Thursday, April 16, 2015

Book News Vol. 10 No. 4


Job Posting
We're looking for a new Executive Director, someone with a passion for the arts and the written word, and great communication and team management skills. Application deadline is April 17, 2015. Please visit our website for more information here,

A Dram Come True
A whisky tasting fundraiser in support of the Vancouver Writers Fest.

This year's Dram Come True features many single cask bottlings, a unique opportunity to sample some rare whiskies. With no two casks being exactly alike, tasting whisky from a single cask means that that once it's all be drunk, it's gone for good. We'll have all new offerings from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, as well as four new whiskies, including the Dimensons collection Glen Moray bottling and Blackadder's latest offering, Black Snake Venom.

We've just released a sneak preview of our Dram tasting menu, click here ( for a taste of what to expect at this year's event.

Tickets: $120
Preview Tasting Tickets (access to bars 45 minutes early): Add $40
7:30pm, June 5 at Hycroft
Details and to purchase tickets here,

Incite 2015
A rare event featuring mother and daughter Jane Urquhart (The Night Stages) and Emily Urquhart (Beyond the Pale). Details:

Emily and Jane Urquhart share more than the same name. Besides being mother and daughter, they're also both authors, with books published only a week apart this year. The two Urquhart's are interviewed by The Globe and Mail, here:

7:30pm, April 22
Alice MacKay room, VPL Central Library
Click here for details:


Jean-Francois Blanchette has received the 2015 Non-fiction Prix Champlain for his book Du coq à l'âme: L'art populaire au Québec. The book looks at the Quebec folk art collections in the Canadian Museum of History.

D.W. Wilson has won this year's CBC Short Story Prize. His story, Mountain Under Sea, was declared "a marvel of compression and emotional restraint; its language is deft and its characters, warm with teasing affection, feel impulsive and alive."

The shortlist for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction has been announced. The Paying Guests, by Sarah Waters (who appeared at last year's Writers Fest) made the cut.


Here are some great fiction book reviews for older children. "Outlandish plots, unlikely friendships and strange conspiracies mark out the best of the current bunch for middle-years youngsters."


Günter Grass, Nobel literature laureate and author of The Tin Drum, has died. "Günter Grass was to Germany what William Faulkner was to the old American South: The bard, scourge and pathfinder of a society ruined by moral disgrace and humiliated by military defeat."

What books are most likely to be pulled from library shelves in the United States? Sherman Alexie's prize-winning The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian tops the list.

Here's a new way to explore Toronto: the Toronto Poetry Map! "The metaphysical Toronto is what we actually see in this map," says poet George Elliott Clarke. "The Toronto that's conjured up by our imaginations as we ponder the reality of our existence here."

A story written by 10-year-old Queen Victoria is set to published. "Far from the sober image that we are familiar with from her later years, Victoria shows a child's flair for the dramatic."

The Great Gatsby has just turned 90! To celebrate, here are five things you might not know about the classic novel.

Have you ever judged a book by its cover? Top book designers have re-imagined some classic CanLit book covers, giving a new perspective to definitive works. Check them out here:


In Patrick Gale's A Place Called Winter, an Englishman becomes a settler in Canada, but brings his demons with him. "Nothing could seem more quixotic, at first sight, than that a married man living in England with a young child and a private income should decide to leave it all and sail to Canada for a life of hard physical work and uncertain chances."

Disinformation, by Frances Leviston, is a "bracing and exciting" poetry collection with a "scope and seriousness" that invites comparisons to Elizabeth Bishop and Richard Wilbur. The book is particularly interesting when Leviston delves into the classical world, or what's left of it.

Leah McLaren's A Better Man is "unexpectedly beautiful, a tale of what happens when lovers lose sight of one another during life's journey, only to turn a sudden corner and find their partner there, in sharper focus than ever before, unrecognizable and yet, somehow, the same as always." Change is central to the story, for better or for worse.

André Alexis has "gone to the dogs!" His new book, Fifteen Dogs, is based upon a single premise: do pups or humans live happier lives?

Larry Kramer's new book, The American People, is a novel (which the author prefers to call a history) of the United States. Begun as "a rambling history of homosexuality and AIDS in the United States," the novel "stretches back to the prehistoric swamps of the Everglades and concludes, in the second volume, in contemporary New York City."

The Association of Book Publishers of BC presents Read Local BC, a project to celebrate the extraordinary depth of BC publishing. Running from April 1-22, the campaign features publishers, authors, bookstores and libraries from across the province.

Open call for submissions for the 2015 City of Vancouver Book Award. Deadline is Wednesday, May 20, 2015. Complete details can be found here:


Featuring Susan McCaslin and Pam Galloway with host Lisa Webster-Gibson. Thursday, April 16 at 7:00pm, by donation. Old Crow Café, 575 N. Road, Gabriola Island. More information at

Meet Canada's former first lady as she signs her new memoir, The Time of Your Life. Thursday, April 16 at 7:00pm. Indigo Marine Drive, North Vancouver.

Jennica Harper and Kevin Spenst blend, spice and sauté measured words into poems that sizzle and satisfy. April 16 at 7:30 pm, free. Pelican Rouge Coffee, 15142 North Bluff Rd., White Rock. Presented by Semiahmoo Arts.

Children's author reads from her Sheila A. Egoff Prize winning book, The Old Brown Suitcase. Friday, April 17 at 1:30pm. Kensington branch, 1428 Cedar Cottage Mews, Vancouver. More information at

This year's festival features a host of Canadian literary stars, including John Vaillant, Aislinn Hunter, Doretta Lau, Zsuzsi Gartner and Heather O'Neill. workshops, panel discussions and readings, there's something for everyone at this jam-packed literary weekend. April 17-18, 2015. West Vancouver Memorial Library, 1950 Marine Drive, West Vancouver. Complete details at

Reading by Niki Koulouris, author of The sea with no one in it. Tuesday, April 21 at 8:00pm. La Fontana Caffe, 101-3701 East Hastings. More information at

Reading by the author of Anatomy of A Girl Gang. Thursday, April 23 at 7:00pm. Central Branch, VPL, 350 W. Georgia Street, Vancouver. More information at

Cathy Ace will be grilling a panel of her fellow BC crime writers including Don Hauka, Owen Laukkanen, Kay Stewart and Sam Wiebe about their latest, and forthcoming, works, as well as their writing styles and habits. Thursday, April 23 at 7:00pm, free but registration required. Bob Prittie Metrotown branch, Burnaby Public Library. Information and registration at 604-436-5410.

John Vaillant discuses his novel, The Jaguar's Children. Thursday, April 23 at 7:00 PM. Christianne's Lyceum. 3696 W. 8th Ave. $22 (includes refreshments). To reserve your space call 604.733.1356 or email More information at

Featuring YA writers Jacquie Pearce and Loise Peterson plus open mic for youth. Thursday, April 23 at 7:00pm. Suggested donation: $5. The Cottage Bistro, 4468 Main Street, Vancouver. More information at

An evening of reading, laughs and conversation with poets Jeff Steudel (Foreign Park), Melissa Bull (Rue), and Kevin Spenst (Jabbering with Bing Bong). Thursday, April 23 at 7:00pm, free. The Railway Club, 579 Dunsmuir Street, Vancouver. More information at 604-876-8710.

The Arts council of New Westminster, in partnership with Douglas College, New Westminster Public Library and Royal City Literary Arts Society, presents the 5th Annual LitFest New West. April 24-25, 2015. Details at

Readings from five local poets, including Vancouver's Poet Laureate, Rachel Rose, Governor General's Award-winner David Zieroth, as well as Raoul Fernandes, Pam Galloway and Rob Taylor. Appetizers available; cash bar. Friday, April 24 at 7:00pm. North Vancouver City Library, 120 W. 14th St., West Vancouver. Details and registration at

Canadian poets Kevin Spenst, Raoul Fernandes and Elena E. Johnson read from their recent works, discuss their writing processes, and take questions about poetry and writing. Saturday, April 25 at 3:00pm. Central branch, 350 W. Georgia St., Vancouver. More information at

Author of Seraphina reads from her latest book, Shadow Scale. Tuesday, April 28 at 7:00pm, free but registration required. McGill branch, Burnaby Public Library. Information and registration at 604-299-8955.

Teens in grades 8 through 12 perform an original poem in front of an audience, including a panel of judges. April 29 at 7:00pm. City Centre branch, Coquilam Public Library. For information and registration, phone 604-554-7339.

Features more than forty poets from across Cascadia, a bioregion that stretches from California to Alaska, including Sam Hamill, Brenda Hillman, Robert Bringhurst, Susan Musgrave, Sharon Thesen, Joanne Arnott, and Stephen Collis. April 30-May 3, 2015 in Nanaimo, BC. Complete details at

Meet the author of Dead Man's Gold and Ghost Train. April 30 at 10:00am. Newton Library meeting room, Newton Library, Surrey. More information at 604-598-7408.


29th annual festival presented by Vancouver Island Children's Book Festival. Saturday, May 2, 2015 in downtown Nanaimo, BC. For complete details and ticket information, visit

Readings for children and teens by the author of The Power of Harmony and Rocket Man. Part of TD Canadian Children's Book Week, Monday, May 4 and Tuesday, May 5. For times and locations, visit

Readings by the authors of Island: Poetry and History of Chinese Immigrants on Angel Island and The Adventures of Eddie Fung. Tuesday, May 5 at 7:00pm, free. Central Branch, VPL, 350 W. Georgia Street, Vancouver. More information at

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with award-winning author, John Vaillant as he introduces his latest book, The Jaguar's Children. Presented by Semiahmoo Arts in partnership with Black Bond Books, May 5, 7:30 pm at the Turnbull Gallery, South Surrey Recreation & Arts Centre, 14601 20th Avenue, Surrey. $10. Pre-registration
recommended: or 604-536-8333.

Author reads from her memoir, The Long Hello: Memory, My Mother and Me. Thursday, May 7 at 7:00pm. McGill branch, Burnaby Public Library.

An evening with Jacqueline Woodson, 2014 National Book Award Winner for her memoir, Brown Girl Dreaming. Friday, May 8 at 7:00pm. Cost: $25. Robson Square Auditorium. Registration and information at

Meet authors who use historical events to create fictional worlds or share narrative experiences. Featuring Sumi Kinoshita, Robert W. Mackay, Roger R. Blenman, and Sabina Khan. Saturday, May 9 at 2:00pm. Readability Lounge, City Centre Library, Surrey. For information and registration, call 604-598-7426.

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