Friday, April 29, 2011

Boo: The World's Cutest Dog

I am currently at sales conference finding out about the new upcoming books and am totally smitten with Boo: The World's Cutest Dog. This dog puts cuteness on a whole new level...and apparently I am not the only who thinks so...Boo has over one million followers on Facebook! It is a public page, so you don't have to be a member.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

CBA Libris Awards Are Announced

The Canadian Booksellers Association has announced their short list for 2011. The awards recognize the best in Canadian books (adult and children's), bookselling, marketing and many other categories. You can check out the full list here.

Monday, April 25, 2011

one of the greatest vegetarian cookbooks of all time

Wow...that is high praise. This comes from the Globe and Mail's Rob Mifsud. Plenty was a huge hit at CGTA...people were falling over themselves to get this book. It comes from the London restaurant Ottolenghi. The chef Yotam Ottolenghi is a huge carnivore but he has created a fabulous vegetarian cookbook. As Anthony Bourdain famously said: "the problem with vegetarians is that they can't cook vegetables"! You can read the full review here.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Hey Small Press!. . .

Here's a great new blog to check out.  Hey Small Press! is a site devoted to getting more great books by small and independent publishers into public libraries. It's a U.S. initiative, started by librarians, and they hope to review ten new and upcoming titles a month. They will then send their list to libraries across the country urging them to stock these great finds on their shelves.  What a terrific idea!

One of their latest posts is a review of Imre Kertész's novel Fiasco, translated by Tim Wilkinson, which has just been brought into English translation by Melville House. This is a perfect example of why the small presses shouldn't be ignored.  Despite winning the Nobel Prize for literature,  it's still taken this long to get some of his works translated into English!  Fiasco is the third is a loose trilogy that began with Fatelessness and Kaddish For An Unborn Child, and details the experience of coming home from Auschwitz, only to find one's country taken over by the Communists.  So yes, an important writer for all library shelves.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Barbarian Librarian

Say it ain't so! Everyone's favourite Barbarian Librarian failed to win in last Sunday's Wipeout Canada competition. However, he did make it to the third round, which is about three rounds further than I would have made it. Way to go Joel! You made book lovers proud.

Bardolatry. . .

In honour of Shakespeare's birthday coming up this weekend, I'll be starting Arthur Phillips' new novel The Tragedy of Arthur which stars a man named Arthur Phillips whose family just may have in their possession an undiscovered play by Shakespeare (all five acts included in the text) and whose father - a con man - wants to get it published, by Random House no less.  My critic boyfriend Michael Dirda cheekily reviews it in the Washington Post here. It looks terrific and I enjoyed some of Phillips' previous novels, in particular, Prague and The Egyptologist.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Midnight Curse

This was such a fun book to read...I love scary stories...but not TOO scary so this was totally my speed. It has all of the elements you need for a good haunted tale...abandoned children, an isolated house and a family curse. I can imagine some young girl at camp huddled up under her sleeping bag with a flashlight reading til the wee hours...BOO!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Pulitzer Prizes Announced. . .

I HAVE to find the time to read this book.  Jennifer Egan has done it again - A Visit From the Goon Squad has just won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, after narrowly beating Jonathan Franzen at the Morning Tournament championship and also picking up the National Book Critics' Award.    You can see all the Pulitzer winners, including the journalism awards here.

Good to see Clydebourne Park by Bruce Norris win in the drama category.  I caught this hilarious and very un-politically correct play in London a few weeks ago.  CanStage will be bringing it to Toronto in April 2012.

Friday, April 15, 2011

CLA Awards Announced

I'm thrilled to announce that my Dewey pick from last Fall, Kenneth Oppel's Half Brother, has been awarded the Canadian Library Association's 2011 Book of the Year for Children Award as well as the 2011 CLA Young Adult Book Award!

The CLA’s Book of the Year for Children Award has also selected two Honour Books this year: Dear George Clooney Please Marry My Mom by Susin Nielsen (Tundra Books) and The Secret Fiend by Shane Peacock (Tundra Books).

The Honour Books in the Young Adult category are Dust City by Robert Paul Weston (Puffin) and Room by Emma Donoghue (HarperCollins).

Also announced this morning were the winners of the Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator’s Award. The winner is Roslyn Rutabaga and the Biggest Hole on Earth! (Groundwood Press), written and illustrated by Marie-Louise Gay.

Honour books are Book of Big Brothers (Groundwood Press), illustrated by Luc Melanson and written by Cary Fagan, and Owls See Clearly at Night: a Michif alphabet (Simply Read Books), written and illustrated by Julie Flett.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Super Smitten. . .

I browse a lot of food blogs, occasionally jotting down the odd recipe. But mostly I'm daydreaming. Which is why I like Smitten Kitchen so much - it gets me off my butt and actually cooking something.  Apart from the gorgeous photography, I really like this foodie's style of writing and the lengths she goes in taking a recipe from a cookbook, trying out different variations, and recording what works and what doesn't.  Her latest post has me salivating - it's her take on a blackberry and coconut macaroon tart taken from Heidi Swanson's new cookbook Super Natural Every Day.  I am definitely making this on the weekend, substituting blueberries for blackberries.  Swoon over the post here

And to see why she had me running around the city looking for a spaetzle maker last weekend (my new favourite kitchen gadget)  check out her experiments with this Bavarian noodle recipe from The Balthazar Cookbook by Keith McNally, Riad Nasr and Lee Hanson.   To see my messier, but no less tasty results, click here

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

All Sorts of Awards News. . .

We tend to think of the fall as the big awards season, but the spring has plenty of them too and Canadians (and Dewey picks) are all over them!

The Orange Prize Shortlist has been announced.  Congrats to Canadians Emma Donaghue and Kathleen Winter who made the cut.  The full shortlist is located here.

And the Dublin IMPAC Award just announced its 10 book shortlist.  Read about it here.  Thrilled that Michael Crummey has made it with Galore as well as personal favorites William Trevor for Love and Summer and Evie Wyld for After the Fire, A Still, Small Voice.

And the shortlist for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize has also been announced.  Read it here.  Delighted to see Per Petterson in particular on the list.  I really loved I Curse the River of Time.

New Dr. Seuss!. . .

Hooray, seven "new" Dr. Seuss stories that he wrote for magazines in the 1950s will be published this fall as The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories.  You can read more about the find here. The title story sounds like fun - it's about a conniving cat who convinces an innocent duck to make a bad decision.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Dinos in 3-D!!!

You don't see alot of originality in publishing. With over one MILLION (double from five years ago) titles published every year in the English language alone, it is easy to understand why. This season, DK is coming out with a book like I have never seen before. 3-D Pop Dinosaurs that you don't need glasses for. Incredible as it seems, you need to watch the video below to believe it.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Book Event- Sylvia Tyson

If you are in the Toronto area today and are interested in meeting Sylvia Tyson, (of Ian and Sylvia fame), she will be launching her new novel Joyner's Dream tonight, Tuesday April 5th. The event is open to the public and will be held at 7:00 p.m. at the Dora Keogh, 141 Danforth Avenue (Danforth Avenue & Broadview). "We always knew Sylvia Tyson was a wonderful storyteller in song. Turns out that's true for the page, too. Joyner's Dream is a square-dance of family history. The partners change, but music courses through it all like blood. I was swept away by Sylvia's sweeping saga. This is one good read!" – Shelagh Rogers, O.C., host of CBC Radio’s “The Next Chapter”

"What a page-turning family saga, this tale of 'a long line of thieves and cheats, liars and con artists and even a murderer.' Sylvia Tyson's storytelling is absolutely and shrewdly captivating."- Wayson Choy, author of The Jade Peony and All That Matters

"As one half of the legendary '60's folk duo Ian & Sylvia, Sylvia Tyson was (and continues to be) a talented songwriter. With her fiction debut, Joyner's Dream, she proves to be a masterful storyteller as well... Brilliantly employing a vast range of voices, Joyner's Dream is a hugely satisfying, lyrical read."- Chatelaine

As seen in the window of a Borders store soon to close in Chicago…

Monday, April 4, 2011

On Film Adaptations. . .

Jonathan Coe, who is curating the upcoming From Page to Screen Film Festival in Bridport, pens this article in The Guardian about film adaptations that have worked, and those that haven't. Among the films he discusses (and that will be screened) is Barney's Version.  I have to agree with him about why it didn't entirely work as a film. You can read the full article here.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

New Quebec Writing. . .

Words Without Borders, an online magazine devoted to international literature, has published its April issue which is devoted to writers from Quebec. Elsa Pépin gives an overview of the current literary scene here.  And you can read a very funny short story about a book that literally takes over the world, by writer Nicolas Dickner (author of Nikolski and Apocalypse for Beginners). It's called "The Zacharias Ascaris Affair" and you can read it here.  There is also a short story by Dominique Fortier whose debut novel On the Proper Use of Stars , translated by Sheila Fischmann, was one of my Dewey picks last fall. You can read "Unagi" here