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

Friday, April 24, 2009

MTV Camped Out: Two Hours Traffic “Stuck for the Summer”

Oh it’s time for band camp, or performing arts camp. American friends you have the privilege of watching MTV Camped Out this Saturday, 12 pm.


“Summer camp is not just about building fires and making smores anymore. Tune in on Saturday, April 25th at 12pm – 2pm et/pt as MTV News & Docs premieres with a 2-hour special of “Camp’d Out”. This special will take viewers inside the lives of three individual campers: Alana, Lauren, and Mia, and their different summer experiences at French Woods Performing Arts Camp.”

Reality tv. Bands. Music. Teen Madness. What could go better?

Why do I care? Because Canadian band Two Hours Traffic plays the theme song “Stuck for the Summer” and I really, really want it to be summer.

Matthew Snyder roped me into being in love with this band and helping them promote the MTV gig and because I like Canadian music I said yes. We are going to Victoria to see the Weakerthans next week. Independent Canadian music is what keeps me going.

Good luck guys!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Book Review: A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini is a fantastic read. I thought the writing for Kite Runner was also strong but I hated the protagonist. Mariam in A Thousand Splendid Suns, however, is much more likable. Born to unwed parents, Mariam is disappointed by her mother and disillusioned by her father, who eventually sells her to a despicable man many times her age.

Hmm, more background required right?

A Thousand Splendid Suns is set during the volatile events of Afghanistan’s last 30 years. We see through Mariam’s eyes the Soviet invasion, the reign of the Taliban and the post-Taliban rebuilding. Our second main character is Laila, younger than Mariam and the second wife. She joins the family due to a series of unfortunate events.

Khaled Hosseini’s second novel is exceptional. The violence and fear is barely in balance with the hope and faith. The story is intimate, disturbing, jarring and remarkable in its representation of the personal lives of those who suffer at the hands of others.

A tightly written story for sure and definitely worth reading.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Book Review: The Virgin’s Tale by Sherri Smith

imageRome, 63 BC.

Aemilia is 6 and offered to the state as a Vestal Virgin. She’s 1 of 6 hand-picked women who symbolically protect the Roman Republic. You know that any book that opens with the girl being thrown into a tomb during the reign of Caesar is going to be a story full of peril.

We have moral sin. Death. Sacrificed animals. Girl-on-girl kisses (the innocent kind actually). Punishment by entombment in the latrine. Slaves. Virgins. Betrayal. Friendship. Love.

Author Sherri Smith lives in Winnipeg, MB. This is her first novel and it’s really well written. I think it’s a nice crossover novel. Great for adults and teens.

Simon & Schuster has a brand new website. Check out the book summary.

Shebeen: Old Publishers Have to Think

Come out to the Shebeen.

Old Publishers Have New Think Coming

The Shebeen Club
Monday, April 20, 2009
6:00pm - 9:00pm

What: Old Publishers Have New Think Coming call to arms!

When: Monday, April 20th, 6pm-9

Where: The Shebeen, behind the Irish Heather, 210 Carrall Street.

$15 cash at the door includes dinner and a drink.

And yes, it’s okay to show up without RSVPing first.

Gutenberg was an early adopter. Very few people know that.

Call to action from Monique: I’m going to organize a panel in Vancouver. We’re going to create a model for publishing and marketing books. We’re going to move forward as an industry. Leaders will be identified. Roles will be assigned. If you’re not open to totally change everything you’re doing, then you are not ready for this revolution. Don’t come.

Who’s in?

Monique Trottier is the owner of Boxcar Marketing, an internet marketing company in Vancouver, BC. As the former internet marketing manager of Raincoast Books, she spearheaded major online marketing campaigns, including online promotion of Harry Potter and the creation of the first Canadian-publisher podcast and blog. Her thoughts on marketing and technology can be followed on Twitter at “somisguided” or on her blogs at http://www.boxcarmarketing.com/blog and http://www.SoMisguided.com.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Book Review: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne


John Boyne’s The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is one of those books that is both charming and profound.

Young Bruno lives a wealthy lifestyle in Pre-war Germany along with his mother, elder sister, and army Commandant father. The Fury has great things planned for Father.

So great that the family is transferred to a house next door to Out-with so Father can work.

Bruno hates the harsh environment that is so different from the liveliness of Berlin, his grandmother and friends. It doesn’t seem to be the best place for his mother and sister either. Mom starts yelling and taking liquid treatments (boozing it up) and the sister is doing an awful lot of hair flips for the cocky solider who ruffles Bruno’s hair.

Let to his own devices, Bruno starts to explore and finds one of the boys in the striped pajamas who he can see from his upstairs window. Bruno is painfully naive by today’s standards but if you’d never heard of Nazi Germany and concentration camps, the holocaust, and it was the 40s and children had a place, then naivety in these matters can be forgiven. Bruno faces the boy in the striped pajamas who is on the other side of the fence and he makes friends. Just as two boys out in the woods should do.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is a haunting little tale about fences that should always be crossed and ones that should never be encountered.

And there’s a movie version but really, read the book.

Provenance: Food & Wine Series

From Farm to Table: A six-part Food and Culture series on sustainable food systems hosted by Barbara Jo’s Books to Cooks and Farmfed

I’m helping Anthony Nicalo and Natalie Jensen of Farmfed, a non-profit organization dedicated to building transparent, sustainable food systems, promote their six-part food and culture series entitled Provenance: You are what you eat.

If you want to help, grab the widget in the sidebar or pull some info from below. Or just come to the events! Hope to see you there.

From Farm to Table. Provenance: meaning source or origin. You Are What You Eat

Over the course of the series, experts will join host Anthony Nicalo for classes directed at understanding the origins and sources of the meat, seafood, wine, and produce that appear on our kitchen tables and restaurant tables.

* Part 1-5: Barbara-Jo’s Books to Cooks in Vancouver at 1740 West 2nd Ave.
* Part 6: UBC Farm at UBC

$65 for individual tickets or $360 for all 6.
Call Barbara Jo’s Books to Cooks at 604.688.6755.

Net proceeds from the series will benefit programs supporting transparent, sustainable food systems.

Tuesday, April 21
Join Anthony Nicalo for the official book launch of Provenance: a blueprint for the modern eater. Guests will learn to assess the sources for food they eat and will learn practical tips for buying clean, healthy food.

Monday, April 27
Special guests include Mike McDermid, Program Manager of Ocean Wise, and Chef Robert Clark of [C] Restaurant discussing the importance of understanding seafood’s impacts on our oceans. Guests will enjoy sustainable seafood hors d’oeuvres prepared by Chef Robert Clark and fish-friendly wines.

Tuesday May 5
Jason Pleym, founder of Two Rivers Specialty Meats will shed light on what is really going on in grocers and butcher shops, while guests taste naturally raised meats.

Wednesday May 20
Mark Bomford, the Program Coordinator for the Centre of Sustainable Food Systems at UBC Farm will share tips for buying and growing sustainable produce.

Tuesday May 26
Farmstead Wines founder Anthony Nicalo lifts the veil on wine marketing and connects guests to authentic wine and artisan farmers.

Saturday June 6 at UBC Farm
This special fundraiser features international food expert and author of In Defense of Food, Michael Pollan. Pollan will share his manifesto for eating. Guests who participate in the full series will receive a gourmet picnic lunch at UBC Farm.

“Having these experts share their knowledge with us is very empowering”, remarked Anthony Nicalo. “Because the food we eat has clear implications for everything from clean water and climate change to hunger and obesity, the power to change the world is right in front of us, on our plates.”

If you can’t join us in Vancouver, the series will be broadcast live online via Ustream. http://www.ustream.tv/channel/farmfed

Saturday, April 11, 2009

GE Windmill

Freaky. Yes it works. I printed out the page.

Living in Exponential Times

Did You Know? from Amybeth on Vimeo.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

World Autism Awareness Day: Book Roundup

Today is World Autism Awareness Day.

In celebration, I want to highlight a book I reviewed many moons ago: Daniel Isn’t Talking by Marti Leimbach. This is a novel full of funny and educational moments (and sad moments) in raising a child with autism. In this review I’ve also posted links to a couple of other books by writers with autism or books with characters who have autism.

Celebrate difference.

Egyptian Queen Perfume to Be Re-Created


Hey, Hatshepsut is my favourite Egyptian king. He was a she and she rocked! Hatshepsut is kind of pronounced like “hot chep soup”, like hot chicken soup.

This is a 3,500-year-old perfume bottle that a German research team discovered in March 2009 and there is still some ancient oil in the bottle.

So exciting! More on National Geographic…