“..leaving the page of the book carelessly open” – Anne Sexton

Archive for the ‘book news’ Category

Toronto Book Awards

Posted by Carla Maria Lucchetta on September 15, 2009

Congratulations to the nominated authors for the 2009 Toronto Book Awards. The winner will be announced at the Toronto Reference Library on Oct. 15th.

Austin Clarke, Moremore

Anthony De Sa, Barnacle Love

Maggie Helwig, Girls Fall Down

Mark Osbaldeston, Unbuilt Toronto

Charles Wilkins, In the Land of Long Fingernails.

Toronto Book Awards


Posted in book news, Book Prizes, CanLit | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Fall Books 2009

Posted by Carla Maria Lucchetta on September 7, 2009

Every fall for the new big book season I do a roundup of selections for The Ottawa Citizen – usually picked up by most CanWest papers.

munro new 2009Due to editing, for some reason Doug Coupland’s Generation A got left off. Now I’m a huge Coupland fan so I would generally always recommend him, but I’ve also read the new book and it’s well worth the read.

A Bountiful Harvest: Highlights of a fall season full of richesgen a

Posted in book news, CanLit, new releases, reviews | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Frank McCourt

Posted by Carla Maria Lucchetta on August 3, 2009

mccourt.184.3.650It was very sad to hear that Irish/American teacher/writer, Frank McCourt had died. It got me thinking about the two times I’ve been lucky enough to meet him.

Read about it here.

Posted in book news, My Bookshelf | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

February by Lisa Moore, reimagines the Ocean Ranger disaster

Posted by Carla Maria Lucchetta on May 31, 2009

In February of 1982 the Ocean Ranger, a large “unsinkable” oil rig sank to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Newfoundland. All 84 crew members (men) working aboard were killed, 67 were Canadian, 59 were from Newfoundland.  At the time, it was the largest offshore drilling accident in Canadian history and devastating to the families of the drowned men.

I wish I could say I remembered this, but I don’t. I have, however, recently watched news reports on the tragedy and it’s scope is pretty amazing, the confusion around the causes pretty evident. You see all the hallmarks of modern PR there, spin, denial, deflection. In the end, several new safety and training procedures were adopted around, what was then, fairly new oil drilling technology. A little too late for the loved ones of the lost.

The sinking of the Ocean Ranger lives on in the hearts, minds and memories of Newfoundlanders. An internet search brings up literature, music and films that document the event and its after effects.

feb lisa mooreIn her new book, February (Anansi, June 2009), Lisa Moore has imagined life after this tragedy for a young family. It’s a powerful novel full of insight into how life goes on, in spite of us, even if it leaves broken slivers of hearts in its wake.

It wouldn’t be surprising to learn that one result of losing a brother, husband, father or son to the sea would be loneliness. Loneliness is hard to write about without becoming maudlin, or cliche. Lisa Moore does not have that problem. She seems to understand this very human facility. It’s amazing just how well she can put words to an extremely indescribable emotion.

Ms. Moore is a new author to me. Though she’s been twice nominated for the Giller Prize, I have not read any of her previous books. I like knowing I can go back to her list, learn more about her craft and lose myself in her stories.

Of course, I recommend this book. You’ll be surprised how it makes you feel.

Posted in book news, CanLit, My Bookshelf, new releases, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

BC Book Prizes winners

Posted by Carla Maria Lucchetta on April 27, 2009

mangameCongrats to Lee Henderson who won the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize for The Man Game (Penguin).

And Gabor Mate, winner of the Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize for In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts. (Random House). Other BC Book Prize-winners can be found here.hungry-ghosts

Posted in book news, Book Prizes, CanLit | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Quill & Quire says goodbye to editor

Posted by Carla Maria Lucchetta on April 16, 2009

This is a sad but fitting tribute and loving article to Derek Weiler, Quill & Quire‘s editor who died earlier this week at the far-too-young age of 40.

Saying Goodbye

For those of you in Toronto who’d like to celebrate Derek’s life there is a gathering at the Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen Street  W., on Wednesday, April 29th at 8 pm.

Life is short, let the people in your life know you love them and appreciate them.

Posted in book news | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Derek Weiler 1968-2009

Posted by Carla Maria Lucchetta on April 13, 2009

I woke up this morning to the tragic news that Derek Weiler had died. We in the Canadian book world know Derek as the excellent editor of Quill & Quire, our publishing industry bible. I’ve met him on a number of occasions, and pitched him stories over the years, but I didn’t know him personally. Many others did and anyway you look at it, it’s a terrible loss, at only 40 years of age.


Here are a couple of tributes with, I’m sure, many more to come.

Quillblog, Obituary

Farewell, Derek Weiler, Martin Levin, Globe Books


Steven Beattie‘s tribute

Author Emily Schultz’s thoughts via The Joyland Blog

A few words from Arsenalia

Derek’s friends, colleagues and family have gathered on this Facebook dedication page to share memories and photos.

Posted in book news | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

The Flying Troutman long listed for Orange Prize

Posted by Carla Maria Lucchetta on March 17, 2009

flying-troutmansMiriam Toews’ lively and excellent novel, The Flying Troutmans, published by Knopf Canada, is the only Canadian work on the Orange Prize long list, announced today. Winner of last year’s Roger’s Writers Trust Fiction Prize, this was one of my favourite reads of last year. One of those books you fly through because it’s so much fun to read, and when the last page is done, you just want to start at the beginning again.

The Orange Prize is open to books written in English and published in England. The short list will be announced April 21st and the award given out on June 3rd.

Congrats and good luck Miriam!

Posted in book news, Book Prizes, CanLit, My Bookshelf | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Giller International

Posted by Carla Maria Lucchetta on March 16, 2009

Lots of rumblings on Twitter and in the media today about the Giller Prize choosing non-Canadian judges for this years awards. Judges chosen are Canada’s Alistair MacLeod, Britain’s Victoria Glendinning and from the United States, Russel Banks. I say, big deal. And so does Globe Books editor Martin Levin on his blog.

The Giller has sadly developed the reputation, along with other Canadian book/arts prizes, of being too political, and/or biased. Maybe this will help.

It’s hard to believe the Giller celebrates its fifteenth year. I remember it in its infancy and though I haven’t been in the last few years, I fondly remember it as an inspirational and extravagant night for Canadian literature. I doubt that will ever change.

Posted in book news, Book Prizes, CanLit | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

The value of book reviews

Posted by Carla Maria Lucchetta on March 13, 2009

According to a poll conducted by Globe Books online (so far at least) the  majority of people choose their books based on reviews. Glad to hear it!

I’ve been reviewing books for more than a decade and always try to highlight what I think a potential reader is looking for in a book. I don’t write reviews to appease the author, publisher or other writers. Having said that, you are in a very precarious place when you’re a reviewer who is also a writer. One day your book will land on someone’s desk to critique. Karma and all.

Books, no matter their skill or talent level, always have redeeming qualities and, in my somewhat informed opinion (based on the sheer volumes I have read), they are like people. You can’t like all of them all the time. I try to focus on the positive and on the elements of a book that are universally appealing.

Some of the books I’ve reviewed become personal, treasured, all-time favourites. In the next little while I’ll be starting a regular feature of Bound to Write, called My Bookshelf, where I’ll talk about books I cannot live without, nor live without seeing everyday on my shelf. (my very strong attachment to books, and the life-saving thoughts, ideas and word arrangements they contain is a topic for another — maybe many other posts)

There are a great many book blogs out there, so why should you read this one? Hopefully for the same reason people read my reviews in various publications and tell me they went right out afterward and bought the book.

Thanks for reading!

Posted in book news, reviews | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »