LATEST Feature Articles
by Sunday, January 18, 2015-
I hold in my hand a copy of The Antigone Poems (Altaire Publication 2014, poetry/art). As a book maker I value production quality. The choice of paper, ink, binding, type, layout, images; all of these decisions go into making both pulp editions or a trade art piece. The former is fast disappearing into digital fodder. But people with a regard for artifact have produced the latter with Antigone Poems.
Antigone has a rich brown, generously-thick card stock cover with a French fold that is printed with a creamy silhouetted charcoal drawing by Terrance Tasker (1947-1992). A line from the poetry inside seems to describe the haunting image of the woman depicted at right: "No words, Only the gaping silent scream." The poetry is an homage to the Sophocles tragedy written before 441 BCE wherein the debate over ethical principles governing civil and family law by rule of God or man is argued. But an interesting part of the story behind the making of this slender volume lends additional perspective.
Surprisingly, the source material—verse and drawings, were created in the 1970s while poet, Marie Slaight and artist, Terrance Tasker lived together in Montreal and Toronto. Reading Antigone, I begin to ponder their relationship. (The book is dedicated to TT.) Through this work I imagine them in their youth with a roiling ferver for life--artistic passion mixed with lust, obsession, anger, fear, questions—the stuff of life. Their hormonally gorged vessels pulsing with energy that fuels their respective ouevres.
Had he lived, Terrance would have ...More >>
LATEST Author Interviews
by - Saturday, November 29, 2014
When Cheryl Strayed's mother contracts what initially seems like a cold, her condition rapidly devolves into a diagnose of cancer. In a soul-wrenchingly short seven weeks, her 45-year-young life is taken leaving Cheryl and her two siblings behind. Compelled by profound loss, Cheryl, just 22, sets out to hike the Pacific Crest Trail - all 1100 miles - solo. She has never hiked. She has never backpacked. From her home in Portland, OR she catches a plane to Los Angeles, hitches a ride to the desert town of Mohave and sets off on a journey that will transform her life, compel her to write a bestselling book titled Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail., which Reese Witherspoon options before before the book can make it to print, and hires English novelist, essayist, lyricist and screenwriter Nick Hornby to adapt into a feature film that stars Reese Witherspoon and is now murmured for Oscar nominations. [That is one sentence for a purpose: take a breath, you are only just reading it. Cheryl had to live it.] Suddenly Cheryl's life is vertiginous with success and purpose. Her emotional journey is set to become the public touchstone for transformation over grief.
But wait, there is more. ...More >>
Feature Articles >>
Tuesday, December 30, 2014
Reflecting on the past year's published books, here is what some of the top review sites have to say. I have marked with an * those that appear on multiple lists.
Publisher's Weekly Best Books of 2014: Here you can read the full review and then purchase the book.
Book Reviews >>
Monday, November 18, 2013
Fans of Donna Tartt have been waiting for her new novel since they closed the pages of her last one. She's kept us waiting almost a decade. The Goldfinch (published by Little and Brown, 2013) does not disappoint, all 766 pages of it in the hard cover version that depending on the font size you select on your e-reader can grow to as many as 1200 pages! As the title suggests the central figure in the story is a bird. Well actually, a painting of a bird (which also happens to exist in RL - real life) and comes with its own intriguing back story.
Painted by the Dutch master Carel Fabritius, it is one of only a few works left in the world, his others having been lost in a tragic explosion of the gunpowder factory situated next door to the painter's studio and home that also took his life. Fabritus is supposed to have been the forerunner of Rembrandt who helped his protoge acquire his masterful technique. The painting is introduced to the precocious 13-year-old New Yorker, Theo Decker by his mother on a visit to the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art on the fateful day of a terrorist act. A bomb goes off in the gift shop of the museum and Theo, who has separated from his mother, survives. Just prior to the blast Theo has become entranced with both the painting and an enigmatic girl accompanied by an elderly man. In the chaos and confusion of the blast, Theo connects with the dying man who passes him his signet ring for safe keeping - a talus that will connect Theo to the next important person coming into his life. As Theo stumbles his way out of the gallery in darkness, in chaos, choking through the dust in search of his mother and escape, he clutches the very painting off the wall that he's been admiring and instinctively saves, the priceless Goldfinch.
The rest of the book takes the reader through Theo's life after the blast, as he ....More >>
Publisher News >>
Saturday, March 01, 2014
Harbour Publishing announces its collaboration with Canada's respected industry giant Douglas & McIntyre. "Douglas & McIntyre, the original imprint of British Columbia’s long-time flagship book publisher, will live to see another day thanks to a new alliance with Harbour Publishing, another long-established British Columbian publisher. Harbour owners Howard and Mary White reached an agreement to purchase assets associated with the famous imprint from its former owner, D&M Publishers Inc. D&M Publishers Inc. published under two imprints, Douglas & McIntyre and Greystone Books. During reorganization the imprints have been separated and sold as individual entities. The Douglas & McIntyre imprint dates back to 1971 when the original publishing company was co-founded by Jim Douglas and Scott McIntyre. The Douglas & McIntyre list is made up of some 500 titles including the Giller-Prize-winning novel The Sentimentalists by Johanna Skribsrud; the Canadian NonFiction Prizewinner Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese and works by such eminent Canadian authors as Emily Carr, Bill Reid, Wayson Choy, Doris Shadbolt, Wade Davis, Bill Richardson, Douglas Coupland, Will Ferguson and others. The Whites plan to operate Douglas & McIntyre as a separate company with its own editorial direction, maintaining the press’s focus on First Nations, art, fiction and books directed at the national and international market. All Douglas & McIntyre titles will continue to be distributed by Harper Collins in Canada with no interruption of service. ....More >>
Whistler Reads >>
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
Here is the line up of events and speakers planned for the first half of 2015. Order your digital books online via our links to get a jump-start on reading. Hard or soft cover books will also be available at respective events.
February sees the launch of our exclusive "2015 Salon Series" with talks by fascinating speakers on provocative topics that are hosted in select homes in Vancouver and Whistler. The first is with writer, political analyst and commentator Graham Fuller who is an expert on the Middle East having lived in the region for over two decades during his career as a top analyst for the CIA and later at the nonprofit global policy think thank - RAND Corporation. He speaks Arabic, Russian, Chinese and Turkish and has authored over a dozen books and writes for the World Huffington Post. His talk was originally titled, "ISIS: Leadership in the Middle East" but will now include timely perspectives on the week's tragic Paris killings at Charlie Hebdo. Space is limited - this is by invitation. Wine, tapas and his latest book, Turkey and the Arab Spring: Leadership in the Middle East. Please contact me if you are interested in the series. paula.shack at gmail.com
Whistler Reads 2nd Annual FUNraising Ski Race is Saturday, March 28th with lunch at Steeps and Après at Garibaldi Lift Co. Don't miss this fun event with proceeds going to support our speaker series. The guest speaker for the evening will address the topic, Financial Literacy. FL was deemed a Canada-wide priority by former Finance Minister Jim Flaherty who initiated a task force to determine a Canada-wide action plan that said, “Every Canadian faces financial decisions each day, Some are small, others are critical. For most Canadians, making the right decisions, or putting them off entirely, can have a major impact on our financial well-being, and even our health and happiness." Whistler's unique demographic are motivated to take action to make the right financial decisions and to this end we are making arrangements with local entrepreneur and educator, Chantell Chapman. Chantell is a Sauder Business School graduate with a career in finance who taught financial literacy to students and at-risk youth through the Junior Achievement program. She discovered her 30-something friends wanted the knowledge base and so she created "Hollar for your Dollar" an online tutorial for young entrepreneurs and people seeking to better manage their financial plans and their credit. Whistler Reads is partnering with other Whistler entities to provide specific tutorial sessions for key demographic audiences. Chantell's talk is a primer on the subject and attendees will be provided discounts to her course and talks provided at separate sessions in Whistler.
Late spring/early summer we are in for a special treat when ....More >>
WGBH Boston >>
Thursday, July 10, 2014
The PBS Online Film Festival gets underway June 16th to July 31st. Participate by heading to the iTunes App Store to download their App Once you've viewed a film, you can vote on your favourite on the PBS website. Viewers in Canada are blocked from online viewing - which is such a disappointment. Why can't PBS do something about this? People are not just moving away from cable network subscriptions - they are RACING to online streaming sites like Netflix. Time for a re-think PBS!
Check out all our Masterpiece posts here, including our interview with creator Julian Fellowes and Masterpiece Diva Producer, Rebecca Eaton. Then join the BookBuffet Masterpiece Group for latest books associated with Masterpiece episodes and series. ....More >>
Wine & Book Club >>
Monday, September 01, 2014
Ken Follet's new novel, the third volume in his Century trilogy is titled, Edge of Eternity, which is a bit of a cheesy sounding title but with his reputation and success as a writer and screenwriter, who are we to complain?
Though I have only read this last book in the series, it is a compelling stand-alone volume that does not require, but perhaps inspire, you to read the first two books in the series. Here is how KF's website describes the trilogy:
Throughout the "Century" trilogy, Ken has followed the fortunes of five intertwined families – American, German, Russian, English, and Welsh – as they make their way through the twentieth century. Now in Edge of Eternity they come to one of the most tumultuous eras of all, the enormous social, political, and economic turmoil of the 1960s through the 1980s, from civil rights, assassinations, mass political movements and Vietnam to the Berlin Wall, the Cuban Missile Crisis, Presidential impeachment, revolution – and rock and roll.
Growing up in the atomic era I can say that ETERNITY brought back vivid memories of my childhood and the fear we all lived under - which is something I have tried to explain to my children. The "duck and cover" bomb drills in school, the television interruptions posting the Indian head test pattern with a loud alarm tone and the announcer's words, "This is a test." etc. Every city and town block had a siren alarm box attached to the telephone poll. Living in the era of nuclear fear kept you awake at night, even as a child you had a pit of anxiety in your stomach and a sense of impending doom. The Kubric film "http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0057012/">Dr. Strangelove was an apt cautionary parody of geo-politics of the day. Now I can point my children who are each in varying degrees students of history, to this book as it captures the era pungently.
That is the benefit of historical fiction, and why KF made the ....More >>
Author Interviews >>
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Canadian film maker, screenwriter and actor, David Cronenberg has come out with his first novel, Consumed(published by Hamish Hamilton,CA). Here he reads for the audience at St. Francis College. His book is described as a radically poetic, necromantic, numinous, homicidally erotic novel. Horror novelist Stephen King says, "Consumed is an eye-opening dazzler. Not for the fainthearted, but for those of us who relish a trip into the shadowy depths, a must-read...[it] is as troubling, sinister, and as enthralling as his films."
Cronenberg is fascinated by death and the psychological impulse toward grotesque bodily distortion mixing fear with arousal. In this story the difficult topic is cannibalism. The style of the book is compared to Kafka and Borge. The main characters are a charismatic couple, the wife and celebrity Célestine and her husband and philosopher, Aristide Arosteguy, (apparently intended as a riff on Sartre and de Beauvoir). It's set in Hungary, Toronto, Paris and North Korea. The Boston Globe writes, ....More >>
Technology Corner >>
Friday, August 29, 2014
If you enjoy time lapse videography and wish there was an easy technology to convert your home videos, then check out HYPERLAPSE, the new app from Vimeo. Hyperlapse allows you to collapse your own videos using a video stabilization algorithm called Cinema, which is already used on videos posted to Instagram. The effect is mesmerizing. For the geeks wanting to know how it works, the technology is explained here. To summarize, the program changes the frames per second (up to 12x faster) and the aspect ratio to speed things up and to counteract any camera shake. Previously this sort of time-lapse technique took oodles of planning and engineering. Now you have just one button to press and you're video is good to show! Check out these examples and get busy making your own time-lapse videography today. View tutorial below. ....More >>
Monday, July 07, 2014
Africa Writes 2014 is the the annual literature and book festival in association with The British Library now in its third year. It takes place Friday July 11th through Sunday July 13th at the British Library Conference Centre on 96 Euston Road, London. (Directions)
Africa Writes brings together over 50 authors, poets, publishers, critics a selection of book launches, panel discussions, presentations and workshops with activities for adults as well as families with children. Most events are free, and a few are ticketed such as on Saturday 18:30-20:00 when Ama Ata Aidoo, Ghana’s leading author, poet, playwright, academic and former Minister of Education, will be joined for an in-depth conversation led by Wangui wa Goro, writer, critic and translator. I am also interested in seeing the The Caine Prize 2014 Conversation, also Saturday 15:00 – 17:00, FREE.
Each year, the Caine Prize for African Writing maps new directions in contemporary African writing. Join the five authors short- listed for the 2014 Prize - Diane Awerbuck, Efemia Chela, Tendai Huchu, Billy Kahora and Okwiri Oduor - in conversation with Delia Jarrett-Macauley, award-winning writer and judge for the 2007 Caine Prize.
Program Guide: click to down load.