LATEST Feature Articles
by Wednesday, February 05, 2014-
The Craft Beer Market has taken over in British Columbia, fast on the heels of other "beer regions" south of the border in Washington and Oregon. The current count as listed on the BC Beer website is 76 different breweries. Craft Beer Crawls to local Tap Houses is another popular weekend pastime, where you can taste flights of brews from local makers as well as the imported brands. Ten such purveyors have been rated by VanCityBuzz. Restaurants like The August Jack on 4th Avenue self-define as dedicated experts in beer cuisine. Menus feature sophisticated pairings with suggested beer accompaniments: try their Read Island Mussels with a Paprika Rosé Sauce garnished with Basil & Crème Fraiche. Suggested Pairing: Deschutes River Ale. Folks used to have to wait until October for the German-themed Octoberfest. Now there's a Vancouver festival of beer that takes place in the summer (when beer drinking is at its peak, not counting Canucks games or the Super Bowl). Check out VCBW, Vancouver Craft Beer Week and join in the celebration of our trendy beer culture.
As a farm-owner with acreage in the Interior of BC, we've been ...More >>
LATEST Author Interviews
by Friday, February 07, 2014-
"Author and essayist Wendy Lesser discusses her latest book Why I Read with poet Robert Pinsky. Their conversation explores the ways that literature and, especially, poetry touch readers and change their lives as Cambridge Forum continues its series My Life Touched by Art."
Wikipedia has this to say about Wendy: (born 1952) is an American critic, novelist, and editor based in Berkeley, California.
Lesser did her undergraduate work at Harvard College and her graduate work at University of California, Berkeley, with time in between at King's College, Cambridge. She is the founding editor of the arts journal The Threepenny Review, and author of ten books, including one novel, The Pagoda in the Garden (Other Press, 2005), and her latest nonfiction book, Why I Read (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2014). ...More >>
Feature Articles >>
Friday, January 03, 2014
If you're like me you've got a diverse range of interests, desires and obligations all battling for your attention. Add to that distracting factors that reduce productivity. January is a great time to look at ways to improve productivity and adopt new work-flow patterns that ensure you reach your goal, complete your tasks and have time for personal growth and loved ones. Here are the 3 things you may need to improve upon: staying focused, prioritizing, and keeping on schedule.
FOCUS: Throw out multitasking. We all think we can do five things at once, but studies show we make mistakes, compromise the quality of our work or fail to complete things when multitasking. The technology explosion promised to keep us up-to-date on information, but many of us experience information overload and fight constant interruptions that vye for our attention. The result? Our ability to focus is impeded. The answer? Get back to basics. When you pick up a book - do nothing else! When you write - don't stop the flow to check emails or browse the web. When you're in a meeting - don't answer phone calls or respond to text messages (a dying courtesy!) When you take time to walk the proverbial dog - enjoy the break for what it is and resist the urge to Instagram. "Live in the moment," as the saying goes, and feel your powers of concentration and your ability to focus return. What's the side benefit? Relief. Awareness. Release from the compulsive need to be completely connected and caught-up and a return of focus :) In 2014 use one device at a time and do one task at a time. ....More >>
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 >>
Monday, July 01, 2013
M&A's are common in the business world, and the publishing world is no exception. The traditional "big six" has just been slashed to five with the merger of Penguin (Pearl) and Random House (Bertalsman). What does it all mean? John Makinson is chairman of Penguin Random House and Markus Dohle, serving as CEO says,
"As outlined by its parent companies, PRH will have over 10,000 employees worldwide and publish more than 15,000 new titles every year across 250 imprints. It is estimated that the new trade publishing powerhouse will have annual revenue of $3.9 billion."
One can't help but think this is a move to better compete with Amazon and the nexus between online sales, online publishing and self-publishing trends in sales and marketing. Advocates from either corporate side had two tongue-in-cheek ideas for the merger's new corporate name depending on their stripe: Random Penguin or Penguin House. Let's see how things look when the dust settles. ....More >>
Whistler Reads >>
Saturday, March 08, 2014
Whistler Reads invites you to take a field trip together to Vancouver to hear renowned Canadian historian and prize-winning author, Professor Margaret MacMillan speak about her latest book The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914 on Friday March 28th at the Vancouver Public Library. We attempted to bring the author to Whistler this trip but her busy book tour was already full - so next best thing - we will go to her! Bus departs from Meadow Park Sports Centre (which is on the public transport route, or drive and park your car.) Please be ready to load the bus at 4:30pm. Bus returns following the event. We will determine which size bus (and final cost) based on your rsvp with non-refundable deposit. Click here to book your place!
Margaret is one of the easiest persons to listen to. Her grasp of the personalities and the firmament of the time is breath-taking. You will come away from this talk with an informed perspective of events in history that have and continue to shape our lives and times. Not merely an academic, she is the great-granddaughter of British Prime Minister David Lloyd George. Her books have earned her national and international prizes including the Duff Cooper Prize, the Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction (the first woman to do so), the Hessell-Tiltman Prize for History, the Silver Medal for the Council on Foreign Relations Arthur Ross Book Award and the Governor-General’s prize for non-fiction in 2003. Whistler Reads members had an excellent discussion of this title in 2007 with the author participating by podcast. MacMillan is currently Warden of St. Antony College, Oxford University a post she holds subsequent to being the Provost at Trinity College University of Toronto. Here is a list of her previous books, and click on the link to view two excellent one hour interviews on C-Span.
- Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World
- Nixon and Mao: The Week That Changed the World was nominated in January 2007 for a Gelber Prize, awarded annually to the best book on international affairs published in English.
Here are two excellent interviews with Margaret MacMillan on C-Span. ....More >>
WGBH Boston >>
Saturday, January 18, 2014
After 25 years as the Executive Producer of PBS's world famous Masterpiece television show, Rebecca Eaton has finally come out with her own story entitled, Making Masterpiece: 25 Years Behind the Making of Masterpiece and Mystery on PBS (published by Viking). Masterpiece is the longest running prime-time television drama in American history. And we Angofile Canadians have been avid viewers. It started by adapting classic literature by authors like Austen, Dickens and Middlemarch, and crime mystery writers like Agatha Christie, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Anthony Horowitz into multi-part episodes played weekly on PBS that has set the bar on quality of television production values.
The foreword to the book is written by Kenneth Branagh. Inside are stories and pictures of Rebecca and her family along with many of the players of Masterpiece productions over the years; from hosts Alistair Cooke, Diana Rigg, Russell Baker and Alan Cumming to writers/screenwriters: Andrew Davies, Tony Hillerman, Julian Fellowes and actors Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Derek Jacobi, Helen Mirren, Benedict Cumberbatch to name but a few. It has the feel of thumbing through a family album, as we invited each of them into our living rooms every Sunday night gathering at the appointed time dutifully.
Anyone who's a fan of the show is defacto a fan of Rebecca, as this book will attest. We learn about her ....More >>
Wine & Book Club >>
Saturday, April 14, 2012
Half-Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan won Canada's highest honor, The Scotiabank Giller Prize for 2011. Esi was also longlisted for the 2012 Orange Prize for Fiction, a finalist for the Man Booker Prize, the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize, the Governor General's Literary Award for Fiction, the Walter Scott Prize for historical fiction and the Ethel WIlson Fiction Prize. That is a lot of final lists! Take a peek as Esi is awarded her prize at the Giller Prize ceremony followed by her interview on Canada AM.
The author's website describes the novel as: "Berlin, 1939. A young, brilliant trumpet-player, Hieronymus, is arrested in a Paris cafe. The star musician was never heard from again. He was twenty years old. He was a German citizen. And he was black.
Fifty years later, Sidney Griffiths, the only witness that day, still refuses to speak of what he saw. When Chip Jones, his friend and fellow band member, comes to visit, recounting the discovery of a strange letter, Sid begins a slow journey towards redemption.
From the smoky bars of pre-war Berlin to the salons of Paris, Sid leads the reader through a fascinating, little-known world, and into the heart of his own guilty conscience.
Half-Blood Blues is an electric, heart-breaking story about music, race, love and loyalty, and the sacrifices we ask of ourselves, and demand of others, in the name of art. ....More >>
Author Interviews >>
Thursday, January 23, 2014
Barry White is the man. His cashmere baritone voice and love lyrics were a staple of couples' album collections in the 70s. Bookbuffet has featured the interviews of PBS's Blank on Blank series before (David Foster Wallace) whose graphics we find a captivating way to listen to an interview. Enjoy this, and then dial in your Barry White playlist on your shuffle into work today.
Technology Corner >>
Friday, March 07, 2014
It's all over the news. There's a new way to read on mobile devices that is going to make all of us as fast as Evelyn Wood's reading dynamics always claimed possible. Think 500 to 1000 words per minute.
"Spritz, the company behind the innovative text streaming technology built to reinvent the way people read, launched today at Mobile World Congress. Spritz's patent-pending technology enhances reading on mobile and wearable devices by streaming individual words using the "Optimal Recognition Point" (ORP) in a special display called the "Redicle." This method makes communication faster, easier and more effective by removing the inefficient eye movements associated with traditional reading. The first use of Spritz will be implemented in an email application for the Samsung Gear 2 and Galaxy S5 smartphone. With the growth of wearable devices, Spritz's patent-pending technology will enable Samsung device users to read emails comfortably and conveniently- one streaming word at a time." —PR Newswire
Go to this link on Elite Daily try reading at 250, 350 and 500 words per minute. It works! Now maybe I'll finally get through the "virtual stack" on my bedside reading table. Yegad - Is this the app that kills books for good? ....More >>
Friday, February 21, 2014
Attendance of the luncheon for the BC National Award for Nonfiction in Vancouver is one of the highlights of the year for a cross section of people. Publishers, educators, book store owners, book designers, literary agents, members of the arts community, and of course sophisticated book lovers all converge at a waterfront hotel in Vancouver to meet the shortlisted finalists for the prize. This is the 10th year of the prize, which awards $2500 to all shortlisted authors and $40,000 to the winner - the largest purse for an award in nonfiction in Canada.
This year the individual speeches given in support of nominees were prize-worthy in themselves. Essays summarizing the merits of each book and its relative contribution to the canon of Canadian literature drew audience appreciation as well as emotional responses from the respective authors.
Anthony Sheldon, Director of the UBC Museum of Anthropology introduced Carolyn Abraham and her book, "The Juggler’s Children: A Journey into Family, Legend and the Genes that Bind Us". Wade Davis, ethnographer named by National Geographic Society as an explorer for the Millennium introduced J.B. MacKinnon, "The Once and Future World: Nature As It Was, As It Is, As It Could Be". SFU's President Andrew Petter introduced Margaret MacMillan, "The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914" and the (un-usual) 5th author candidate was Graeme Smith who's book"The Dogs Are Eating Them Now: Our War in Afghanistan" was the last of the shortlisted authors.
The winner was 2014's prestigious award is Thomas King for his exceptional book, "The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America" published by Double Day Canada, a 304 page-turner that is "wry and, at times, angry recounting of the relationship between first nations people and those who came after is remarkable work. Highly personal, yet remarkably well-researched and documented, he lays bare uncomfortable truths about history, politics and modern North American culture. Engaging, thought-provoking and entertaining, King’s iconoclastic and important book challenges us to think differently about both the past and the future."
"Thomas King is of Cherokee, Greek, and German descent and is currently chair of American Indian Studies at the University of Minnesota. His short stories have been widely published throughout the United States and Canada, and a film, based on his much acclaimed first novel Medicine River, has been made for television.&emdash; NACNF ....More >>