Thursday, December 18, 2014

CBC Canada Reads 2015 Longlist!

When Everything Feels Like the Movies by Raziel Reid,
one of the longlisted titles for Canada Reads 2015


"One book to break barriers" is the theme for Canada Reads 2015 and the debates will be hosted by Wab Kinew, who emerged victorious when he defended Joseph Boyden's The Orenda for Canada Reads 2014. 

The panelists will be announced January 20th, along with the book each has chosen to champion. The debates will take place March 16th-19th.

Which book do you think will become the one book to break barriers?

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Author Steve Burrows on Birding

A Siege of Bitterns, the first book in the Birder Murder Mystery series by Steve Burrows

Steve Burrows, author of the Birder Murder Mystery series, who Margaret Cannon called a major talent , ruminates on the connection between birding and literature in his guest post for 49th Shelf.

He writes: 
When you think about it, there aren’t many things you can do for free while sitting in a chair that will transport you to another world. Reading fiction is one. Watching birds is another. To sit and watch the activity at backyard feeders is to enter a realm in which there will be much that is familiar to readers of great fiction. There are triumphs and tragedies, feuds and collaborations, rewards and injustice. In short, the stuff of life—all played out against a backdrop of suet and seed. But other story elements exist at the bird feeders, too, those that make us question, as all good fiction does, what we think we know, and what we hold dear.
Read the full post for more of his thoughts on birding and literature. He also suggests other great books about birds!



Friday, December 12, 2014

The Wonderful World of Pinterest and BookRiot


Everyone turns to Pinterest for hair-dos and DIY ideas, but did you know that there is also a wonderful world of bookish content on the social media site? Book quotes, book reviews, and book covers are just the tip of the iceberg. One can spend hours ogling photographs of gorgeous libraries and book nooks, and pinning items to add to one's to-be-read (TBR) list.There are infographics galore and book memes for every type of reader.

To get the very best bookish content, it's important to follow the right Pinterest users. Luckily, the fine folks at BookRiot have compiled a list of what they believe the best bookish accounts and boards. WARNING: Once you enter the bookish corner of Pinterest, it might be hours before you are sucked back into the real world.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Aasif Mandvi on No Land's Man


"I often talk about myself as kind of a turducken -- an Indian baby, wrapped in a British schoolboy, wrapped in an American adult." - Aasif Mandvi

Writer and actor Aasif Mandvi's new book is a hilarious account of his life as an Indo-Muslim-British-American actor. He recently discussed his book and outsider status on CBC's Radio Q with guest host Piya Chattopadhyay. It's worth a listen! 

As a bonus, here's the book trailer:


Friday, December 5, 2014

Meet the author: Rona Arato

The Last Train: A Holocaust Story is the true story of a mother and her two sons, Paul and Oscar, trying to survive the Nazi occupation in Hungary during World War II.  Author Rona Arato has recently done a Meet-the-Author Book Reading at TeachingBooks.net, where she introduces the book and talks about its backstory. If you're curious about this book --- or if you've already read and loved it ---  it's definitely worth a listen.


Friday, November 28, 2014

Publishers Weekly Top Books of 2014

Publishers Weekly have chosen their top books of 2014, just in time for the holiday season! If you're looking for something to read this holiday or if you're searching for the perfect gift for a loved one, you can check out their top picks in a wide range of categories, as well as their Top 10 picks overall.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Scaredy Squirrel Fan Club

One of our favourite furry friends at Kids Can Press has started his own fan club and it's 100% germ-free! Everyone who joins Scaredy's fan club will receive monthly e-newsletters, fun ideas for activities, and a birthday e-card on his or her birthday month. And, of course, Scaredy will continue to give his fans great tips for planning and staying safe. 

Click here to sign up for Scaredy's Fan Club! (Warning: You must confirm that you are not a martian, clownfish, skunk, walrus, unicorn, or pirate.)

Friday, November 21, 2014

Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever

 
Will the Grinch be ousted by Grumpy Cat as the world's most curmudgeony Christmas character? We'll soon find out! Grumpy Cat stars in her first feature film, Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever, which premieres November 29th on Lifetime.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Kung Pow Chicken!


 Kung Pow Chicken #2: Bok! Bok! Boom! by Cyndi Marko

How did no one ever realize Kung Pow Chicken is not only a delicious entrée but also an hilarious superhero? A thing that goes Bok in the night?
After falling into a barrel of toxic sludge, ordinary everyday Gordon is given superpowers – Chicken Senses (these emit from his . . .  erm . . .   Comb.
tail feathers), Power Peck, Feather Storm, and my favourite, The Drumsticks of Doom. In his second adventure, Kung Pow and his unhatched brother Ben (his full name is Egg Benedict) thwart the kidnapping of famed opera singer Honey
I’m not embarrassed to admit it – I laughed until tears were flowing. Enjoy.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Scaredy Squirrel's Tips for Worry-Free Reading

Put on your reading goggles and check out these reading tips from a very beloved squirrel! 

Library edition:



Local bookstore edition:

Friday, November 14, 2014

NaNoWriMo

Contrary to popular belief, November is not just a month for moustaches. It also happens to be National Novel Writing Month, better known around the internet as NaNoWriMo. Every November, writers all over the world get their creative juices flowing and challenge themselves to write an entire novel in ONE MONTH.

That's quite the challenge.

But fear not! Nanowrimo.org aims to make this daunting task a little easier. They've got some instructions about how NaNoWriMo works for anyone who is doing the challenge for the first time, and they've made it easy to track their progress, get inspiration and support from peers and --- perhaps best of all --- meet other writers who are trying to accomplish the same crazy thing they are. 

I don't know about you but I get tired just thinking about writing a novel, let alone writing one in a month. And not even one of the longer months with 31 days. But here's something that's pretty darn inspiring: there are NaNoWriMo novels that have actually been published and gone on to become bestsellers. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, Wool by Hugh Howey, Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, and The Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer were all penned during NaNoWriMo. Pretty neat!

Would you ever attempt to write a novel in one month? Or does that idea give you hives, like it does for me?

COOKBOOK AUTHOR, SEAN BROCK


Heritage by Sean Brock
$35.00, Hardback
ISBN: 9781579654634
TORONTO TOUR: Nov. 24
Event with George Brown College Chef School
http://gbcbookstore.bookware3000.ca/eSolution/item.php?item=88880032716&data=01350104
Confirmed media:
·         Interview and feature in Globe & Mail (national; date TK)
·         Postmedia, interview + feature (syndication; date TK)
·         Interview with Hello! Canada (pre-holiday issue, Dec. 11–18)


Monday, November 10, 2014

Goodreads Choice Awards 2014

It's official: 2014 is coming to an end. Although the onslaught of fall titles likely means there are still quite a few books to keep bibliophiles busy until December, it's a great time to reflect on the books we've already read (and loved) this year.

This yearly tradition allows Goodreads users to vote for the best books of the year in a myriad categories. It's not only a great way to support your favourite titles, but to discover new reads that might have slipped through the cracks (perhaps while you were busy participating in the 2014 Harry Potter re-read). And whether you love fiction or nonfiction, there is a lot left to discover. You'll find a lot of the usual suspects, sure. Margaret Atwood, Rainbow Rowell, Louise Penny, Haruki Murakami, Sarah Waters, and Lena Dunham are all (unsurprisingly) nominated. But you never know what lesser-known gems are just waiting to be added to your ever-growing to-be-read pile.

The opening round of voting has already begun the semi-finals will run November 10th-15th, and the finals from November 17th-24th. 



Thursday, November 6, 2014

Haunted Hallowe'en at Richmond Hill PL!

The fabulous Lahring gives a SPOOKY presentation at  Richmond Hill Public Library...BOO!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Scaredy Squirrel's Halloween Safety Public Service Announcement

Hello, October! October, I'd like to think, is one of the best months of the year. Leaves change colour, scarves of all kinds are worn, turkeys (or tofurkeys) are devoured. But the best thing about October?

HALLOWE'EN!

Putting on a costume and going trick-or-treating is always fun, but there are things that we need to do to make sure we have a safe night out. Luckily, Scaredy Squirrel's got us covered! Scaredy's got his top three tips for staying safe this Hallowe'en in this handy video:



Scaredy's also got some colouring activities to do before or after trick-or-treating. Check out his costumes and start colouring:


Friday, October 24, 2014

Literary Halloween Costumes for Children

Source
Thanksgiving has come and gone, which means Hallowe'en is just around the corner. If you're stumped for ideas for your little ones, BookRiot has rounded up some awesome and adorable bookish costumes that might inspire you! My personal favourite is the Madeline-inspired ensemble costume pictured above -- how cute is Miss Clavel with her little students? And bonus points to these chic little Parisians for such an easy-to-create costume.

Check out more adorableness here. Beware the wild things.



Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Canada Rocks!

In today's Globe and Mail, they listed the awesome literary festivals that are happening around the country. We really are quite blessed. Check it out!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Can you read a book in 10 minutes?

According to Jessica Moyer, author of Research-Based Readers' Advisory (ALA Editions, 2008), you can! In an article that she wrote for ALA editions, Moyer provides guidelines for analyzing a book you haven't read in just ten minutes.

First things first: choose a book. Moyer suggests selecting a book that you don't intend to read later, preferably written by an author you're unfamiliar with.

Next, get ready to take some notes! These can be logged electronically or organized in a notebook or book journal (for future reference).

Moyer provides a number of questions that you can use to help you "read" the book -- questions about the cover, jacket blurb, typeface, physical characteristics, genre, plot, characters, author. According to Moyer, these questions can be answered just by looking at the physical characteristics of the book and reading some sample pages from the beginning, middle, and end of the story.

Here is a sample of some the questions she asks:
- Do the cover images look like they are aimed at a particular audience?
- What do other authors think of this book? Who are these authors?
- How easy or difficult to read is the typeface used?
- Is the book hardcover, paperback, or mass market?
- What is the pacing like? Is there more dialogue or description?
- Is the story serious or light? Comedy or drama?
- Does the story emphasize people or events?
- What other books share similarities to this one?

Personally, I think this method of reading books will take some practice -- especially if ten minutes is the goal! What do you think? Can you read a book in just ten minutes?

To try it for yourself, click here for the original article with the full list of questions.





Thursday, September 25, 2014

Amazon Canada's 25 Best Books of the Year... So Far

The editors at Amazon Canada have announced the 25 best reads of 2014 so far, a list that includes both fiction and non-fiction titles.

Here are their picks, in no particular order:

Overwhelmed by Brigid Schulte (HarperCollins)
Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi (Hamish Hamilton)
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (Scribner)
A Savage Harvest by Carl Hoffman (William Morrow)
The Empathy Exams: Essays by Leslie Jamison (Graywolf Press)
The Martian by Andy Weir (Crown)
The Quick by Lauren Owen (McClelland and Stewart)
The Bees by Laline Paull (Ecco)
Console Wars by Blake J. Harris (Dey Street Boys)
Ping-Pong Diplomacy by Nicholas Griffin (Scribner)
Climate Changed by Philippe Squarzoni (Harry N. Abrams)
The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair by Joel Dicker (HarperCollins)
Proof: The Science of Booze by Adam Rogers (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty (Belknap Press)
The Secret World of Oil by Ken Silverstein (Verso)
Uncharted: Big Data as a Lens on Human Culture by Erez Aiden (Riverhead)
Young Money by Kevin Roose (Grand Central Publishing)
The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld (Harper)
Euphoria by Lily King (HarperCollins)
An Untamed State by Roxane Gay (Grove Press)
Andrew's Brain by E.L. Doctorow (Random House)
All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews (Knopf Canada)
The Troop by Nick Cutter (Gallery Books)
The Noble Hustle by Colson Whitehead (Doubleday)
My Salinger Year by Joanna Rakoff (Knopf)

How many have you read from this list? Which books would you add? 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Reactions book-lovers have to non-readers


Bustle.com recently published a hilarious post about how book-lovers respond to people who don't read - complete with appropriate GIFs! Kristen Scatton, the writer of said post, came up with the six reactions that book-lovers will have when confronted with a non-reader:

1. Shock/Disbelief
2. Confusion
3. Judgment
4. Pity
5. Persuasion
6. Acceptance

I think it's pretty accurate, don't you agree? Read the full Bustle.com post here.

Friday, September 5, 2014

How many of these Art & Design book stores have you been to?

The Huffington Post recently posted their top ten art & design book store picks. They've selected stores from all across the globe, and you bet I'll be paying them a visit the next time I travel!

Their picks:
2. Do You Read Me?!, Berlin, Germany
3. Artazart, Paris, France
4. Printed Matter, New York, NY
5. Arcana, Culver City, CA
6. Lia Wolf, Vienna, Austria
7. Artland Book Company, Taipei, Taiwan
8. Art Metropole, Toronto, CA
9. Freebook, Sao Paulo, Brazil
10. Papercup, Beirut, Lebanon




Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Toronto Cooks Book Trailer!

Warning: the following trailer might make you hungry.


You don't have to be a Torontonian to enjoy the delicious recipes from Toronto Cooks: 100 Signature Recipes from the City's Best Restaurants. Edited by Amy Rosen, an award-winning journalist and food writer, this book features recipes of fan-favourite meals by both established and up-and-coming chefs. And you can bet that the recipes inside will be as diverse as Toronto itself!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Worn Stories Book Trailer


Check out this beautiful book trailer for Worn Stories by Emily Spivack, which is a Dewey pick for fall!

About Worn Stories:

"Everyone has a memoir in miniature in at least one piece of clothing. In Worn Stories , Emily Spivack has collected over sixty of these clothing-inspired narratives from cultural figures and talented storytellers. First-person accounts range from the everyday to the extraordinary, such as artist Marina Abramovic on the boots she wore to walk the Great Wall of China; musician Rosanne Cash on the purple shirt that belonged to her father; and fashion designer Cynthia Rowley on the Girl Scout sash that informed her business acumen. Other contributors include Greta Gerwig, HeidiJulavits, John Hodgman, Brandi Chastain, Marcus Samuelsson, Piper Kerman, Maira Kalman, Sasha Frere-Jones, Simon Doonan, Albert Maysles, Susan Orlean, Andy Spade, Paola Antonelli, David Carr, Andrew Kuo, and more. By turns funny, tragic, poignant, and celebratory, Worn Stories offers a revealing look at the clothes that protect us, serve as a uniform, assert our identity, or bring back the past-clothes that are encoded with the stories of our lives." (From Raincoast.com)


Friday, August 22, 2014

Kids Can Press "If" Giveaway!


Love kid-lit? Have a Goodreads account? You're in luck! 
Kids Can Press is giving away advanced copies of If... A Mind-Bending New Way of Looking at Big Ideas and Numbers by David J. Smith, just in time for back-to-school.
This is one of my fave kid's books this season!
Giveaway closes September 9, 2014.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Grumpy Cat on Canada AM



Best-selling author, Grumpy Cat (real name Tardar Sauce), recently embarked on a North American tour which ended in Toronto on August 9, 2014. It was the only Canadian stop on the tour and, unsurprisingly, Grumpy Cat garnered lots of attention from the local media. The day before her big event at Indigo Eaton Centre, she dropped by CTV's Canada AM for an interview. 

Check out Grumpy Cat in all her grumpy glory here.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Ashley Spires on The Morning Show



Canadian author-illustrator Ashley Spires recently appeared on Global TV's The Morning Show to discuss Toronto Public Library's book hacking workshops, where kids are encouraged to use their creativity to cut up books and create something new with them. Watch the fascinating discussion here.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Mini History of Times New Roman

This is a  beautiful little video about the history of the Times New Roman font. Thanks to my buddy Dan Wagstaff of The Casual Optimist for sharing!

Friday, July 25, 2014

SLJ's picks for the wildest children's books of 2014

The Flat Rabbit by Bardur Oskarsson (Owlkids)


100 Scope Notes, a children's literature blog by School Library Journal, recently compiled a list of seven of 2014's widest children's books. The books were chosen for their inventiveness, boldness, and overall uniqueness. These are definitely not your average picture books!

Their picks:

Jim Curious: A Voyage to the Heart of the Sea by Matthias Picard (Abrams)
The Secret Life of Squirrels by Nancy Rose (Little, Brown)
The Flat Rabbit by Bardur Oskarsson (Owlkids)
This Book Just Ate My Dog! by Richard Byrne (Henry Holt)
Out the Window by Cybele Young (Groundwood Books)
Aviary Wonders Inc. Spring Catalog and Instruction Manual by Kate Samworth (Clarion Books)
What There Is Before There Is Anything There by Liniers (Groundwood Books)

Are there any books you'd add to this list?


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Grumpy Cat is coming to Canada!




Bestselling author Grumpy Cat (née Tardar Sauce) is going on tour, y'all! Just in time for the release of her forthcoming book, The Grumpy Guide to Life, the internet's beloved cat curmudgeon is going to be visiting five cities across North America this August, with stops in Santa Monica, CA; Las Vegas, NV; New York City, NY;  Skokie, IL; and Toronto, ON. 




I don't know about you, but I'm pretty darn excited for Grumpy Cat to grace us with her grumpiness in Canada. She'll be in Toronto on August 9, 2014, at Indigo Eaton Centre, so mark your calendars! I'm sure she'll have a ton of demotivational words of wisdom for us mere humans.

Whilst we anxiously await her arrival, I suggest checking out her first bestselling book, Grumpy Cat: A Grumpy Book.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Today's Parent picks its top ten kids books for fall

Sam's Pet Temper by Sangeeta Bhadra
Sam's Pet Temper by Sangeeta Bhadra (Kids Can Press)

We're almost halfway through the summer holidays, which means the kids will be back at school in the blink of an eye. If you're looking for recommendations for great children's books to start off the school year, Today's Parent has got you covered!

Here are their picks for the top ten fall books, which can be found in their August issue:

Sam & Dave Dig a Hole 
Written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen (Candlewick Press)

Take Away the A
Written by Michael Escoffier and illustrated by Kris Di Giacomo (Enchanted Lion Books)

Louise Loves Art
Written and illustrated by Kelly Light (HarperCollins)

Once Upon an Alphabet
Written and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers (HarperCollins)

The Nuts: Bedtime at the Nut House
Written by Eric Litwin and illustrated by Scott Magoon (Little, Brown)

Secret Life of Squirrels
Written by Nancy Rose (Penguin)

Sam's Pet Temper
Written by Sangeeta Bhadra and illustrated by Marion Arbona (Kids Can Press)

Sisters
Written by Raina Telgemeier (Scholastic)

Dojo Daycare
Written and illustrated by Chris Tougas (Owlkids)

I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up For Education and Changed the World
Written by Malala Yousafzai (with Patricia McCormick) (Little, Brown)


Monday, July 14, 2014

My favourite teen book this year!!!

9780805099232
How much did I love this book? Words are hard to describe. Everyone in the office was talking about it, so I figured I better jump on the bandwagon. So many times, when people are super excited about something I feel it is very hard for the expectations to be met...but The Kiss of Deception was certainly the very happy exception!!! A little fantasy, the required love triangle with an unbelievable twist that had me practically starting the book from the beginning. When oh when will the next one come out and why can't I travel forward in time to read it!
Here's an interview with her in the Huffington Post.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Bookstore Appreciation with New Society Publishers!


Want to show some support for your favourite bookseller? The fine folks at New Society Publishers want to hear all about your favourite local bookstore! 
Does your favourite bookstore have a great selection? Knowledgeable and friendly staff? Nice atmosphere? Whatever the reason, let New Society know why it's your favourite bookstore and you can get a chance to win a New Society book of your choice. They'll also showcase the bookstore on their social media sites, so everyone will get a chance to learn how awesome they are!
So support your local booksellers by sending in the bookstore's name, city, and a photo to sara {at} newsociety {dot} com. 
For more information on the contest, please visit the New Society blog.





Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Finding an independent bookstore just got a little easier


FindaBookstore.ca has returned! Bookstores are a vital part of every community, so The Retail Council of Canada has launched this website to make it easier for book lovers to discover and connect with local independent booksellers in their area.

The website itself is very simple to use: just enter an address and it will populate all the independent bookstores nearby. Easy peasy. 

Spread the word and help support independent bookstores by sharing the link on social media. You can follow @RCCCBABook and use the hashtag #findabookstore.

Friday, June 27, 2014

"Social media won't sell your book."

Hilary Davidson, author of Blood Always Tells, was recently a guest editor on The National Post's The Afterword.
During her stint at The National Post, she wrote an interesting article regarding the misconceptions authors have about using social media as a tool to generate sales. She, herself, uses social media regularly (Twitter, mostly). However, she believes that social media isn't the best platform for authors to sell their wares. What she does think social media is good for is building relationships and expanding your social circle. Like she says in the article, the emphasis should be on the social: "It's about connecting, not selling."
What she's saying, essentially, is that social media is a great way to sell yourself. To build your personal brand. It is a way to engage with readers and people in the industry, but you must always be careful of how your online presence is perceived by others.
To read more about what Hilary has to say about social media, check out her article here.



Friday, June 20, 2014

Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever

Grumpy Cat Christmas Special - P 2014
Move over, Scrooge and the Grinch. There's another Christmas curmudgeon taking over our televisions this holiday season.
Internet sensation, Grumpy Cat (née Tardar Sauce), has just landed a movie deal with Lifetime! The live-action film, which has been described as "a little Home Alone and a little Die Hard," will be about a 12-year-old girl who can communicate with a pet-store cat. The script will be penned by Tim Hill and Jeff Morris, and shooting is set to begin this summer. The voice of Grumpy Cat, however, is yet to be cast.
Find out more about the forthcoming movie in The Hollywood Reporter.
And if you can't wait til then Grumpy's new book The Grumpy Guide to Life, will be out July 5th. (Source)



Tuesday, June 17, 2014

#READWOMEN2014 with House of Anansi



Earlier this year, writer and illustrator Joanna Walsh of The Guardian began the #readwomen2014 initiative to bring to light some of the challenges that female writers are still facing in the 21st-century. The hashtag has spread like wildfire since then, and people from all over the world have been sharing their experiences reading books by women using the #readwomen2014 hashtag.

The great folks at House of Anansi decided to start their own #readwomen2014 campaign and they've come up with an amazing contest that gives readers a chance to win every book written by a woman that Anansi publishes in 2014. That's a lot of books! To enter: try to identify all of the women featured in the video above (or as many as you can) and fill out a ballot. Good luck!