Thursday, July 3, 2014

Book News Vol. 9 No. 18


An Evening with Louise Penny

New York Times bestselling author, Louise Penny is back with her latest Chief Inspector Gamache book, A Long Way Home. Details:

Wednesday, September 3 at 7:30pm
St. Andrew's-Wesley United Church
Purchase tickets online:

Click here ( for event details and to find out more about our special offer for bookclubs.

"Penny dexterously combines suspense with psychological drama, overlaying the whole with an all-powerful sense of landscape as a conduit to meaning...Another gem from the endlessly astonishing Penny." - Booklist (starred review)

"Perceptive...perfectly paced...Penny offers real insight into the evolution of artistic style as well as the envy that artists feel about each other's success...The prose is remarkable fresh, filled with illumination and delightful turns of phrase." - Publishers Weekly

An Evening with David Mitchell

Cloud Atlas author David Mitchell talks to Hal Wake, the Vancouver Writers Fest's Artistic Director, and reads from his new novel, The Bone Clocks.

Saturday, September 27 at 7:30pm
St. Andrew's-Wesley United Church
Purchase tickets online:

Click here ( for event details and to find out more about our special offer for bookclubs.

"A globe-trotting, time-bending epic that touches down in, among other places, England, Switzerland, Iraq, and Australia...Is The Bone Clocks the most ambitious novel ever written, or just the most Mitchell-esque?... Mitchell's novel is a thing of beauty...The less said about the plot the better, but fans of Mitchell's books will be thrilled, and may even bump into a few characters they've met before." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)


The Indian Summer Festival returns from July 3–12 with its multidisciplinary celebration of arts, ideas and diversity. The scintillating Ideas Series features writers, thinkers and performers from Canada, India and around the world including Priscila Uppal, Renee Saklikar, David Wong, Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas and Orijit Sen, as well as the Lit and Sound Cabaret.


Eight books have been longlisted for The Guardian's children's fiction prize. Find out more about the selected books, here:

B.C. poet Renée Sarojini Saklikar's book Children of Air India: Un/authorized Exhibits and Interjections won the 2014 Canadian Authors Association Award for Poetry, which recognizes the best full-length English-language book of poems for adults by a Canadian writer.


"Reliability is one of the things book lovers cherish about books. The words books contain are the same on every reading; set a book down, and there it stays, until you are ready to pick it up again." But in two new picture books by Bob Staake and Katy Beebe, two precious books go missing and have to be found!


The poet and novelist Dermot Healy passed away on Monday. He participated in the Writers Fest in 2011, and was known to be a true original with an inescapably "distinctive way of seeing and of saying, that was utterly trustworthy, because it was utterly his own."

Allen Grosmann, a "poet's poet and scholar" also passed away this week. He once wrote that "poetry is a principle of power invoked by all of us against our vanishing."

George Orwell's birthplace in India is set to become a museum. Despite Orwell's influence, this will be the first museum celebrating his contribution to modern literature and journalism!

When Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was trying to get her first novel published, "an agent told her that things would be easier ‘if only you were Indian,' because Indian writers were in vogue." Thankfully the reading public has become a bit more cosmopolitan, as a whole new wave of African writers are now making a splash in the book world.

But that doesn't mean there's not still a lot of work to be done, both in Africa and abroad. A new project led by a UBC professor is aiming to address the shortage of picture books available for children in African languages. The African Storybook Projects is hoping to "boost early literacy levels in Kenya, South Africa, Uganda, and other countries."

Have writers exhausted the supply of decent book titles? "Novels by Kate Atkinson, Stephen King and Muriel Spark have all had namesakes. Should writers adopt the imitator-proof JK Rowling approach instead?"

Good grammar saves lives, rescues friendships, and "a single apostrophe can prevent you from being ostracised in your own neighbourhood." Despite this fact, local councils throughout the UK are taking a very drastic step: banishing apostrophes from street signs!

France has successfully passed its anti-Amazon bill, which is aimed at helping small bookstores survive. The bill specifically prohibits large online companies from offering free delivery on discounted books.


When it comes to Indian literature, families are a central concern. From Jhumpa Lahiri's Mrs Sen's to Meera Syal's Life Isn't All Ha Ha Hee Hee, here are some of the greatest books about Indian families.

Sina Queyras' poem, Elegy for Photographs Not Taken, appears in the most recent issue of Geist Magazine. It features references to Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, pickled eggs and "raspberry afternoons fat as the tides at White Rock". You can read it here:

Gregory Betts' poem, Morphing, also appears in the magazine. The poem is laden with literary references that will seem familiar to most, though they are modernized and mixed, and as the title implies…morphed.

In 1996, Joanna Rakoff began working as the personal assistant to J.D. Salinger's literary agent. Part of her job was to read stacks of fan mail, an experience that changed her life forever. Her new memoir, My Salinger Year, is an account of her trip down the "metaphorical rabbit hole" that year.

The characters are as old as time: Helen, Paris and Oenone, who all appear in the Homer's classic telling of the fall of Troy. But their story doesn't end there. They've reappeared in Jonathan Bennett's latest novel, The Colonial Hotel…or at least their names have!

Speaking of the classics, there's a new translation out of Dante's Inferno. American poet Mary Jo Bang's version has been well received, with the exception of those "who are offended by references to Woody Allen, Virginia Woolf, Bob Dylan, T.S. Eliot, Jell-O, Boy Scouts, South Park, Pink Floyd, [and] Star Trek."

For those who prefer traditional things told in a more straightforward manner, this link provides an excellent non-fiction option. "At the dawn of civilization, settlers on the Nile River made use of an everyday material to do something amazing." Here's an excerpt from Papyrus: The Plant that Changed the World, a new book on one of the most important inventions in literary history.

Trevor Herriot's new book, The Road is How, "chronicles three days he spent walking the land in Saskatchewan following a tumble that could have been his last." He discusses his favourite fictional characters, historical periods, sentences and more, here:

Now that it's July and the rains seem to be past, we can truly embrace the summer season! Here are a few "sun-drenched pages" to mark the turn of the season.


Canadian writer, environmentalist, and journalist Des Kennedy personalizes copies of his new book Heart & Soil: The Revolutionary Good of Gardens. Thursday, July 10 at 1:00pm. Book Warehouse, 632 W. Broadway.

Three Jewels Vancouver presents a book signing and public talk with Be Nobody author Lama Marut. Friday, July 11 at 6:30pm. Banyen Books and Sound, 3608 W. 4th Ave.

Candice James and Manolis launch new books Purple Haze and Autumn Leaves. Saturday, July 12 at 1:30pm. New Westminster Arts Council Gallery, Queens Park, New Westminster.

Five poets/readers/poetry-lovers/writers with extensive public reading experience read poems from one of their favourite dead poet's work. Sunday, July 13 at 3:00pm, free. Alice MacKay room, lower level, Central branch, VPL, 350 W. Georgia. More information at

C.C. Humphreys launches his new novel, Plague. Monday, July 14 at 5:00pm. The Fringe Cafe, 3124 West Broadway. More information at 604-738-6977.


Features Micheal Heatherington, Susan Musgrave and Steve Noyes plus open mic. Wednesday, July 16, 7-9:30pm, at The Cottage Bistro, 4468 Main Street, Vancouver. Suggested donation at the door: $5. Sign up for open mic at 7pm. More information at

Author reads from her new book Abroad. Thursday, July 17 at 7:00pm. Book Warehouse, 4118 Main Street, Vancouver. More information at 604-879-7737.

No comments:

Post a Comment