Friday, November 30, 2012

Canada Reads 2013 Contenders

The 2013 Canada Reads contenders were announced on the CBC radio program Q on Thursday November 29.  The books and the defenders represent different geographic areas of the country.

British Columbia and Yukon:
Carol Huynh defends Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese
Carol Huynh is one of Canada's best wrestlers, with 11 Canadian championships, four world titles and two Olympic medals under her belt.
Indian Horse deals with Saul Indian Horse, an alcoholic Ojibway man who finds himself reflecting on his past when he becomes a reluctant resident of an alcohol treatment centre.
Richard Wagamese is one of Canada's foremost Native authors and storytellers with six novels, a book of poetry and five non-fiction titles to his name.

Prairies and North:
Ron MacLean defends The Age of Hope by David Bergen
Ron MacLean is one of the most recognizable and beloved broadcasters in the country, having hosted CBC's Hockey Night in Canada for 25 years.
In The Age of Hope, Hope Koop struggles with her safe, steady and predictable life as a wife and mother of four living in small-town Manitoba.
David Bergen is the author of seven novels, including The Time in Between, which won the Scotiabank Giller Prize in 2005.

Charlotte Gray defends Away by Jane Urquhart
Charlotte Gray is one of Canada's best-known biographers and historians and has written eight critically acclaimed books of literary non-fiction.
Away is an epic family saga spread across multiple decades and countries, detailing the history of an Irish family in Canada.
Jane Urquhart is a bestselling novelist, well known for her evocative blending of history with the present day.

Jay Baruchel defends Two Solitudes by Hugh MacLennan
Jay Baruchel is an actor, writer and producer known for his work in films like Knocked Up, Million Dollar Baby and Goon.
First published in 1945, Two Solitudes instantly became a symbol for one of Canada's most challenging dichotomies: the divide between French and English.
Hugh MacLennan was the first major English-speaking Canadian writer to attempt to portray the country's national character in fiction.

Trent McClellan defends February by Lisa Moore
Trent McClellan is a regular on the comedy festival and club circuit, as well as on Sirius, XM Satellite and CBC Radio and Television, CTV and the Comedy Network.
February is about a subject that touched the life of anyone living in Newfoundland in the 1980s: the tragic sinking of the Ocean Ranger oil rig on Valentine's Day in 1982, with the loss of all 84 aboard.
Lisa Moore is the bestselling author of two award-winning novels and two collections of short stories.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Linda Spalding wins G-G award for The Purchase

Historic novel The Purchase also shortlisted for Rogers Writers’ Trust prize


Linda Spalding wins G-G award for The Purchase

Author Linda Spalding has won the Governor-General's Award for her novel The Purchase.

MONTREAL — Toronto writer Linda Spalding has won the $25,000 Governor-General’s Literary Award for Fiction for her historical novel, “The Purchase.”
It’s the story of an 18th-century Quaker-turned-slave owner, a character she based loosely on one of her own ancestors.
“The Purchase” — published by McClelland & Stewart — was also shortlisted for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize.
Born in Kansas, Spalding moved to Toronto from Hawaii in 1982 after marrying writer Michael Ondaatje.
She previously wrote the acclaimed work of non-fiction, “Who Named the Knife.”
Other recipients of the Governor-General’s Awards include Saskatchewan-raised Ross King, who took the non-fiction prize for “Leonardo and the Last Supper” and Nova Scotia’s Catherine Banks, who picked up the drama award for “Sambro.”
The jury said Spalding’s “The Purchase” was “refreshingly free of retrospective judgment.”
The author has said she read slave narratives, medicinal primers and even a PhD thesis she found online to get a sense of 18th century Virginia, where the novel takes place.
Each year, about 1,600 books are submitted to the Governor-General’s Awards for consideration before judges narrow the list down to a handful of finalists in each category and language group.
The awards have been given out for the last 75 years.

Read more:

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

November Top Ten

Top Ten Adult Fiction
A Wanted Man by Lee Child
The Racketeer by John Grisham
The Casual Vacancy by J K Rowling
Winter of the World by Ken Follett
The Perfect Hope by Nora Roberts
The Bone Bed by Patricia Cornwell
Trust Your Eyes by Linwood Barclay
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
Love Anthony by Lisa Genova
Top Ten DVDS

Big Miracle
Dark Shadows
Doc Martin, Season 5
Downton Abbey
Faith like Potatoes
Joyful Noise
Katy Perry, the Movie
Magic Mike













Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Candace Savage wins Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Non-Fiction

Mark Medley National Post  | Nov 12, 2012 8:30 PM ET | Last Updated: Nov 12, 2012 10:16 PM ET

A Geography of Blood
When Candace Savage finally published A Geography of Blood: Unearthing Memory from a Prairie Landscape, earlier this year, she went back and looked at the original contract for the book: “I signed it eight years ago. Isn’t that outrageous?
“The contract was signed on a gentleman and ladies’ handshake,” she says, of the deal made with Rob Sanders of Greystone Books. “I really didn’t understand what the book was about yet. And I remember going through these successive apologies because it still wasn’t done. And he just said, ‘I’m a very patient man.’ Thank goodness for that.”
It was worth the wait. Savage has won this year’s Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Non-Fiction. The prize, now in its second year, awards $60,000 to the winner, making it Canada’s most lucrative literary prize for a work of non-fiction.
The win comes less than a month after Savage’s co-publisher, Greystone Books, an imprint of D&M Publishers, entered bankruptcy protection. The book is co-published by the David Suzuki Foundation.
Savage first met Sanders, Greystone’s publisher, when they were both students at the University of Alberta. “And then when I ready to start making my first, very, very timid steps as a writer, there he was.” He was running a trade publisher at the time, Prairie Books; she subsequently worked for him as an editor. “I remember he said, years ago, that he wanted to be the old fashioned kind of publisher, that publishes authors. And he has stood beside me the entire time.”
A Geography of Blood is a memoir, history and travelogue rolled into one; a meditation and exploration of southwestern Saskatchewan, and particularly the small town of Eastend, where the Pulitzer Prize-winning American writer, Wallace Stegner, was raised.
In their citation, the jury described A Geography of Blood as “a part memoir, part history, part geological survey, part lament, part condemnation of the accepted myth of the settlement of the Western Plains, and above all, a haunting meditation on time and place.”
This year’s jury was comprised of former Lieutenant Governor of Ontario James Bartleman, journalist Marni Jackson, Maclean’s columnist Barbara Amiel Black, CTV broadcaster Seamus O’Regan and writer Charlotte Gill, whose book Eating Dirt was a finalist for last year’s award.
“I found it incredibly moving and painful at the same time,” says Gill. “It was really striking from the very first read. And then on subsequent reads, I think we knew that it was going to end up somewhere near the top.”
Savage, who lives in Saskatchewan, is the award- winning author of more than 25 books about nature, cultural history and for children, including Prairie: A Natural History, Curious by Nature: One Woman’s Exploration of the Natural World and Bees: Nature’s Little Wonders.
The other finalists were Kamal Al-Solaylee for his memoir Intolerable; Modris Eksteins for Solar Dance: Genius, Forgery, and the Crisis of Truth in the Modern Age; Taras Grescoe for Straphanger: Saving Our Cities and Ourselves from the Automobile; and JJ Lee for The Measure of a Man: The Story of a Father, a Son, and a Suit. They each receive $5,000.
For the second consecutive year the ceremony was held at Koerner Hall in downtown Toronto. Albert Schultz, the founding artistic director of Soulpepper Theatre Company, served as host, and the finalists’ work was read by playwright Kawa Ada, actor and playwright Ins Choi, actor Gordon Pinsent, CBC host Shelagh Rogers and Toronto councillor Adam Vaughan.
Charles Foran won last year’s prize for Mordecai: The Life and Times.