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Sunday, February 27, 2005

Byward Market Clown Dogs

This is what I saw today at the Byward Market in downtown Ottawa. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Hunter S. Thompson: in his own words

Thought you might enjoy this collection of 'best remembered' HST quotes via the Guardian Unlimited.
Hunter S. Thompson on work, on drugs, on America, lifestyle advice, and finally... well, you will just have to read for yourself.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Science Fiction Cruise Cancelled

I reported back in an earlier post last November that there was to be a science fiction theme-based Caribbean cruise. It was to be the first of a kind happening this spring from May 21-28, 2005. Well, I am sad to say there has been an update.

According to , they are reporting that "due to unforeseen circumstances, this cruise has been cancelled." The main sponsor of the event was Dell Magazines (publishers of Analog and Asimovs) and they could not be reached for comment. Ahh, honestly, I did not try to reach them for a comment. I just wanted to always say that.

The cruise ship would have departed from Port Canaveral, Florida, with stops at Key West, Belize, Cozumel, and Merida. Nice.

Hunter S. Thompson self murder...

Hunter S. Thompson, the U.S. writer who pioneered the super-subjective form of journalism known as "gonzo" and was best known for Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, has killed himself, his son said.
In a statement released to the Aspen Daily News, Juan Thompson said his father shot himself to death in his home in Aspen, Colo. on Sunday night. He was 67.

From the New York Times today:

And his suicide had its own terrible logic. A man who was so intent on generating a remarkable voice that he retyped Hemingway's novels just to understand how it was done, gave a final bit of dramatic tribute in turning a gun on himself.

Even ESPN has not been left out of the tributes. HST was a regular page two for over four years. Oddly, his last column was about his newly invented game of "shotgun golf".

Friday, February 18, 2005

Anne Giardini in Ottawa

Anne Giardini talks with friends and fans tonight at the Ottawa book launch of her first novel, The Sad Truth About Happiness. The event was held at Nicholas Hoare Books on Sussex adjacent to to the Byward Market. It truely is the most beautiful bookstore in Ottawa. Ottawa, incidentally, is where Anne Giardini grew up. The evening started with Mrs. Giardini initially signing books for her readers and then she gave a reading from the brief chapter, Attic, which she elegantly describes a fire in an apartment building.

From the dust jacket: "Anne Giardini was a columnist for the National Post for three years, and has written numerous essays, stories and articles on a wide range of sujects. The Sad Truth About Happiness is her first novel. The daughter of beloved novelist Carol Shields, Anne Giardini lives in Vancouver with her husband and three children."

Anne Giardini talks with friends and fans

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Man Booker International Prize Press Conference

Webcast of the Inaugural Man Booker International Prize Press Conference will be posted shortly after the events conclude on The Man Booker International Prize winner will be announced in May 2005.
This webcast will air Friday, February 18, 2005

Eighteen authors have made it on to the Judges’ List of contenders for the first ever Man Booker International Prize. They come from thirteen countries and ten are writers in translation.
The Judges’ List was announced by the chair of judges, Professor John Carey, at a press conference at Georgetown University, Washington, DC today (Friday 18th February, 2005).
The eighteen authors on the list are:

Margaret Atwood
Saul Bellow
Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Gunter Grass
Ismail Kadare
Milan Kundera
Stanislaw Lem
Doris Lessing
Ian McEwan
Naguib Mahfouz
Tomas Eloy Martinez
Kenzaburo Oe
Cynthia Ozick
Philip Roth
Muriel Spark
Antonio Tabucchi
John Updike
A.B. Yehoshua

The judging panel for the 2005 Man Booker International Prize is: Professor John Carey (Chair); writer, novelist and editor, Alberto Manguel; and writer and academic, Azar Nafisi.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Winter in Greely

This was a shot taken from down the road last weekend. There was a nice cool white frost over everything in the morning. It disappeared early afternoon. The skies were overcast, too, as this untouched photo shows.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Book Launch: The Sad Truth About Happiness

Friday, February 18 @ 7:30 pm

Book Launch: The Sad Truth About Happiness By Anne Giardini Nicholas Hoare Books 419 Sussex Drive A Free Event

From OWIF's bio: Anne Giardini is a lawyer, a writer and a mother of three school-age children. A columnist for the National Post for three years, she has written numerous articles, stories and essays on wide-ranging topics. The Sad Truth About Happiness, her first novel, will be published in the U.S. and the U.K. by Fourth Estate. The daughter of author Carol Shields, Anne lives in Vancouver

Gift Cards: The Gift That Keeps On Giving (To the Retailer, Too)


Over recent months, there's certainly been no shortage of media reports touting the burgeoning mass appeal of gift cards. According to gift card sales figures recently compiled by ABA, sales of Book Sense gift cards increased by 256 percent in December 2004, compared with the same period last year. Less reported on, however, is how a little inventive marketing can push those numbers even higher. The significant advantage of gift cards is that they can be displayed throughout the store since they have no monetary value before being activated. And the card lends itself to creative, and sometimes publisher subsidized, promotions. "The idea is to put the cards as many places as possible," said ABA Marketing Director Jill Perlstein. "Booksellers can use things from a stationery supply store or from home to display the cards. Anything that can be used to hold photographs can be used for gift cards--a wire tree, picture frames -- it can be fun to create different merchandizing ideas."

Read the rest here. Update: link is now broken.

A perfect night to go to China : a novel

Believe it or not, I am actually looking forward to read A perfect night to go to China : a novel by David Gilmour. (Toronto : Thomas Allen Publishers, 2005.) I read his Sparrow Nights last year - it was a remaindered copy at Chapters - and enjoyed the book thoroughly for the $5 it cost me.

Rising Up and Rising Down weblog

Been there read that. Now, this guy's a little mad I must say. From The Literary Salon:
Michael Standaert of Nipposkiss has grand ambitions: to read William T. Vollmann's seven-volume Rising Up and Rising Down -- and to chronicle his adventures (and reactions) at a dedicated Rising Up and Rising Down weblog. He's serious, and he's probably up to it: last year he read the whole Tim LaHaye/Jerry Jenkins Left Behind-series. Anyone who can survive that ..... He explains: The purpose of this weblog for which these simple stories introduce is to offer a close reading of William T. Vollmann’s Rising Up and Rising Down: Some Thoughts on Violence, Freedom, and Urgent Means. I’m not aware if anyone else has been doing this, but if you are, please let me know as I’d like to compare notes. (For those not quite as ambitious, there's always the Gaddis Drinking Club .....) Rising Up and Rising Down is actually a book we've been planning to review for about a year now, but organisationally (and conceptually) it has defeated us so far. Maybe Standaert's approach will help.

Friday, February 11, 2005

McEwan already 'listed' by bookies

It's begining all over again. This time it's earlier than usual. From Telegraph online:

Ladbrokes is tipping Ian McEwan's Saturday to win this year's Man Booker Prize at odds of 4-1 - even though the shortlist is not announced until September. Offering odds so early was unprecedented, said Ladbrokes, but the novel earned such praise that readers had already asked for odds. The bookies' early confidence is surprising because authors such as Salman Rushdie and Zadie Smith have new novels out this year.

I hesitate to add that it is probably not the "readers" but sad, pathetic betters that have asked for odds.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Plan 99 Presents Carmine Starnino, February 5 @ 5pm at The Manx

From Chris Swail's email:

Plan 99's End of Winter Series begins this Saturday with a reading by Carmine Starnino.
Carmine is a poet, essayist, critic, editor of Signal Editions (an imprint of Véhicule Press), and associate editor at Maisonneuve magazine. His first poetry collection, The New World, was nominated for the 1997 A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry and the 1997 Gerald Lampert Memorial Award. His second collection, Credo, won the 2001 Canadian Authors Association Prize for Poetry and the 2001 David McKeen Award for Poetry. His new book of essays, Lover’s Quarrel, was also released last year. His reviews and essays have appeared The Globe and Mail, the Montreal Gazette, Matrix, Arc and The Montreal Review of Books. Starnino is the editor of Vehicule Press' Signal imprint. He lives in Montreal.
Carmine Starnino won the 2004 A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry for his latest poetry collection With English Subtitles. The book catches Carmine Starnino at his most inventive. The poems are exceptionally focused, musical and inviting. Household objects, Italian relatives, Yukon landscapes, worst-case scenarios and relationships are pushed onto the page with new-found urgency and delight.
The reading takes place the Saturday, February 5 @ 5 pm at The Manx.