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Monday, December 12, 2005

Beale's Lifetime Listening Plan

Nigel Beale finally launched his CKCU radio show this morning. It's simply called the Biblio File, a nice play on words. Okay, it's not on the 'best' time for some listeners, but for others who are commuting in from the outskirts of Ottawa's hinterland (like Kanata or Orleans), it's the perfect time to tune into 93.1 FM.

The show which plays live on Mondays between 6 and 7 am, promises to feature talk of books from the writing of, the reading of, collection of, and any other 'of' that one can think. The first section of the hour long show started with a reading of Clifton Fadiman's seminal work, The Lifetime Reading Plan. The sound quality of this portion was a little low, leaving me reaching for the volume knob of my radio in the early morning, then only to hear Abba's "Waterloo" blasting me fully awake.

I did enjoy listening to his charming interview with former Ottawa native, Anne DeGrace (now living in Nelson, BC). She was in town as part of the Ottawa International Writers Festival this past October where she read from her first novel, Treading Water. She being a librarian, I became an instant fan. It was nice listening to her voice again. Her story of being a single mother when she opened her used bookstore was inspiring. I did enjoy listening to the interview with all the background noise of clinking cups and saucers from the Chateau Laurier's kitchen restaurant. It lent a nice touch of atmosphere of the on-the-spot interview.

I loved the fact that Nigel also featured one of Ottawa's booksellers. He interviewed Richard Fitzpatrick of the eponymously named Dalhousie St. bookstore, Richard Fitzpatrick Books, just a few days ago and he was featured on this morning's show. Rick has a collection of books that cater to my taste in books. His collection of Can Lit, among other genres, is wide and I constantly see certain books sitting in plain view leaving me wonder why people have passed them up. One example was a signed limited edition of Irving Layton's A Selection of Poems, Number 19 of 30, published by John Metcalf's Magnum Readings (no. 11). Also, taken home recently was a signed copy of Terry Grigg's The Lusty Man (1995) with its awesome cover. Yoink! Off the shelf for me.

Next up was an interview with yours truly. My debut on radio as well. Nigel interviewed me a few weeks ago and we talked for hours, most of which we caught on tape. I hope that you can tune in and listen. The Biblio File is yet another great medium for promoting the literary events that take place in our nation's capital.

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