LATEST Feature Articles
by Tuesday, September 23, 2014-
Business Insider posted a great article on the realities of personal reputations as viewed through our digital foot print. From our LinkedIn profile to our Facebook page to our Instagram posts and our Tweets, all that information is readily available to the public and for the most part it's information we've shared for the purpose of getting our identity and thoughts out there.
But what happens when information about you is circulated beyond your control? Something that attacks or slanders; is distasteful, un-accurate or perhaps downright mean? Celebs have to deal with leaked nude photos-real and fake. CEO's have to pay the consequences of a public outcry from off-hand comments, (Lulu Lemon founder's stepping down as CEO over a remark made about who should wear or not wear his spandex clothing line), all the way down to a bad review about your book posted on Amazon that negatively affects sales.
Micheal Simmons writes an intriguing piece in Business Insider on the topic, and I've pulled one segment related to Nassim Taleb for highlight. Taleb is the bestselling NYT author of The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable a book that uses his statistician's brain to talk about outlier events - those "rare and unpredictable events" and how to seize an opportunity posed from a good outlier or negate the effect of bad a outlier.
LATEST Author Interviews
by 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 >>
Feature Articles >>
Thursday, June 19, 2014
There are some mighty interesting books on the Royal Society's longlist for Best Science book of 2014. Nonfiction readers with a bent for science topics will want to nab a few titles for summer reading pleasure and for great conversation over drinks on the patio with friends and colleagues. My top 3 choices out of the dozen books selected by the panel (from the 160 titles submitted this year) are as follows:
- Tesla: Inventor of the Electrical Age by W. Bernard Carlson (Princeton University Press, 2013); Available as audio download / e-reader / hardcover.
Publisher's synopsis Nikola Tesla was a major contributor to the electrical revolution that transformed daily life at the turn of the 20th century. His inventions, patents, and theoretical work formed the basis of modern AC electricity, and contributed to the development of radio and television. Like his competitor Thomas Edison, Tesla was one of America's first celebrity scientists, enjoying the company of New York high society and dazzling the likes of Mark Twain with his electrical demonstrations. An astute self-promoter and gifted showman, he cultivated a public image of the eccentric genius.. In this groundbreaking book, W. Bernard Carlson demystifies the legendary inventor, placing him ....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 >>
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 >>
Saturday, November 01, 2014
Whistler Reads next event is Saturday, Nov 22nd when we host NYT's bestselling author Tilar Mazzeo at the Fairmont Whistler Chateau to talk about her latest book, The Hotel On Place Vendome: Life, Death, and Betrayal at the Hôtel Ritz in Paris (HarperCollins) Reception 7pm Empress room with cash bar preceding the talk. "There will be champagne!"
Get your tickets here
The Fairmont Chateau is offering Whistler Reads guests special room rates by clicking here, or you can call the hotel direct at 1-800-606-8244 and give them Whistler Reads Program 1114WHIS
Whistler Reads Founder and Director Paula Shackleton on "My First Visit to Paris".
On my first visit to Paris we stayed at a hotel next to the Hôtel Ritz, just off the Place Vendome. While the Ritz was admittedly out of our budget, we were determined to wander around the lobby and stop for a drink in the famous Hemingway Bar. There we met a fascinating man living in Dubai, a former test pilot and military attache who also held advanced science degrees who had been given a mandate (and a half billion dollar budget) to seduce high-tec and bio-tec companies to the UAE. Great hotels and bars are like that - magnets for fascinating people, the crossroads to the world. This book is about one of the world's great hotels, set during this century's most defining moment in history, WWII, and it features a cast of real characters from this unique perspective.
Whistlerites have a special relationship with hotels. As a resort town we... ....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, June 18, 2014
This wonderful video arrived in my latest edition of Electric Literature. A creative project by Ilana Simons. Simons studies authors with with a holistic lens. Every aspect is included: their hobbies, life milestones, influences and works. Additionally, I have a soft spot for creative animation in storytelling. She is the author of A Life of One’s Own: A Guide to Better Living through the Work and Wisdom of Virginia Woolf (Penguin, 2007). She also curates Tin House Reels, a review of short animated films accompanied by the Vimeo clip, as well as reviews of books and poetry with lots fresh names. ....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.