Thursday, March 1, 2012

Book News Vol. 7 No. 6




At the next Incite on March 7, Steven Price, Julie Bruck, and W. H. New read from their new poetry collections, Omens in the Year of the Ox, Monkey Ranch, and YVR. Details: Also appearing at Incite in the next few months are Linden MacIntyre, Will Ferguson, Anakana Schofield, Richard Stursberg, John Boyne, Yasuko Thanh and Buffy Cran, among others.

Richard Ford
Pulitzer Prize and PEN/Faulkner Award-winning author Richard Ford appears with his latest novel, Canada. This will be Mr Ford's first appearance in Canada with this new book. Details:


Author Lawrence Hill has received The Writers' Union of Canada's 2012 Freedom to Read Award, acknowledging his reasoned and eloquent response to the threat to burn his novel The Book of Negroes," said Greg Hollingshead, Chair of the Union.

Biographies of Canada's first prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald, and of Pierre Trudeau are two of five nominees for the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing. The winner of the prize will be announced in April.

Naomi Benaron's Running the Rift is the third Bellwether Prize winner published by Algonquin. The Bellwether Prize is awarded biennially for an unpublished novel that addresses issues of social justice.

More than 23,000 children from all over Scotland voted for their favourite books of 2011. Winners of the Scottish children's book awards are Ross MacKenzie's Zac and the Dream Pirates; Ross Collins' Dear Vampa and Nicola Morgan's Wasted.

A guide to Estonian socks and a celebration of the humble office chair are among the seven books short-listed for the Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title of the Year. The prize will be awarded in March.

Douglas & McIntyre has announced that Vancouver author Fraser Nixon's The Man Who Killed has been selected as a finalist for's first novel award.

Author Richard Wagamese has won the 2012 Aboriginal Achievement Award in Media & Communications.

Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China by Ezra F. Vogel, has won the 2012 Lionel Gelber Prize for his book about China under Deng Xiaoping. Vogel will receive his award and deliver the annual Lionel Gelber Prize lecture on March 15.

Jack Gantos' Dead End in Norvelt has won the 2012 Newbery Medal and the Scott O'Dell Award.


What if your summer vacation started by being grounded for the entire vacation? That's what happened to Jack Gantos, but Jack was able to find the humor in this situation. This book is for anyone who has survived being 11 years old.

The Declaration by Gemma Malley is an eerie page-turner that had me on the edge of my seat, writes ThePinkElephant. It's set in the future, provides every human being with perfect health, and so, every human being can live forever.

The Hunger Games film, following up Suzanne Collins' science fiction series of books for young adults, will be released in late March.

Michelle Lalonde writes that The Mighty Miss Malone will appeal to both boys and girls. It is an inspiring and funny tale of a family rising above the kind of real adversity that existed in the Depression and exists now.

Kaspar: Prince of Cats by Michael Morpurgo is a book about a hotel, a bell-boy, a Countess and Kaspar, the prince of cats. The thing I like most is that he makes the reader feel like they are in the story.

In her review of Ally Carter's I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You, Flame Lily says "Every page you read will fill you with excitement but also fear, in a good way!"


The Aspiring Poets Contest, a new contest in Canada, is for unpublished Canadian poets, and begins in April, national poetry month. Vancouver's Poet Laureate Evelyn Lau is the honorary patron. More information at:

The first-ever detective novel, The Notting Hill Mystery by Charles Felix, dating back to 1862, is back in print. The British Library's new edition uses photographs of the original 1863 edition, which featured illustrations by George du Maurier, grandfather of Daphne.

In response to a friend's online appeal, Harry Turtledove provided a sneak preview of his series The War That Came Early to a young terminally ill fan.

Baen Books is making available a number of its science fiction titles in electronic format: the Baen Free Library. Anyone who wishes can read these titles online—no conditions, no strings attached, or download the books in one of several formats.

Paramount Pictures seeks to forbid a Godfather sequel book, authorised by Mario Puzo's estate, claiming it will 'tarnish' the legacy of books whose copyright is held by the film company. Random House is due to publish the book in the UK this summer.

The New York Review of Books includes Between Roses in Mumbai, by Katherine Boo, author of the recently published Behind the Beautiful Forevers.

Is chick lit dead? Less than a decade after commentators clucked at bookstore shelves lined with cartoon high-heels and pink cocktail glasses, the only debate that the genre inspires now is over when to run its obituary, writes Laura Miller.

J.K. Rowling has an agreement with Little, Brown in the United States and Britain to publish her first adult novel. Rowling's novel will be available in both print and electronic formats.

A Brazilian company has launched a line of book vending machines that allow customers to decide what they want to pay for the book. Initial reports claim "sales at the promotional machines more than doubled within a month after the program's launch".

At an event hosted by children's booksellers The Book People last week, author Anthony Horowitz gave a talk questioning the role of the publisher in today's literary world. Do we still need publishers?

What do publishers mean when they tell would-be writers 'this is too literary for our list'? A Twitter site explains it all.

Chan Koonchung's novel The Fat Years is an underground sensation in China, officially banned from bookstores but available for download online if you know where to look. It's the book that China's readers ask each other if they have read yet.

L'Ingratitude, a long-lost short story written by Charlotte Brontë for an ardour-inspiring tutor is to be published for the first time after being found in a Belgian museum a century after it was last heard of.


Naomi Benaron's Running the Rift takes place in Rwanda, as the rage of Hutu toward Tutsi is about to explode. When madness is rampant, there is only one way to survive: through the courage and kindness of others, writes Dafna Izenberg.

The spare style and stark vision of Edem Awumey's Dirty Feet disrupts our complacent vision of the world we know, writes Donna Bailey Nurse. Rich in wisdom and allusion, Awumey challenges our belief in the universal progress of race relations.

In Walter Mosley's latest Leonid McGill series, McGill operates against the racially integrated backdrop of contemporary New York. Now it's the socio-economic struggle between classes driving the action. All I Did Was Shoot My Man won't disappoint, writes Harold Heft.

Love InshAllah, compiled by Ayesha Mattu, a civil rights lawyer, and human rights consultant, Nura Maznavi, is a collection of 25 modern Muslim love stories by American Muslims. A rare insight into their love, faith and choices, writes Huma Qureshi.

There is no biography of Joseph Roth in English, so for many readers, The Radetzky March and Michael Hofmann‘s Joseph Roth: A Life in Letters will be the first glimpse of the man behind the novels, writes Lara Feigel.

Eowyn Ivey's The Snow Child is a magical tale of the Alaskan frontier. This debut work is so saturated with wilderness atmosphere that you almost feel you've been there yourself, writes Carrie O'Grady.

Which of us has not felt that the most sensible option would be to take to our bed? asks Alex Clark. The surprise is that we haven't all joined Eva in Sue Townsend's The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year.

Fatty Legs: A True Story is a moving account of Margaret Pokiak-Fenton's experiences as a child in a Catholic residential school in Aklavik. Inspiring evidence of the wealth of writing talent in the literary culture of First Nations people, says Greg Quill.

Katherine Boo's Behind the Beautiful Forevers is an extraordinary work of journalism, says James Macgowan. This story about slum dwellers, carving out a life from refuse, is gripping, heartbreaking, penetrating and respectful. It will open your eyes.

Rosa Parks, Sir Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, Steven Spielberg, J.K. Rowling, Charles Schulz: all introverts. Susan Cain's Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking argues that parents, teachers and employers should encourage the dreamier among us.

A refrain runs through the essay collection, The Library Book: libraries made me what I am. Edited by Rebecca Gray, with contributions from Val McDermid, Zadie Smith, Stephen Fry, and others, the book was published to support the Reading Agency's library programmes.

Eyal Press's Beautiful Souls: Saying No, Breaking Ranks, and Heeding the Voice of Conscience in Dark Times offers no prescription for how to become courageous, writes Mark Oppenheimer. Mr. Press's book is a hymn to the mystery of disobedience.

The Boy in the Suitcase by Lene Kaaberbol and Agnette Friis, involves a three-year-old boy in a suitcase, murder, big money, acts of cruelty and acts of kindness, writes Jack Batten. The story is told from the viewpoints of a half-dozen people.


Kerrisdale Library branch hosts an open poetry slam in honour of Freedom to Read Week. Participate as a poet, judge or listen. For ages 13-18. Thursday, March 1 at 6:30pm, free. Kerrisdale branch, 2112 42nd Ave. W. For more information, phone 604-665-3974.

Join award-winning author Ivan E. Coyote for an evening of local talent as she hosts the results of a seniors' writing workshop. Thursday, March 1 at 7:00pm, free. Alice MacKay room, lower level, Central Library, 350 W. Georgia Street. More information at 604-331-3603.

Reading by Kyo Maclear, the author of The Letter Opener and Virginia Woolf. Thursday, March 1 at 7:00pm, free. SB301, Emily Carr University, 1399 Johnston Street. More information at

2012 Canada Reads winner Carmen Aguirre discusses her memoir Something Fierce. Thursday, March 1 at 7:00pm. Cost: $20 (includes refreshments). Christianne's Lyceum, 3696 W. 8th Ave. To reserve your space call 604.733.1356 or email More information at

Paul Seesequasis, Alex Jacobs, and Janet Rogers read from their new works. Thursday, March 1 at 8:00pm. Pay what you can or by donation. Rhizome Cafe, 317 East Broadway. More information at

Ivan E. Coyote and S. Bear Bergman will read from unpublished new work. Friday, March 2 at 8:00pm. Tickets: $10-$15 sliding scale. Rhizome Cafe, 317 East Broadway.

Listen to live music and storytellers Kira Van Deusen, Golnaz Navabi, Philomena Jordon, and Abegael Fisher-Lang. Sunday, March 4 at 7:00pm. Tickets: $7/$5. Silk Purse Arts Centre, 1570 Argyle Avenue, West Vancouver. More information at

Author launches his latest book, The Sacred Headwaters. Tuesday, March 6 at 7:00pm. Tickets: $15/$12/$10. SFU Woodward Centre of the Arts. For more information, email

The Association of Italian Canadian Writers presents the official launch of two companion books on the internment of Italian Canadians during World War II. Tuesday, March 6 at 7:00pm. Italian Cultural Centre, 3075 Slocan. More information at 604-430-3337.

Miriam Toews, Charles Demers, Michael Turner and Stephen Osborne discuss a curated collection of YouTube videos. Tuesday, March 6 at 8:00pm. Tickets: $12/$10. The Waldorf, 1489 East Hastings. More information at

Readings by Robert Majzels and Erin Mouré. Wednesday, March 7 at 5:00pm. Graham House, UBC Green College, 6201 Cecil Green Park Road. More information at

Readings by Sean Johnston (The Ditch Was Lit Like This) and Anne Simpson (Is). Thursday, March 8 at 7:00pm, free. UBC Bookstore/Library at Robson Square, 800 Robson Street. More information at

Author and Edmonds Community School principal David Starr discusses his new book. Thursday, March 8 at 7:00pm, free. Registration required. Lynn Valley Main Library, 1277 Lynn Valley Road, North Vancouver.

The author signs her debut novel Shatter Me. Saturday, March 10 at 2:00pm. Chapters Metrotown, 4700 Kingsway, Burnaby. More information at 604-431-0463.

Local poets read poems by, and tell stories about, Irving Layton. Lineup includes Adrienne Drobnies, Heidi Greco, Sandy Shreve, Russell Thornton and others. Sunday, March 11 at 3:00pm. Project Space, 222 East Georgia Street. More information at

Celebrate the author's launch of her first full-length book of poetry, "the weight of dew". Sunday, March 11 at 5:30pm. The Railway Club (in the private back room bar), 579 Dunsmuir Street. Author reading and books for sale.


Explore fiction with Bob Friedland, poetry with Manolis Aligizakis, and autobiographical fiction with Ben Nuttall-Smith. Tuesday, March 13 at 7:00pm, free. Meeting room, level 3, Central Library, 350 W. Georgia Street. More information at 604-331-3691.

Vancouver mystery-horror author Jay Clarke, aka Michael Slade, leads an evening of conversation and exploration about his "Mountie noir" genre. Wednesday, March 14 at 7:30pm, free. VCC King Edward Campus, 1155 E. Broadway. More information at

Meet the author of the novel Daaku, the story of an Indo-Canadian gangster growing up in the streets of Surrey. Ranj will talk about his writing and answer questions from the audience. Thursday, March 15 at 6:00pm, free. South Hill branch, 6076 Fraser Street. More information at 604-665-3965.

Reading by guest author Betsy Warland. Thursday, March 15 at 7:00pm, free. Rhizome Cafe, 317 East Broadway, Vancouver. More information at

An evening of Canadian poetry with Ruth Roach Pierson, Rhona McAdam and Edward Blodgett. Wednesday, March 21 at 7:00pm, free. Alma VanDusen & Peter Kay rooms, lower level, Central Library, 350 W. Georgia St.

Lecture by former nun and the author of Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life and A History of God. Thursday, March 22 at 7:00pm, free. Gladstone Secondary auditorium, 4105 Gladstone Street, Vancouver. More information and to register, visit

Readings by Dani Couture (Algoma) and Nicole Lundrigan (Glass Boys). Thursday, March 22 at 7:00pm, free. UBC Bookstore/Library at Robson Square, 800 Robson Street. More information at

Presents World Water Night, featuring readings by Lee Maracle and Michael Blackstock with a screening of Samaqan: Water Stories. Thursday, March 22 at 7:00pm, free. SB301, Emily Carr University, 1399 Johnston Street. More information at

Eleventh annual Words on the Water Festival featuring Gurjinder Basran, Trevor Herriot, Daphne Marlatt, Garry Thomas Morse and others. March 23-24, 2012. Maritime Heritage Centre, Campbell River. Details at

Billeh Nickerson launches his latest collection Impact: The Titanic Poems. Tuesday, March 27 at 7:00pm, free. UBC Bookstore/Library at Robson Square, 800 Robson Street. More information at

Reading by the author of First Wives Club: Coast Salish Style. Thursday, March 29 at 2:00pm, free. Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, Point Grey Campus, 1961 East Mall. More information at

The Alcuin Society presents its fifth Robert R. Reid Award and Medal to Stan Bevington. John Maxwell will also give a talk entitled Coach House Press as a Digital Pioneer. Friday, March 30 at 7:30pm, free. Fletcher Challenge room, Simon Fraser University Harbour Centre, 515 West Hastings. More information at 604-732-5403.

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