Musings on Place, Travel, Books, Literature, Poetry, Literary Criticism, Collecting, Media, Life and the Arts

Archive for September, 2006

September 25th, 2006 • Posted in Authors and Books

Murakami wins Second with Third

Haruki Murakami has won the second Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award for Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman, his third collection of short stories to be published in English.

The 35,000 (£23,000) prize, which is awarded to new collections published in English during the last 12 months, is the world’s richest short story prize. The prize will be shared between Murakami and his translators, Philip Gabriel and Jay Rubin. More here

September 14th, 2006 • Posted in Authors and Books

Man Booker 2006 Shortlist

Man Booker 2006 Shortlist

Desai, Kiran The Inheritance of Loss – Hamish Hamilton
Grenville, Kate The Secret River – Canongate
Hyland, M.J. Carry Me Down – Canongate
Matar, Hisham In the Country of Men – Viking
St Aubyn, Edward Mother’s Milk – Picador
Waters, Sarah The Night Watch – Virago

Looks like all the right bases have been covered.

September 13th, 2006 • Posted in Authors and Books

Another incentive for kids to Read

Secrets of the Alchemist Dar, sequel to A Treasure’s Trove, is a fantasy story about Dark and Good Fairies, spells and eclipses by Michael Stadther. But this isn’t the main reason kids are reading it. Nope, it’s the promise of major coin: the book contains clues ‘that will give anyone anywhere in the world who can read English’ a shot at finding one of the one hundred jeweled rings valued together at more than US$2 million.

Nothing like cold hard jewels (or cash…apparently winners have the choice) to encourage kids to read…

September 12th, 2006 • Posted in Authors and Books

The Role of an Exhibition Catalogue: Audio Interview with Curator David Franklin by Nigel Beale.

Audio Interview with David Franklin, Chief Curator, National Gallery of Canada

DAVID FRANKLIN is Chief Curator at the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, and editor of Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and the Renaissance in Florence, a catalogue published by Yale University Press to accompany a major exhibition of the same name held at the Gallery from May 29, 2005 to September 5, 2005.

We talk here mostly about the exhibition catalogue as book: what differentiates it from typical works of scholarly non-fiction, the challenges of catering both to the research community and the general public; What is it? A tour guide? A souvenir? A text book? Offering words for works; the drawbacks of publishing to deadline; how, ideally, catalogues should be written after exhibitions take place… But we don’t ignore content: the pragmatism of Giorgio Vasari; his art collection; the primacy of drawing in Renaissance Florence; painting as a process of investigation; and the jolting juxtaposition of illuminating essays and academic catalogue entries…

September 11th, 2006 • Posted in Authors and Books

A Selfish Fear

I’m having some difficulty coping with the shock of my father’s death. Although he went quickly, at the top of his game, and we (my sister, brother and I) did him proud in the service, the disposing of his ashes and the celebrating of his life; although the two of us had a beautiful, clear, unified, laughter-filled connection during the last years of his life and he would have wished none of this, I am experiencing sleeplessness, confusion and anxiety at the thought of slipping into depression. There is an involuntariness about physiological response to emotional shock that upsets, leaves one feeling helpless, frightened, weak, incapable and overwhelmed by the silliest things. It’s as if a selfish fear has pushed its way in, obstructing the expression of genuine sorrow

I’m assured that all symptoms mentioned above are common to mourning. My concern is that they will be long lasting and debilitating.

September 11th, 2006 • Posted in Authors and Books

Posting a Post

Nice post on John W. MacDonald’s weblog where he posts the results of searching “book collecting” using Google’s book search, here posted.

September 11th, 2006 • Posted in Authors and Books

Colin Beale Globe and Mail Obituary

Here is an obituary for my father written by Tom Hawthorn. It appears in today’sGlobe and Mail


COLIN BEALE, 73 B.C. forestry analyst became a nude model TOM HAWTHORN Vancouver — Colin Beale, who has died at the age of 73, published a newsletter on the British Columbia forest industry. After retiring, he returned to an earlier calling as a nude model. Beale’s Letter, launched in 1972, provided reportage on the state of the province’s largest industry sector. The newsletter’s contents were cited a handful of times during debate in the provincial legislature, according to Hansard. After 20 years of publishing, Mr. Beale took up drawing and painting. One day when a male model failed to show for a class, Mr. Beale took his place on a lark. He first posed as a nude art model on completing service in the Royal Navy when he found himself without money in Paris. The experience left him with a desire to be on the other side of the easel, an ambition he put aside while earning a living. He took seriously his return to modelling, studying the classic poses and relying on yoga and meditation when it became necessary to hold a pose for as long as 50 minutes. He posed at the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design. Mr. Beale was born on Jan. 8, 1933, at Tunbridge Wells, Kent. He hailed from a family of accomplishment. An uncle, Sir Louis Beale, represented Britain as general commissioner to the New York World’s Fair of 1939. Mr. Beale died of a stroke on Aug. 27 at his home in North Vancouver. He leaves a daughter, two sons, three grandchildren, a brother and a sister.

September 11th, 2006 • Posted in Authors and Books

Good Society for Booklovers to Keep


Those who’ve been following the development of this website/blog, and my radio program The Biblio File, will know that my mission is to document ‘The Book’ at the turn of the 21 Century by interviewing experts in every book-related role imaginable. The interesting thing about now is that we live with major new technology that’s blowing celluloid book content into silicon cyberspace, and with artisans dedicated to both preserving existing books, and producing fine new ones in the manner they’ve been published for centuries. So, in addition to finding audio interviews (on the left under Categories) with executives at Google, Amazon, Microsoft and abebooks on the future of book production and selling, you’ll also find conversations with antiquarian booksellers, professors and conservators about the history of the trade, and the mechanics of production. Over the coming months more attention will be paid to the latter…in short, to many of the things that the The Alcuin Society is interested in.

Whilst West Coasting it recently I picked up one of their brochures at John Fisher’s Upstart Crow Used Book shop on Lonsdale Avenue in North Vancouver. The Alcuin Society is a voluntary association of people who care about the past, present and future of fine books, it’s "For lovers of books, the book arts, fine printing and reading." From their webiste: " Founded in 1965 by Geoff Spencer and six other Vancouver bibliophiles, it is the only non-profit organization in Canada dedicated to the entire range of interests related to books and reading. These interests include authorship, publishing, book design and production, bookselling, book buying and collecting, printing, binding, papermaking, calligraphy and illustration…" They even have a blog, here. Membership information is here



Alcuin was Charlemagne’s ‘"Minister of Culture", and a respected teacher, Alcuin encouraged the study and preservation of ancient texts, contributed to the development of the lowercase alphabet and helped establish numerous schools and libraries.

September 5th, 2006 • Posted in Authors and Books

Canadian International Writers Festival Fall line ups

Line up for the 10th Annual Ottawa International Writers Festival October 1 to 7, 2006 is now out, here.

Vancouver’s (October 17-22) is here , Toronto’s ( October 18-28) here

September 5th, 2006 • Posted in Uncategorized

Father’s Life Advice

My father once told me of the time he came home after work one evening to find me buried underneath a huge mound of books I’d removed from the shelves in his study. Apparently I looked pretty happy. Don’t recall him getting mad at me…

Here, finally, from his notebook, is some life advice:

1. Do the best you can, whatever arises
2. Be at peace with yourself
3. Find a job you enjoy
4. Live simply: housing, food, clothing
5. Contact nature every day, feel the earth under your feet
6. Exercise, work, gardening, walking
7. Don’t worry, live one day at a time
8. Share something everyday, help someone else
9. Wonder at life, see humour in life
10. Observe one life in all things
11. Be kind to creatures.