Archive for Other


There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”                             Leonard Cohen, “Anthem”

Today is Leonard Cohen’s 80th birthday. Tuesday he releases yet another album… a-ma-zing! A new book, LEONARD COHEN everybody knows is a retrospective of his life & career, and is a real glimpse into the poet, writer, and master of song, over the course of his life. It’s a beautiful book about a beautiful soul. On May 26, 2009, we saw him perform at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa (a real concert hall – not a hockey arena!). We had box seats – first box, first row, and it was without a doubt THE BEST show I’ve seen in my entire life.

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Lucky BBC Watchers!

The BBC is turning J.K. Rowling’s first adult novel, The Casual Vacancy, into a TV drama. Full of humour, social commentary and above all - fantastic characters!, I’m sure the series will be a huge hit. The adaptation is due to air in 2014 and the number of episodes is yet to be decided. Oh to be in England!

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Hear Ye… Hear Ye!

The 5 finalists in the CBC Canada Reads competition have been announced, and although I hate book awards and competitions of any stripe or variety, I will go out on a limb here and state that among the 5 finalists –

  • Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese
  • The Age of Hope by David Bergen
  • Away by Jane Urquhart
  • Two Solitudes by Hugh MacLennan
  • February by Lise Moore

My vote definitely goes to FEBRUARY by Lisa Moore. Hands down it is one of the best books I’ve read in the past few years. I love it, love it, love it! (Check out my blog entry.)

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Khaled Hosseini… remember him?

Don’t you just love it when you think of someone or something, and the next thing you know you hear or read something about them. Well just the other day I thought of Khaled Hosseini, you must remember him… he’s the amazing writer who wrote The Kite Runner & A Thousand Splendid Suns. I wondered when we were going to hear from him again, and low and behold, there it was in our newspaper, the heads up to his new book called And the Mountains Echoed. It’s coming out next May… that’s 7 long months from now.

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Well I’ll be darned… all has been revealed… MICHAEL REDHILL has confessed – HE IS INGER ASH WOLFE. Read all about it in The Globe & Mail (The real Inger Ash Wolfe stands up). His name had been floating around as a possible source since day 1 but I must admit I thought he was a long shot. So obviously I was way off course, it’s not Margaret Atwood as I suspected. (B T W book #3 – A Door in the River, is due out the end of July.)

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Nora Ephron

I was really sad to hear that Nora Ephron died this week. Most people don’t know that in addition to writing the fantastic screenplays for When Harry Met Sally and the phenominal Julie & Julia she wrote some amazing books as well, my favourite of which is I Feel Bad About My Neck. I wrote a review for it years ago, and I think it’s time to pick it up again and have a Nora moment. If you’ve never read it, search for it. It will give you an insight into a wonderful woman, who was an exceptional writer, who died way too young.

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J.K. Rowling is Back!

Listen up people… hot off the press…  J.K. Rowling has a new book coming out in September. It’s called A Casual Vacancy. This time, it’s for adults, not kids. The blurb that reached my desk says it’s “blackly comic, thought-provoking and constantly surprising”. Sounds good to me! But I sure hope they don’t expect me to line up at midnight to get a copy.

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The Joy of Books Video

I don’t usually do this… in fact I don’t think  I’ve ever done this before… telling my readers to watch a youtube video is SO not me… but I’m doing it now. Click here to see the sweetest, neatest, most amazing little video. It was shot at Type, a Toronto bookshop at 883 Queen St. W., with the aide of many, many, helping hands. The amount of work involved in producing this just boggles my little mind. If you love books, love to read, and I’m sure you do if you’re reading my blog, you’ll LOVE this short video. You’ll want to watch it over and over again. It will make you happy! Guaranteed!!

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My Winter Reading List

You probably don’t care, but I’m writing this anyway… the winter is long, cold, and dark, plus icy and… can you tell I’m not a fan? Like a squirrel hoarding away nuts to make sure he survives the winter, I stack books to get me through the doldrums of  despair while I check off the days on the calendar til spring. And this year I’m so lucky because some of my favourite authors recently released new books. So, sitting on my coffee table waiting to be read are: 

  • Only Time Will Tell by Jeffrey Archer
  • I’ll See You in My Dreams by William Deverell
  • The Accident by Lynwood Barclay
  • Tell It to the Trees by Anita Rau Badami
  • The Betrayal of Trust by Susan Hill
  • Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James

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The end of an era

George Whitman died at the grand old age of 98 this week in Paris. He was the owner of one of the most famous English bookstore in the world. Situated on the left bank of the Seine River, Shakespeare and Company was home to many a wandering bibliophile for more than half a century. Whitman allowed would-be writers and travellers in need of a bed to crash in the store in exchange for some help around the shop. One such person was Jeremy Mercer from Ottawa who ended up writing a really great book based on his “adventures” in Shakespeare and Company. The book is called When Time was Soft There and it’s a great and timely read.

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