Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Independence: Roots in the Community

Sales at independent bookstores rose nearly 5 percent in 2018. 
CreditJeenah Moon for The New York Times
Although the book business seems to be shifting in the direction of e-commerce, spurred on by Amazonian giants, independent bookstores are not going away; rather, they are experiencing a resurgence, and becoming cultural hearths of their communities. The New York Times recently published a very interesting article on this topic, interviewing booksellers from New York`s McNally Jackson, exploring the tailspin of Barnes and Noble, and shedding light on how difficult yet important it is to keep independent bookstores afloat.

Check out the article! It elaborates on much more than we can summarize:

Friday, July 19, 2019

Bestselling Indigenous Books in Canada

There There by Tommy OrangeSeven Fallen Feathers by Tanya TalagaBlackflies by Robert Munsch, illustrated by Jay Odjick
BookNet Canada has compiled a useful and informative list on the bestselling Indigenous books in Canada, which you can find here. Forty titles are included in total, ranging in the categories of Fiction, Non-Fiction, Juvenile and YA Fiction, and Juvenile and YA Non-Fiction. BookNet put some serious work into this data collection, so please check it out! It`s a great place to start if you`re interested in exploring Canadian Indigenous Literature for the first time, or catching up on any titles you might`ve missed.

BookNet has also put together a handy Catalist catalogue containing all 40 titles, to compliment their research.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Esme Weijun Wang: The Collected Schizophrenias

Book Cover
"In Wang's kaleidoscopic essays, memoir has been shattered into sliding and overlapping pieces...Her multifaceted arguments can be gratifyingly mind-expanding" The New York Times

Esme Weijun Wang, author of The Collected Schizophrenias, which was published by Graywolf Press, was interviewed by Peter Armstrong on CBC The Sunday Edition on June 30. Wang's book presents a rare first-person account of someone suffering from schizophrenia, relating her terrifying involuntary hospitalizations and constant social alienation as she attempts to dissolve the stigma that surrounds the disorder. In her own words, Wang says "I haven't figured out what OK is, but I think the closest thing to OK is what is not actively suffering...being healthy is not having to think about how you feel all the time."

Link to the CBC interview:

Friday, July 12, 2019

John Oliver & the Amazon Warehouses

John Oliver - Last Week Tonight - Amazon Warehouses 

John Oliver, the celebrated host of Last Week Tonight, spent almost an entire episode discussing the perils of Amazon and their labyrinthine warehouses. The Week wrote a nice article that condenses many of Oliver`s key points, and provides a good summation of the episode for those of us without HBO (and those of us in Canada, blocked by YouTube`s access). Our main takeaway is this: don`t be a lazy shopper! Get out there and support your local Independent Bookstore, friends!

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Where To Travel - Based On Your Hogwarts House!

A red steam train traverses Scotland's Glenfinnan Viaduct, which crosses a lush green valley dappled with sunlight.
For the Potters, Cedrics, Lunas, and Malfoy's alike: Lonely Planet has the ultimate article on your next travel destination! Based upon your House (which, if you don't know where you belong yet, head over to to take the test), Lonely Planet offers a plethora of ideas, from Canada to Tokyo, from Nicaragua to Ethiopia. If only broomsticks were real...but then again, would any of us really want to jet over the Pacific on a Firebolt, romantic as it sounds?

Whatever you do, remember the Sorting Hat's wisdom: you have the final say on where you end up!

Friday, July 5, 2019

Anthony Daniels and C-3PO: The Man In The Machine

How else are you supposed to prepare for Episode 9? DK Publishing has a very exciting new title coming out this November, a little over a month before the third Star Wars trilogy is set to conclude, and it is written by a droid who's been there since the beginning. Anthony Daniels is the man behind the lovable golden visage that is C-3PO: companion to Luke, translator to R2-D2, made animate by the yet-to-be sinister Young Anakin in Episode, maybe we should forget about Episode One. Except Darth Maul; oh, and Liam Neeson's ponytail.

Anyways, Mr. Daniels' autobiography, I AM C-3PO: The Inside Story (with a foreword by J.J. Abrams) jets from his first words onscreen - and the first words in the entire Star Wars franchise - to lifelong friendships with George Lucas, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill, among others. What was it like, clumping around in that gold shell for twelve-hour day shoots? Was Anthony Daniels ever in danger? How'd he use the bathroom? Perhaps you'll find out, young Padawan!  

Monday, July 1, 2019

Tarnished Wisdom: John Waters, the First Filth Elder

The grotesque king sits upon his throne, and imparts as much wisdom as we can bear! John Waters, the pencil-mustache visionary behind such cult classics as Pink Flamingos and Hairspray, has been all over the US late-night talk shows recently, sharing some revelations and excerpts from his book, Mr. Know-It-AllAn interview Mr. Waters did with Bill Maher can be found here, as well as a delightful chat with Terry Gross from NPR. Hopefully, we'll see the legend himself on CBC Q with Tom Power at some point in the future!

Head on over to  Farrar, Straus, and Giroux's website to order yourself a copy of John Waters' new book; or enjoy the summer air, and waltz on over to your nearest independent bookstore!