Thursday, January 7, 2016

Book News Vol. 10 No. 39


Announcing! - The Vancouver Writers Fest presents An Evening with David Sedaris

The Vancouver Writers Fest presents David Sedaris, author of the bestsellers Naked, Me Talk Pretty One Day, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, and regular National Public Radio contributor, appearing for one night only at The Vogue Theatre on Sunday, May 8 at 7pm. Get the best seats! Pre-sales to An Evening with David Sedaris start January 11 with the code "OWLS". All seating reserved: $58/43 plus taxes and fees. or by phone 888-732-1682. Details here,

Coming up: the return of Incite! The first Incite event for 2016 will take place at the VPL Central Branch at 7:30pm, Wednesday January 20 and will feature novelists Andrew Battershill, Pauline Holdstock and Billie Livingston. This event is free, but we appreciate it if you let us know you'll be attending in advance.


Kate Atkinson has won the Costa novel prize for her "utterly magnificent" book, A God in Ruins. Atkinson is the first author to win the prize three times.

The shortlist for the 2015 ReLit Awards, which recognize the best novels and poetry and short fiction collections released by independent Canadian publishers, has been released.


What's happening in children's literature in 2016? Check out this literary calendar from The Guardian.


George Elliott Clarke has been appointed Canada's next Parliamentary Poet Laureate.

What were the bestselling books of 2015? Books written by women comprised seven of the top 10 ten, with Fifty Shades of Grey still sitting at number one.

In more serious news, a battle for arts funding in Saint John's has taken a positive turn. On Monday, city councilors voted to reinstate funding for grants that had been cut by 50 per cent in the 2016 budget.

Another Hong Kong publisher has gone missing. "The disappearances add to growing unease that freedoms in the semi-autonomous Chinese city are being eroded."

A letter written by a young Barack Obama has surfaced. It talks about the most unexpected of things: T.S. Eliot's The Wasteland.

What are you favourite "modern medieval" tales? "From George RR Martin to Umberto Eco, many writers have been inspired by stories of the Middle Ages. Here are some of the best."

Are all stories the same? "From Avatar to The Wizard of Oz, Aristotle to Shakespeare, there's one clear form that dramatic storytelling has followed since its inception."


Tim Winton, the best-selling Australian writer is now, also, a fish species newly identified by a team of bioscientists.

It's a new year and what are the most anticipated books for the first half of 2016? Here's The Globe and Mail's list...and it's all Canadian!

There's a lot of crime fiction to be excited about—new works by Jo Nesbo, Chris Carter, Inger Ash Wolfe and more.

2015 was a big year for translation. Here's a short story called Venus, written by Chen Xue and translated by Vancouver's own Josh Stenberg. It's published as a part of The Guardian's new Translation Tuesday section.

In Billie Livingston's new novel, The Crooked Heart of Mercy, a married couple loses their two-year-old son. The incident comes from the writer's own family's past.

Did you enjoy André Alexis' Giller Prize-winning novel, Fifteen Dogs? Then you might enjoy this short story, Quim Monzó.

Elizabeth Strout is a writer who is "bracingly unafraid of silences." Her new novel is called My Name is Lucy Barton, featuring a writer with an "unquestioning, almost animal love for her mother."

What are the secrets to Emma Donoghue's success? Here's a hint: "being (professionally) promiscuous pays off!"


A night of improvisation between poetry and music featuring poet Daniela Elza with Jared Burrows on guitar and Clyde Reed on double base and poetry inspired by the Works in Glass exhibit in the gallery with poets Fran Bourassa, Bonnie Nish, Wilhelmina Salmi, Enrico Renz, Amanda Wardrop & Maria Dimas. January 7 at 7:00pm, free. Jewish Community Center, 950 West 41st Ave.

Featuring Charlotte Lawson, Cullene Bryant, Carmy Stubbs, Andrew Battershill, Katherine Wagner, Kendall Anne Dixon, and Wayde Compton. Thursday, January 7 at 8:00pm. Admission by donation. Cottage Bistro, 4470 Main St., Vancouver.

Five poets/poetry-lovers/readers/writers bring to life the works of their favourite deceased poets. Saturday, January 10 at 3:00pm, free. Central branch, VPL, 350 W. Georgia St. More information at 604-331-3603.

Our first event of the year will be launching the Make it True: Poetry from Cascadia Anthology (Leaf Press, 2015). Over twenty featured readers will read their poems. Wednesday, January 13th, 7–9:30pm, at The Cottage Bistro, 4468 Main Street. Suggested donation at the door: $5. More information at

Meet other writers and share your work at this casual open mic series, the second Thursday of the month, 7:30-9 pm. Any genre-short stories, poetry, song with lyrics, creative non-fiction, etc. Readers are limited to 6 minutes; sign up begins at 7:05. Pelican Rouge Coffee, 15142 North Bluff Rd., White Rock. Presented by Semiahmoo Arts.

Reading by poet/scholar. Friday, January 15 at 12:30pm, free. Special Collections and Rare Books, W.A.C. Bennett Library (SFU Burnaby). For more information, call 778-782-6676.

Featuring JJ Lee discussing his critically acclaimed memoir The Measure of a Man. Friday, January 22 at 7:00pm. Cost: $5. Place des Arts, 1120 Brunette Ave., Coquitlam.

Reading by the author of Bee Time: Lessons From the Hive, winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction. Tuesday, January 26 at 7:00pm, free. St. Catherine's Church, 1058 Ridgewood Dr., North Vancouver.

Celebrated writer Susan Musgrave brings her most recent book A Taste of Haida Gwaii: Foraging and Feasting at the Edge of the World to the shores of White Rock. January 28, 7 pm, Turnbull Gallery in South Surrey Recreation and Arts Centre, 14601-20th Avenue. Tickets $10 at or call 604-536-8333.

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