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International Festival of Authors Goes Blogging

by monique t
News / August 22, 2006

Toronto's International Festival of Authors has started a blog. It's brand new so please have a look.


Some of the great authors attending the IFOA this year are Patrick McCabe, Jon McGregor and Julie Burtinshaw. Watch for more details about their upcoming books and check out the IFOA website for details on their events: http://www.readings.org

Nobel Prize-Winning Author Admits to Serving in Hilter’s SS

by monique t
News / August 14, 2006

Gunter Grass, author of the The Tin Drum, Crabwalk, and many other works of fiction and nonfiction, announced in an interview Saturday that he served in Hitler's Waffen SS, the combat arm of the Nazis during the Second World War.

The confession has stirred up mixed feelings among historians, reviewers, fans and Grass' biographer. The CBC reports that Gunter "Grass has always been a critic of German society, pushing people to come to terms with their Nazi past. For decades, he has said that he was drafted in 1944 and held as a prisoner of war until 1946."

Although many condemn Grass for keeping the secret for 60 years, there are those like German-Jewish writer Ralph Giordano who've offered support, "What's worse than making a mistake is not coming to terms with it."

Günter Grass is one of Germany's most celebrated contemporary writers. Novelist, poet, playwright, essayist and graphic artist, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1999. A number of his books have been translated into English and are available in from Harcourt Trade Publishers. See books from Gunter Grass.

Fall Travel

by monique t
August 01, 2006

Don't get jetlagged ... here are some fast facts on travel.

Top Destinations for Outbound Travel from Canada
1. US
2. UK
3. Mexico
4. France
5. Cuba
6. Dominican Republic
7. Germany
8. Italy
9. Netherlands
10. Spain

Other Top Contenders
1. China
2. Hong Kong
3. Japan
4. Australia

Top US States Visited by Canadians
1. New York
2. Florida
3. Washington

Top Canadian Provinces Visited
1. Ontario
2. BC
3. Quebec

Top Canadian Cities Visited
1. Toronto
2. Vancouver
3. Montreal

(Source: Canadian Travel Commission, 2004)

Top Travel Books Coming This Fall
1. A Year of Adventures, "exciting adventures for each week of the year." (Travel Guide avail. August)
2. Empire of the Soul, "Paul William Roberts insightful account of journeys in India." (Travel Writing avail. September)
3. Home As Hotel (Travel Photography avail. September)
4. Costa Rican Spanish (Phrasebooks avail. now)
5. Micronations (Self-proclaimed nations avail. September)

Lonely Planet and Responsible Travel

by monique t
News + Travel / July 31, 2006

As family vacations are in full swing, road trips planned and taken, and fall travel upon us, I'd like to point out the Lonely Planet Responsible Travel section.

Lonely Planet Responsible Travel

Lonely Planet Responsible Travel is about encouraging travellers to think about things like carbon emisions before they travel.

Lonely Planet, for example, recently launched a carbon emissions scheme for offsetting staff and authors flights, and they've included a Climate Change blurb in all Lonely Planet guidebooks. Code Green is another example of Lonely Planet's commitment to responsible travel.

Here's the keyword term to learn for 2006: START (Sustainable Travel And Responsible Tourism), Lonely Planet's name for these activities.

Check out the Lonely Planet website to read more about START, Lonely Planet founders Tony and Maureen Wheeler's thoughts on responsible travel, as well as travel tips, the real cost of your next flight, what Lonely Planet is doing to reduce waste in the production and distribution of their books, and The Lonely Planet Foundation, through which Lonely Planet commits 5% of their annual profit to charity partners around the globe.


Drawn.ca Reviews Blackstock’s Collections

by monique t
Graphica + News / July 28, 2006

Blackstock's Collections: The Drawings of an Artistic Savant is reviewed today on Drawn.ca, one of my favourite sites about illustration, art, cartooning and drawing.

Blackstock's Collections: The Drawings of an Artistic Savant is a wonderful collection of Blackstock's drawings. He creates visual lists of everything from tropical fruits to German fighter planes. Browsing through the book reminded me of drawings I made in my childhood, ever fascinated with cataloguing and classifying the seemingly mudane. (quote from Drawn.ca)

Inkstuds: A Radio Show About Comic Books

by monique t
Graphica + News / July 27, 2006

Listen to Inkstuds today with host Robin McConnel.

Inkstuds is a radio show about comic books. They had a great line up for July, which featured Fred Grisolm and Jamie Deegaley, creators of Filth, Hole, Hatesong and more; Peter Bagge, creator of Hate, Apocalypse Nerd, neat stuff and more; a retrospective on Krazy Kat with special guest Jeet Heer; AND TODAY Gareth Gaudin, creator of Magic Teeth Comics--he's doing a comic everyday for the rest of his life.

Listen Thursday (today) at 2 pm PST on C.I.T.R. 101.9 FM

Visit http://www.citr.ca/

Or listen to the podcast version of the Inkstuds radio show available on


Scrapbook Using Magnetic Poetry

by monique t
News / July 26, 2006

Scrapbooks by Design is a very cool Canadian company. The Scrapbooks by Design store first opened in Toronto in 2003, and their website allows you to order online, but it also lets scrapbookers post examples of their scrapbook layouts. I think this is a fantastic idea.

The sample shown here is from the gallery and shows one half of a two-page layout. The little word tiles are from Magnetic Poetry (distributed in Canada by Raincoast Books).

You Are Invited to the World’s Longest Barbecue

by monique t
News / July 25, 2006

Flavours of Canada presents: The World's Longest Barbecue 2006 Edition
5514 kilometres, 6 time zones, 33 million guests

Saturday, August 5 @ 6 p.m.

This is a call to action…an open invitation to all Canadians everywhere on earth to head to their grills at 6 p.m. Saturday August 5, 2006 and create the largest food event in the nation's history.

Let's celebrate our land, its ingredients and each other.

To join the party log on to http://www.flavoursofcanada.ca
Register by telling us your story; your menu and some of the special ingredients that we can claim as our own.

Cool door prizes will be awarded for the most authentic Canadian BBQ menus.

Prizes include:
BBQ Best Cookbook Special and hard cover Everyday Favourites (Canadian Living Magazine).
10 copies of the new edition of Anita Stewart's book, Flavours of Canada: A Celebration of the Finest Regional Foods (Raincoast Books).
GRAND PRIZE is a Weber Genesis Silver C gas grill valued at $850. ( http://www.weber.com )

Log on, sign up and spread the word.

The time: 6 p.m. no matter what time zone you're in!

The date: Saturday, August 5

The location: Wherever you are ... on a beach or in a northern forest; in your backyard, beside the pool, aboard a fishing boat or on your balcony ... it makes no difference. Just wave the flag while you're cooking Canadian.

Party on!

For more information visit: http://www.flavoursofcanada.ca
Or contact Anita Stewart: http://www.anitastewart.ca

Anita Stewart is the author of Flavours of Canada (published by Raincoast Books.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Available in Paperback

by monique t
Harry Potter + News / July 24, 2006

The Canadian Edition of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is available in paperback tomorrow, July 25.

About the book
It is the middle of the summer, but there is an unseasonal mist pressing against the windowpanes. Harry Potter is waiting nervously in his bedroom at the Durselys' house in Privet Drive for a visit from Professor Dumbledore himself. One of the last times he saw the Headmaster was in a fierce one-to-one duel with Lord Voldemort, and Harry can't quite believe that Professor Dumbledore will actually appear at the Dursleys' of all places. Why is the Professor coming to visit him now? What is it that cannot wait until Harry returns to Hogwarts in a few weeks' time? Harry's sixth year at Hogwarts has already got off to an unusual start, as the worlds of Muggle and magic start to intertwine ...

"... book six has all the magical whizbangery and sorcerous goings-on you could want ...There are enough loose ends to keep us all guessing until the final volume of the saga appears."--Toronto Star

"... the time you take working through this sixth and next-to-last book in J.K. Rowling's remarkable series will be well spent."--Edmonton Journal

"The pace is tight, the content multi-layered with the author packing a myriad minor plots to enhance the overall read."--Vancouver Sun

"Here we go again ... 608 pages of missing your stop and making lame excuses not to go out. It's every bit as heartbreaking and terrifying as you're secretly hoping. The best Potter yet? Could be."--Heat magazine

Book News Round-Up

by monique t
Graphica + News + Podcasts / July 21, 2006

July 19, 2006 article on MarketWatch.com by Frank Barnako, "Why Anthony Bourdain cooked up podcasts"
Link to Article: "Almost 3,000 miles from the book capital of the world, a small Canadian company is using the Internet to compete with the industry's giants ..."

July 21, 2006 article in the Tyee on must-read books on the Middle East--includes Palestine by Joe Sacco (Fantagraphics)
Link to article, "What to Read While the Cradle Burns": "Far from dry policy prescriptions, these compelling narratives stand apart from myriad other books in the field by relating the human story behind the headlines and focusing on fundamental issues that rarely make the news ..."

July 20, 3 Drawn & Quarterly books are shortlisted for the Canadian cartooning award.
Link to Quill and Quire article: In the best book category Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea by Guy Delisle, Wimbledon Green by Seth and Paul Moves Out by Michel Rabagliati join Dragonslippers: This Is What an Abusive Relationship Looks Like by Rosalind B. Penfold (Penguin Canada) and Scott Pilgrim Volume 2 by Bryan Lee O'Malley (Oni Press).

July 19: The Art of Superman Returns give-away on Jack FM
For info visit: www.m2omedia.com and scroll down to THE ART OF SUPERMAN RETURNS
"This is a must-have for true Superman fans. Daniel Wallace's The Art of Superman Returns features exclusive interviews and background detail alongside photos, sketches, storyboards and production art covering everything from the iconic 'S' logo and Metropolis, to the Fortress of Solitude and beyond!

July 18: ELLE's best books "From serious to sexy and everywhere in between, here are some hot summer reads" by Kat Tancock.
Link to the article: Featured books include Kiffe Kiffe Tomorrow by Faiza Guene (Harcourt), "... for a taste of what has been called the Bridget Jones of the Paris suburbs, pick up Kiffe Kiffe Tomorrow by French writer Faiza Guene ..." and A Year in Japan by Kate T. Williamson (Princeton Architectural Press), "... Once you've browsed through her selections of Japanese cultural tidbits, from the wide selection of beautiful washcloths to illustrations of plum, apple and cherry blossoms, you'll come away with a deeper appreciation of Japanese culture--not to mention a gorgeous book to brighten your coffee table."

July 17: New York City: 4th Edition (Lonely Planet) by Beth Greenfield & Robert Reid reviewed on the BookLoons website. Link to the article:"There's a certain quality to travel guides, an element that makes these types of books informative and instructional, but rarely entertaining. Lonely Planet's New York City guide breaks that mold. It is as full as charm, energy, and engaging, provocative attitude as the inhabitants of New York themselves."

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