Thursday, September 20, 2012

Book News Vol. 7 No. 35


2012 Festival - Hal's Picks

Marjorie Celona is a young writer who studied creative writing in BC and her first novel has recently been shortlisted for the Giller Prize, quite a coup. She is bright, articulate and you can see her in event 45
( and event 58

Plan to take Friday afternoon October 19th off or call in sick. The Ghost of a Story (event 47, has some of my favourite writers in it. Susan Musgrave, Sean Virgo, Tess Gallagher and John Burnside will swap stories of ghosts, spirits, and folk tales. This event will be as much fun as an Irish kitchen party.

Tickets for all the 2012 Festival events are selling fast. Visit our website for a full overview. Details:

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. Details:

Take a walk down Telegraph Avenue; this book by Michael Chabon is something of a departure, writes Robert Wiersema. It's a loose ramshackle account of a community, a neighbourhood imperiled from without and within, with Brokeland Records, a used vinyl shop, at the centre of the story. There's also a single sentence that's 12 pages long, told from the point of view of a pet parrot. Chabon is a master, and it shows on every page, says Wiersema.

Martin Amis
October 14, 2012 at 7:30pm
Granville Island Stage
Renowned author talks about his new novel, Lionel Asbo: State of England, an exuberant, acidic satire of modern society and celebrity culture.

Jian Ghomeshi
November 19, 2012 at 7:30pm
Frederic Wood Theatre
The wildly popular host of CBC Radio One's Q has penned a memoir, 1982, based on his teenage desire to be David Bowie.


Listen to the twenty-second installment in our series of audio archives from past Festival events. This week you'll hear "Lovers in a Dangerous Time" from 2011 featuring Esi Edugyan, Gayla Reid and Antanas Sileika. Details:


Carnival, the latest novel by Montreal's Rawi Hage, is among the contenders for the 2012 Writer's Trust Awards. He will be appearing at the festival in events 9 and 26.

The finalists of the City of Vancouver Book Awards are: Claudia Cornwall's At the World's Edge: Curt Lang's Vancouver; Ali Kazimi's Undesirables: White Canada and the Komagata Maru; W.H. New's YVR; Jen Sookfong Lee's The Better Mother; and V6A: Writing from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside by John Mikhail Asfour and Elee Kraljii Gardiner. The winner will be announced September 20.


Combining the masterful storytelling of Gary Kent and the striking illustrations of Kim La Fave, Gubby Builds a Boat transports the reader to a golden age of boat construction when craftsmen passed their skills down through the generations. Ages 6 to 10. (events 20, 31)

Angèle Delaunois' The Little Yellow Bottle is a story about war and survival. Though theirs is a country ravaged by war, the two carefree boys Ahmad and Marwa aren't "at war with anyone;" they live and breathe soccer. All that changes when Ahmad spots a little yellow bottle "shining like gold under the sun." Ages 6 to 10. (events 3, 17, 38)


How many times have you walked into your kitchen and thought nothing of the fridge, the sink, the stove, the spoons? asks Diane Schoemperlen. Lorna Crozier has thought about all these things and delivers them in The Book of Marvels: A Compendium of Everyday Things.

Marie Darrieussecq's Tom Is Dead explores a mother's mourning, ten years after the death of her son. The novel is set in Australia, a bleak backdrop to her central maternal monologue, at the other end of the world, where the order of life is turned upside down.

In 1954, teenage schoolgirls Juliet Hulme and Pauline Parker were convicted of murder. After spending over five years in prison, Juliet Hulme left New Zealand, changed her name and disappeared. After much travel/research, Joanne Drayton wrote The Search for Anne Perry. (events 39, 49)

Nuruddin Farah's Crossbones is a lament to the futility of Somalia's suffering. The novel shifts away from Farah's own age group to the next generation of Somalis, whose lives have been marked by dictatorship and civil war. It also offers a delicate exploration of the challenges inherent in diasporic identity. (events 9, 25)

In Gay Dwarves of America, Anne Fleming displays a lithe versatility in this collection, and an admirable willingness to push the boundaries of form and style. The stories are stylistically diverse. (events 43, 50)


The New Yorker has a Facebook page for its cartoons, which a lot of readers like. However, The New Yorker recently got temporarily banned from Facebook for violating their community standards on "Nudity and Sex." Some refer to it as Nipplegate. The offending and the inoffensive cartoons (one offers an adult equivalent of Where's Waldo?), along with more comments on standards, can be found here.

RJ Ellory's admission that he wrote anonymous reviews trashing his rivals has opened a can of worms–or has it? asks Claire Armistead.

Quintin Jardine, one of Scotland's most popular crime writers, says authors who go online to slate the books of other novelists should face legal penalties under consumer protection legislation.

Picture books are never short of a message. Although they are frequently instructional, they are just as often about empowerment and encouragement. Which picture books teach children to question authority? Julia Eccleshare suggests Peter Rabbit and Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are. Both illustrate the value-and cost-of defiance.

A survey of 21,000 children by Britain's Literacy Trust has revealed that 17% of youngsters would be embarrassed if their friends saw them reading. However, children's bookstores continue to flourish.

The UK children's laureate Julia Donaldson, author of The Gruffalo, has begged the new secretary of state for culture, Maria Miller, to step in and protect the UK's embattled public libraries. Cutting libraries is a false economy', says Donaldson.

Inspired by characters in Federico Moccia's cult Italian teen novel I Want You, teenage lovers in Rome have written their initials on padlocks, locked them to Rome's Milvian bridge and sworn eternal love for each other, before hurling the key into the Tiber. Rome has now banned the practice after a lamppost threatened to collapse under their weight.

Ewan Morrison's Tales from the Mall is under consideration for the Not the Booker prize 2012, which has the same criteria as the Booker. Tales from the Mall isn't a collection of short stories. There are stories within it, laid out according to the structure of a mall map, each "story" interconnected with every other (all set in different stores), writes Sam Jordison.

For 110 years he has never strayed far from raiding range of Mr McGregor's vegetable patch. In Emma Thompson's The Further Tale of Peter Rabbit, the quintessentially English rabbit meets Finlay McBurney, a Scottish rabbit dressed in a kilt, described as a "gentle giant" and newly-discovered "distant Scottish relative" of Peter.

The search for the newest great Canadian short story has begun. Canada Writes' Short Story Prize is now accepting submissions! Beginning on September 1, Canadians are invited to submit an original, unpublished work of fiction that is between 1,200 and 1,500 words long. The deadline for submissions is November 1. For more information on how to submit and contest rules, go here:


Look for volunteers with a special edition of The Vancouver Sun newspaper on Thursday, September 20 and make a donation!

JJ Lee discusses his memoir The Measure of a Man. Thursday, September 20 at 7:00 PM. Christianne's Lyceum. 3696 W. 8th Ave. $20 (includes refreshments). To reserve your space call 604.733.1356 or email More information at

Presenting Daniel Zomparelli and Heather Haley. Thursday, September 20 at 7:00pm, free. Room SB 406, Emily Carr University, Granville Island.

Grace O'Connell reads from Magnified World and Ben Stephenson reads from A Matter of Life and Death or Something. Thursday, September 20 at 7:00pm. UBC Bookstore Robson Square, Plaza level, 800 Robson Street. More information at

The Scottish-Canadian historical-fiction novelist discusses the inner workings of Robert the Bruce, the subject of his soon-to-be-released book Renegade. Thursday, September 20 at 7:30pm. Room 1900, SFU Harbour Centre, 515 W. Hastings. More information at

9th annual event featuring Katherine Govier with her book The Ghost Brush. September 21-23, 2012. Nelson, BC. For complete details, visit

The Alcuin Society hosts the Vancouver Book Fair of Antiquarian and Modern books. September 22-23, 2012. Admission: $5. Rooms C180-C150, Robson Square, 800 Robson Street. More information at

An afternoon featuring a once-in-a-lifetime trunk sale of some of James Barber's treasured cookbook collection. Proceeds from the sale will be donated to Providence Farm on Vancouver Island. Sunday, September 23 from noon to 5:00pm. Barbara-Jo's Books to Cooks, 1740 2nd Ave. W. More information at 604-688-6755.

The Sweet Girl is the sequel to Annabel Lyon's best-seller The Golden Mean. Aristotle's bright and brave daughter, Pythias, is a captivating heroine, battling society, expectations, gods and goddesses. Come meet author Annabel Lyon and discuss her work and inspiration in the CBC Studio One Book Club on September 25, 6:30 pm.

Reading by Meredith Quartermain, a writer of urban spaces and an innovator of poetic and narrative form. Thursday, September 27 at 11:30am, free. Capilano University, 2055 Purcell Way, North Vancouver.

Three local mystery authors team up for an evening of readings and discussion. Featuring Don Hauka, David Russell and Cathy Ace. Thursday, September 27 at 7:00pm, free. McGill Library, 4595 Albert Street. For more information and registration, visit

Reading by the author of Tears of Mehndi. Friday, September 28 at 3:00pm. Lillooet room, Irving K. Barber Learning Center, 1961 East Mall, UBC. More information at

Dorothy Jantzen Artist-in-Residence at Capilano University presents a free talk with Lynda Barry, Friday, Sept 28 @ 7:30pm. Admission is first come/first served. Acclaimed alt-comic artist of Ernie Pook's Comeek Fame will discuss the relationship between the hand, the brain and spontaneous images, both written and visual. NSCU Centre at Capilano U/2055 Purcell Way/ Info: 604.990.7810/

A collaborative coast-to-coast-to-coast volunteer movement to raise the awareness, accessibility, participation and engagement of Canadians in the arts and cultural life of their communities. September 28-30, 2012. Check out the website for events, literary and otherwise, in your community.

Features author readings, writing and publishing exhibits, musical entertainment, roving performers, children's activities, workshops, panels, books, and magazines. September 28-30, 2012. More information at

Join Vancouver's 100,000 Poets for Change on an Earthwalk. Poets will read select poems calling for the preservation of our beautiful forests and shorelines. A guest speaker will also present a narrative tour of the cultural history and natural habitat of Stanley Park. September 29 at 10:00am, free. For more information and to register, visit


Reading by the author of Tamarind Mem and The Hero's Walk reads from her latest novel, Tell It To The Trees. Monday, October 1 at 7:00pm. Meeting room 120, City Centre Library, 10350 University Drive, Surrey.

The Alcuin Society is pleased to announce an evening with Toronto writer Stephen Marche, author of Love and the Mess We're In, a new novel published by Nova Scotia's Gaspereau Press. Monday, October 1 at 7:00pm, free. Alma Van Dusen room, lower level, Central Library, 350 W. Georgia St.

The photojournalist presents her latest book, Grandmother Power. Tuesday, October 2 at 7:00pm. Guildford Library, 15105 105 Ave., Surrey. For more information and to register, call 604-598-7366.

Featuring guest author poet Daniela Elza, with special guest readers Esmeralda Cabral and Jennifer Irvine. Thursday, October 4 at 7:00pm, free. Cottage Bistro, 4470 Main Street. For more information, call 778-782-8000.

Pacific Arbour Speaker Series presents Award winning filmmaker of Sharkwater, Rob Stewart, Friday, October 5 @ 7:30pm. Stewart's new release Save the Humans turns his focus from animal activism to saving the planet. NSCU Centre at Capilano U/2055 Purcell Way/ Info: 604.990.7810/

Local author Norman Safarik and his son, Allan Safarik, read from their captivating memoir set during the pinnacle of West Coast fishing. Thursday, October 11 at 7:00pm. McGill Branch, Burnaby Public Library, 4595 Albert St. More information and registration at 604-299-8955.

The third annual Celebrate Science, a Festival of Science Writers for Children and Youth-and Canada's only science writer's festival-will be held November 3rd at UBC's Beaty Biodiversity Museum, in conjunction with Family Science Day. Events include a panel discussion with top science writers for children, a keynote speech and introduction by the Dean of Education, and storytelling for younger children as well as hands on science activities. The event is free and open to the public and includes admission to the Beaty Museum.

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