Friday, April 18, 2014

All About Chocolate!!!!!!!!!!!

There are so many things I didn't know about chocolate! Here is a short interview with author of The Chocolate Tasting Kit, Eagranie Yuh. We were very LUCKY to have Eagranie at our sales conference where we did a chocolate tasting and I don't think I'll ever look at chocolate the same way again. I will always be mindful to ENJOY it when I eat it! Read the interview here.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Joy of Audiobooks

Audiobooks and the Return of Storytelling was recently in the NYT and it talks about why audiobooks are a great way to experience a story. We associate the written word with being intellectual as opposed to the spoken word because being able to read and write was a privilege that few enjoyed. Yet, for most of history, literature has been oral. Reading books out loud for oneself and others was an integral part of storytelling. Audiobooks have so much to offer! You can be doing housework, gardening or driving while enjoying a story. The sales of audiobooks has increased in recent years and for good reason. Read about what makes audiobooks a great option for you here

Monday, April 14, 2014

Blunt Moms' First Book Club Pick and Contest

Seven Blunt Moms have picked Love Letters to the Dead as their first book club read. I am excited about this as this is one of my Dewey picks this season. Need another reason to check out this blog? Well, you have the chance to win a basket of awesome titles worth over $250 by Raincoast Books Have a look here.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Fantastic Read for Kids!

The National Post has an awesome new video review feature. This one is for children's books and it includes The Most Magnificent Thing (one of my Dewey picks...natch) by award-winning author and illustrator Ashley Spires! Editor Mark Medley talks about why this book will inspire kids to cultivate their talents! A fantastic read for you and the kids! You can watch the review here

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Mourning Local Bookstores

Mourning Local Bookstores on the blog, The Casual Optimist, talks about how independent bookstores can continue to survive as literary and cultural centers despite the challenges that the book industry is facing. The recent closure of a few Toronto bookstores recently, such as the Cookbook store, the Annex location of Book City and the Bloor West Village Chapters is disheartening. Moreover, Toronto has not followed the trend in New York of relocating bookstores in more affordable areas. This article has some great insights into some of the struggles that independent bookstores are facing right now. Have a look here

Friday, April 4, 2014

NOW Magazine's "Must-Read List"

Gender Failures appears in NOW Magazine's "Must-Read List" this week. It is described as "sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes hilarious" and is a terrific read! Don't miss the book launch with a multimedia stage show at the Gladstone on April 23rd 2014. You can see the details here.

In Arsenal Pulp Press book launch news, Vivek Shraya will be launching God Loves Hair at the Gladstone Hotel on April 8th. A great group of writers including Farzana Doctor and Brian Francis will also be reading from the book! Check out the details here!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Issues of Representation in Books

One of the biggest wonders of reading is that we can empathize with the characters and feel the story. What happens, however, when the books that we read do not represent us? How are we to relate to them? In this New York Times article, Where Are the People of Color in Children's Books? Walter Dean Myers talks about issues of representation in literature: "Of 3,200 children's books published in 2013, just 93 were about black people..." Books are about shared experiences, yet the stories that are published tend to exclude people based on economic strata and race. The piece articulates why representation is so important in the works that are published today. This article has really stuck with me...

Friday, March 28, 2014

Must Read Spring Titles by Kids Can Press!

Here is an overview of Kids Can Press' Spring releases...enjoy!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Movies R Fun!

A read aloud that is entertaining for YOU and the kids! (Not really...this is ABSOLUTELY not for kids.) Movies R Fun by Josh Cooley.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Welcome to Littlewing

Shotgun Lovesongs is a story of how close-knit friendships evolve between four friends in Little Wing. Author of Silver Linings Playbook, Matthew Quick said: "Nickolas Butler ripped my heart out with rare honesty and good old-fashioned unapologetic love."...WOW! Shotgun Lovesongs is the #1 pick on the Indie Next Great Reads List  and highly recommended by Shelf Awareness. This is one of my Dewey Picks this season. It's a fab read!

Monday, March 17, 2014

I Didn't Do My Homework Because...

Peter MacDougall, Director of National Accounts at Raincoast Books, takes a break from doing his "homework" by posing for a photo to celebrate Chronicle Books new kid's picture book I Didn't Do MyHomework Because... by Davide Cali and Benjamin Chaud.
Today's Excuse- I didn't do my homework because... I gave my pencils to Robin Hood.View all of our I Didn't Do My Homework Because... photos here:

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Creative Process and Alcoholism

This is a great book review of The Trip to Echo Spring in the NYT written by Laing who has been chosen for the 2014 writer's residency at the British Library's Eccled centre for American Studies. It is a perceptive piece on renowned writers John Cheever, Tennessee Williams, John Berryman, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Raymond Carver and their drinking habits. "There is much to learn from Laing's supple scholarship   and much to enjoy, too, in her obvious passion and engagement."

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

DK Contest

Great chance to win a 3-D library! You only have to sign up for the DK Newsletter! If you are already a subscriber, simply enter the contest. The deadline is March 14, 2014, 6pm EDT! Enter contest here

Marrying Libraries

Who knew that consolidating book shelves could be one of the biggest challenges in a marriage? Anne Fadiman's essay, Marrying Libraries, discusses that exact challenge! You can read the full piece here. Her book Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader  is a collection of essays that will resonate with anyone who takes pride in their book collection.  

Friday, March 7, 2014

New Owlkids Award

The Owlkids Award is an exciting new award by Owlkids and the Laboratory School at the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study. Teachers and teacher-librarians who are using inquiry-based learning in their classrooms can apply for this award. The grand prize is a gift certificate of  $1500 to be used at a Canadian bookstore or a Canadian book wholesaler of the winner's choice! Two runners-up will receive a $250 gift certificate each! The deadline for the award is March 28th so spread the word for this awesome award! You only have to wait till early May for the winners to be announced!  Complete submissions information is available here.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Scalzi's Award-winning novel to become a TV series!

This article brings exciting news! The witty sci-fi novel, Redshirts, which won the 2013 Hugo Award, is being adapted into a TV series that will be aired on FX! One of the reasons to look forward to this TV show is the fact that Ken Kwapis who worked on “He’s Just Not That Into You”, “The Sisterhood of The Travelling Pants” and the finale of “The Office” will be working on the first episode. I am eagerly waiting to see the magic that Redshirts will create on screen! 

Friday, February 28, 2014

Josephine Baker

Chronicle released this trailer to celebrate Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker. This book is a great read...I had very little knowledge of her amazing history...that's why I love kid's get all the good stuff in way less pages!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Canada has chosen Hana's Suitcase as the Ultimate Silver Birch Book!

Many congratulations to Karen Levine and Second Story Press! I am thrilled that Canadian readers have voted for Hana's Suitcase as the Ultimate Silver Birch Book in celebration of the prestigious award's 20th birthday. The Silver Birch Award is part of Ontario Library Association's Forest of Reading Program which has more than 250,000 participants each year. Read more about the OLA's oldest award and Hana's Suitcase here!  

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Happy 40th Birthday Kids Can Press!

The company that introduced the world to Franklin and Scaredy Squirrel started out as a summer project! In 1973 Frieda Forman and her students received a government grant which they used to respond to a need for Canadian storybooks for children. Over the years the company has evolved into a brand that is recognized all over the world through children's literature that deals with global issues such as Citizen Kid series. Read about the forty amazing years of their journey here

Friday, February 21, 2014

Interesting Piece on the Young-Adult Dystopian Market

This NYT article has some great insights into the publishing world and the young-adult dystopian market in particular. While the publishing industry is an integral part of our culture, it is also a business and profits are a consideration rather than literary merit when titles are chosen for production. The desire for having timely publications in the market, however, means that the quality of books available to buyers is compromised. Added to that is the celebrity appeal of young authors that comes with relative inexperience. The best of literature, this article argues, is written by older people who have had the time to hone their craft without the pressure of being dissected by people on very public platforms such as in Amazon reviews. The current culture in publishing creates an environment in which young authors are under tremendous stress to produce blockbuster successes. It is also an environment in which authors are treated as dispensable. Do you agree? Do you find the "Divergent" series offensive? This "Riff" by Michelle Dean is quite thought provoking.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Fun Article on Marginalia

What do Mark Twain, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, William Blake, Charles Darwin and Nelson Mandela have in common? Marginelia i.e. writing comments beside passages. Scribbles by readers on books are stories in themselves. Not only do these notes enhance the reading experience but they also become part of our literary heritage. The Caxton Club, a literary group, is sponsoring a symposium in March titled Other People's Books: Association Copies and the Stories They Tell in which they will present books that were once owned or annotated by authors. A lot of us have been taught that recording our thoughts and reflections in books is defacing them. Read a refreshing take on marginalia in this article in The New York Times here! 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

Raincoast's very own Crystal Allen interviewed Eagranie Yuh about how to give in to our chocolate cravings without the guilt! Her first tip is to read the ingredients so that we buy quality chocolate, not candy! Did you know that REAL chocolate has health benefits such as lowering blood pressure? We are very excited about Eagranie's upcoming The Chocolate Tasting Kit which is coming out in March 2014. For some quick tips on how to buy the right chocolate for your sweetheart on Valentine's Day, read the interview here!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


The third book in the Lunar Chronicle series, Cress, just came out. For those of you who don't know, the trilogy is an awesome retelling of Rapunzel, Little Red Riding Hood and Cinderella  Check out this stunning display at Mabel's Fables. We are so excited that Marissa is going to be coming to Toronto to do an event! See below for the details.
Marissa will be at the North York Public Library Branch on Monday February 24th at 2:00. 
Her second event will be at Indigo Yorkdale at 7:00pm.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Just what the heck is happening at Scholastic anyway?

I believe it is called art! Taken by yours truly on Wednesday.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Fabulous Josephine Baker!

I loved this book and this video is totally adorable! And it is getting starred reviews everywhere! Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker
School Library Journal starred review
Shelf Awareness starred review 
Publishers Weekly starred review 
Kirkus Reviews starred review

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

OLA Superconference: Meet the author of SOMEWHERE IN FRANCE, Jennifer Robson!


Come and meet Jennifer Robson, author of SOMEWHERE IN FRANCE, on Friday January 31st at the HarperCollins booth at OLA Superconference (#731/733) from 1:30-2:30 pm!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

And the Authors Just Keep Coming!

More author appearances at OLA.

Thursday January 30th
Dundurn Press Booth #428
11:30 a.m. – Allan Stratton
12 p.m. – Cheryl Cooper
12:30 Rick Revelle
1:30 – Jennifer Dance
2:00 Philippa Dowding

Owlkids Books Book #431

Michael Glassbourg Learn to Speak Film
Second Story Press, Booth # 418
10:30 Julie Macfie Sobol  Love and Forgetting
11:00 Jennifer Gold  Soldier Doll
11:30 Joy Crysdale Courageous Women Rebels
1:00 Shelly Sanders The Rachel Trilogy
1:30 Ken Setterington Branded by the Pink Triangle
2:00 Rosemary McCarney Every Day is Malala Day
3:00  Janet Hepburn Flee, Fly, Flown
3:30  Rebecca Upjohn The Secret of the Village Fool 
Friday January 31st
Dundurn Press Booth #428
10 a.m. ─ Lucy Liederman  
10:30 a.m. – Michael Reist
11 a.m. Jennifer Maruno
11:30 a.m. Arlene Chan
12 p.m. – Nancy Runstedler
12:30 p.m. – Vicki Delany
1 p.m. – Robin Harlick
1:30 p.m. – Barbara Fradkin

Owlkids Books Booth #431

Lizann Flatt, author of the Math in Nature series

Ashley Barron, illustrator of the Math in Nature series
Second Story Press, Booth # 418
10:30 Pat Bourke Yesterday's Dead
11:00 Kathy Kacer Shanghai Escape
11:30 Liane Shaw Time Out: A teacher's year of reading, fighting, and four-letter words
12:30 Kathleen McDonnell Emily Included 
1:00 Pam Fluttert Until Today
1:30 Christene Browne Two Women
2:00 Janet Wilson Our Rights: How Kids Are Changing The World