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April 27th, 2015 • Posted in Authors and Books

Looking for Mordecai

The Eastern Townships, an English-speaking enclave in Southern Quebec, is located about an hour and a half´s drive from Montreal. It´s filled with modern quaint, colourfully painted, dormer-windowed

cottages, snow dusted mountains and bountiful sugar bushes. Some say it´s Quebec´s best kept secret.

Today we´re on the trail of the great (I think greatest) Canadian (writer/columnist/scriptwriter) novelist Mordecai (January 27, 1931 – July 3, 2001)  Richler (listen to my Biblio File conversation with M.J. Vasanji about him here).

First stop, the country house that Mordecai bought for his beloved wife Florence in the 1970s.  Located on Lake Memphremagog, this

secluded

retreat is where Moses Berger, protagonist of Richler´s fine novel Solomon Gursky,  lives in a cabin doggedly writing his whiskey baron´s  biography. Speaking of biography, thanks to Charles Foran for 1) Writing his brilliant portrait of the artist and 2) helping us to track this place down.

And speaking of whiskey: dotted throughout the surrounding landscape  you´ll find many of the various pubs in which Richler used to hold forth, including,

Hooters,

The Thirsty Boot,

and the Owl´s Head (sadly not the dive it once was), near this

rocket. The neat thing about these places is that they´re still frequented by old friends

and acquaintances of Mordecai´s who knew, or loved, or in some cases,

served him.

If you´re lucky, you´ll even get to talk to some of them about the good ol days.

These days you can´t grab any live wire connections to say Keats or Shelley…not so Mordecai. Try it now before these direct links disappear.  Get out on the trail of Canada´s greatest novelist today! It´s lots of fun.

April 17th, 2015 • Posted in Authors and Books

The Lyell Lectures 2015

I´ll be in Charlottesville, VA next week getting a tour of the Rare Book School at the University of Virginia. Unfortunately its director Michael Suarez wont be there (had hoped to interview him again for The Biblio File). He ´s in Oxford doing this:

Proliferating Images: Diagrams of the Slave Ship Brookes (1789)

5 May 2015 5.00pm — 5.00pm

Venue: Lecture Theatre, Weston Library (Map)

Speaker(s): Prof. Michael Suarez, SJ

Description

The Lyell Lectures 2015

Michael F. Suarez, S.J., Director, Rare Book School, University of VirginiaThe Reach of Bibliography: Looking Beyond Letterpress in Eighteenth-Century Texts

Lecture 3: ‘Proliferating Images: Diagrams of the Slave Ship Brookes (1789)’

Booking

This event is free but places are limited so please complete our booking form to reserve tickets in advance.

 

More events in the The Lyell Lectures, 2015 series

 
Engraved Throughout: Pine’s Horace (1733) as a Bibliographical Object

28 April 2015

The Lyell Lectures 2015 Michael F. Suarez, S.J. , Director, Rare Book School, University of Virginia The Reach of Bibliography: Looking Beyond Letterpress in Eighteenth-Century…

True Colours: A Natural History of Louis Renard’s Poissons (1719)

30 April 2015

The Lyell Lectures 2015 Michael F. Suarez, S.J. , Director, Rare Book School, University of Virginia The Reach of Bibliography: Looking Beyond Letterpress in Eighteenth-Century…

Singular Multiples: Comprehending the General Evening Post (1754-86)

7 May 2015

The Lyell Lectures 2015 Michael F. Suarez, S.J. , Director, Rare Book School, University of Virginia The Reach of Bibliography: Looking Beyond Letterpress in Eighteenth-Century…

Naming Names: Underwriting Patronage in Tonson’s Cæsar (1712)

12 May 2015

The Lyell Lectures 2015 Michael F. Suarez, S.J. , Director, Rare Book School, University of Virginia The Reach of Bibliography: Looking Beyond Letterpress in Eighteenth-Century…

Abridging Histories: Capt. James Cook and the Voyages of Reading (1784)

14 May 2015

The Lyell Lectures 2015 Michael F. Suarez, S.J. , Director, Rare Book School, University of Virginia The Reach of Bibliography: Looking Beyond Letterpress in Eighteenth-Century…

April 16th, 2015 • Posted in Authors and Books

Eight finalists named for 2015 Chautauqua Prize


Chatauqua Institute Hall of Philosophy

This just in from:

Sherra Babcock
Vice President, Emily and Richard Smucker Chair for Education
716-357-6316
sbabcock@ciweb.org

CHAUTAUQUA, N.Y. — Chautauqua Institution is pleased to announce eight exceptional books as the 2015 finalists for The Chautauqua Prize:

  • The Map Thief, by Michael Blanding (Gotham/Avery)
  • Byrd, by Kim Church (Dzanc Books)
  • The Bully of Order, by Brian Hart (HarperCollins)
  • Euphoria, by Lily King (Grove Atlantic/Atlantic Monthly)
  • Redeployment, by Phil Klay (The Penguin Press)
  • All Eyes Are Upon Us, by Jason Sokol (Basic Books)
  • The Scatter Here is Too Great, by Bilal Tanweer (Harper)
  • The Witch, by Jean Thompson (Blue Rider Press)

The winning book will be selected from this shortlist and announced in mid-May.

In The Map Thief, readers are taken into the high-stakes work of map dealing, a history of cartography and the true story of a rare map dealer who made millions stealing priceless pieces of history. Readers called it a “page turner” that pulled them in from the first pages, and said that Blanding “did an terrific job of weaving together the history of cartography with a gripping story of thievery, deceit and a double life.”

A novel told in vignettes and letters, Byrd is a meditation on family, the choices we make and the ripples of consequence that spread out through the years. Readers lauded Church’s ability to take the subject of adoption and shine new light upon it, in a writing style that is “succinct; Church says a lot with few words, picking her details wisely.” It is a novel, another said, with “strength and power, and a deft and delicate touch.”

The Bully of Order, a novel depicting the lawless Pacific Coast at the turn of the 20th century, tracks the lives of a family at the mercy of violent social and historical forces. Readers said that while the story is “violent, dark and crude,” Hart’s “artistry with the language” and “exacting, loving detail,” creates a clear, dramatic narrative.

Drawing on the real-life experiences and writing of Margaret Mead as inspiration, Euphoria follows the dangerously intertwined lives of three anthropologists studying tribes in New Guinea. King, readers said, “is not one to fall prey to cheap contrivances,” deftly building suspense among the “compelling depicted characters.” All told, one reader said, “Euphoria is a gem.”

In the National Book Award-winning Redeployment, the horrors of war take center stage. As they read about characters on the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan, readers called the short stories “explicit, emotional and also enlightening,” that they “cut to the marrow of the warrior. … Each skillfully constructed narrative tells a tale of emotional, physical or spiritual depths.”

All Eyes Are Upon Us is a history of race and politics in the Northeast, a region with a long and celebrated history of racial equality and liberalism. But Sokol’s book reveals the deep-seated racism in the region, and a resulting gap between its ideals and its reality. Readers called the book “timely, important and fascinating,” and Sokol’s research “clearly presented.”

Interconnected short stories make up the novel of The Scatter Here is Too Great, a love letter to the Pakistan city of Karachi, its inhabitants and the often-violent interruptions to their daily lives. Tanweer is a “masterful writer,” a reader said, while another described the work as “a lyrical meditation and a brilliant book.”

The short stories of The Witch refreshingly reintroduce readers to classic fairy tales, told in contemporary settings while still retaining the magic and suspense of their source material. Chautauqua Prize readers called Thompson’s writing “elegant in its simplicity” and “a reader’s delight,” and commended the stories for being “gripping tales, refreshing our pleasure in storytelling as an art that warns, instructs and enthralls.”

 

Awarded annually since 2012, The Chautauqua Prize draws upon Chautauqua Institution’s considerable literary legacy to celebrate a book that provides a richly rewarding reading experience and to honor the author for a significant contribution to the literary arts. The author of the winning book will receive $7,500 and all travel and expenses for a one-week summer residency at Chautauqua.

With a history steeped in the literary arts, Chautauqua Institution is the home of the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle, founded in 1878, which honors at least nine outstanding books of fiction, nonfiction, essays and poetry every summer. Further literary arts programming at Chautauqua includes summer-long interaction of published and aspiring writers at the Chautauqua Writers’ Center, the intensive workshops of the nationally recognized Chautauqua Writers’ Festival, and lectures by prominent authors on the art and craft of writing.

Details on The Chautauqua Prize are online at ciweb.org/prize.

 

April 8th, 2015 • Posted in Authors and Books

Hay-on-Wye in Maharashtra, India

The Literary Tourist, Nigel Beale, in Hay-on-Wye, 2013

This from The Indian Express, and Sandeep A Ashar in Mumbai:

“At a time when traditional book stores are shutting down in the face of competition from online stores, Maharashtra is planning to promote a new “town of books” on the lines of the Welsh town of Hay-on-Wye, famous for its book stores and literary festivals.

The proposed book town in the state will be close to popular tourist destinations such as Mahabaleshwar or Ganapatipule.

The proposal, currently in its early stages, envisages identifying a town that can boast of bookstores with a vast and rich literary collection and which can attract both writers and readers.

State’s Cultural Affairs Minister Vinod Tawde, who had recently visited the Welsh town, said that for branding this initiative, the state government would host a week-long literary festival every summer. “We will invite famous …Read more here.

April 7th, 2015 • Posted in Authors and Books

Redwood Library and Athenaeum 50 per cent Off Book Sale

The Redwood’s 50% Off Book Sale!

During the month of April all books in the Redwood Bookstore will be 50% off.  The Redwood offers a large variety of books at very affordable prices. Browse the genres of history, health, fiction, mystery, religion and more. Books are located in the Redwood Bookstore, to the left of the Harrison Room, and also in the two revolving bookcases in the Rovensky Delivery Room. Your book purchases support the Redwood – thank you!

The Redwood Library and Athenaeum is a private subscription library located in Newport Rhode Island. Founded in 1747, it is the oldest community library still occupying its original building in the United States.

April 5th, 2015 • Posted in Authors and Books

W.C. Tuttle Want List

This just in: a letter from Daniel Snyder to bookseller Nels Myroyj asking about books by the western author W. C. Tuttle:

 

Nels Myroj
Anthill Books
6775 – 258th Street V4W 1V3
Aldergrove, BC, CAN

Hi Nels,

 My name is Daniel Snyder. I was put on to you by Bruce in Sidney with the long white braid (he told me to mention this). He informed me that you may possibly have one or more books by the western author W. C. Tuttle. I have quite a few books by Tuttle but there are quite a few that I would like to obtain if I can locate them. If you do have any Tuttle books that you would sell I would appreciate you getting back to me with titles and prices. I live in Newberg, Oregon 97132 USA so I would need the prices to include approximate shipping fees included. I will include a list of the Tuttle books that I am looking for just in case you happen to have any, you can check them by my list. It is a scan of a hand written list so hopefully it will be legible. I thank you for your time and I hope to hear back from you with some possibilities.

Kind regards,

Daniel Snyder
719 Wynooski Street
Newberg, OR 97132
U.S.A.

April 1st, 2015 • Posted in Authors and Books

Best Translated Book Award 2015: Clues to the Fiction Longlist

This from Chad Post at Three Percent (listen to our now ancient Biblio File interview here):

“As I explained on Monday, to start building the hype for this year’s Best Translated Book Award longlists, I’m going to be dropping a series of clues over the course of this week, and, if you’re able to guess one complete list (25 titles for fiction, 10 for poetry) on your first try, you’ll receive a lifetime subscription to Open Letter Books.

To enter, just send your complete list by Sunday, April 5th at 8pm EDTto chad.post [at] rochester [dot] edu. I’ll let you know how close you came.

Here’s a recap of the clues so far: nine languages and sixteen places or origin are represented on the fiction longlist; nine of the twenty-five fiction titles are by women and fifteen of the twenty-seven translators who made it (one translator made it twice) are women; and twenty different presses are on the fiction longlist, with no press receiving more than two nominations.

I’m still stuck in a sort of bean-counter mode, since coming up with clues for specific books seems like it would only help you in very small ways, and I haven’t been able to find any major trends that would be interesting and useful . . . That said, here’s what I got:

  • Six of the books on the fiction longlist contain more than one story/novella.
  • Three of the books are longer than 400 pages. (All of these are novels.)

And, because you deserve something a bit more:

  • There is only one female writer from Mexico on the list.”
April 1st, 2015 • Posted in Authors and Books

ILAB Pop Up Bookfairs on UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day, 23 April 2015


Dutch dealers will hold a floating Pop Up Fair on a barge which will be proudly flying the UNESCO World Book and Copyright
Day colours.

23 April is a symbolic date for world literature. On this day in 1616 Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, William Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega died. Centuries later this day marked the date of birth or death of prominent authors like Vladimir Nabokov, Haldor Laxness, Maurice Druon and Manuel Mejía Vallejo.

And each year, on 23 April, UNESCO celebrates World Book and Copyright Day with a series of worldwide events. Now, for the first time, the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB) will be a part of it! 

From Sydney to Tokyo to Cape Town, from Moscow, London and all the major European capitals to New York, Washington, Chicago and the Pacific Northwest of the United States ILAB Pop Up Book Fairs, organized by the world’s expert antiquarian booksellers, will appear on 23 April, 2015.

WHERE?  In a woolshed in the Australian bush, at central stations, on boats, in museums, libraries, streets, private clubs, cocktail clubs, brew pubs, on roof terraces, at the top of skyscrapers. On UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day ILAB booksellers will bring rare books to the people in the most unexpected places!

HOW? Like a Mexican wave starting the day in Australia and, as the sun goes, finishing the day in the United States, scores of rare book dealers will be organizing Pop Up Fairs – a mixture between bookish flash mob and speed dating for booklovers, lasting only a few hours at unusual, but busy locations where passers-by will discover a stunning selection of rare books, prints, manuscripts and ephemera to promote the trade of old and rare books and to support the UNESCO literacy projects in Africa.

Stay tuned for more info on ILAB Pop Up Book Fairs on UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day, 23 April 2015, including a full list of all participating countries and cities.

Visit the official websites www.ilab.org and www.unesco.org/new/en/wbcd.

March 31st, 2015 • Posted in Authors and Books

Fun Things to do on the Farm

First we do this

The we do this

followed by a little bit of this.

Then it´s back to this. 

All of which comes from this.

March 31st, 2015 • Posted in Authors and Books

A novel for our times, American Magna Carta


A novel for our times, American Magna Carta holds to account the 0.1% of the 1% who act with total impunity above the law.

When a fifth original Magna Carta is discovered, a cabal of bent academics, investment bankers, and elements in the surveillance state conspire to possess the founding document of western democracy. Leaving a trail of destruction they are prepared to break every law in the book so they can bask in the glow of the 800-year-old Great Charter of Liberties that, ironically, embodies the notion we are all equal before the law.

Standing in their way are Ricky Taleb, a Harvard Law student, Alison Sinclair, an intern from London, and Harry James, a new kind of action hero, a veteran of the Occupy Movement. Set against a backdrop of iconic landscapes from Glastonbury to London and from Boston to New York, the deft plot gathers pace towards a dramatic showdown at the very heart of global power.

American Magna Carta is favourably comparable to Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code and Alan Moore’s graphic novel V for Vendetta.

ROBERT HAMBLETT was brought up on both sides of the Atlantic, believing that citizens need to stop tyrannical powers from eroding our freedoms. He has lived and worked in Europe and the Middle East. He helped run pop festivals in England that funded tree-planting projects in the Sahara. He says, “Parenthood turned everything around.” He devised and teaches a British Culture summer school for teenagers. “This is a novel of hope for all ages,” he adds.

PUBLISHED 28th July 2015 £9.99

ISBN 9781784623654 Distributor: Troubador Publishing Ltd, 9 Priory Business Park, Wistow, Kibworth, Leics LE8 0RX BIC subject category : FH Thriller / suspense