Join Whistler Reads on Thursday March 16th at the Squamish Lil'Wat Cultural Centre (SLCC) from 7-9:30 pm when we host two of Canada's prominent investigative journalists to discuss their latest books. Tickets/books here. Meet Alexandra Shimo and Kevin Donovan.
Kevin Donovan is the staff writer at the Toronto Star who broke the story on the Jian Ghomeshi's sex scandal. His book Secret Life: The Jian Ghomeshi Investigation (published by Gooselane Editions) covers the investigation and trial from start to finish. Readers will recall Ghomeshi's public admission to a preference for "rough sex", claiming his partners were willing participants. The CBC's decision to fire the superstar host of their most popular program, "Q" for allegations of conduct un-becoming were followed by a subsequent investigation, charges laid, and a sensational trial that resulted in his acquittal. This case has created a lightening rod for debate. Kevin's talk will discuss how journalists and the justice system operate in the murky waters when it is one person's word against another and how this issue compounds when celebrity is involved.
Joining Donovon is Alexandra Shimo, a former editor at MacLeans Magazine. Alexandra Shimo spent four months living in a isolated fly-in First Nations community in northern Ontario investigating an alleged water crisis that may have been fabricated. Inevitably, she becomes drawn into the daily life of the community and conditions on reserve---that of severe poverty, isolation, youth suicide at crises proportions, and other issues garnered from her very personal vantage, which results in PTSS and more. Readers will better understand why this book is so important when they...
Join us February 23rd when we meet to discuss (venue TBA) the book that was the winner of the 2016 Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize and the inaugural Mack Laing Literary Prize. Shortlisted for the 2016 Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prizes. A wonderful book of Canadiana.
The Real Thing: The Natural History of Ian McTaggart Cowan by Briony Penn ISBN 9781771600705 is the first official biography of Ian McTaggart Cowan (1910–2010), the “father of Canadian ecology.” Authorized by his family and with the research support and participation of the University of Victoria Libraries, Briony Penn provides an unprecedented and accessible window into the story of this remarkable naturalist. From his formative years roaming the mountains around Vancouver looking for venison to his last years finishing the voluminous and authoritative Birds of British Columbia, Cowan’s life provides a unique perspective on a century of environmental change—with a critical message for the future.
As the head and founder of the first university-based wildlife department in Canada, Ian McTaggart Cowan revolutionized the way North Americans understood the natural world, and students flocked into his classrooms to hear his brilliant, entertaining lectures regarding the new science of ecology.
During his academic career, Ian McTaggart Cowan stepped outside the narrow confines of academia to pioneer nature television. His television programs in the 1950s and ’60s,
Susan Juby won this year's Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour for her book, The Republic of Dirt. She is this year's Whistler Writer in Residence a post supported by the Whistler Resort Municipality and the local writer's group. Whistler Reads is pleased to select this book out of the excellent offerings at this year's 15th annual Writers Festival in Whistler. "With so much in the world to concern us: continued strife in the Middle East, the sluggish world economy, the travesty that has become the US election, Canada's struggle to make the best decisions related to global warming -- it behooves us to elevate/side-track our minds and spirits through the tonic of humour. After all, we do produce some of the world's most talented comedians," says Paula Shackleton, Founder and Director of Whistler Reads.
The Stephen Leacock award is a personal favorite. If you've not read the work of the namesake honoring this genre, you must because it gives insights into where our Canadian roots in ironic wit and self-deprecating humour derive. (thank GOD for spell check) Susan Juby is the beneficiary of this award, and deservedly so. A quick peruse of her website is funny from start to finish, er from button titles to deep-down content.
The fact that she lives in the boonies, and I live in the boonies has nothing to do with it. Really. Oh, well, if you must -- we DO share a love of chickens. Chickens are the original comedian on the farm. Everything about them is true; the pecking order, coming home to roost, cock of the walk... but I digress.
The WWII motorcycle side-car with the Blue Heeler pup as her mate sold me. Not to mention the serial mugshots gleaned from past author photos. So hope you can join us as we meet Susan Juby in person at the Whistler Writers Festival. And leave comments about your musings on her book on our http://www.facebook.com/whistlerreads wall.
Back by popular demand... John Vaillant returns to Whistler. The author of three bestselling books: The Golden Spruce, The Tiger and his latest, a fiction titled The Jaguar's Children (Penguin-Randomhouse) on Monday, March 14th from 6:30-9 pm in the Squamish-Lil'Wat Cultural Centre for a public screening and discussion of the film, HADWIN'S JUDGEMENT. Hadwin's Judgement is nominated for 2 Canadian Screen Awards for Best Documentary and Best Cinematography and has won a number of other Film Festival Awards across Canada. Tickets are sold out. Another date is in the works. Email wr (at) bookbuffet.com to get priority notice. Don't miss this sublimely haunting docudrama by filmmaker Sasha Snow that is based on the life of Grant Hadwin, the man accused of chopping down a rare and revered 300-year-old giant spruce, a genetic variant, growing in the protected rainforest of Haida Gwaii, BC. The golden coloured spruce was revered by the local First Nations. It was admired and studied by forestry biologists, and it attracted eco-tourists to the destination from the worldwide.
Part myth, part madness this film "chronicles the tormented transformation of Grant Hadwin from expert logger to environmental terrorist, a man who dared to challenge the destruction of the world's last great temperate rainforest." based on Vaillant's book, "The Golden Spruce" that was awarded a GG for nonfiction.
The cinematography of Haida Gwaii is breathtaking. If you have never been there - this is your chance to witness our temperate rainforest and discuss its future. If you have been there, you won't want to miss this event. John will introduce the film and do a Q&A following. Copies of his books will be available for sale. As THE JAGUAR'S CHILDREN is our Whistler Reads Feb-March book selection, we will reserve time at the end for members to discuss.
Click to view the movie trailer.
Are you a person who loves books and interacting with people? Whistler Reads is looking for a new Director to lead groups and manage the program. This will involve picking titles, working up discussion points and questions, organizing meetings, leading groups and keeping up with content for our blog and social media platform.
Whistler Reads is a community literacy program that has operated for over a decade. As the first public book group, Whistler Reads has brought innovation and creative ideas to stimulate dialogue and discussion around books in Whistler. We've profiled prize-winning authors and local talent. Our events have ranged from close readings to expert speakers and panel discussions, to political skits to book themed costume parties, to video productions and podcasts. We've partnered with numerous Whistler groups and organizations and festivals to serve this mountain community's related interests and broaden the scope with popular and provocative published titles: Whistler Museum, WORCA and Crankworks - Pecha Kucha, Cornucopia, WPL to name a few.
A lot has changed in Whistler over the ensuing decade since our inception in 2005: a new public library facility (2007), the active writing community and growing success of the annual Writers Festival, the growth of the Whistler Arts Council and their grasp of the concept to make Whistler a "cultural tourism destination". Then there is last year's initiative to unite the corridor in coordinated literary events via "One Book One Corridor" (2015), and now a new group, The Dream Makers Literacy Committee (2016) whose goal is to incorporate other forms of learning encompassed in the general definition of literacy (numeracy, computer and digital literacy) for fuller cognitive competency in our community.
Whistler Reads has always maintained that open discussion of books contributes to personal development as well as community development. People new to the community have a place to come and meet other locals. Visitors who attend events contribute their worldly perspective - and enjoy meeting Whistlerites as though in our own living room. As we come together as a community to read and discuss books, we grow in ways that benefit community connectedness, enrich our relationships, influence our families, and improve our workplaces. We hone our listening and communication skills, improve our vocabulary, foster inclusivism, tolerance, and understanding. Civic engagement improves -- we vote, we volunteer, we flourish. Studies have even shown reading helps us sleep better and stave off neural decline.
For a list of all our previous events and books that encompass this social enterprise, click on the subject titles of our feature article list (in this column) to see a decade of programming.
Submit your resume and a statement of why you think you'd make a great Whistler Reads Director to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sincerely, Paula Shackleton
Whistler Reads Founder
Our next Whistler Reads event is Thursday April 30th at the Nita Lake Lodge (Library) 7pm-9pm. (Tickets $15 Message Paula if you are a non-profit) Come meet Vancouver's new literary prodigy, fresh out of UBC's MFA program with her debut novel. Chelsea Rooney is the author of Pedal(published Caitlin Press)and named Book of the Year by the Canadian Publishing community. Now a finalist for the Amazon First Novel Award co-presented by Canada's premiere literary magazine, The Walrus!
Since its inception in 1974, The First Novel Award has launched the careers of some of Canada’s most beloved novelists, including: Michael Ondaatje, Joy Kogawa, Rohinton Mistry, Anne Michaels and Joseph Boyden." That means Whistlerites will have the opportunity to preview this talent before the announcement on May 21st. Come judge for yourselves.
I met Chelsea at a book event in Vancouver and was immediately taken by her candour and poise. Of the three authors on offer that evening, she was the most compelling speaker. Her novel deals with a difficult subject matter; sexual attraction between adults and minors, but she manages to take out the demons offering her own first person experience, effectively transformed into fiction. Her book intelligently asks questions that challenge the status quo on victimization.
We are reaching out to a few local Whistler non profit organizations with an offer to obtain copies of the book for your staff and network, and a few spaces for interested persons. Message me on our LIKE.
As Whistler Reads turns 10 we reflect on a decade of book events, authors and the evolution of a program for readers that has contributed to the cultural fabric and the history of this mountain community in fun and memorable ways. Enter the contest: What was your favourite book of the decade? We'll vote on your passionate defence - and make that a Whistler Reads pick! Help shape what everyone in Whistler is reading and talking about! email email@example.com
￼￼￼Looking Back on a Decade of Shared Events Join Us! March 28th, 2015 5pm-7pm
Nita Lake Lodge Library | $25 w your first glass of wine
￼￼It was ten years ago this month that Whistler Reads launched its first book discussion. (PiqueNewsmagazine Announcement) Betty McWhinnie was our first member! The book was Rockbound by Frank Parker Day - a fascinating look at an unlikely title that won the Canada Reads selection for 2005. (Discussion outcome)
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
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...
We at Whistler Reads love technology and innovation. Since so many of the group spend different parts of the summer away with several of us packing up entirely… the best method I can think of for "getting together" is through Google Hangout. (I've detailed instructions on Google Hangout at the bottom - click full article to view them.)
If you haven't done it before, it's easy to start. I've also posted a group notice on Meet Up to help spread the word about our online session. Just type "Whistler Reads" in the Meet Up search box and our event will appear. (Use Meet Up to find all sorts of interesting gatherings in the vicinity, by postal code, by radius or by topic of interest for locations worldwide, etc.)
Our discussion takes place on July 22nd from 7-8 pm. DO check in and post a message about what you are reading this summer. We'll tally the recommendations and send the list in our next newsletter.
With new Anti-SPAM legislation, we've all been bombarded with requests from existing subscription groups to remain opted-in. Ours is on its way. If you do not receive a request, we've likely got an outdated or incorrect email for you, in which case, take this time to re-connect. We only send out messages to announce the next book, the location and pertinent event details.
In the meantime, enjoy your summer reading adventure!
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.
On Saturday, February 15th Whistler Reads will host an open FUNraiser ski-race and aprés social. The race takes place on the GMC Racecourse on Blackcomb Mountain 10-11:30am. Skiers of all levels are welcome - you don't need to have prior experience running gates. Just find a partner and register as a team to be assigned bibs and race times. We need to supply race names ASAP so register Register Here.
There will be 3 prize categories:
Match Your Time: Closest Time between the 1st and 2nd heat
Fastest Individual, Fastest Team
Prizes will be awarded at the Aprés Social 4-6pm held at the beautiful Nita Lake Lodge their address and mapquest directions are 2131 Lake Placid Road, Creekside in their cozy fireside lounge The Cure.
Host Paula Shackleton says, "This will be a highlight of the Whistler literary calendar year. A time to blend our passion for gravity fuelled sport with our love of books (and book lovers), as the case may be!
Racer Ticket includes entry to the social + your first beer is on the house. $55pp.
Social Ticket encourages you to cheer slope side, and join in the aprés social $35pp.
The Canadian short story rules! So think people from coast to coast to coast after Lynn Coady's sublime collection of short stories in her book, Hellgoing: Stories (published by Anansai Press, 2013) won this year's Scotiabank Giller Prize. Whistler Reads members were here to cheer her on. The native Cape Bretonian who now lives in Edmonton Alberta obtained her MFA in writing from the University of British Columbia and her writing appears in magazines and newspapers across the country.
The Giller committee writes of her work:
“The eight stories in Lynn Coady’s Hellgoing offer a stupendous range of attitudes, narrative strategies, and human situations, each complete and intricate, creating a world the reader enters as totally as that of a novel, or a dream. Yet the book as a whole is also magically united by Coady’s vivid and iconoclastic language, which brims with keen and sympathetic wit. Whether from the perspective of a writer flailing in the social atmosphere of a professional conference, or a woman trying to extend forgiveness to a lover’s abusive father, Coady offers a worldview full of mournful humour, ready indignation, and vertiginous possibility; the reader feels in the presence of life itself.”
And her own publisher says:
"Equally adept at capturing the foibles and obsessions of men and of women, compassionate in her humour yet never missing an opportunity to make her characters squirm, fascinated as much by faithlessness as by faith, Lynn Coady is quite possibly the writer who best captures what it is to be human at this particular moment in our history."—RandomHouse.
Get your book online here or via Armchair Books in Whistler, where members receive a 10% discount.
We'll announce the venue for this discussion shortly. (A booking with the author is in the works.) In the meanwhile, here are some questions to keep in mind as you read:
What do you think sets Coady's writing apart from the crowd? Bring an example of writing that grabs you in the gut to share with the group.
Is there a common thread among the stories as in theme, mood, feeling? Like an album or CD of music, much thought goes into the order of stories. Consider how the editor chose these.
How would you compare Lynn's writing to other Canadian short story specialists? WR discussed Alice Munro's Runaway Sept 2009, and there are many other Canadian short story specialists. Is there anything that speaks to "every Canadian" and the sense of a national identity?
A writer's style has a lot to do with the mechanics; the cadence of their sentences in addition to subject, plot, setting. Is it short and punchy like Hemingway, or long paragraph-length unpunctuated sentences like Proust? What is Coady's distinguishing style?
Our next Whistler Reads book discussion will be held on October 19th, 8pm at the Fairmont Chateau Hotel, Whistler with Giller Prize winning author of 2012, Will Ferguson whose book 419: A Novel, (Random House 2012) "...a provocative tale of an email scam and a woman who sets out on a wide-ranging search for those she believes responsible for her father's death." It is a continuation of Will's first novel Spanish Fly which was a historical fiction about con artists in the 1930s. Ferguson lives in Calgary and he's a three-time winner of the Stephen Leacock Medal (for humour). This will prove to be a delightful discussion as part of the Whistler Readers and Writers Festival Oct 18-21st, because CBC's own award winning broadcaster, Jian Ghomeshi will be leading the discussion, essentially - two celebrities for the price of one! Tickets just $25. Whistler Reads members are encouraged to read the book in advance, attend in hoards and enjoy this special night at what promises to be the best Whistler Readers and Writers Festival event yet. Don't miss this star-studded literary-packed festival. Congrats Stella and Vicious Circle. Stay tuned for more information here at the festival website where you can purchase tickets and plan your weekend. Whistler is at its glory in the mantle of fall foliage. Come savour these last moments of the season before another ski and snowboard season kicks-in (annually) on American Thanksgiving. See you there!—Paula Shackleton
Whistler Reads next event presents a rather unique personal circumstance. As the director of this program I have had the honour of putting on some 36 book events hosting various authors from near and far. This time the topic of discussion is a book I published this January. Some dear Whistler friends have offered to host the book launch and discussion in their lovely home. Please join us April 20th, 2013 between 6 and 8pm at the Nadeau residence 8417 Big Sky Terrace in Whistler BC, V0N 8B0 (click link for map). I hope the topic intrigues you. This is a large profile coffee table book on the West African nation of Mauritania (published by Ewrks Media, January 2013) containing photographs and text in three languages: English, French and Arabic. If you browse the travel section of most well-stocked book stores, you will not find another book on Mauritania like this in the English language. Books on North Africa may offer a few pages in between Morocco and Algeria. Books in French are a decade old.
I will seed the discussion on the facets of this fascinating, but little known emerging nation: its landscapes, history, culture, economy and place within the geo-political climate since the Arab Spring.
Having traveled to the country twice, first with the CEO of Red Back Mining, Rick Clark who introduced me to President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, the Minister of Tourism and the Minister of Mines to determine the intent and scope of the book. Then for a second trip in April and May of 2011 in the company of my photographer, Gary Fitzpatrick, our trilingual interpreter, escorts and drivers who joined us for the material collection phase—which entailed travel throughout the capital, to major towns and medieval villages in the countryside and within the Sahara desert, to UNESCO World Heritage sites and wildlife sanctuaries in order to capture photographs and conduct subject interviews.
My neighbor John Madden is a delightful person whose life of science started with a Rhodes Scholarship in his twenties. Recently retired, he has just self-published a book entitled The Davey Dialogues: An Exploration of the Scientic Foundations of Social Culture and it reminds me of two separate people and their respective intentions. The first is Canadian broadcaster and environmentalist David Suzuki, and the second is the Norwegian philosopher, Jostein Gartner. Years ago when Suzuki was hosting his television program, "The Nature of Things", I took a course in Zoology from him at the University of Toronto. He had made the jump from bench scientist, unravelling the DNA of fruit flies and publishing in the journal Nature, to public personality, upon realizing that the pace of scientific advancement was outstripping the general public's ability to keep up. Soon there would be fewer and fewer people prepared to weigh-in on decisions affecting our daily lives—like the impact of Monsanto's genetically modified seed, or whether the Bush administration should be permitted to stop stem cell research. Jostein Gartner, a Norweigan philosopher lamented the dwindling interest of university students in studying philosophy, the academic discipline concerned with reason and thought. She published a book titled, Sophies World that would become a European bestseller about a fictional character who uses philosophic theoretical arguments attributed to great philosophers to solve clues to a mystery. Both Suzuki and Gartner saw a gap in the public knowledge base and sought to fill it in a creative way. And that is John Madden's goal as well. Join Whistler Reads and John Madden at the Whistler Public Library on February 27th at 7pm. His book is available in advance via www.daviedialogues.com or purchase a copy from the author at this reading. Admission by donation.
How as parents do we come to terms with the loss of a child to drug addiction? Graham E Fuller writes "a compelling memoir of paternal love and anguish," says the author's good friend, William Roberts, President Whistler Forum for Leadership and Dialogue when reviewing Graham's latest book titled, Three Truths and a Lie (2012). Whistler Reads members will recall Graham Fuller as our Squamish neighbour who moderated our WR discussion of the political thriller, The Reluctant Fundamentalist in his capacity as former station chief in the Middle East for the CIA. His remarkable career has spurned a prolific list of books on policy and polemics of Islam and conflicts in the Middle East. Three Truths is his first memoir.
The premise of Three Truths is the story of Luke, his adopted Korean child aged 2, who despite the Graham's unbridled love, gradually loses his life’s way to the struggles of addiction and death from an overdose of cocaine at age 21. This is an unsparing and vivid account of the Fuller family's "...wise, misguided, passionate, naïve, creative, [though] ultimately unsuccessful" efforts to save their son. "Luke is warm, likeable, funny, quick to win friends—and a skilled deceiver, able to impress others with a seeming maturity and urbanity. But the image he works to create for himself is increasingly belied by the darker realities of his life and the black hole he creates around his family. The tale chronicles a poignant and tumultuous quest to grasp the meaning of Luke’s life—and death—against a broad international backdrop from Afghanistan to Latin America. It explores the mysteries of adoption, identity, addiction—and grace."—cover blurb
Please join the author January 23rd at the Whistler Public Library at 7pm in discussion of this book.
Stella Harvey, founder of Whistler's writers group, Vicious Circle launched her debut novel, Nicolai's Daughters (published by Signature Editions, Oct 2012) at the 2012 writers festival this past October. After spending almost a decade with false starts she settled on her novel's premise and the hefty 336 page volume results. Join us in discussion with the author next month, December 6th. Stella's maiden name is Leventoyannis. Her family comes from Greece and her book is set in two cities in the southern region of Peloponnese. This hilly countryside, though surrounded by water, would be an island if not for the technicality of a land bridge that joins the mainland. Interestingly, the local population has provided the majority of Greece's modern-day politicians.
To research for her book, Harvey says that she returned to Greece regularly to connect with her heritage, visit family and brush up on her native tongue. During her travels she discovered a WWII piece of history involving a German massacre of a town's male population over age 13, a fact that has been kept quiet by members of the townspeople who left after the tragedy. Harvey was intrigued by the idea that a tragedy of this nature would follow generations in a variety of ways, whether they knew about the story or not. Indeed she imbues her main character with additional layers of secrets which his daughters are led to uncover. Loss, longing and secrets are the basis of this book told through the alternating voices of daughter Alexia and her father Nicolai. The reader is carefully bounced between generational stories, colliding cultures and economic realities to reach the climactic truth. Join us at a private home in Whistler (details disclosed with paypal voucher). Tickets $10 $15 at the door, with proceeds used for Greek themed refreshments and appis. (Voucher has mapquest location link).
Copies of the book can be purchased at Armchair Books in Whistler village and members be sure to get your 10% Whistler Reads discount. It's also available online in digital format via iTunes, KOBO or Kindle.
Visit Stella's website for more biographic information and a very good book trailer.
Horse racing is often qualified as "the sport of Kings." It's popularity is on the rise again, (the previous zenith occurring circa Seabiscuit) if you take into account trendy Vancouver party promoters who are jumping into the saddle and organizing "a day at the races" complete with broad-brimed hats for the ladies, pale suits for the lads, mint julips and of course, the alure of racetrack betting. A friend of mine grew up in Richmond behind the old Landsdown Racetrack and her father raised ponies for a trainer. I remember watching my first colt born in their barn, and have since held a fascination bordering on awe for this majestic animal.
Our next Whistler Reads event on September 22nd, 4pm-6pm at Whistler's Armchair Books | Gone hosts local Vancouver writer, Kevin Chong to Whistler to discuss his latest book, My Year Of The Racehorse (Greystone Books, a D&M Publisher 2012). Kevin has a wonderful sense of humor and is no stranger to live performance—he's also a jazz artist with the stage name "Butterscotch Panda". Kevin bought a race horse and spent the year infused in the culture. "My Year of the Racehorse just made the Top 10 Books of Amazon so far", he announces on his Facebook page. I look forward to a lively discussion, readings by Kevin, audience input and some musical interludes. Come discover the inside machinations of the horse racing industry.
Kevin Chong is the author of four books, including Neil Young Nation—honoured as a book of the year by the Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, and Ottawa Citizen and aired as a documentary on CBC’s Definitely Not the Opera—and the novels Baroque-a-Nova and Beauty Plus Pity. He's an avid freelance journalist, a regular contributor to Quill & Quire and prestigious literary mags. He is an editor at Joyland.ca and teaches creative writing at UBC.
"I can't think of a better way to spend 2 hrs on a Saturday afternoon in Whistler," says Whistler Reads Founder, Paula Shackleton. Armchair Books | Gone joint establishments are in the heart of Whistler village (across from Araxi's) Whistler Reads members receive a 10% discount off the current book selection - become a member - over 620 of us and counting.
April marks our launch back into the Whistler Reads public book club series. It is fitting that we should discuss Nobel Peace Prize laureate (2010) Liu Xiobo's new book recently published by Harvard University Press entitled, No Enemies, No Hatred: Selected Essays and Poems. Join us the SECOND (not the first as stated earlier) Thursday of June at Armchair Books in Whistler village, where WR members receive a 10% discount on books and where we'll will meet, greet and share refreshments next door at Whistler's popular Gone Bakery Restaurant. Your donation towards a participation fee in advance covers everything. $15 at the door. Be a part of Whistler's reading, thinking book discussion series, where we alternate fiction with nonfiction titles every 8 weeks.
Liu Xiobo is a writer, literary critic, professor and most importantly, a public intellectual and human rights activist who was arrested in 2008 for his
For Whistler Reads members, our next book discussion will be Canadian author Wayne Johnston's new novel, A World Elsewhere (RandomHouse CA 2011). Click on the link to purchase from amazon.ca for $20.56, or locals go see Dan Ellis at Armchair Books in Whistler and receive our 10% WR member discount off retail. GREAT NEWS! The author is coming to Whistler for the Whistler Readers & Writers 2011 Festival on Sunday October 16th from 10-2pm along with another award-winning Canadian author, Miriam Toews. Purchase your ticket ($35 includes breakfast) here if you'd like to attend. Check out the rest of the festival line-up here for daily blog entries promoting the program and inspiring us all to write and read.
True confession: Wayne Johnston is the reason I created this website 9 years ago. I don't know whether to thank him or taunt him with the fact that he essentially changed the course of my life?
Whistler Reads members have been asking for a fun piece of popular fiction and our next book will not disappoint. Abraham Varghese's Cutting for Stone is now out in paperback. WR members get a 10% discount off this title when they purchase at Armchair Books. "Not since Khaled Hosseini debuted with The Kite Runner has there been a novel that could and should capture the hearts of people around the world," writes Mike Sullivan. In fact the accolades from a long list of celebrated authors and reviewers tells us we are all in for a treat. Join us April 14th at Nita Lake Lodge in the library, 7-9pm. Nita has a wonderful wine list. We will pick a few to sample by the glass - cash bar.
Join us on Thursday April 14th 7:00-9:00 at the Nita Lake Lodge (library) in Whistler. Advance tickets $15 and $20 at the door.
Cutting for Stone takes readers from India to Ethiopia to America. The cover blurb had this to say:
Whistler Reads - the village book group - has been meeting every 8 weeks to discuss a new book since February 2005. That makes us exactly 6 years old this month. With over 30 author events under our belt we thought you might like to check our track record in picking books for the program and bringing these fresh authors to Whistler. In fact, right now, two of them, John Vaillant, The Tiger and Matthew Hooton, Deloume Road have recently won awards and are currently on the CBC Bookclub's competition for the favorite book in Canada in these categories: Best Nonfiction, Best of this Year, Best Fiction. Vote here and support them today!
As far as what the rest of the authors we've discussed are up to, here is a list chronologically. (updating as we speak!)
Dec 2010: John Vaillant, The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival: John won the BC Award for nonfiction - Canada's largest prize, is nominated for the CBC Bookie Award for Best Nonfiction and Best Overall Book. He is currently writing his first novel, which will be an interesting departure for fans of his two award-winning nonfiction books.
Oct 2010: Kerry Madden, Harper Lee: Up Close and To Kill a Mockingbird: 50th Anniversary of the publishing of TKAM.
July 2010: Matthew Hooton, Deloume Road: nominated Best Nonfiction CBC Bookies, voted Random House list of "Most Promising New Writers 2010". Presently working on his next novel which also features a child-driven narrative plot.
May 2010: Michael Pollin, Food Rules. I had no idea that Michael's sister is the actress Tracy Pollin who is married to actor Michael J. Fox. He speaks extensively (for huge fees) to groups, still teaches at Berkeley School of Journalism and will publish the next version of Food Rules fall 2011. His blog asks readers to submit their own food rules in the hopes that somebody has new catchy single sentence mantras about healthy eating that he can share. Pollin has become the figurehead for food-safety and sustainable farming practices and the stamp-out-junk-food cult.
Feb 2010: Annabel Lyon, The Golden Rule. Annabel contributed to Finding The Words, an anthology published by McLelland&Stewart used as a fundraiser for PEN Canada.
Nov 2009: David Byrne, Bicycle Diaries WR beat Vancouver's "most environmentalist mayor" Gregor Robertson (by almost a full year) to the punch when they hosted Byrne in Vancouver in October 2010 along with 2 other speakers advocating urban planning and bicycle routes. The singer-songwriter-artist Byrne continues his multimedia productivity with the Jan 20, 2011 UK premiere his film "Ride Rise Roar" simulcast across theatres in Britain and he had an important art exhibit in Tokyo.
Sep 2009: Alice Munro, Too Much Happiness was Knighted with The Order of Arts and Letters and of course won the Man Booker Prize 2009.
Thank you to everyone who participated in the 31st Whistler Reads event December 11th at 7:30 PM at the Westin Resort & Spa Hotel in Whistler when our guest was Governor General award winning author John Vaillant. John's fabulous presentation was well received by a fully packed audience. For those of you who missed it, we discussed his new book The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival (Knopf, Canada 2010) is, in the author's own words, "The Golden Spruce with stripes". [video presentation to follow upon editing - stop in here again later. For those of you who attended and wish to continue to support us - please use the Donate button at the top.]
John, of course is an intrepid traveller. He's been to 5 continents and oceans in the course of his work. This book took John to the remote southeast of Russia to a region called Primorye (Pri-mor-ya), a territory about the size of Washington state by the Sea of Japan where ecosystems converge and plants and animals exist that live no place else on earth. It is also the last refuge for an endangered sub-species of Siberian tigers - the Amur tiger - a spectacular killing machine. Weighing up to 600 pounds and 10 feet long from nose to tail it has evolved into a supreme predator. In "Tiger" Vaillant tells of an injured man-eating tiger who is not just striking for food, it's stalking its prey out of vengeance. The team of conservationists is tracking her on foot deep into the Siberian forest on a heart-thumping chase to capture or kill her before she kills again. But who is stalking who? Beautifully written and deeply informative we learn about this unique eco-system and the people who subsist in a grueling lifestyle. Whistler Reads invited you to make this a weekend adventure. The Westin offered Whistler Reads members huge room discounts on Junior suites and threw in 2 dual mountain ski passes per day. With the large volume of snow that has fallen in December, it truly was an amazing weekend for all. In the interests of not spamming you with info, frequent posts to our FB page are a valuable resource of extra links, updates and member feedback.
Join us Tuesday October 5th at 7:30 PM at the Whistler Public Library when Kerry Madden will join us on Skype Video. It has been 50 years since Harper Lee's novel, "To Kill a Mockingbird" came out and rocked our world. The reclusive author almost never gave interviews or speeches to accept her awards, including the Pulitzer Prize she was given in 1960. She did form a lasting relationship with actor Gregory Peck who played the lead figure, Atticus Finch in the film version of her book, a character modeled on Lee's own father who was a newspaperman and former lawyer of the highest moral standard. (Gregory Peck's grandchild is named Harper Peck Voll, in tribute to Harper Lee.) A new biography has come out on Harper Lee, written by Kerry Madden, a Professor at the University of Alabama, titled Harper Lee: Up Close.
Harper Lee, now 86, declined to be interviewed for her biography. She feels biographies are for dead people. As Madden discovered from her ample research of Lee, who despite her age, remains incredibly active; she golfs every week claiming the walk gives her time to think, and her 90-plus year-old sister still works as an attorney in town.
"Madden draws on extensive research—including trips to Monroeville, Ala., and interviews with classmates, colleagues and town residents—to explore how Lee’s life and times inspired her masterpiece. To Kill a Mockingbird has sold 30 million copies in 40 languages and continues to sell 10,000 copies per year, and Lee is 'one of the authors most read by [North]American students.' ...This biography will appeal to fans of the novel and to newcomers. Readers will find a fascinating portrait of an independent young woman stubbornly going her own way to become the one thing she wanted to be: a writer. Extensive source notes and an excellent bibliography round out this superb biography, one of the best in the Up Close series." Get your copy of Harper Lee: Up Close by Kerry Madden—Kirkus Reviews
Purchase both the novel and biography and re-visit this classic novel while learning about the author whose story shaped our views of racism and injustice. If you are in Whistler, get your copy from Armchair Books. WR members receive a 10% discount. Treat yourself to The Guardian's round-up of pics of the author.
NEW VENUE INFO. The next Whistler Reads discussion takes place this summer on July 10th from 5:00-6:15 pm at the Whistler Public Library community room. Admission is free with donations accepted at the door. We'll be heading down the village stroll directly after to reserved patio tables at a restaurant location for a lovely 3-course dinner to take advantage of two Whistler "greats: great food and great conversation. Enjoy cocktails and wine, fine dining and laughter as we carry on the festivities into the summer evening and watch the alpenglow over the mountain tops. (Cost is your bar bill added to price fix menu of two choices over a three course meal.)
There's still time to purchase your copy of Deloume Road published by Knopf Canada. This is our 30th book selection and you're going to love it. It is written by first-time Vancouver Island author, Matthew Hooton. Matthew was named one of Canada's new literary talents to watch. Matthew's prose captures the Pacific Northwest in a style reminiscent of other favorite regional authors whose work shows a reverence for and understanding of the natural physical world; I'm thinking John Vaillant (The Golden Spruce), Steve Gutterson (Snow Falling on Cedars), with a bit of W.O. Mitchell thrown in for good measure. What these authors share is an understanding of place and an understanding of character all wrapped up in a compelling, suspenseful read. They combine the immigrant and native perspective as it intersects the relationships between men and within nature. You will recall Vaillant's book dealt with the mystery surrounding the eco-terrorism of the golden spruce giant destroyed in the Queen Charlottes, and Gutterson's novel was set on a small Gulf Island community of Nordic and Japanese immigrants at conflict over a murder trial. Matthew's novel takes place on Vancouver Island on the titular rural road and it involves several families, acclimated, immigrant and native whose lives intersect with escalating levels of suspense and mystery one hot summer.
The next Whistler Reads meeting is SATURDAY May 1st, 4:00pm at the Whistler Public Library, in the community room. The book under discussion is FOOD RULES by Michael Pollan. Panelists are: Andrée Janyk (Olympic mom of Michael and Britt Janyk and a leader in health and fitness), Cat Smiley (Fitness Trainer and founder of the Whistler Boot Camp), Craig MacKenzie (Youth Director of WORCA) passionate about community initiatives for youth, Irene Gutteridge (Kinesiologist with a Masters in Biomedical Science) trained in Moshe Feldenkrais method of rehabilitation. Chris Shackleton, MD (former Professor of Surgery, UCLA School of Medicine) who is helping to shape health care policy to reverse obesity trends. And last but not least Anna Helmer (Whistler-Pemberton's SLOW FOOD movement) who will connect us to the local food chain. This covers all the angles and pulls local experts who, as it turns out, are also national experts from the eduction, fitness, community, health and food supply sectors. We invite you to join in and tell us your food rules, your thoughts on these trends.
How on earth did Whistler Reads pick this skinny little book? What's it got to teach (we health-conscious, fitness-obsessed) Whistlerites?
Like you I was impressed by our nation's response to the 2010 Olympics - not just in the host cities of Vancouver and Whistler but from coast to coast. Our athletes, their parents and coaches, and the people who helped fund the athletics are to be congratulated. Canada won an unprecedented number of medals. Regardless of your thoughts on the "own the podium" mantra, we also won the most gold between countries. Delirious spectators dressed in red and white hockey jerseys and all manner of Olympic swag broke into spontaneous choruses of the national anthem everywhere. Canadian flags now adorn porches and house windows, and flutter on the sides of cars confirming that a new era of uncharacteristic patriotism has swept this country. Now is the time to harness the post-Olympic spirit, take that unity of purpose and apply it toward a common goal. Let's encourage each and every Canadian to a higher standard of health and fitness. The shocking fact is that Canadians, like our neighbors to the south, are victims of a national epidemic of obesity. A full 60% of people are overweight or obese. We eat too much (of the wrong foods) and exercise too little. Don't believe me? Watch this
The Whistler Reads initiative is fashioned on the "One Book One City" programs popular across North America. Want to be a part of this exciting community venture, meet authors, discover new books, join the biggest book group in BC? Check out the list of past books and events below. We welcome all newcomers and drop-in resort visitors alike. This is a great place to meet locals if you are new to Whistler. "Whether you live work or come to play in Whistler—read what Whistler Reads!" says WR Founder, Paula Shackleton.
The first book event kicking off the 2010 season in Whistler is going to be a doozy. Don't miss the 28th Whistler Reads book group discussion on Febuary 7th 2010 (apres ski) 4:00-5:30pm at 3313 Peak Drive on Blueberry Hill, Whistler - the home of Chris and Angela. (Tickets: $20 at door or online below) We are thrilled to bring you BC author Annabel Lyon, whose third book The Golden Mean (Random House Canada) was shortlisted for not one, not two, but for three of Canada's literary prizes: both the 2009 Governor General the Giller Prize winning her the the Rogers Writers' Trust Prize. (The Golden Mean is currently #3 on amazon.ca) This is the fictionalized story of Greek philosopher Aristotle's unique relationship to the boy who would become Alexander the Great. The title of the book, the golden mean, is a term used to describe the desirable middle between two extremes, one of excess and the other of deficiency. For example courage, a virtue, if taken to excess would manifest as recklessness and if deficient as cowardice. Socrates teaches that a man "must know how to choose the mean and avoid the extremes on either side, as far as possible". Buddha taught "the Middle Way" in 6th century B.C., sharing the supremely important notion that the main purpose of our existence is to lead a good life. Hence, in heralding the New Year with this book and this author, we are bringing together philosophies from many corners of the earth and from a fascinating point in history. Sound like a great way align your 2010? Purchase a copy of this book for yourself and for those bibliophiles in your world. Join us for Whistler Reads' first event of 2010. RSVP required. (OR your ticket purchase will put you on the guest list.)
What if you were a famous band member who traveled around the world? And what if you liked to take your handy fold-up bike with you when on tour, and get out into the streets and neighborhoods of cities like London, Sydney, Manila, Berlin, Buenos Aires, San Francisco, Detroit, New York? And what if you kept a diary of all the landscapes and architecture you saw, the fashion, culture and art you experienced, and the people that you met? That would be kind of interesting, don't you think? Well, Talking Heads band member, David Byrne did just that. A resident of New York city who started riding his bike exclusively in the 1980s, David has also been touring, cycling, and writing about it from this unique perspective for the past two decades. His notes, photos and musings were published last month in a book titled, Bicycle Diaries. It's a "highly personal mixture of humor, curiosity, and... views on urban planning, art, culture and postmodern society in general." According to Byrne, “Our values and hopes are sometimes awfully embarrassingly easy to read. They’re right there – in the storefronts, museums, temples, shops, and office buildings and in how these structures interrelate, or sometimes don’t… Riding a bike through all this is like navigating the collective neural pathways of some vast global mind“. As candid and engaging as it is cerebral and informative. If you like the band, touring by bike, or are interested in this unique perspective of world cities from a bicycling urban-planner point of view, get Bicycle Diaries. Whistler Read founder, Paula Shackleton says, "This is our 26th book title and it's going to include: chapter readings from the book, videos of Talking Heads band in concert, and our partnered affiliation of Whistler's Off Road Cycling Association - WORCA members talking about their own adventures on bikes. Venue is the FIREROCK LOUNGE, Westin Hotel, Whistler Save the date: November 25th, 7:30-9:30 pm - That's the day before the Whistler/Blackcomb ski mountains open to the public and the beginning of the Winter Olympic Ski seasons commences. The mood will be celebratory! We invite all visitors to Whistler to drop-in, as well as those people curious to see what goes on at a village book group discussion, and extend a warm 'welcome back' to all our regulars from near and far!" (See details for joining WR)
When Alice Munro publishes a new book of short stories, it becomes an international literary event. Too Much Happiness (available Aug 25th 2009, McClelland & Stewart/Canada; Knopf/US; and Chatto & Windus/UK) is her 14th book. Considered Canada’s most important living writer and a master of the short story genre, Munro's writing routinely receives accolades from luminaries of the literary world and she's bestowed with prestigious national and international awards: the Giller Prize twice, the Governor General award thrice, and in 2009 she was awarded the Man Booker International Prize for her lifetime body of work. (What next, the Nobel?) She has had an international following since the 70s and is described as "Canada's Chekhov" for her style of writing. Wouldn't you agree, it’s about time we all read Alice Munro? Read my review in the Pique and get your tickets ($15) here. Bring a friend and be entered into the draw for free books.
Summer is a favorite season in Whistler. The days grow long, the valley heats up, and people spread out to hike, bike, golf, canoe, dine al-fresco and participate in the village's summer art programs put on by the Whistler Arts Council. This summer Whistler Reads is adding to the fun. On Thursday July 30th, 2009 at 7:30 pm at the Whistler Public Library we'll be discussing Sarah Thornton's award-winning book about the Contemporary Art scene titled, Seven Days In The Art World. "It's a literary-art event", says Founder Paula Shackleton "that starts with delicious Cedar Creek wines and light jazz entertainment, followed by an impressive five-member panel of local to international art specialists who will gather to discuss this book from their various perspectives within the art world. If you are an artist, a collector, a gallery owner or simply interested in this fascinating subculture, ask yourself: Why is the art market thriving despite the economy? What defines art? How does an artist achieve success and even fame? How do curators determine what to collect? Join us!
Use the link to purchase the book online today and slip it into your beach bag or suitcase for summer reading. If you're a local, pick-up a copy from Armchair Books in the village. "I can't think of a better way to celebrate the fusion of art and books," says Shackleton. Listen to BookBuffet's interview with the author, Sarah Thornton. (Podcast here.)
When Sir Ernest Shackleton was looking for men to join his expedition to the South Pole in 1914 at the outbreak of WWI, the advertisement read: "Men wanted for hazardous journey. Small wages. Bitter cold. Long months of complete darkness and constant danger. Safe return doubtful. Honor and recognition in case of success."
Over 5,000 people responded to fill 24 positions. What ensued was an epic journey that while a historic failure—has none-the-less become the stuff of legend. Shackleton's autobiography is required reading for every adventurer or outdoors enthusiast—be they ocean mariner, mountain climber, wilderness survivalist or just your average human being interested in epic tales and the bi-gone era of exploration on this earth. There are several versions of the story; the one told by Ernest Shackleton himself and by various historians. Movies and A&E hit television miniseries have been made, and all of them have the key elements of a gripping story: a hero, his quest, a cast of characters, the catastrophe that threatens to destroy them, and the skill, stamina, courage and perseverance required from each to deliver them to safety. This is a story whose ending cannot be spoiled.
This event is sponsored by One Ocean Expeditions with guest speaker Andrew Prossin, Ones' Managing Director who is as passionate as you could get about the polar regions, from his extensive 16 years of travel there. He is bringing along stories and stunning pictures from The South!
Pick up one of the recommended books and join local Whistlerite, Christopher Shackleton in discussion about this epic story about a fascinating man and his contribution to the 20th century. Whistler Public Library, Sunday May 31, 2009 from 3-5 pm. This is the 23rd book that the Whistler Reads public book group will be discussing. Everyone is welcome. Whether you live, work or come to play here, read what Whistler Reads!" Details on how to join, stay in touch with us, and attend follow. RSVP me if you plan to attend, and purchase one of the bulk order of books brought in to Armchair Books here in Whistler. email: paulas (@) bookbuffet.com
Don't miss the next Whistler Reads discussion March 19th at the Nita Lake Lodge library 2131 Lake Placid Road Whistler, British Columbia. Opening comments by John Weston MP Whistler, West Vancouver, Sea to Sky and Sunshine Coast with special guest speaker, Graham E. Fuller (bio enclosed) Tickets $10 ($15 at the door) and your first glass of wine is free. The book selection is The Reluctant Fundamentalist (Harcourt Press) by Mohsin Hamid. It's a short, provocative fiction title—a novelette actually—whose theme and deceptively funny writing style will intrigue you. It's a one-night-stand book. Easy, you think... however, it will leave you thinking long afterwards, and have all of us discussing its many facets at the next meeting!
The premise of "The Reluctant Fundamentalist" is two strangers meet, and over the span of several courses at a restaurant become acquainted. However only one of the two dialogues is represented in the book. The reader is left to envision the reaction of the other guest by the comments of the single narrator. There is a growing tension between the two men, and the climactic ending will leave the reader trying to surmise what may or may not have just happened, who was responsible and how "chance" the meeting was. Interested? Thought so. This book has been optioned by Director Mira Nair of Monsoon Wedding fame. I've read several post 9/11 stories, but none have struck me as such an accurate portrayal of...
You'd be forgiven if you thought Hot, Flat, and Crowded is a nightmare vacation experience instead of the title of Thomas Friedman's latest book published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, and rated #16 of all books on Amazon and bestseller lists everywhere. But if we don't all read this book, we may be in for conditions like this world-wide, and sooner than we think. This coming January 4th, 2009 Whistler Read's pick will be discussed by a panel of local Whistlerites and you at the Whistler Public Library 1:30-2:30. We hope you join us in tackling a serious discussion on the material brought forward in Friedman's book. The Boston Globe writes, "A compelling manifesto that deserves a wide reading, especially by members of Congress and candidates for President." Still not convinced? View this compelling video of the author speaking to Charlie Rose. See details for speakers and other resources and how to JOIN WR.
What has 88 keys, is tuned by a blind man, and played by an obsessive compulsive genius? Answer: The object of desire in Katie Hafner's new biography A Romance on Three Legs: Glenn Gould's Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Piano (MCcLelland & Stewart). Meet CD318. A concert grand piano hand-made by Steinway; she's a little old, a little battered and almost forgotten when she's discovered at the back of the Eatons flagship store showroom in Toronto back in 1960 by the young iconic Canadian pianist, Glenn Gould. The third "leg" of the story comes from Verne Edquist, the near-blind Saskatchewan farm boy who possessed the ear and training to meet Gould's demanding standards. All three combined to produce the sound that would be recorded for posterity in the famous sessions of Gould's most productive 10 years of life before his untimely death. Join me Thursday November 6th, 7:30pm at the Whistler Public Library in discussing this three-pronged tale. You don't have to be a Canadian or a particularly sophisticated music lover to enjoy this story. I've just completed the author podcast, which we'll debut at the next Whistler Reads book club meeting. If we have sufficient early interest, we will bring the author herself to speak to us. I'll let you know when the first 20 people sign up to attend. As well, we'll view segments of a related film documentary and hear expert guest speaker Paula McLaughlin, Professor of Music from UBC. Visit Katie Hafner's website.
Locals can stop into Armchair Books in the village where we have reserve copies for WR members at 10% discount. Get your $15 ticket now. (Your receipt is your ticket.) Tickets purchased at the door are $20. WR is a proud partner of the Whistler Public Library.
May 28th was the 100th anniversary of the birth of Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond 007. To commemorate the date the Fleming estate commissioned renowned British fiction author, Sebastian Faulks to write a new novel for the series, released around the world in 21 languages amid a blaze of publicity not seen since the last Harry Potter book. It's titled Devil May Care (James Bond). It was the Whistler Reads pick for the summer, and members had frivolous fun at the September 13th party! Check out the event pictures and the resources we collected for you. Consider making a donation to Whistler Reads
The next Whistler Reads (WR) meeting will take place May 10th at the WPL. This is our eighteenth book pick. Alternating between fiction and nonfiction titles, we have chosen The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama. With the Democratic primaries heating-up in the neck-to-neck race between Hillary and Obama, this is going to be a stunning meeting. We have a political skit planned by a former Second City actor and his team. Conservative candidate John Weston (Sea to Sky Corridor + Sunshine Coast) will discuss the book and field questions. John is himself an author, and he is passionate about Obama's non-partisan politics. Listening to John's voice message I learned he is muliti-lingual, and speaks English, French and Mandarin fluently. Don't forget - Sunday is Mothers Day. Bring yours and we'll have a long-stemmed rose waiting for her.
Libration joins "celebration" with "library," though I'm uncertain whether it's a noun or a verb - possibly both! April 11th-19th. Details are inside, but Save The Date for Saturday April 12th when BookBuffet/Whistler Reads Founder, Paula Shackleton hosts four stunning Vancouver writers: David Chariandy, Shaena Lambert, Timothy Taylor and Teresa McWhirter come to Whistler. What do they have in common? They each live in Vancouver. They each published a new book in 2007 that is garnering popular and critical acclaim. Join us fireside at the WPL from 6-8 pm for "Writing On The Edge: Perspectives of BC Writers." What is it about Vancouver's geography, economy, politics, history, climate, multiculturalism, or our proximity to the border that affects these writers? Check-out the Libration poster for all the events and activities
Our next Whistler Reads book selection is going to appeal to all the male (and female) members who joined last month who tend to nonfiction. Challenge yourself to some world-class fiction. To our regular members, you are in for a treat. The spare, haunting prose of Per Petterson, Norway's most prominent fiction writer, has been receiving critical acclaim worldwide for his third novel, Out Stealing Horses: A Novel. Published by Graywolf Press, this story will captivate you from the first page forward. The style is nothing like typical North American prose. Here is a book I would encourage you to read out loud to family or friends in segments each night,for the pure pleasure of capturing this beautiful translated work. Join us at the Whistler Public Library on Thursday, March 6th 7-9 pm. Discussion Questions Below
Follow the example of Whistler Reads - a village book group that is now on its sixteenth book selection, The Age of Turbulence by Alan Greenspan. This discussion promises to be one of the most thought provoking of the year. It is a must-read for anyone involved in business, finance, economics, politics or who simply wants to understand how the world operates. Penguin writes, "This book is the distillation of a life's worth of wisdom and insight into an elegant expression of a coherent world view. The Age of Turbulence will stand as Alan Greenspan's personal and intellectual legacy." Hosted by BC Entrepreneur of the Year Lukas Lundin, and with special guest speaker Glen Donaldson PhD from the Sauder School of Business. With economists forecasting a recession, the changes to the Cnd-US currency exchange rates, and the banks reeling from the sub-prime mortgage crisis - it behooves you to attend this talk. Don't miss the chance to meet Mr. Greenspan at a sold out event in Vancouver later in January. Sponsorship generously provided by Lundin Mining. Plus, Lukas Lundin has donated two tickets to see Greenspan that will be up for raffle at the January 4th discussion. Join WR and get your ticket for Jan 4th online today! $20 advance/ $25 at the door
What makes us women? Whistler Reads fifteenth reading selection November 1st at the Durlacher Hof was a resounding success as members new and old (with tourist visitors attending from Mexico and Switzerland) had a one-hour conversation with the author, Dr. Louann M. Brizendine, via speaker phone. Available as podcast shortly As a neurobiology undergrad at Berkeley in the '70s, Louann asked the question, "Why is there no research study results of female animal behavior and brain physiology?" Since that time, researchers like Louann have, along with advances in non-invasive MRI and PET scanners, learned a wealth of information encapsulated in Dr. Brizendine's book, The Female Brain. Written in an easy to read, "Ahhah!" format that weaves what Publisher's Weekly calls "a trove of information and stunning facts" and that Huffington exclaims is "bloody brilliant ... answers questions that have plagued me for years, as well as ones I hadn't even formulated yet."
The Whistler Writers and Readers Festival takes place September 14-16th. This year event organizer Stella Harvey and her Vicious Circle team invited Whistler Reads to take part. Sign up for a class. Don't miss our readers and writers mixer, Saturday Sept 15th 8-10 pm at Millennium Place. This evening is arranged and moderated by Whistler Reads founder, Paula Shackleton. It's Book Club Night when you get to chat with author Jen Sookfong Lee about her wonderful novel that is set in Vancouver's Chinatown, The End of East (Knopf, Canada). Thanks to our sponsors who are providing door prizes. WR now boasts ~200 members. Everyone is welcome. "Whether you live, work or play in Whistler -- read what Whistler is reading." Join the WR Shanghai Tang After-Party, 10-12 pm at Ric's Mix Lounge located nearby. Tickets and how to join WR below.
&deThe Whistler Reads group is set to discuss this year's Mann-Booker prize winner, Inheritance Of Loss by Kiran Desai on Thursday July 5th at 7pm at the Tandoori Grill restaurant in Whistler. With the group membership approaching 200, Founder Paula Shackleton is thrilled to see the support of the Sea to Sky corridor that includes the communities of West Vancouver, Squamish and Pemberton. "It is very exciting to see members from each of these communities participating in Whistler Reads. We welcome everyone - individuals, member of other groups, locals and visitors. Our mantra is, 'whether you live, work or play here'. Exciting opportunities are on the way!" Here is a list of research and discussion points the group will cover. Why not join WR today?
The Path Gallery, owned by Brit Germann was the perfect location for this month's Whistler Reads (the village book group) discussion of Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden. This critically and popularly acclaimed novel is set in both Ontario and the trenches of WWI France where Canadians distinguished themselves in the courageous battle of Vimy Ridge. Three Day Road powerfully evokes this history from a Canadian Native perspective in the same way that Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five has etched in our minds the bombing of Dresden WWII. Horrifying and beautiful, it will resonate with the group for a very long time. Take a look at the discussion of this novel, which is certainly destined to become a Canadian classic.
The Whistler Reads village book group met March 7th at 7pm at Millennium Place to discuss Margaret MacMillan's award winning, Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World (Random House) Three community members (City Councillors and the former Mayor of Whistler) brought history to life with a fun MadLib of the world leaders from the conference; (see pictures) the audience watched them argue and debate the terms of the peace and participated with their own comments and questions. Margaret MacMillan "addressed" the WR group via an earlier podcast interview with WR Director, Paula Shackleton. Fabulous Alsace regional wine was provided by Dundarave Wine Cellar with tasting notes and given out as door prizes. Thanks to Telus, for their support of WR literacy arts in our community.
The life of doctors and the medical profession has been a source of fascination to the general public for years as witnessed by the success of television series from "ER" and "House," going back to "Marcus Welby" and "Ben Casey." Doctors and nurses do consult on the sets to ensure authenticity, and sometimes they cross-over careers to become professional writers. Vincent Lam's first novel, Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures (Anchor Canada 2006) won Canada's most prestigious literary award -- the Giller Prize for this first work. It gives the raw and honest perspective of medical students and young physicians struggling with the demands of the profession in the Canadian healthcare system. Click on the title for the full article. This is Whistler Reads "January" book discussion: Spruce Grove Field House 7pm Jan 24th. WR partners with the Whistler Public Library
Our Whistler Reads Cornucopia party last year was such a success, they have asked us to do it again! Join us in Whistler, November 10th for a "Suffragette Luncheon" with Seattle author, Kit Bakke whose first novel, Ms. Alcott's E-mail (David R Godine Books, Sept 2006) is getting rave reviews. Wine provided by Sumac Ridge EstateWinery and a delicious lunch and demonstration by Vancouver's hottest new restaurant, NU. Purchase Tickets Here. Learn more...
You live in Whistler or own recreation property. You've just learned of our village wide book group and want to participate. You found a book mark or viewed a poster talking about WHISTLER READS during your vacation and want to stay in touch with the community and people. You're a BookBuffet member and have never been to Whistler but are intrigued by our group and the books we choose.
All good reasons to Join WHISTLER READS!! Here's how.
The golden spruce was a three hundred year-old living monument and arboreal miracle. In 1997 it was tragically cut down by an eco-terrorist, whose identity it emerged was a handsome, increasingly disturbed professional forester by the name of Grant Hadwin. The tree was revered by the Haida First Nations, and had become a destination the world over for people fascinated by its unique, golden beauty. This is the story of a man, a tree, a culture and a primary economy of the Pacific Northwest. This book is a must read for anyone interested in BC.
Whistler Reads hosts Governor General winner for literature, John Vaillant for a public discussion forum and reading of his new book, The Golden Spruce (Knopf, Canada) This video was uploaded after the event for those of you who missed it. As you will see, John is a delightful man, as thoughtful and well-spoken as his writing is sensitive and evocative.
Come meet John Vaillant. June 7th at 7pm hosted in a beautiful Whistler view home. Advance Ticket Purchase Required. Buy this book online or at Armchair Books in Whistler Village where Whistler Reads members receive 10% off. Join WR today [click on "Register" select "New member of existing group" type Whistler Reads in the Group name box] and be a part of Whistler's reading community - whether near or far!
March 4th through 11th was Women’s Week in Whistler. The whole resort turns it on for ladies with a series of ski, snowboard and sport camps, spa packages and shopping sprees, charity dinners to benefit women’s issues such as breast and ovarian cancer, and fun nights out on the town with hip-hop and pole dancing sessions. Millennium Place hosted a panel discussion with five diverse professional women from the village, and BookBuffet’s President Paula Shackleton was one of the speakers addressing the issue of “Finding Balance,” that elusive but necessary goal of modern life facing all women juggling careers, businesses, family with fitness and health. Here’s what they said.
If last night's event is any indication, book groups everywhere can look forward to fun-filled times when they join the wineandbook group sponsored by WomenWine.com and Bookbuffet.com. Pauline Holdstock, shortlisted Giller Prize nominated author of Beyond Measure (Cormorant. Canada) A Rare and Curious Gift (Norton, USA) was special guest at an Italian Renaissance themed event in Whistler. BC.
BookBuffet Founder Paula Shackleton announces a new partnership with Women & Wine, a website dedicated toward educating women about wine and offering fabulous trips to wine country. You already drink wine while discussing books -- why not present wines with books as chosen by experts? Wait -- there's a great launch party!
Whistler Reads is the citywide (make that, village-wide) reading group launched this month by founder, Paula Shackleton. The inaugural book is appropriately, the 2005 Canada Reads selection, Rockbound by Frank Parker Day. Attendees heartily agreed what a fascinating read the book was, providing ample discussion points into hereto little known (to us) segment of Nova Scotia history, with wonderfully written characters and the chance to delve into the interesting biography of the author himself.
This work had a peripatetic publishing track record as well: it was released to the public in 1928 by Doubleday amidst a minor scandal as members of the Lunenburg community, who recognized themselves and their way of life profiled so accurately, they felt embarrassed and betrayed with the apparent deception of Parker-Day living and writing in their midst, quietly studying their ways, dialectic speech and frontier ethics. When the book fell out of print it was picked up by University of Toronto Press in 1978 and again, dropped back onto the backlist. Finally upon winning the Canada Reads 2005 contest Rockbound was catapulted (by Canadian publishing standards) into popular interest, and re-printed three more times with sales surpassing 30,000 copies.
Set in the 1920′s in a remote corner of Nova Scotia, Canada the book deals with the true-grit realism and immigrant experience of a community of subsistence fisherman and farmers who battle against the classic forces of nature and the human drama of love, loneliness, ambition, jealousy and greed. Parker creates realistic, yet archetypal characters.
Whistler, British Columbiais a full-season destination resort offering unparalleled skiing and snowboarding in the winter—and opportunities for aprés reading. BookBuffet's Paula Shackleton spent her holiday doing both.