Thursday, January 17, 2013

Book News Vol. 7 No. 49


Incite: Mind-altering, metamorphic, twice-monthly!

Join us on Wednesday, January 30 as three celebrated authors explore the ideas behind their fascinating new books.

A titillating night of intrigue, with three authors who tackle taboos, seductions and a bit of mystery. Award-winning author Barbara Lambert reads from her latest novel, The Whirling Girl, C.P. Boyko delves into the scandalous world of psychology with his new collection Psychology and Other Stories, and Bradley Somer presents his first novel Imperfections. Details:

Presented in partnership with Vancouver Public Library, sponsored by the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association.


The Vancouver Writers Fest presents its first special event of 2013, an evening with award-winning Canadian author, journalist and human rights activist Sally Armstrong. Armstrong is the author of three previous books, Veiled Threat: The Hidden Power of the Women of Afghanistan, The Nine Lives of Charlotte Taylor and Bitter Roots, Tender Shoots: The Uncertain Fate of Afghanistan's Women. Her new book is Ascent of Women.

7:30 pm, Monday, March 25
St. Andrew's-Wesley United Church
Burrard at Nelson

The 2012 Vancouver Writers Fest Poetry and Short Story Contest have been announced:


PuSh Festival January 15–February 3

This year PuSh presents two very different performances that take Shakespeare's King Lear as their inspiration.

Berlin-based performance collective She She Pop presents Testament—a frank, tender, and brutally honest deconstruction of King Lear. Chosen in 2011 as one of Germany's top ten productions for the prestigious Berliner Theatertreffen.

Contemporary Legend Theater's acclaimed production of King Lear fuses traditional Peking Opera with Shakespeare's classic tale of great power and cruel deception.

PuSh is offering a special discount for Book News subscribers-use the code "Bard" to receive $5 off both shows. Tickets at Tickets Tonight,


Sharon Olds has won the TS Eliot poetry prize for Stag's Leap, a collection on divorce. The New York poet was the unanimous winner of the £15,000 prize as judges praise 'grace and chivalry' in her writing.

Indian poet Jeet Thayil and Malaysian author Tan Twan Eng, short listed for last year's Booker prize, are up against each other again on the short list for the Man Asian literary prize.

Blue Peter, first broadcast in 1958, is the world's longest-running children's television programme. Three novels and three non-fiction books are short listed for the 2013 Blue Peter Book Award in two categories of books.


Charlie is a little boy whose grandfather entertained him with fanciful tales that always ended with: "Really and truly, Charlie!" Émilie Rivard's Really and Truly touches on family members who are aging. Ages 4 to 9.

What's the name of a great read for fans of trivia and lovers of fun books? The answer is Olivia Bean, Trivia Queen by Donna Gephart. Age 8 and older.

This Is Not My Hat, by Jon Klassen focuses on much-loved hats and is a sequel to Klassen's I Want My Hat Back. Ages 4 to 7.


An overwhelming majority of Canadians believe arts and culture is worthy of government support, according to the results of a poll commissioned by Canadian Heritage.

The Atlantic ran Jack London's first published story—and then asked him to write under his Christian name, "John seeming to us better suited than Jack to literary purposes."

A celebration of Al Purdy's work, in music and poetry, will take place on Feb. 6th in Toronto. Margaret Atwood, Gordon Pinsent, and Dave Bidini (among others) hope to raise the money necessary to restore Al and Eurithe Purdy's famous A-frame house on Roblin Lake in Prince Edward County, and to turn it into a writer's retreat.

Many people who unwrapped iPads, Kindles or Nooks over the holidays might not realize how limited their rights are as their books' "owners," writes Michael Hiltzik. In fact, they won't be owners: they'll be licensees.

Winfried Fluck, a professor at the John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies at Berlin's Free University, says Mark Twain is often the first person to come to mind when Germans think of Americans. "He's the exemplary American for us," he says.

The Nobel prize-winning novelist Imre Kertész has become one of Europe's most eloquent and respected literary witnesses to the Holocaust, making the paradoxical case that "the concentration camp is imaginable only and exclusively as literature."

The Poetry Foundation has bid adieu to its leader—in verse.

Turkey has lifted its ban on thousands of books. From communist works to a comic book, thousands of titles banned by Turkey over the decades were taken off the restricted list, thanks to a government reform.

Meanwhile, the writers' organization and free speech campaigner PEN Turkey is under investigation in Turkey for "insulting the state" after condemning the prosecution of a musician as a "fascist development".

Burnaby poet Daniel Zomparelli is the founder of Poetry is Dead, a poetry magazine that comes out twice a year in Metro Vancouver, focusing on young writers from across the country.

After a 2012 pilot program that distributed nine million Michael Morpurgo books, McDonald's (UK) has committed to giving away 15m books with its Happy Meals over the next two years.

In North America, the fourth edition of the Kids & Family Reading Report™, a national survey released January 14, kids age 6-17 and their parents share their views on reading and the influences that impact kids' reading frequency and attitudes toward reading.

Sophia al-Maria's memoir, The Girl Who Fell to Earth, is part of a growing literature by children of bicultural marriages, writes Marie Arana, describing the singular bridge so many children of mixed heritage inhabit.

Most Canadians know that the Prime Minister lives at 24 Sussex Drive while Parliament is in session, but they probably couldn't tell you what the inside of the first house looks like, writes Dan McPeake. Linda Svendsen can... sort of. Her new novel, Sussex Drive, centers on a fictional First Lady of Canada and her political frenemy, the female Governor General.

If you think writers and publishers today are dodgy, get a load of the crooks and scoundrels of 18th-century London in An Author to be Lett, written by the English poet Richard Savage in 1729.

The deadline is fast approaching for the 9th Annual Geist Literal Literary Postcard Story Contest! For your chance at literary fame and fortune, information on how the contest works and contest details is here:


Dany Laferrière's The World Is Moving Around Me: A Memoir of the Haiti Earthquake, presents readers with an opportunity to better understand and see the 2010 Haitian earthquake disaster through Laferrière's eyes, writes Madison Smartt Bell.

Novelist Thomas King describes his book The Inconvenient Indian not as history, but as storytelling "fraught with history." Personal experience is often injected into the mix, much of it tinged with King's trademark humour, says Emily Donaldson.

Stephen Reid, Canada's most infamous bank robber, has published a collection of harsh, honest stories about his life in prison. It is both a gripping read and an intellectual exploration of our flawed penal system, writes Emily Pohl-Weary.

Ways of Going Home, Alejandro Zambra's third novel, is a literary foray into Chile's troubled past by a writer who lived during the Pinochet regime but doesn't consider himself one of its primary victims.

Eoin Colfer, the author of the bestselling Artemis Fowl books, kicks off a new series of Doctor Who stories with an adventure set in early 20th-century London and featuring the First Doctor. Here is an extract from A Big Hand for the Doctor:

Larissa MacFarquhar writes about Hilary Mantel, her capacity to write fiction about the past and her family life. Read the in-depth profile of Mantel here:


Three day annual sale, January 17 to January 20. For complete details, call your nearest store. Information:

Readings by Jon Paul Fiorentino and Gary Barwin. Thursday, January 17 at 11:30am, free. LB322, Capilano University, North Vancouver. More information at

Zsuzsi Gartner discusses her short story collection Better Living Through Plastic Explosives. Thursday, January 17 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:

Marinao Pensotti's work places writers in public spaces and uses them as literary surveillance cameras. Performance is free and open to the public and happens simultaneously at three downtown locations. January 18-20, 25-27 and February 1-3 from 12:00-4:00pm. For complete details, visit

Enter the VPL's Central Branch and head up to the third floor where a special PuSh Festival circulation desk will register you with your own Human Library card and offer to lend you one of thirty possible human books. January 18-20, 25-27 and February 1-3 from 12:00pm to 4:00pm. VPL Central Branch, 350 W. Georgia Street. For complete details, visit

Appearance by poets Gary Barwin and Garry Thomas Morse. Friday, January 18 at 8:00pm. People's Co-Op Books, 1391 Commercial Drive, Vancouver.

Launch of Miriam Clavir's first novel, Insinuendo: Murder in the Museum. Sunday, January 20 at 2:00pm. Museum of Anthropology, 6393 NW Marine Drive, UBC. More information at

Author Craig Bowlsby presents his new book on hockey history. Monday, January 21 at 7:00pm, free. Alma VanDusen & Peter Kaye rooms, lower level, Central Library, 350 W. Georgia St., Vancouver. More information at

Featuring readings by poets John Barton and Susan Stenson. Monday, January 21 at 7:15pm. Suggested donation: $3. Serious Coffee, Cook St. Village, 230 Cook Street, Victoria.

Linda Svendsen reads from her satirical novel Sussex Drive and Rhea Tregebov reads selections from her new poetry collection All Souls'. Tuesday, January 22 at 7:00pm, free. Central Branch, VPL, 350 W. Georgia St. More information at

Litany is a quarterly reading series showcasing emerging and established queer writers. Thursday, January 24 at 7:00pm. Free but donations welcome. Rhizome Cafe, 317 East Broadway, Vancouver, Coast Salish Territories. More information at

Dennis E. Bolen will host the evening with music by singer/songwriter, Harriet Frost and poetry, inspired by the paintings by Judith Fischer in her exhibit Your People are My People. Featured poets include Timothy Shay, Mary Duffy, Diane Tucker, Heidi Greco, Renée Sarojini SakLikar and Taslim Jaffer. Thursday, January 24 at 7:00pm, free. Jewish Community Centre, Gallery Room, 950 41st Ave. W. More information at

Features Rachel Rose and Alan Hill with open mic. Thursday, January 24, 7-9:30pm, at The Cottage Bistro, 4468 Main Street, Vancouver. Suggested donation at the door: $5. All are welcome. In 2013 Twisted Poets will run the 2nd Wednesday and the 4th Thursday of every month. More information at

Readings by Julie Devaney and Gary Geddes. Thursday, January 24 at 7:00pm, free. UBC Bookstore at Robson Square. For more information and to register, please visit

First evening of live storytelling and song in 2013. Storytellers and special musical guest to be announced Jan 16. Friday, January 25 at 7:00pm. Orpheum Annex, 823 Seymour St., Vancouver. More information at

Raising awareness of the importance of reading and engaging in other literacy-related activities as a family. Sunday, January 27. For events in your area, visit

Author reads from his extensive work. Sunday, January 27 at 7:00pm, free. The Reach, 32388 Veterans Way, Abbotsford. More information at

An entertaining evening with the author of the Origami Yoda series of books. Sunday, January 27 at 7:30pm. Tickets: $5. West Point Grey United Church, 4595 8th Ave. W., Vancouver. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit


Author presents her new book The Candy Smash. In Vancouver: Tuesday, January 29 at 7:00pm at West Point Grey United Church. In North Vancouver: Monday, January 28 at 7:00pm at Capilano Branch of North Van District Library. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

Harrison author Diane Wild will read from and chat about her debut novel, Forsaken Trust. Wednesday, February 6 at 7:00pm, free. Hope Library, 1005A - 6th Ave., Hope. More information at 604-869-2313.

Part of the Children's Arts Festival, author shares his best-selling book Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes and other musical stories. Monday, February 11 at various times. Tickets: $10. Richmond Cultural Centre, 7700 Minoru Gate, Richmond. More information at

Meet Brandon Sanderson as he signs the final book in Robert Jordan's epic Wheel of Time series, A Memory of Light. Thursday, February 14 at 7:00pm. Chapters Metrotown, Burnaby. More information at 604-431-0463.

A lecture series featuring four outstanding women. First lecture will feature Valerie Plame Wilson, a former CIA spy and author of a bestselling autobiography, My Life as a Spy, My Betrayal By the White House, on Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 7:30pm. Centre in Vancouver for Performing Arts, 777 Homer Street. For complete season details and ticket information, visit

Choose between Timothy Taylor's Stanley Park and Lynn Coady's Mean Boy at this book club in which you can meet the facilitator and fellow alumni, and learn about the book before you read it. Tuesday, February 19 at 7:00pm. Tickets: $10. Cecil Green Park Coach House, 6323 Cecil Green Park Rd., UBC.

Canadian author will read from, and chat about, his latest book, Butterfly Winter. Thursday, February 21 at 10:30am, free. Hope Library, 1005A - 6th Ave., Hope. More information at 604-869-2313.

Readings by Walid Bitar and Missy Marston. Thursday, February 21 at 7:00pm, free. UBC Bookstore at Robson Square. For more informatin and to register, visit

Fourth annual festival featuring John Belshaw, Kevin Chong, Pauline Holdstock, Nancy Richler and many others. February 22-24, 2013. Galiano Oceanfront Inn & Spa, Galiano Island. For complete details, visit

Oliver Jeffers to speak at the Vancouver Children's Literature Roundtable's annual Author/Illustrator Breakfast February 23 at the University Golf Club. Learn How to Catch a Star from the creator of This Moose Belongs to Me, Lost and Found, and The Incredible Book Eating Boy. It'll be a Great Paper Caper as we follow Up and Down the career of this amazing artist and writer. Early bird rates end January 31. For registration and information, go to

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