A Canadian book blog: Publishing, marketing, books and technology from a Canadian perspective

Monday, December 31, 2007

2007: A Year in Photos

A strong opening.

My goodness

Big White ski trip.

The pad -- Moon Dance, Raven Something

Duck shoot.

Abigail 2

Easter bunny.

Notte Bon Bon

Ziptrekking at Whistler.

Off she goes

Craig and Kiley tie the knot.


Harry Potter 7 hits the shelves.

Magical Muggle Enforcement

Lake of the Woods.

The island

Peach pie.

Umm, delicious

James, Monique, Julie, Darren

Birthday wishes.


Winter rainbows.


Saturday, December 29, 2007

Book Review: Ani DiFranco Verses

Ani DiFranco Verses is a book of DiFranco’s poetry and paintings. What I like most about the book is the discussion at the end between Ani DiFranco and Sekou Sundiata, who is a spoken-word poet and teacher of literature at The New School.

l have a hard time reading poetry. Sometimes I understand it too literally and sometimes too figuratively. The conversation with Sekou at the end of the collection of verses really helps ground my reading of the poems. It’s the insight into the work that I wish all poetry volumes held.

One of my favourite poems in this collection is a short poem called Akimbo. It starts “what dreams cause me to abandon my pillow each night?”

Opening lines of poems are important to me. Either I get into it or I don’t.

Ani DiFranco Verses is published by Seven Stories.

Book Review: The Hermetic Code

The Hermetic Code is a Dan Brown-esque expose of the secrets of the Manitoba Legislature Building.

Frank Albo is a visiting lecturer at the University of Winnipeg and a specialist in ancient religions and western esotericism. His research concerns the influence of Freemasonry in public architecture from the 18th century to present.

Frank’s interest in ancient religions, magic and present-day architecture led him to the Manitoba Legislature Building, when one day, he was driving by, and glanced up at the entrance and noticed two sphinx.

Sphinx on the roof top. Temple guards. Ancient symbols. Fibonacci series. The Ark of the Covenant. The Legislature is packed. And it clearly is not by accident.

The Hermetic Code is a fast-paced read. It’s a coffee table book that packs a lot of punch.

The text plays on Dan Brown’s characteristic writing style, which helps move the narrative along at quite a clip.

This is a 5-star book for anyone interested in magic, architecture, Egyptology and Canadian history.

The Hermetic Code is published by Winnipeg Free Press.

Book Review: White Rapids by Paschal Blanchet

Cartoonist Paschal Blanchet’s White Rapids is an absolutely beautiful book. It’s Art Deco, 1950s commercial design meets quaint story about a town built-up around a hydro dam.

This is the first English translation of Blanchet’s graphic novel about the rise and fall of the small northern Quebec town of White Rapids.

White Rapids was founded in 1928 and was the brain child of the Shawinigan Water & Power Company. It was a fully-equipped, self-contained community for workers of the dam and their families. 

Pascal Blanchet’s illustrations are incredibly refined yet astonishingly simple.

PDF Preview of White Rapids by Pascal Blanchet

White Rapids by Pascal Blanchet is published by Drawn & Quarterly.

Picture Book Review: Sir Charlie Stinky Socks by Kristina Stephenson

Sir Charlie Stinky Socks and the Really Big Adventure by Kristina Stephenson is a pretty fun picture book with a couple of lift the flaps.

Sir Charlie is a very brave, boy knight, who is super curious about a rather tall tower in a dark, dark wood. The dark wood, of course, is rife with beasties and a witch. But like all good fairy tales, Charlie gets to the tower top and has a wonderful surprise.

The illustrations are vivid and offer a lot to look at, however, I found that the story is a bit hard to read. There are some awkward lines. It also felt like it was a long read. This picture book is one for older kids who are willing to pay attention rather than younger bustlers.

Again, it’s a fun story, But I disliked that the stinky socks never play a role in the drama of getting to the tower top. What’s the deal?

Overall, this is a 2-3 stars out of 5.

Sir Charlie Stinky Socks and the Really Big Adventure by Kristina Stephenson is published by Egmont.

15 Books I Did Not Have Time to Read

Everyone I know has a bedside table piled with books they intend to read. So do I. Usually I can keep it down to 5 titles. I often have multiples on the go. But this year, there was a rich crop of new titles that I did not manage to read.

I’ll see how many I can get to in the fading days of 2007.

1. The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill (HarperCollins)
My mom loved this book about a slave who forges her way to freedom and back to her homeland. I’m looking forward to reading it.

2. The Eye: A Natural History by Simon Ings (Bloomsbury)
Science, math, philosophy, history, neuroscience, anecdote and language theory. This is a crazy book about the eye. There’s a story about a guy who wears upside down glasses and eventually his brain “rights” the situation, i.e., the image flips the right way up. Can’t miss this book.

3. Other Colors by Orhan Pamuk (Knopf Canada)
Essays and a story by Orhan Pamuk, an awesome Turkish writer. I’ve wanted to read his stuff since my trip to Turkey in 2005.

4. Untapped: The Scramble for Africa’s Oil by John Ghazvinian (Harcourt Books)
Africa is rich in oil but extracting it hasn’t seemed worth the effort, well, until now. Untapped is about the heavy price Africans are paying/about to pay for the West’s obsession with oil.

5. The Immortal Game by David Shenk (Bond Street Books)
A history of chess. I just lost 3 speed chess games over the holidays. Quirky, absorbing look at how chess has captured the minds of many.

6. Here There Be Dragons by James A. Owen (Simon & Schuster)
Set in WWI London, this is a fantasy, dragon book. Fallen kingdoms, legendary heroes and towers. The next book is out in January. I have to hurry on this one.

7. Cathy’s Book by Stewart, Weisman, Brigg (Running Pressing)
A super cool, interactive book. The fictional journal of Cathy is lost. You’ve found it and by reading the journal, can try to figure out where Cathy has disappeared to. All the emails and phone numbers are functioning. I’ve been looking forward to this one for a while.

8. Getting to Maybe by Frances Westley,Brenda Zimmerman and Michael Patton (Random House Canada)
If you want to change the world, this appears to be the book to read. Thoughtful, insightful, sobering and inspirational ideas for business, government, not-for-profit and individuals. Something I should definitely read for the new year.

9. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield (Bond Street Books)
An antiquarian bookshop, a hand-written request and a bit of mystery/history detective work. This was a very popular book in Canada and I’m disappointed that I didn’t get a chance to read it earlier.

10. Falling Man by Don DeLillo (Penguin Books)
Keith emerges from the World Trade Center and makes his way to his ex-wife and son’s home. It’s a novel about the devastation of 9/11 and the moments of after-the-event reflection of this man. It received a starred review in Booklist and I’ve been unsuccessful in making time to read this book, but I definitely will get to it.

11. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (Harper Collins Canada)
Runaway bestseller about a guy who runs away with the circus. Looks fantastic.

12. House of Meetings by Martin Amis (Knopf Canada)
Described as haunting! I love Amis. Conjugal visits in the labour camps of the Soviet Union. This is the story of one of those meetings, and a problematic love triangle. I really should have read this one asap. James just noticed it and I’m sure it will disappear from my shelf.

13. The 100-Mile Diet by Alisa Smith and JB MacKinnon (Random House Canada)
I know enough about this book that I feel like I’ve read it. James read it and failed to write a review, but he does talk about it non-stop so there’s hard-core word of mouth happening there. This is the book that inspired, or rather reinforced, our habit of eating locally.

14. The Gum Thief by Douglas Coupland (Random House Canada)
Sounds hilarious, and I’ve never read a Coupland book. Honestly, how can that be? I know. This is a love story set in an office supply store. It’s right up my goofy alley.

15. A Covenant of Salt by Martine Desjardins (Talonbooks)
1791. This is a novel of Quebec and Irish legend, stonecutting, and family grudges.

Any thoughts on which ones I should read first?

Bob Staake: The Daily Bob

I love Bob Staake’s art work and today I stumbled upon his site.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

First Snowfall in Vancouver

Vancouver Snow in the Mountains

I’m in Winnipeg. Is it still snowing in Vancouver?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Book Review: Run by Ann Patchett

Run by Ann PatchettI first heard about Ann Patchett from my friend Jennifer who adored Patchett’s novel Bel Canto. I’ve never read the book but I feel that I intimately know the story and I’ve been anxious to read Patchett ever since. 

Today I finished Ann Patchett’s latest novel Run.

Run is stellar. And Ann Patchett is an author whose backlist I’m now going to seek out. In particular I want to read The Magician’s Assistant.

But back to Run. This is a beautiful book. The structure is an example of fine writing. Although the story follows chronological order there are nice loops back to the present. At no time do you feel like you know the whole story or where it’s going to go.

What’s the premise of the Run?

Bernadette Doyle is a loving mother who wishes to have more children and cannot. She and her husband adopt a black boy and a short time later they are contacted by the agency asking if they would take the older sibling. The birth mother wishes the boys be raised together. So Tip and Teddy join Mayor Doyle, Bernadette and Sullivan. Sadly Bernadette dies early of cancer, leaving the boys to grow up without their mother. The story picks up again when the boys are in university and one gets hit by a car.

Run is well constructed, the characters are interesting, and the dynamics between the characters are a powerful representation of the alliances and enemies that form in all families.

I first heard about this book when I stumbled across the book trailer for Run on Facebook.

I’m not a fan of most book trailers but I did like this one from Harper Collins. I liked that it used images and quotes from the book to convey the story. I also liked the simple piano soundtrack.

Watching the book trailer now, it’s even more powerful because the images make more sense and I can attribute the quotes to certain characters.

Watch the trailer.

Run by Ann Patchett (Harper Collins Canada) is definitely a top 10 book for the year.


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Northern Voice Registration Is Open

Anil Dash's Keynote. Do you know what this is?Registration Page 2008 | Northern Voice 2008


Registration for Northern Voice: a personal blogging conference is NOW OPEN!

Conference is February 22 and 23.

You can attend one day for $40 or both days for only $60.

The conference is perfect for people interested in the internet, blogging, social software, or online community. You’ll learn tons and meet awesome people. (And I’m moderating a panel on authors who blog so come see me.)

The conference will sell out so if you’re thinking of attending, register now.

Online registration closes on February 20, 2008.

About Northern Voice
Northern Voice is a two-day, non-profit personal blogging and social media conference that’s being held at the Forestry Sciences Centre, 2424 Main Mall, UBC main campus, Vancouver, Canada on February 22-23, 2008.

Come blog with us.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Better Books: Portfolio.com interviews literary agent Andrew Wylie

Friday’s “World According to ...” column on Portfolio.com was about literary agent Andrew Wylie.

Wylie is renowned in the book business for representing high profile clients, rather, I should say high literary profile clients, such as Martin Amis. He’s one of those old-school boys who has made it his business to know all the right people and to be in the right place at the right time.

Entertain yourself: The World According to ... An Interview with Andrew Wylie.

Wylie states some excellent points about the stupidity of publishers bending to the chains’ requests for deep discounts:

... publishers have given in to every act of aggression that’s proposed by the chains, and it’s been very bad for business. Everything is deeply discounted, there are endless two-for-three deals and stuff like that, with the authors getting reduced royalty, and the publishers having an already thin margin decimated by being compelled or agreeing to higher discount arrangements with the chains. It’s very shortsighted, and it’s all an aspect of publishers trying to cover over the fundamental weaknesses of their respective businesses with, you know, misleading cash flow.

Publishing is a rough business.

Publishing is also a relatively small business, estimates mentioned in the article are $25-30 billion.

Wylie’s comment on the size of the industry is one of my favourite quotes of the piece:

It’s a very odd, very small business, that no one should get into unless they have no other occupation that they want to be involved in.

The article is worth reading for Wylie’s acerbic wit, but he also argues passionately for better books, which is where his charm lies.


Portfolio.com: The World According to ... An Interview with Andrew Wylie.

(Source: Tip from


Sunday, December 16, 2007

Book Review: Social Media Ready by Darren Barefoot and Julie Szabo

imageDarren Barefoot and Julie Szabo of Capulet Communications recently released an ebook on social media marketing, Getting to First Base: A Social Media Marketing Playbook.

First, Darren and Julie are my friends. We shared office space at one time. We’ve brainstormed projects together. I went to visit them in Malta. I’m quoted in their ebook (pages 74 & 75). So if we’re talking about Getting to First Base, I’m their wingman.

Wingman: A wingman is the guy or girl you bring along to the bar when you’re single. This person’s job is to help bring over potential dates. The wingman may provide comparison shopping. For example, the wingman can act more stupid than you, thereby impressing the potential date. Or better yet, the wingman can sing your virtues. This allows for bragging opportunities that are not self-prompted. There’s a whole art to being a good wingman. A delicate balance. Just like in flight operations, the wingman positions himself/herself outside and behind (off the wing) of the leader. The wingman is your best support. Here I go.

The Introduction: Who are Darren and Julie?
Darren Barefoot and Julie Szabo run Capulet Communications, which is a great web marketing and social media relations company. They are usually located in Vancouver, BC, but, more recently, have been living in Malta.

Both come from strong writing backgrounds and this strength plays out nicely in their ebook, Getting to First Base: A Social Media Marketing Playbook. It’s 100 pages of information and entertainment.

Matchmaker: Who is Getting to First Base for?
Basically anyone who is newly experimenting with social media marketing will benefit from reading this book. If you’re wondering whether you should start a Facebook group for your company, if you’re thinking about blogger outreach campaigns, if you want to make viral YouTube videos—this book is a great primer. Even if you’re a social media diehard, there are lots of interesting quips in the book from social media gurus who aren’t typically in the limelight. Every social media marketing book quotes Seth Godin. That’s great for Seth, but there must be other social media savvy folks out there?

Absolutely, there are.

Getting to First Base: A Social Media Marketing Playbook presents a balanced mix of wisdom from social media marketers who run the fame gamut. One of my favourite quotes is from Dave Olsen, Community Evangelist at Raincity, who responded “no idea” to the question “what’s the reach of your social media projects?”

No idea.

Why is that great wisdom? It’s great because Dave goes on to illustrate the importance of qualitative metrics vs. quantitative metrics. People who don’t get social media or online marketing just want to see the numbers. “How many hits did we get?” This is so misguided for many reasons. But without getting side tracked, let’s get back to Dave.

Dave continues with “what matters to me is that people from diverse culture and locations genuinely enjoy what I produce and respond with postcards, emails, dinners and gifts, or best yet, tell how important my ‘stuff’ is to them.”

What Darren and Julie illustrate in Getting to First Base: A Social Media Marketing Playbook is that the “stuff” has to be important enough that people are interested in talking about it. This is the key to social media marketing: first, having a good product or service; second, having something interesting and valuable to say about it; third, telling that story in ways that make it easy for people who like that story to say so and pass it on.

Even as someone who makes my living teaching people about social media marketing, Getting to First Base: A Social Media Marketing Playbook was a good read. In some cases the examples illustrated points that I’ve been making in presentations—it’s always good to have a variety of examples. In other cases, there are glossaries or quotes or links that I can suggest people look at—I like it when I can point to good sources of information. Most important, the book helps readers understand the tone and approach required for successful social media marketing campaigns.

So if you’re new to social media, if you want a baseline understanding of where and how to start, get the Social Media Ready ebook Getting to First Base: A Social Media Marketing Playbook by Darren Barefoot and Julie Szabo. It $29 of goodness. 

(I want to make a joke about a steal of a deal and stealing a base, but I think it will come out wrong. Please insert your own joke. Then laugh here.)

Friday, December 14, 2007

Canadian Book Challenge

John at Book Mine Set has issued a challenge. The Canadian Book Challenge.

The rules are simple:

1. Read 13 Canadian books (books by Canadians and/or about Canadians) before next Canada Day (July 1)
2. Blog about each one

Get the full details here on how to win prizes.

If you need inspiration, here’s a list from Book Mine Set.

Red = titles I’ve read
Blue = authors I’ve read but not the title listed.

Newfoundland and Labrador
Bernard Assiniwi- The Beothuk Saga
Ken Babstock- Airstream Land Yacht (Poetry)
Cassie Brown- Death On The Ice (Non-fiction)
Paul Butler- Easton
Joan Clark- An Audience of Chairs
Michael Crummey- River Thieves
Mary Dalton- Merrybegot (Poetry)
Bud Davidge and Ian Wallace (Illustrator)- The Mummer’s Song (Children’s Book)
Jim Defede- The Day The World Came To Town (Non-fiction)
Kenneth J. Harvey- The Town That Forgot How To Breathe
Harold Horwood- White Eskimo
Harold Horwood- Bartlett The Great Explorer (Non-fiction)
Percy Janes- House of Hate
Dale Jarvis- Haunted Shores: True Ghost Stories of Newfoundland and Labrador
Wayne Johnston- Colony of Unrequited Dreams
Kevin Major- Eh? To Zed (Children’s book)
Lisa Moore- Open (Short Stories)
Lisa Moore- Alligator
Bernice Morgan- Random Passage
Donna Morrissey- Kit’s Law
Claire Mowat- Outport People (Non-fiction)
Earl B. Pilgrim- The Ghost of Ellen Dower
Al Pittman- Down By Jim Long’s Stage (Children’s poems)
Al Pittman- West Moon (play)
E. J. Pratt- Complete Poems (Poetry)
E. Annie Proulx- The Shipping News
Edward Riche- Rare Birds
Ted Russell- The Holdin’ Ground (play)
Dillon Wallace- The Lure of The Labrador Wild
Michael Winter- The Big Why

Prince Edward Island
Milton Acorn- I Shout Love and Other Poems (Poetry)
Anne Compton- Processional (Poetry)
Stompin’ Tom Connors and Brenda Jones (Illustrator)- The Hockey Song (Children’s Book)
David Helwig- Saltsea
Michael Hennessey- The Betrayer
Lucy Maud Montgomery- Anne of Green Gables
J. J. Steinfeld- Would You Hide Me? (Short Stories)

Nova Scotia
Ernest Buckler- The Mountain and the Valley
George Elliott Clarke- Whylah Falls (Poetry)
Frank Parker Day- Rockbound
Brad Kessler- Birds In Fall
Thomas Chandler Haliburton- The Clockmaker
Ann-Marie MacDonald- Fall On Your Knees
Linden MacIntyre- Causeway (Non-fiction)
Hugh MacLennan- The Watch That Ends The Night
Alistair MacLeod- Island (Short Stories)
Alistair MacLeod- No Great Mischief
Ami McKay- The Birth House
Alden Nolan- The Best Of (Poetry)
Anne Simpson- Loop (Poetry)

New Brunswick
Donna Allard- Minago Streets (Poetry)
Linda Hall- Black Ice
Elisabeth Harvor- Fortress Of Chairs
Antonine Maillet- Pelagie: The Return To Acadie
David Adams Richards- Mercy Among The Children
Charles G. D. Roberts- The Collected Poems (Poetry)
T. G. Roberts- The Red Feathers

Hubert Acquin- Next Episode
Peter Behrens- The Law of Dreams
Saul Bellow- Humboldt’s Gift
Frances Brooke- The History of Emily Montague
Nicole Brossard- Museum of Bone and Water
Willa Cather- Shadows On The Rock
Roch Carrier- The Hockey Sweater (Children’s Book)
Leonard Cohen- Beautiful Losers
Leonard Cohen- Let Us Compare Mythologies (Poetry)
Romeo Dallaire- Shake Hands With The Devil (Non-fiction)
Mavis Gallant- Home Truths (Short Stories)
Anne Hebert- Kamouraska
Naomi Klein- No Logo (Non-fiction)
Gordon Korman- Island: Shipwreck (Young Adult)
Irving Layton- Dance With Desire (Poems)
Markoosie- Harpoon of the Hunter
Yann Martel- Life of Pi
Colin McDougall- Execution
Stuart McLean- Stories From The Vinyl Café (Short Stories)
Heather O’Neill- Lullabies For Little Criminals
Jacques Poulin- Volkswagen Blues
Monique Proulx- The Heart Is An Involuntary Muscle
Mordecai Richler- Barney’s Version
Gabrielle Roy- The Tin Flute
Mairuth Sarsfield- No Crystal Stair
Gaetan Soucy- The Little Girl Who Was Too Fond Of Matches
Yves Theriault- Agaguk
Michel Tremblay- The Fat Woman Next Door Is Pregnant
Michel Tremblay- Forever Yours Marie-Lou (Play)

Margaret Atwood- Handmaid’s Tale
Joan Barfoot- Luck
David Bezmozgis- Natasha and Other Stories (Short Stories)
Christian Bok- Eunoia (poetry)
Joseph Boyden- Three Day Road
Morley Callaghan- More Joy In Heaven
Austin Clarke- The Polished Hoe
Matt Cohen- Elizabeth and After
Robertson Davies- Fifth Business
Gordon Downie- Coke Machine Glow (Poetry)
Marian Engel- Bear
Timothy Findley- The Wars
Phoebe Gilman- Something From Nothing (Children’s Book)
David Gilmour- A Perfect Night To Go To China
Douglas Glover- Elle
Barbara Gowdy- White Bone
Helen Humphries- Afterimage
Frances Itani- Deafening
M. T. Kelly- A Dream Like Mine
Thomas King- Green Grass, Running Water
Vincent Lam- Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures (Short stories)
Mary Lawson- Crow Lake
Stephen Leacock- Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town (Short Stories)
Dennis Lee- Alligator Pie (Children’s Poems)
Charles de Lint- Moonlight and Vines
Jon McCrae- In Flanders Fields (Poem)
Anne Michaels- Fugitive Pieces
Rohinton Mistry- A Fine Balance
Farley Mowat- Never Cry Wolf
Alice Munro- Who Do You Think You Are? (Short Stories)
Robert Munsch- The Paperbag Princess (Children’s Book)
Michael Ondaatje- In The Skin Of A Lion
Al Purdy- Beyond Remembering (Poetry)
Paul Quarrington- Whale Music
Barbara Reid- Two By Two (Children’s Book)
Nino Richie- Lives of The Saints
Leon Rooke- Shakespeare’s Dog
Diane Schoemperlen- Forms of Devotion
Jane Urquhart- The Stone Carvers
M. G. Vassanji- The In-Between World of Vikram Lall
Richard B. Wright- Clara Callan

David Bergen- The Time In Between
David Godfrey- The New Ancestors
Tomson Highway- The Rez Sisters (Play)
Margaret Laurence- A Bird In The House (Short Stories)
Margaret Laurence- A Jest of God
Corey Redekop- Shelf Monkey
Bill Richardson- Bachelor Brothers’ Bed and Breakfast
Carol Shields- The Stone Diaries
Miriam Toews- A Complicated Kindness
Adele Wiseman- The Sacrifice

Sharon Butala- Lilac Moon (Non-fiction)
Paul Hiebert- Sarah Binks
Guy Gavriel Kay- The Summer Tree
Tim Lilburn- Kill-Site (Poetry)
W. O. Mitchell- Who Has Seen The Wind
Sinclair Ross- As For Me and My House
Kate Sutherland- All In Together Girls
Guy Vanderhaeghe- The Last Crossing
Dianne Warren- Serpent In The Night Sky (play)
Rudy Wiebe- The Temptations of Big Bear

Anita Rau Badami- Can You Hear The Nightbird Call?
Earle Birney- One Muddy Hand (Poetry)
Will Ferguson- Why I Hate Canadians (Nonfiction)
Katherine Govier- Three Views of Crystal Water
Greg Holingshead- The Roaring Girl (Short stories)
W. P. Kinsella- Shoeless Joe
Robert Kroetsch- The Studhorse Man
Gloria Sawai- A Song For Nettie Johnson
Thomas Wharton- Salamander
Christopher Wiseman- In John Updike’s Room (Poetry)

British Columbia
George Bowering- The Gangs of Kosmos
Kevin Chong- Baroque-a-Nova
Wayson Choy- The Jade Peony
Douglas Coupland- Generation X
Margaret Craven- I Heard The Owl Call My Name
John Gould- Kilter (Short stories)
Jack Hodgins- The Resurrection of Joseph Bourne
Anosh Irani- The Song of Kahunsha
Joy Kogawa- Obasan
Susan Musgrave- What The Small Day Cannot Hold (Poetry)
bp Nichol- The Martyrology (Poetry)
Kenneth Oppel- Silverwing (Young Adult)
P.K. Page- Planet Earth (Poetry)
Gayla Reid- To Be There With You (Short stories)
Eden Robinson- Monkey Beach
Timothy Taylor- Stanley Park
Audrey Thomas- Coming Down From Wa
Michael Turner- Hard Core Logo
Sheila Watson- The Double Hook

Pierre Berton- The National Dream (Non-fiction)
Ted Harrison- Children of the Yukon (Children’s Book)
Pj Johnson- Rhymes of the Raven Lady (Poetry)
Jack London- Call of the Wild
Dick North- The Mad Trapper of Rat River (Non-fiction)
Al Pope- Bad Latitudes
Robert Service- The Best Of (Poetry)

Northwest Territories
Robert Alexie- Pale Indian
Richard Van Camp- Lesser Blessed
Rene Fumoleau- Here I Sit (Poetry)
Elizabeth Hay- Late Nights On Air
Mackay Jenkins- Bloody Falls of the Coppermine (nonfiction)
James Raffan- Emperor of The North (Non-fiction)
Steve Zipp- Yellowknife

John Bennett and Susan Rowley (Editors and compilers) Uqalurait: An Oral History of Nunavut (Non-fiction)
Pierre Berton- The Arctic Grail (Nonfiction)
Jan Brett- Three Snow Bears (Children’s Book)
Kenn Harper- Give Me My Father’s Body (Non-fiction)
James Houston- The White Dawn
Michael Kusugak- Curse of the Shaman (Young Adult)
Michael Kusugak and Vladyana Krykorka(Illustrator)- Hide and Sneak (Children’s book)
Tom Lowenstein (translator)/ Knud Rasmussen (compiled by)- Eskimo Poems (Poetry)
Kevin Patterson- Consumption
Robert Ruby- Unknown Shore (Non-fiction)
Zachariah Wells- Unsettled
Eric Wilson- The Inuk Mountie Adventure (Young Adult)

There are a bunch of titles not on this list that I think are important—mostly because I’ve read them and it will make me look very Canadian. Perhaps I’ll do a missing in action list.

Copy the list and post on your blog which titles and authors you’ve read.

JK Rowling’s Handwritten Book Sells for $4 Million

JK Rowling’s handwritten book, The Tales of Beedle the Bard, sold at Sotheby’s for £1,950,000 ($4,062,930 CDN) to ...


Rowling is donating the proceeds to The Children’s Voice campaign, a charity she co-founded to help improve the lives of institutionalized children across Europe.

The Tales of Beedle the Bard is extensively illustrated and handwritten—all 157 pages of it—and it looks gorgeous. It’s bound in brown leather and embellished with five hand-chased hallmarked sterling silver ornaments and mounted moonstones.

Amazon.com posted a review of the book and some incredible photos. There’s also a short video clip:

I’m giddy just thinking about what it would be like to hold that book. Here’s what the reviewer had to say:

So how do you review one of the most remarkable tomes you’ve ever had the pleasure of opening? You just turn each page and allow yourself to be swept away by each story. You soak up the simple tales that read like Aesop’s fables and echo the themes of the series; you follow every dip and curve of Rowling’s handwriting and revel in every detail that makes the book unique—a slight darkening of a letter here, a place where the writing nearly runs off the page there. You take all that and you try and bring it to life, knowing that you will never be able to do it justice. With that, let’s dig in and begin at the beginning, shall we?—Daphne Durham

Read the full review on Amazon.com

(Source: Tip from Siobhan)

Friday, December 07, 2007

Book Preview: Icefields by Thomas Wharton

Hey, I was going to quickly come back and update this post on Thomas Wharton’s novel Icefields (NeWest Press). I can’t believe that it’s Thursday. I must have been caught in a ripple in time.

Let me tell you more about how I came upon Icefields by Thomas Wharton, which, if you don’t know, is a CBC Canada Reads pick for 2008.

Last Friday I was in Toronto presenting a session on online marketing to the Literary Press Group book publishers. I illustrated a point about how fast it is to create a blog post and to use Amazon Associates program. That was the post you saw, which, of course, needed a lot more work.

Now how did Icefields come up?

I asked the audience if anyone had a hot book this season. Lou from NeWest Press piped up with “Icefields!”

About Icefields

NeWest Press book description:

At a quarter past three in the afternoon, on August 17, 1898, Doctor Edward Byrne slipped on the ice of Arcturus glacier in the Canadian Rockies and slid into a crevasse…

Nearly sixty feet below the surface, Byrne is wedged upside down between the narrowing walls of a chasm, fighting his desire to sleep. A stray beam of sunlight illuminates the ice in front of him with a pale blue-green radiance. There, embedded in the pure, antediluvian glacier, Byrne sees something that will inextricably link him to the vast yet disappearing bed of ice, and the people who inhabit this strange corner of the world.
Read the full description ...

Thomas Wharton also has a blog, logogryph.blogspot.com.

And I learned that a logogryph is a mythical creature that lives in books. Cool.

Thomas Wharton says some interesting things abuot writing Icefields…

During the writing of this book my wife and I moved to Peace River, six hours north of Edmonton. I had just finished my Master’s degree and was an unemployed at-home father in an isolated northern town. I suddenly had lots of time for writing, in between looking after a child all day. That’s one reason why the chapters of the novel are so short.
He goes on to talk about his writing room and rugged, mountain climbers who would show up at his readings ... check it out.

I’m excited about this book and really looking forward to reading it. Thank you Lou for the copy.

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I’m coming back to talk about this title.

Go Canada Reads.