Vol. 9 No. 16


Just announced! - An Evening with Louise Penny

New York Times bestselling author, Louise Penny is back with her latest Chief Inspector Gamache book, A Long Way Home. Details: http://www.writersfest.bc.ca/events/louisepenny.

Wednesday, September 3 at 7:30pm
St. Andrew's-Wesley United Church
Purchase tickets online: http://vancouvertix.artsclub.com/tickets/reserve.aspx?performanceNumber=12377&type=rentals

Click here (http://www.writersfest.bc.ca/events/louisepenny) for event details and to find out more about our special offer for bookclubs.


The TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival launches this weekend. From June 20-July 1 check out concerts with the 1800 of the world's best jazz, funk, Latin, fusion, and world music artists. The many free events include Downtown Jazz at Robson Square, David Lam Park Jazz Weekend, and Canada Day on Granville Island. www.coastaljazz.ca.

The Indian Summer Festival returns from July 3–12 with its multidisciplinary celebration of arts, ideas and diversity. The scintillating Ideas Series features writers, thinkers and performers from Canada, India and around the world including Priscila Uppal, Renee Saklikar, David Wong, Michael Yahgulanaas and Orijit Sen, as well as the Lit and Sound Cabaret.


The Colombian novelist Juan Gabriel Vásquez has been awarded the Impac Dublin literary award for his novel, The Sound of Things Falling. As an exploration of the Colombian drug trade, it "reveals how intimate lives are overshadowed by history; how the past preys on the present; and how the fate of individuals as well as countries is moulded by distant, or covert, events."


The number of children reading for pleasure has dropped significantly in the past few years. Can apps that force them to read reverse the trend? According to Salon, "this is the absolute worst way to teach your kids to read."


2013 was a good year for self-publishing. Sales rose by 79%, along with those of e-books in general—a further sign of the decline of print.

What are the top 10 feminist books? Rachel Holmes (biographer of Eleanor Marx) has picked works "from Jeanette Winterson to George Bernard Shaw, that address 'the greatest global injustice.'"

Can you identify classic crime novels by their covers? Try your luck at The Guardian's quiz, here:

A "literary map to end all literary maps" has been created. "Charles Dickens would recognize the curve of the river and the placement of the streets -- but he would be surprised to learn that his ‘Bleak House' is right across the street from something called ‘Fight Club.'"

Working-class fiction has slowly been written out of publishing, or at least that's what seems to be the case in Britain. "Publishing is in dire need of readers and yet, because of ingrained perceptions, millions of readers are unable to read about their experiences because those who commission and market new writing feel uncomfortable with something they know so little about."

How do writers achieve success? A recent survey sent to writers participating in the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books asked: Did they keep a diary as a child? Did they ever have a book rejected? Did they earn a living from writing? With answers from more than 200 authors, a literary board game was created. Try it here:

How do you move 500,000 books? The Foyles' flagship bookshop in central London was recently relocated to the former St Martins School of Arts building, less than 100 metres down Charing Cross Road. This timelapse video will show you how they did it!


J.K. Rowling has written a new novel using the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. The Silkworm features the same gumshoe team as The Cuckoo's Calling, and takes place in the "rarefied world of literary London, sending up the swollen egos and clashing ambitions of writers, editors and publishers vying for fame and top-dog standing."

Neil Gaiman is relentlessly busy, with a full slate of projects for the coming year. He was interviewed recently about his upcoming Carnegie Hall appearance, his take on "Hansel and Gretel" and the time he spent in a Jordanian refugee camp.

Stephen King's novel Joyland and an Amazon glitch have created an unexpected windfall for writer Emily Schultz.

Mary Byrd Thornton has been a fixture in American literary circles for a very long time. She's one of the founders of Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi, "a nerve center for contemporary American fiction, and a second home for a long list of Southern writers." At 63, she's finally written her first novel, called Flying Shoes.

Robert Frost is often thought to be the simplest of the great English-language modernist, though he's also one of the least understood. "Critics have looked past him because of his lack of ostensible difficulty, and we misunderstand him because of his difficulties. It is difficult even to say what they are."

The Luminato Festival is wrapping up in Toronto, all themed around the idea of "unseen" Toronto. To mark the occasion, The Globe and Mail asked five participants which books, for them, capture the city best. Here are their answers:

Speaking of Canadian cities, there's a new book out called Sensational Vancouver, which analyzes the interplay of cops, crooks and civic politicians in the city's history. "In a city whose material features are constantly changing, there's a certain comfort in knowing that, despite the fads and fashions of successive generations, Vancouver's rich and colourful criminal life is as rich and colourful as ever!"

Maile Meloy's Madame Lazarus is the short story featured in this week's New Yorker. Read the tale, and an interview with the author, here:


A Proclamation and Reading honoring Jean Barman, B.C.'s most active historian, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, as the 21st recipient of the George Woodcock Lifetime Achievement Award. Thursday, June 19 at 7:00pm, free. Alice MacKay room, lower level, Central Library, 350 West Georgia Street. More information at vpl.ca.

Features Portuguese novel The True Actor (O verdadeiro ator) by Jacinto Lucas Pires. Saturday, June 21 at 4:00pm. Free but register at eubookclub.vancouver@shaw.ca. Istituto Italiano di Cultura, 500-510 West Hastings Street, Vancouver. More information at www.alliancefrancaise.ca.

Readings by poets Lee Johnson and Susan McCaslin. Tuesday, June 24 at 7:00pm, free. Peter Kaye room, lower level, Central Library, 350 West Georgia Street. More information at vpl.ca.

The Painting is the second book in the Detective Kelly O'Brian series by Geoffrey Tigg. Wednesday, June 25 at 7:00pm. Welsh Hall West, West Vancouver Memorial Library, 1950 Marine Drive, West Vancouver. More information at westvanlibrary.ca.

Reading, Q&A and book Signing by the author of Raging Star. Thursday, June 26 at 7:00pm. Book Warehouse, 4118 Main Street, Vancouver. More information at 604-879-7737.


C.C. Humphreys launches his new novel, Plague. Monday, July 14 at 5:00pm. The Fringe Cafe, 3124 West Broadway. More information at 604-738-6977.

Author reads from her new book Abroad. Thursday, July 17 at 7:00pm. Book Warehouse, 4118 Main Street, Vancouver. More information at 604-879-7737.