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Whistler Reads: Invited Author Round-up

abstract: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.


    February 20, 2011
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  • Sarah Thornton, Seven Days in the Art World.
    Sarah continues on a worldwind speaking tour to art institutes around the globe. Most notably she is schduled to do a TED Salon talk on May 18th, 2011 in London on the topic "The Beauty of Complexity and the Complexity of Beauty,
  • Ernest Shackleton, South.
    While this intrepid South Pole explorer perished on his last polar expedition and was buried in Grytvicken, South Wales it emergesl there has been an unusual find related to his expedition story; cases of whisky and brandy left behind in 1909 were recovered in 2010, and are presently being analyzed by a distilling company for possible revival of the vintage (and since lost) formula for the particular brands found.
  • Mohsin Hamid, The Ruluctant Fundamentalist.
    Mohsin continues to represent the voice of reason in Pakistan and Afghanistan with prescient thinking in articles featured in important newspapers around the world and in television interviews for agencies like PEN and BBC. Check out this interesting piece: "Discontent and its civilizations", about violence and the illusion of civilizations, from: the International Herald Tribune. Our guest speaker for this event, Graham E. Fuller has published a new book titled A World Without Islam. We interviewed him for BookBuffet. The audio appears here.
  • Thomas Friedman, Hot Flat and Crowded.
    Thomas continues to speak to geopolitical issues such as the world Arab crisis and Foreign Affairs Journal and and climate change in his column in the NYT. He has been a key consultant on the green energy sector to President Obama and this has shaped US economic policy. Friedman brags a golf handicap of 6.4
  • Katie Hafner, A Romance On Three Legs: Glen Gould's Obsessive Quest For The Perfect Piano.
    Katie has been touring Germany and Italy where her book has been translated into those languages. As the former technology columnist at NYT people were surprised to learn of her fascination with pianos which led to this book's connection between Steinway and Canada's most famous pianist (whose recording is touring the solar system representing man's accomplishments on earth!) In 2010 William Steinway's diary had a special display in the American History Museum. He had written entries every day for 36 years of his professional life, offering readers and academics a brilliant perspective into the mind of an entrepreneur, businessman and one of America's most dynamic periods of history.
  • Sebastian Faulks, Devil May Care.
    This book was commissioned by Ian Flemming's family on the centenary of his birth as a contribution to his popular James Bond series. The latest Bond film,Bond 23 slated for release November 2012 is directed by Sam Mendez and stars Daniel Craig with rumors of Javiar Bardem performing. Sebastian Faulks' next book due for release this year is titled, Faulks on Fiction: The Secret Life of the Novel (2011). He is featured on BBC Radio 4's literary quiz "The Write Stuff".
  • Barak Obama, The Audacity of Hope
    For this book WR featured a political comedy skit comprised of local community leaders and the discussion was led by John Weston, who later won the riding election as the MP for Sunshine Coast. John is running for re-election (rumored this May) when he will be up against stiff competition from the Liberal candidate Justin Trudeau. We all know the issues President Obama has been dealing with since his election. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in '09, and by way of an update on his literary interests I thought you might like to see the list of books he's read this past year: Jonathan Frazen's Freedom, Paul Harding's Tinkers, Tom Friendman's Hot Flat and Crowded, Edmond Morris's The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, Gordon Goldstein'sLessons In Disaster: George Bundy and the path to war in Vietnam, Richard Price's Lush Life, Kent Haruf's Plainsong, George Pelacanos's The Way Home and Joseph O'Nieil's novel, Netherland. Gee, I wonder what is on George Bush's bedside table?
  • Pers Petterson, Out Stealing Horses.
    Pers has since published two more novels which we list here as Kindle versions: To Siberia, and I Curse the River of Time. Petterson was a librarian and a bookseller before he became an author. Reviews and criticisms of his latest works state that he has returned to the fine writing that his previous work (before Stealing Horses) earned him high praise transforming him into an International literary figure. Here is an excellent review of his latest book in The Guardian.
  • Alan Greenspan The Age of Turbulence, The: Adventures in a New World".
    Unfortunately Greenspan has been seen as the architect for the 2008 financial woes. He is blamed for creating several bubbles: the tech bubble, the housing bubble, and various forms of government de-regulation based on his belief in the powers of a self-correcting power of the free market economy. Whether he will become the scapegoat or the perpetrator in history, time will tell.
  • Louanne BrizintineThe Female Brain.
    She has just published the companion The Male Brain to which you can watch a video presentation here.
  • Jen Sookfong Lee The End of East.
    .Jen has been busy crisscrossing the country speaking and is a frequent contributer to CBC radio programming. She has two new books coming out. One is a YA book titled Shelter, the other is a new novel titled The Better Mother that will be available via Knopf Canada in June 2011.
  • Kiran Desai The Inheritance of Loss.
    OK, here's another revelation I was not aware of. Kiran is the partner of Orhan Pamuk. Did anybody else know that? OMG. Kiran is not mentioned as working on any works of fiction or nonfiction at present which begs the question, what do authors do once they've won prizes and hooked-up with a Nobel Laureates? Her Facebook page is here if you care to "like" her.
  • Joseph Boyden Three Day Road.
    Joseph of course has gone on to become an established Canadian literary voice. Through Black Spruce his follow up to TDR won him the Scotia Giller Prize (2008) and he and his wife Amanda who live in Florida have had to deal with the aftermath of Hurricain Katrina in their academic home on faculty at the U of New Orleans. Joseph spends summers in his beloved Canadian north lake region. He's been writing the screenplay for his first book along with his wife. My interview with Joseph is here.
  • Margaret MacMillan Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed The World.
    MacMillan served as Provost of Trinity College at the University of Toronto from 2002-2007. She was appointed Warden of St Antony's College at Oxford University in 2007. She is the great granddaughter of British Prime Minister David Lloyd George (who negotiated the peace in the history described in this book.) My interview with her is in two parts: Part I and Part II.
  • Vincent Lam Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures.
    Dr. Lam is an emergency physician at Toronto General. His first novel, Cholon, Near Forgotten about a Chinese compulsive gambler and headmaster of an English school in Saigon during the Vietnam War, will be published by Doubleday Canada. Dr. Lam's biography of Tommy Douglas will be published by Penguin Canada as part of Extraordinary Canadians series.
  • Kit Bakke Ms Alcott's E-mail
  • James P. Othmer, The Futurist
  • John Vaillant The Golden Spruce
  • Orhan Pamuk, Snow.
  • Lori Lansens The Girls
  • Pauline Holdstock Beyond Measure
  • Nick Hornby A Long Way Down
  • Andrea Levy Small Island
  • Frank Parker Day Rockbound



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