Random House Canada to publish McGarrigle memoir

Quill & Quire Blog - Fri, 11/04/2014 - 21:45

One of Canada’s most beloved musical families, the McGarrigles, will recount their personal and artistic history in a new memoir published by Random House Canada.

The book will be co-written by Anna McGarrigle – who was one half of the folk duo Kate and Anna McGarrigle along with her sister Kate, who died in 2010 – and her elder sister Jane, who managed their career for nearly 20 years.

In a press release, Random House Canada associate editor Amanda Lewis, who acquired world rights to the book, says, “This will be a quintessentially Canadian book of the best kind, encapsulating Anna and Jane’s Irish-French background, growing up in Saint-Sauveur and Montreal, and launching stellar international careers in the music industry. It will also speak to the important (sometimes lifesaving) role of sisters, and will be a deeply moving book that captures the profound importance of the sibling relationship.”

The memoir will be released October 2015.

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Need a Quick Drone Task Accomplished? Gofor Will Bring You One On-Demand

eBookNewser - Fri, 11/04/2014 - 21:33

Drones are beginning to infiltrate the market like 3D printers – if you need one just for a quick task, you can borrow it using Gofor. Personally, I think a drone would be a perfect office go-for capable of delivering piping hot lattes and lunches.

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Moose Jaw named inaugural Reading Town Canada location

Quill & Quire Blog - Fri, 11/04/2014 - 21:12

Poems delivered with pizza and street-corner lending libraries are just a couple of the activities planned for Moose Jaw’s inaugural Reading Town Canada event, which runs from May 3 to 10.

According to the event website, the National Reading Campaign has partnered with the Saskatchewan Festival of Words to turn the city of 35,000 into an “exemplary model of what a reading Canada would look like.”

For a week, the NRC promises to have reading woven into the everyday lives of Moose Jaw residents. Events include a fully stocked “reading glen” in downtown Crescent Park and a reading “duel” between former Saskatchewan poet laureate Bob Currie and Judith Krause, who currently holds the position.

As part of the initiative, First Book Canada will donate thousands of Canadian children’s books to lower-income families in the city.

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Sue Townsend 'a lone voice, a humanist and a genius'

Guardian Books - Fri, 11/04/2014 - 20:39
With the death of the author of Adrian Mole and The Queen and I, the world has lost a unique comic talent. We asked writers to share their memories of the woman who hated to be called a national treasure

I was in my early 20s and a student when the first Adrian Mole book was published. I came from a working class background and was the first member of my family to attend university. I'd been a quiet teenager, hiding in my bedroom, reading everything from Ken Kesey to Solzhenitsyn (without ever really understanding the latter) and writing poems and song lyrics, mostly about love and death, which I showed to no one. My parents had left school at 15 and only read books during our annual holiday to a caravan site in St Andrews. Now here I was studying Eng Lit, much to their bemusement, and trying desperately to become an intellectual and a published writer.

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Readly App Adds 100+ British Magazines for US Consumers

eBookNewser - Fri, 11/04/2014 - 20:32

Readly, the e-Magazine app is adding a giant bundle of 100+ British magazines to its reading bank, including new titles like Marie Claire, Look, Now and Wallpaper*. The app will be adding this to the current subscription cost of $9.99 per month, so you’ll start noticing the new titles automatically appearing in the app. There will be no price increase if you’re already a subscriber. Non-subscribers can get full access with a 14 day trial risk-free trial.

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Kamila Shamsie: 'Where is the American writer writing about America in Pakistan? There is a deep lack of reckoning'

Guardian Books - Fri, 11/04/2014 - 19:59
The Pakistani writer on patriarchy, cricket and the unashamedly political nature of her novels

"I want to go to Peshawar," a young Englishwoman with a passion for archeology tells her mother in Kamila Shamsie's latest novel, A God in Every Stone (Bloomsbury), "because there's more past than present there." While Vivian Rose Spencer goes on to dig her way into the past literally in a dramatic hunt for an ancient artefact as Britain's imperial reign crumbles Shamsie does so with words. "I love the part of history that is story," she tells me from her flat perched high among trees near Lord's cricket ground in north London. "If a thing is interesting enough, then I want to find the story in it."

Shamsie's stories, in the six novels she has published so far, explore huge themes such as war and love, while zooming in on the intricate detail of her characters as they cross continents and decades in search of themselves, and the truth. One narrative device she deploys is that of the twinned storyline, as a way of exploring how people's lives are shaped by history. "As a novelist, there's a dramatic interest in having the individual lives and then this much larger canvas," she explains. "This notion that we are individuals who control our destiny is an absurdity if you grew up in a place like Pakistan."

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Jon Klassen’s hat books sell one million copies

Quill & Quire Blog - Fri, 11/04/2014 - 19:47

Italian editions of Klassen’s books at the 2014 Bologna Children’s Book Fair

In less than three years, Canadian-born Jon Klassen has achieved superstar status in the international children’s book world.

Publishers Weekly reports that Klassen’s first two picture books, I Want My Hat Back and the Caldecott Medal–winning This Is Not My Hat (both published by Candlewick Press/Random House), have together sold one million copies worldwide, with translations in 22 languages.

In a statement, Candlewick senior vice-president and sales director John Mendelson said, “The extraordinary support the books have received from booksellers and readers is a testament to Jon Klassen’s immeasurable talent, as he continues to win new fans every day.”

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Shakespeare's scholar tramp

Guardian Books - Fri, 11/04/2014 - 19:45
In a small series of sheds in Sussex an 19th-century joker and eccentric hoarded the evidence that reconciles Shakespeare the playwright with Shakespeare the man. Charles Nicholl uncovers a remarkable story

Hollingbury Copse is a pleasant suburban cul-de-sac on the northern outskirts of Brighton, but nothing remains of the curious property that once stood here, and was the first to have this address. It was built amid dense woodland in the late 1870s by the celebrated Shakespearean scholar and collector James Orchard Halliwell-Phillipps. The views across the downs and out over the Channel were splendid, but the house itself was not the commodious sort of residence one might envisage for this eminent if eccentric Victorian. It was not really a house at all, but a rambling spread of single-storey timber buildings, roofed with galvanised iron and connected by wooden corridors. An early visitor likened it to a squatters' camp in South Africa, but with time it mellowed. An American journalist, Rose Ewell Reynolds, who saw it in 1887, thought it very "picturesque" it was "simply a collection of bungalows bought ready-made in London, but grouped as they were they made a most comfortable home". They had "criss-cross timbering on the outside", which reminded her of the "quaint little houses" she had seen in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Halliwell-Phillipps called it his "rustic wigwam" or with a characteristically dreadful pun his "Hutt-entot village". He lived here for the last 12 years of his life, breezily describing himself as a "retired old lunatic" and a "queer recluse" with "a fancy for doing as he likes without caring a button for public opinion", though these bluff disclaimers belie the intense productiveness of this late period at Hollingbury Copse.

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Gravity: Augmented Reality Tablet That Lets You Sketch in 3D

eBookNewser - Fri, 11/04/2014 - 19:20

Gravity is a drawing tablet designed by students at the Royal College of Art. Unlike other tablets, it’s specifically created for augmented reality. You can draw with it using the special stylus, and your drawings will appear three dimensional. All you need is Occulus Rift.

Gravity was developed specifically for creatives. We designed it to be simple enough so it could be used by everybody without prior explanation. It makes creating shapes as easy as doodling on a piece of paper.


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Arthur Ellis Awards announce longlist for best novel

Quill & Quire Blog - Fri, 11/04/2014 - 18:38

Crime Writers of Canada has announced the longlist for the 2014 Arthur Ellis Award for Excellence in Canadian Crime Writing in the best novel category.

For the first time this year, the 10-book longlist is being announced in advance of the shortlists in all Arthur Ellis Awards categories, “in recognition of the increasing number and quality of submissions,” a press release says. The five-title shortlist will be announced April 24.

The nominees are:

  •  John Brooke, Walls of a Mind (Signature Editions)
  •  Gina Buonaguro and Janice Kirk, The Wolves of St. Peter’s (HarperCollins Canada)
  •  Sean Haldane, The Devil’s Making (Stone Flower Press)
  •  Lee Lamothe, Presto Variations (Dundurn Press)
  •  Michael McCann, The Rainy Day Killer (Plaid Raccoon Press)
  •  Robert Rotenberg, Stranglehold (Simon & Schuster Canada)
  •  Howard Shrier, Miss Montreal (Vintage Canada)
  •  Sean Slater, The Guilty (Simon & Schuster U.K.)
  •  Simone St. James, An Inquiry into Love and Death (Penguin)
  •  David Whellams, The Drowned Man (ECW Press)

Winners of the Arthur Ellis Awards will be announced at a gala in Toronto on June 5.

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Book reviews roundup: Flash Boys, Frog Music and War! What Is It Good For?

Guardian Books - Fri, 11/04/2014 - 18:00
What the critics thought of Flash Boys by Michael Lewis, Frog Music by Emma Donoghue and War! What Is It Good For? by Ian Morris

"Michael Lewis has a spellbinding talent for finding emotional dramas in complex, highly technical subjects. He did it for the role of left tackle in American football in The Blind Side (2006), and for the science of picking baseball players in Moneyball (2003). In Flash Boys, he turns his gaze on high-frequency computerised trading in US stock markets." John Gapper in the FT argued that "In terms of sheer storytelling technique, Flash Boys is remarkable" and that "Lewis reaches a stark conclusion: US stock markets are now rigged by traders who go to astonishing lengths to gain a millisecond edge over their rivals But he carries the reader so firmly toward this conclusion that one ends up feeling a bit manipulated". Lewis's book, wrote John Arlidge in the Sunday Times, "contains his most alarming message yet Flash boys are not braying Gordon 'Greed is good' Gekkos or Jordan 'Wolf of Wall Street' Belforts who work in old-fashioned traders' bear pits. They are computer nerds " Arlidge was inclined to forgive Lewis for being one-sided: he "thinks flash trading is the next big crisis waiting to happen and must be eradicated". Daniel Finkelstein in the Times wasn't sure whether Lewis's account "will remake the markets" or "whether it even should", but one thing was clear: "like every other book I've read of his, Flash Boys is a great yarn from beginning to end".

In her new novel, Frog Music, Emma Donoghue, author of Room, about a mother and son held captive, "has stuck with a claustrophobic setting", according to Rosamund Urwin in the Evening Standard. But this time it's "a sweltering, smallpox-infested San Francisco in 1876 The novel is fast-paced, and Donoghue's talent for storytelling shows in her ability to jump around often without ever losing the reader." Urwin's "one complaint" was the writing of the sex scenes. Christina Patterson in the Sunday Times described the book as full of "filthy sex", while Amanda Craig in the Spectator preferred the term "graphic". For Craig, "Frog Music is a roiling, simmering brew of a novel Donoghue is too eclectic a storyteller to write an uninteresting book, but she can and will do better than this." Patterson wasn't sure about the prose, which is "super-chatty, full of French and English slang and verbless sentences Donoghue might be wanting us to think 'penny dreadful', but some readers will be thinking 'Man Booker-shortlisted author' and be confused".

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The Year of the Rat, by Clare Furniss: review

Telegraph - Fri, 11/04/2014 - 17:28
The Year of the Rat, a debut young adult novel by Clare Furniss, follows a year in the life of 16-year-old Pearl as she struggles to cope with the death of her mother

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The unstoppable rise of the Hiltons

Telegraph - Fri, 11/04/2014 - 17:00
Paris Hilton knows how to sell a product, making her a worthy heir to America's most glamorous dynasty, discovers Viv Groskop

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Music Night at the Apollo by Lilian Pizzichini

Telegraph - Fri, 11/04/2014 - 17:00
Helen Brown is gripped by a writer's odyssey into the murky depths of London's underworld

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Eleanor Catton on how she wrote The Luminaries

Guardian Books - Fri, 11/04/2014 - 17:00
The constellations of the zodiac and New Zealand's 1860s gold rush inspired Eleanor Catton to write her Man Booker-winning novel

Creative influence can have a positive or a negative charge, either imitative ("I want to try that!") or defiant ("I want to see that done differently"). Both kinds of influence are vital for the health of an idea. Too defiant, and the idea will be shrill; too imitative, and the idea will be safe. For me, the moment when these two charges first come together when I connect, imaginatively, something that I love as a reader with something that I long for as a reader is the moment the idea for a story is born.

With The Luminaries, the positive charge came first. I have always loved reading books for children and young adults, particularly when those books are mysteries. Philip Pullman's Sally Lockhart trilogy, Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island, and Avi's Beyond the Western Sea and The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle are all novels that affected me powerfully: I read and loved them in a very different way than I read and loved other books. They were books that made me certain that I wanted to write, and I reread them not only with admiration but with gratitude and affection for having provided me with my life's vocation. (There are many books that I admire but to which I am not indebted, or for which I feel little affection. That kind of admiration, in my experience, does not create bonds of influence: it is not personal enough.)

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Novelist Sue Townsend dies, Amazon to buy ComiXology, and more

Quill & Quire Blog - Fri, 11/04/2014 - 16:56
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European fiction books podcast

Guardian Books - Fri, 11/04/2014 - 16:33
As the world comes to the London Book Fair we examine the most exciting fiction from across the channel with the French novelist Marie Darrieussecq and the Dutch writer Peter Buwalda Continue reading...

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