in common with the spruce tree that is growing too close to their house and has to be moved. In Quill and Quire's starred review they call it charming and superb!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Melanie Watt on Seven Impossible Things

Melanie Watt does an interesting inteveriew with on the book blog Seven Impossible Things . In it she talks about her favourite books, music and you get to see some of her childhood drawings as well as non-kid sketches. Check it out!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Rob Ford: I can think of another word for her

This video speaks for itself as author Vikki VanSickle speaks at the City of Toronto Council meeting last night.


If you are in the neighbourhood, Sarah B. Hood author of We Sure Can!will be at the Leslieville Farmer’s Market in Toronto all day to answer questions about jamming and preserves.
Date: Sunday, August 7 (rain date Sunday, August 14th)
Time: 9am-2pm
This book is awesome and has folks such as Lorraine Johnson and Elizabeth Baird contributing over 100 recipes.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

You have to laugh...

This article appeared in last Sunday's New York Times. In an effort to create buzz around its digital magazine Think Quarterly, Google is using a "retro" technique...they are publishing it has a hardcover book!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Way to go Ms. Atwood!

Long time admirer of the Deweys ;) and author extraordinaire, Margaret Atwood tweeted last Thursday that "Toronto’s libraries are under threat of privatization. Tell council to keep them public at " The response was so big that the website ended up crashing! No's back up and running. You can read the Quill report here. And the Globe did a piece as well.

Friday, July 22, 2011

And another thing...

In the Globe today there was a piece on privatizing public libraries. Janet sent this link about privatizing libraries in the States. This really hurts my head, this is wrong on so many levels...and it's too hot for that!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

SOS! Save our Libraries

As many of you know, the cost cutting agenda of Toronto City Council could target the TPL within weeks. A petition is going around to address this issue. If you are interested in signing it, click here. Make sure you pass this around!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Taverns, Saloons, Speakeasies and Grog Shops

America Walks into a Bar is an informative and funny book about how taverns and bars helped to shape American history. It was written by Christine Sismondo, a former bartender, who is now a lecturer at York University in Toronto.

In many newly settled colonies in what was to become the United States, the tavern was often the first building to be built. In small communities that didn’t have many public buildings, the tavern often doubled as a courtroom, post office, community centre – and sometimes the library.

Many events central to the history of the US took place in bars, including some of the Salem witch trials. Plans for the Boston Tea Party were hatched at the Green Dragon, and the Declaration of Independence was ratified at a tavern in New Jersey. For runaway slaves escaping to Canada, it was often tavern owners who provided food and shelter to the refugees. Even the Star Spangled Banner has a connection to a bar; it was written over a few pints at the Fountain Inn to the tune of an old drinking song.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Yarn Bombers Unite!

I had never heard of Yarn Bombing until this book. Otherwise known as knit graffiti, it is an international guerrilla movement that started underground and is now embraced by crochet and knitting artists of all ages stripes. Basically one knits something and then puts it in a public space. For lots of cool examples you can check out
This book has been everywhere recently...the New York Times, National Post, Good Morning America etc. The author has a new book coming out this fall: Hoopla: The Art of Unexpected should be just as much fun!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Canadian Bookshelf is now in Beta Testing

Canadian Bookshelf, the resource for all Canadian books is now in Beta testing. The intent is to officially launch in the Fall. They do have a section dedicated specifically for Teachers and Librarians. If you have any thoughts or suggestions, they would love to hear them. Their tagline is "if it's Canadian, it's here".

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

2011 BBC Samuel Johnson Prize Winner Announced

Mao's Great Famine by Frank Dikotter (Bloomsbury USA) has won the 2011 BBC Samuel Johnson Prize, the U.K's most prestigious non-fiction prize.

On the shortlist:

Monday, July 4, 2011

Best Canadian Political Books of the Last 25 Years

I love lists and normally we start to see them at the end of the year, but to celebrate Canada's 144th birthday, the Writer's Trust of Canada is looking to find what we think is the Best Canadian Political Book of the past 25 years. Below is a list of the 12 filanists.
To vote for the best one click here.

On the Take: Crime, Corruption and Greed in the Mulroney Years
Trudeau and Our Times, Volume 1: The Magnificent Obsession and Volume 2: The Heroic Delusion
While Canada Slept: How We Lost Our Place in the World
Fights of Our Lives: Elections, Leadership and the Making of Canada
The Best Laid Plans
One-Eyed Kings: Promise & Illusion in Canadian Politics
John A: The Man Who Made Us; The Life and Times of John A. MacDonald, Volume One
Shakedown: How Our Government is Undermining Democracy in the Name of Human Rights
Harperland: The Politics of Control
1867: How the Fathers Made a Deal
A Fair Country: Telling Truths about Canada
Right Side Up: The Fall of Paul Martin and the Rise of Stephen Harper’s Conservatism

Friday, July 1, 2011

Westward Ho!

The Klondike has been getting a ton of attention in the national media. It is a graphic novel filled with all kinds of great characters all about the Canadian Gold Rush. The Globe review says "trust Montreal publisher D&Q to go panning for graphic treasure and come up with gold almost every time.
The National Post really sums it up: "it is a Canadian document of a pivotal moment in our national history". This is perfect for fans (like me) of Chester Brown's Louis Riel and for Canada Day!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Nanaimo's own Chevy Stevens follow up to Still Missing, Never Knowing , will be releasing on July 5th. In an interview with Author on-line she talks about where she go the idea for writing her first book...When she was a real estate agent, waiting between potential buyers at open houses, she spent hours scaring herself with thoughts of horrible things that could happen to her. She also talks about why she became a writer and gives some good tips for budding authors. Both are good thriller reads for the summer. Click here for the full interview.

Monday, June 27, 2011

What Big Media Can Learn From the New York Public Library

Here's a great article from The Atlantic about how libraries are thriving. Thanks to Maureen from Hamilton PL for sending!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

E-Reader Envy

Russell Smith's piece in the Globe today was HILARIOUS! Many of us who are in the business of reading are in a kerfuffle about e-books and e-readers. Smith's piece on his wife's frustrating experience with her e-reader(s) had tears rolling down my eyes, as he calmly watched her and read his (embarassingly) paper book.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Robert Kroetsch 1927-2011

Very sad news. The distinguished Alberta author, who won the Governor General’s Literary Award for the novel The Studhorse Man (1969), was returning from a literary festival in Canmore, Alberta, on Tuesday night when he died in a highway accident. He was 84. Click here to read the full story.