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Q&A with Linda Lacroix, CEO and head librarian at the Lake of Bays Library in Baysville, ON

Coordinates: 45.3000° N, 79.0000° W

“Access to knowledge is the superb, the supreme act of truly great civilizations. Of all the institutions that purport to do this, free libraries stand virtually alone in accomplishing this mission. No committee decides who may enter, no crisis of body or spirit must accompany the entrant. No tuition is charged, no oath sworn, no visa demanded. Of the monuments humans build for themselves, very few say "touch me, use me, my hush is not indifference, my space is not barrier. If I inspire awe, it is because I am in awe of you and the possibilities that dwell in you.”” Toni Morrison

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Q&A with Linda Lacroix, CEO and head librarian at the Lake of Bays Library in Baysville, ON

Read an Excerpt from Alisha Piercy's Bunny and Shark!

Alisha Piercy's Bunny and Shark (BookThug) combines a perennial favourite genre, the coming of age story, with something much less familiar: a shark tale. When a man pushes his ex-Playboy Bunny wife over a cliff into the Caribbean Ocean, a fable-like survival story emerges.

We're thrilled to present an exclusive excerpt from the novel, courtesy of BookThug. Don't miss the chance to get a sneak peek at this creative, witty, vibrant new novel.

Excerpt from Bunny and Shark:

Prelude

The Walrus partners with the Amazon.ca First Novel Award

The Walrus magazine recently announced a new partnership with the Amazon.ca First Novel. The acclaimed magazine will come on as a co-presenter of the award, which honours first-time Canadian novelists and has helped to launch the careers of writers like Michael Ondaatje, Wayne Johnson, Rohinton Mistry, Anne Michael and Joseph Boyden.

Nik Beat, Dead at 58

Nik Beat, a well-known figure in Toronto's music and literary scenes, died yesterday at 58. His given name was Michael Barry, but his chosen name reflected his hipster stance and determination to avoid conformity.

The Word on the Street Interview Series: Heather A. Clark

This Sunday, Toronto's book lovers will descend on Queen's Park for The Word on the Street. A highlight of the literary calendar, the festival features readings, panel discussions, children's programming and a fabulous marketplace of magazine and book publishers.

Q&A with Lorie and Robert Wright, co-owners of the Tamworth Book Shop

Coordinates: 44.4667° N, 76.9833° W

“Second-hand books are wild books, homeless books; they have come together in vast flocks of variegated feather, and have a charm which the domesticated volumes of the library lack. Besides, in this random miscellaneous company we may rub against some complete stranger who will, with luck, turn into the best friend we have in the world.” Virginia Woolf

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The Word on the Street Interview Series: Catherine Gildiner

It's nearly time for The Word on the Street! This Sunday, writers, publishers, booksellers and book lovers will gather in Queen's Park in Toronto to read, talk, exchange ideas, ask advice, buy books and much more.

2014 Finalists Announced for the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction

The Writers' Trust of Canada and Hon. Hilary M. Weston announced the five finalists for the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction today at the Loblaws store at Maple Leaf Gardens. The Hilary Weston Prize is the richest annual literary award for a Canadian work of nonfiction, with each finalist receiving $5,000 and the winner receiving $60,000.

The 2014 Giller Prize Longlist Has Been Announced

The longlist for the 2014 Scotiabank Giller Prize was announced today in Montreal. This year's jury, made up of Canadian author Shauna Singh Balwdwin, British novelist Justin Cartwright and American writer Francine Prose, read 161 eligible books submitted by 63 publishers before selecting the twelve longlisted titles.

On top of the exciting longlist announcement, Giller Prize founder Jack Rabinovitch revealed that the prize money has doubled this year to $140,000, with $100,000 being awarded to the winning author and $10,000 going to each finalist.

The finalists will be revealed on Monday, October 6 in Toronto.

The Dirty Dozen, with Christine Fischer Guy

Christine Fischer Guy's debut novel, The Umbrella Mender (Wolsak & Wynn), has already piqued our interest with its mysterious and beautiful book trailer (which you can see here), so we're especially excited to talk to her today. The Umbrella Mender tells the story of Hazel, who is looking back on her long life from a hospital bed. Once a nurse in remote Moose Factory, Ontario, Hazel battled an epidemic of tuberculosis on the front lines even as language and cultural tensions threatened to erupt in the region.

Highlighted Content

Open Book Literary Salon: Writing & Place

Open Book Literary Salon 2014: Writing & Place

Wednesday, October 8, 2014 — 7:30p.m.
Harbourfront Centre, Brigantine Room, 235 Queens Quay West, Toronto

FREE EVENT! Presented by Open Book and IFOA. Please RSVP on Facebook to confirm space or email grace@openbooktoronto.com. Cash bar.

Where you're from, where you've been and the places that move you. For writers, place is more than just geography — it's inspiration, character, politics and history.

Video of the Week

Video of the Week: Book Trailer for A Simple Case of Angels by Caroline Adderson

June Bug keeps getting into trouble. She pulls down a Christmas tree, swipes a neighbour's turkey and is making everyone furious. But June Bug doesn't know any better — she's a dog, and she's Nicola's best friend. Determined to show everyone that June Bug is more than just a cute face, Nicola takes her furry friend to volunteer at the new nursing home in town. It ends up being an adventure that brings Nicola new friends and a new mystery.

Caroline Adderson is known for her acclaimed adult titles, but A Simple Case of Angels (House of Anansi), where we meet June Bug and Nicola, proves she is just as adept at writing for middle grade readers.

You can meet June Bug and Nicola in this beautiful trailer, courtesy of House of Anansi.

Writer In Residence

September 1 to October 1, 2014

Sandra Ridley »

Sandra Ridley’s first full-length collection of poetry, Fallout, won the 2010 Saskatchewan Book Award for publishing, the Alfred G. Bailey prize, and was a finalist for the Ottawa Book Award. Her second book, Post-Apothecary, was short-listed for the 2012 ReLit and Archibald Lampman Awards. Also in 2012, Ridley won the international festival Of Authors’ Battle of the Bards and was featured in The University of Toronto’s Influency Salon. Twice a finalist for the Robert Kroetsch Award for innovative poetry, Ridley is the author of two chapbooks: Rest Cure, and Lift, for which she was co-recipient of the bpNichol Chapbook Award. Her latest book is The Counting House (BookThug 2013). She lives in Ottawa.

You can contact Sandra throughout the month of September with questions and comments at writer@openbooktoronto.com.

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Q&A with Linda Lacroix, CEO and head librarian at the Lake of Bays Library in Baysville, ON

Coordinates: 45.3000° N, 79.0000° W

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Random reads

Cuba: The Land

Cuba: The Land

(Crabtree, 2004)
From the publisher's website: When Christopher Columbus arrived on Cuba’s shores in 1492, he nicknamed it "the Pearl of the Antilles." He was amazed by the beauty of the island’s sandy beaches, its forests thick with palm trees, and its fragrant tropical flowers. Cuba the land highlights the natural beauty of this country with breathtaking photographs and fascinating information. ____________________________________________________

University of Guelph Creative Writing

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