Thursday, July 19, 2012

Book News Vol. 7 No. 26



Michael Chabon
September 26, 2012 at 8:00pm
St. Andrew's-Wesley United Church
Author of the New York Times bestselling novel, The Yiddish Policemen's Union, talks about his latest book, Telegraph Avenue. Members - check Ink e-newsletter for your special discount code. Details:

Listen to the thirteenth installment in our series of audio archives from past Festival events. This week you'll hear "Comic Book Confidential" from the 2010 Festival, featuring Lynda Barry and Sarah Leavitt. Go beyond the 'typical' comic book and learn about graphic novels that explore everyday life and everyday relationships. Details:

Check out next week's Book News for an exciting Lynda Barry announcement!

Special Offers
If being a member of the VIWF didn't already have enough benefits, we've added an extra incentive! Every two weeks new and renewing members will have a chance to win a book by a Festival or Incite author. At the end of August we'll have a grand prize draw for a deluxe pack of Festival tickets - two tickets to any event of your choice for each day of the Festival! Sign up now here,


Poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy has won the PEN/Pinter prize. The poet is the fourth recipient of the award, for her 'independent and sometimes awkward' responses to living in Britain today.

Jorie Graham and Geoffrey Hill join Beverley Bie Brahic, Barry Hill and Selima Hill on the shortlist for the Forward prize for poetry 2012, the UK's top poetry award worth £10,000.


Wumber by author Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrator Tom Lichtenheld, is a word "cre8ed with numbers!" Big brassy, shuddering tubas, for instance, clue us in on "learning a 2ne on the 2ba." This book reminds us that "sounding it out" can be a lifelong skill. For ages 6 to 9.,0,1084138.story

Two Phillip Pullman whodunits set in Victorian London, published in 1994/95, now appear as a single volume: Two Crafty Criminals! And How They Were Captured by the Daring Detectives of the New Cut Gang is set in 1890s London The young characters comprise the New Cut Gang that sets out to solve two mysteries. For ages 7 to 11.


Inspired by Rotten Tomatoes, the website that aggregates the work of professional movie reviewers around the world, Sarnia native Rahul Simha and his tech-savvy buddies, Canadian Vish Chapala and American Mohit Aggarwal, have built a website,, that collects, aggregates and links the published works of professional book reviewers.

Somaliland's Hargeisa book festival fills the cultural void for youth in a country where 70% of the population is under 30. The event—now in its fifth year—celebrates not just literature but theatre, film and music, as well as showing off Somaliland's local products.

Terry Deary's wildly successful Horrible Histories are adored by children and adults alike. When Jon Henley's 11-year-old's son said he loved the books "because you learn stuff, and you laugh at the same time", Deary responded "Tell your boy I'd like that for my epitaph".

Children's laureate (and author of The Gruffalo) Julia Donaldson, along with Jacqueline Wilson, Julia Donaldson, Michael Morpurgo and Charlie Higson, has launched the 2012 Summer Reading Challenge. Every child between four and 11 is challenged to read six library books during the summer holidays.

Neil Gaiman has signed a five-book deal with HarperCollins, focusing on books for very young children. His first picture book for the very young is Chu's Day, the story of a little panda with a very big sneeze.

On April 16, 2012, the Pulitzer Prize Board announced that it would award no Pulitzer for fiction in 2012. This was surprising and upsetting to many, including the three fiction jurors, who'd read over three hundred novels and short-story collections. Author Michael Cunningham, one of the jurors, writes about what really happened this year.

Vikram Seth is a writer who loves music, so perhaps it was inevitable that some of his words would eventually be sung. His credits as librettist include a full-length opera and the four expansive concert works he will introduce in Ottawa at the Music and Beyond festival.

When Houghton Mifflin Harcourt announced a licensing agreement with Amazon to publish and distribute all adult titles under the New Harvest imprint, independent bricks-and-mortar booksellers and America's two largest chains said that they wouldn't carry them in their stores, reports Judith Rosen.

Wizard hero Richard Rahl smites wrongdoers with his Sword of Truth. His creator, bestselling fantasy author Terry Goodkind, turned to Facebook to name and shame a fan who pirated a digital version of The First Confessor. Goodkind's actions have divided digital opinion.

El Libro que No Puede Esperar (The Book That Can't Wait) comes in a sealed package. As soon as you start to turn its pages, the ink begins to age—fading entirely within two months. It's hoped that the urgency of the text's disappearing will encourage people to read the book. Soon.

Donald J. Sobol, author of the popular "Encyclopedia Brown" series of children's mysteries featuring amateur sleuth Leroy "Encyclopedia" Brown, has died. He was 87.

Every year The Tyee publishes its recommended summer book list. The list is based on information from across B.C.'s literary landscape, based on what B.C. readers are actually buying this summer.

The Erasure Poetry Contest is Closing Soon! Visit for more details and to read the excerpt. All entries must be postmarked no later than August 1, 2012. p.s. Dogs like erasure poetry, too.

Enter the Search for the Great BC Novel contest offered by Mother Tongue Publishing Limited.


Are bankers the new magicians, pulling gilt-edged rabbits out of empty hats? asks John Lawrence Reynolds. John Lanchester's I.O.U. links the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill to the financial crisis and the book covers everything you need to know about that crisis.

Belinda Jack's The Woman Reader is a history of women's reading, and those who opposed it; e.g., Edith Wharton's mother forbad her to read any novels until after she was married. Silencing women readers makes up a strong strand in the book, writes Hermione Lee.

Pulitzer prize-winning author Chris Hedges collaborated with award-winning cartoonist and journalist Joe Sacco to produce Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt, a heartfelt, harrowing picture of post-capitalist America. Together they explore the country's 'sacrifice zones'.

Three Strong Women, a tenuously linked tripartite novel that is more than the sum of its parts is a hard act to pull off, writes Maya Jaggi, but Marie NDiaye succeeds with elegance, grit and some painful comedy.

Kim Todd's Sparrow is an exploration of sparrows, the scientific insights they inspire and how they influence human culture, writes GirrlScientist. As Ms. Todd unravels the story of house sparrows, we gain new insights into these cheeky little brown jobs—and ourselves.

Syrian novelist Samar Yazbek recognizes government thugs as soon as they get out of their car, says Francis Beckett. In A Woman in the Crossfire, Yazbek explains why thugs set fire to pharmacies: "So that people won't be able to treat the wounded."

Early in Michael Frayn's Skios, Nikki Hook is contentedly surveying the idyllic grounds on the fictional Greek island. The story requires a reader's suspension of disbelief, writes Barbara Carey, adding that Frayn makes it well worthwhile.

Monica Ali's Untold Story imagines a Princess Diana-like character's post-fame life after faking her own death. It's an intriguing exercise in what-if? set in small-town America, writes Natasha Tripney, as Ali explores the idea of exile and starting one's life anew makes the novel additionally engaging.

In The Price of Inequality, Nobel economist Joseph E. Stiglitz describes how unrestrained power and rampant greed have written an epitaph for the American dream, shattered by the modern pleonetic (an overreaching desire for more than one's share) tyrants who make up the 1%, writes Yvonne Roberts.

It's the most perfect post-crash setting for a slice of genuinely disturbing horror: an Irish housing estate, mostly empty and abandoned, half-finished. Evil stalks the pages of Irish author Tana French's Broken Harbour, "like a low cloud of sticky black dust spreading slowly".

Road to Valour, by Aili and Andres McConnon is a true story about Gino Bartali, twice winner of the Tour de France, who couriered falsified identification papers during WWII, pretending the 110-mile trek was part of his training regimen. Bartali was a quiet hero, writes Enza Micheletti.

Mark Haddon's The Red House draws the reader into the tensions and apprehensions of one family who, like Tolstoy's famous summary, are unhappy in their own particular way. This novel is an impossible-to-stop read that plunges the reader into a completely convincing world, writes Aritha van Herk.

Yejide Kilanko's Daughters Who Walk This Path tells the story of Morayo, a Nigerian girl, whose life is altered early in the book. It is an elaborate interlace of story, African proverbs, traditional fables and contemporary works by African women, writes Donna Bailey Nurse.


Annual summer event featuring Tzeporah Berman, Steven Galloway, Loran Goodison, Timothy Taylor and many others. July 19-22, 2012. For complete details, visit

Reading by the author of You are NOT What You Eat. Monday, July 23 at 7:15pm. Bob Prittie Metrotown, 6100 Willingdon Ave., Burnaby. More information at

The author of The Book of Kale: The Easy-to-Grow Superfood, 80 Recipes will be bringing her extensive knowledge about the nutritious and delicious aspects of kale to the library. Friday, July 27 at 3:00pm, free. Kitsilano branch, VPL, 2425 Macdonald St. More information at

This month's meeting features author Joanne Arnott, poet Franci Louanne, and filmmaker Hari Alluri. Also, Timothy Shay, Gomathy Puri and hosted by Randeep Purewall. Friday, July 27 at 5:30pm. Room 418, Surrey Public Library - City Centre, 10350 University Drive.

An Afternoon of Poetry and Music with poet Susan McCaslin and jazz musician Amanda Tosoff collaborate from their recent works. Saturday, July 28 at 2:30pm. Centennial Museum, 9135 King Street, Fort Langley.


VVF seeks videopoems that wed words and images, the voice seen as well as heard. Deadline for submissions is August 1, 2012. For more information, contact Artistic Director Heather Haley at

Annual family-friendly celebration of literary arts features two stages, a kids' area, a marketplace, and over 90 performers, including headliner Barbara Adler and Fang, a local spoken-word artist who combines poetry with music. Saturday, August 25, 2012, free. Trout Lake Park, 3350 Victoria. More information at

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