Archives for posts with tag: best

Holiday Reads 2017

 

I made a list, Day 6 gifted it twice!

Fiction, nonfiction, poetry, YA, a music biography and (not pictured) an adorable picture book for kids.

What will you find in your stocking this year … ?

Listen to the audio here.

Hanks Weiner SIRI

 

Tom Hanks (of Academy Award-winning actor fame) and Matthew Weiner (of Sopranos and Mad Men fame) have both just released their debut books.

Should you read them?

The “Should I Read It?’ segment gets two for the price of one this week. My review for Day 6 on CBC Radio One >> listen

Legacy of Spies

 

For his 24th novel, spy-novel master John le Carré returns to his most famous and beloved creation, George Smiley.

Sort of.

Narrated by Smiley’s younger protégé Peter Guillam, A Legacy of Spies serves as both a prequel and a sequel to The Spy Who Came in from the Cold. Readers are united with old friends Guillam, Smiley, and Alec Leamas in the years leading up to the mission detailed in TSWCIFTC, and with the now-pretty-old Guillam and Smiley in the early 21st Century (though you’ll have to wait until the very end to see Smiley in anything but a flashback).

The novel has been met with much international fanfare.

Should you read it?

Spy puns (and unexpected Star Wars comparisons) abound in my review for CBC Day 6.

Listen here >> audio

Summer Reads 2017

 

Books in the sunshine!

My annual summer reads segment for CBC Day 6 features suspense, nostalgia, growing pains, grief, the supernatural, family struggles, and, yes, also several beaches.

Here’s the audio >> listen

 

 

Into the Water

 

This weekend’s # 1 bestseller is the sophomore novel from The Girl on the Train author Paula Hawkins. But should you read it?

My review on CBC’s Day 6 >> listen here.

Summer Reads 2016

 

Mid-June = time for my annual list of beach reads for Day 6 on CBC Radio One.

Listen to the audio here.

This year’s selection includes three debut novels, and has history, mystery, spies, spooks, and … well also quite aa lot of sadness. Sorry about that.

The five novels (pictured above) are:

  • Imagine Me Gone by Adam Haslett
  • Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
  • On the Shores of Darkness there Is Light by Cordelia Strube
  • I’m Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid
  • The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen

 

 

Don DeLillo has a new novel out. And after a few teeny tinies in recent years, this one is, say his publishers, his greatest work since 1997’s Underworld.

So … should you read it?

I reviewed it for CBC Day 6, here.

 

Don’t panic…but there are only five shopping days left until Christmas. Listen here for my annual Holiday Gift Guide for CBC’s Day 6, a selection of six great books for a variety of readers on your list (hint: said books are stacked in my arms right up there /\. Look how happy I am to be recommending them!). Remember, folks: books are easy to wrap. Happy Holidays!

 

(l to r) Karen Solie, Deirdre Dore, André Alexis, Richard Wagamese, Jan Thornhill, Annabel Lyon. Photo credit: Tom Sandler

The Writers’ Trust Awards ceremony is easily one of my favourite literary events of the year. Over the course of an hour, the Writers’ Trust gives out six prizes for literary merit and $139,000 to Canadian writers. There are always some surprises and there are always some very excellent acceptance speeches. The 300-strong crowd is a who’s who of emerging writers, entry-level publishing staff, and the most experienced and respected publishers in the land.

Without a doubt, one of this years’ most memorable moments was the acceptance speech delivered by Richard Wagamese on accepting the Matt Cohen Award: In Celebration of a Writing Life. Don’t believe me? Watch it here. It is well worth 4 minutes of your time.

The award recipients were:

Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize ($25,000)
André Alexis for Fifteen Dogs, published by Coach House Books

Writers’ Trust/McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize ($10,000)
Deirdre Dore for “The Wise Baby,” published in Geist

Vicky Metcalf Award for Literature for Young People ($20,000)
Jan Thornhill

Latner Writers’ Trust Poetry Prize ($25,000)
Karen Solie

Writers’ Trust Engel/Findley Award ($25,000)
Annabel Lyon

Matt Cohen Award: In Celebration of a Writing Life ($20,000)
Richard Wagamese

 


The crowd gathers at the 2015 Hilary Weston Prize presentation. Photo credit: Tom Sandler

At an elegant gathering of 200 well-heeled, literary-minded folk in the Art Gallery of Ontario’s Walker Court on October 6, the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction was awarded to Rosemary Sullivan for Stalin’s Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva.

Performers brought each of the nominated books to life throughout the party and awards show. Also present was the winner of this year’s Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Student Nonfiction Writing Contest, Nico Branham.

In her acceptance speech, Sullivan thanked her late mother, her “most persistent fan.”

The next morning, I dragged her out bright and early to do the media rounds. She was very nice about it.

A photo gallery of the night’s festivities can be viewed here on the Writers’ Trust Facebook page.