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The Canada Reads 2017 champion

by Tyler Vitt - Thursday, Mar 30, 2017 at 12:49pm

After four days of fierce debates, the champion of this year's Canada Reads has been chosen: Fifteen Dogs by André Alexis, defended valiantly by writer and rapper Humble The Poet.

This year's debates centred around a single question: Which book does Canada need to read right now? Humble The Poet answered that question with a dynamic, eloquent defence of Fifteen Dogs, arguing that the book — which tells the story of fifteen dogs that have been granted human consciousness by two Greek gods — provides universal lessons on the human condition.

Said Humble The Poet: "I think the real debate, at the end of the day, is what does Canada need? And Canada is one of the most diverse countries in the world. Those needs are going to be extremely diverse."

His defence was so successful that, in all of the rounds of the debates, only a single vote was cast against Fifteen Dogs.

The four other contenders for this year included The Break by Katherena Vermette, defended by broadcaster Candy Palmater; M.G. Vassanji's Nostalgia, defended by author and politician Jody Mitic; The Right to be Cold by Sheila Watt-Cloutier, defended by singer-songwriter Chantal Kreviazuk; and the runner-up, Company Town by Madeline Ashby, which was defended by opera star Measha Brueggergosman.

Each contender provided passionate and insightful arguments for their selected books, which made for lively and engaging debates. You can read more about the 2017 Canada Reads and watch replays of the debates at CBC.ca.

Categories: Awards, Saskatoon, Winnipeg

The Manitoba Book Awards 2017 shortlists

by Tyler Vitt - Friday, Mar 24, 2017 at 3:50pm

The finalists for the 29th annual Manitoba Book Awards — which honours books by Manitoba authors, about Manitoba, and/or published within Manitoba in 2016 — have been unveiled.

The Awards, an annual project of the Manitoba Writers’ Guild produced with the assistance of the Association of Manitoba Book Publishers and various Manitoban sponsors, celebrate literary excellence, originality and diverse talent, and provide over $30,000 in prizes to Manitoba writers each year. Past winners include Carol Shields, Miriam Toews, David Bergen, and Wab Kinew.

This year's winners will be announced and celebrated at a gala dinner on Saturday, April 22nd, at The Fort Garry Hotel. All are welcome to attend, and tickets can be purchased online or by phone. Visit this page for more details.

The 2016/2017 shortlists can be found after the jump...

Categories: Awards, Winnipeg, Literature, Canadian Lit

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Baileys Women's Prize 2017 longlist

by Tyler Vitt - Thursday, Mar 09, 2017 at 11:28am

To coincide with International Women's Day, the longlist for the 2017 Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction (formerly the Orange Prize) was announced yesterday. The award honours the best novel published in English in the past year by a female author, and comes with a £30,000 ($49,000) prize.

Of the 16 authors on the list, we're thrilled to see that three are Canadians: Margaret Atwood, Madeleine Thien, and Heather O'Neill.

The complete longlist can be found after the jump...

Categories: Awards, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Literature

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What To Read: Spring 2017

by Tyler Vitt - Saturday, Mar 04, 2017 at 11:50am

A collection of recent books particularly recommended by Chris Hall. Look for our in-store What To Read display tables.

Listen, Liberal
by Thomas Frank
$25.00. Trade paperback. Add to Cart

Originally published before the 2016 American election, Listen, Liberal describes what ailed the Democratic Party even before their weaknesses became obvious. It is the story of how the "Party of the People" detached itself from its historic constituency among average Americans and chose instead to line up with the winners of the new economic order. Now with a new afterword, Frank's analysis offers a powerful diagnosis of the liberal malady and is essential reading for anyone who still values liberal ideals. (Picador. March)

The Memoirs of a Polar Bear
by Yoko Tawada.
Translated by Susan Bernofsky.
$22.95. Trade paperback. Add to Cart

Three generations of polar bears are famous as both circus performers and writers in East Germany: they are bears who move as humans, doing human things and thinking human thoughts. The grandmother, in the Soviet Union, accidentally writes a bestselling autobiography; Tosca, her daughter (born in Canada, where her mother had emigrated) takes a job in the circus. Her son, Knut, is born in a Leipzig zoo but raised by a human keeper. Happy or sad, each bear writes a story in this delightfully strange novel. (New Directions. November)

Read more What To Read suggestions after the jump...

Categories: Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Literature, What To Read

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March's Author of the Month: TIM COOK

by Tyler Vitt - Wednesday, Mar 01, 2017 at 9:07pm

Tim Cook is a historian at the Canadian War Museum (CWM), an Adjunct Research Professor at Carleton University, and a former director for Canada’s History Society. He is the author of several authoritative yet accessible award-winning books on Canadian military history in which he illuminates the inner lives of military men and women on the front lines. In 2012, he was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for his contributions to Canadian history, and in 2013 he received the Governor General’s History Award for Popular Media: The Pierre Burton Award.

In his new book, Vimy, Cook returns to the First World War, the subject upon which he built his name, with books such as At the Sharp End and Shock Troops, winner of the RBC Taylor Prize. The Vimy battle that began April 9, 1917, was unlike any other battle in Canadian history. It was the first time the four divisions of the Canadian Expeditionary Force fought together. 10,600 men were killed or injured over four days. It has been described as the “birth of the nation.” But the meaning of that phrase has never been explored, nor has any writer — until now —explained why the battle continues to resonate with Canadians 150 years later. (Hardcover. $38.00. Allen Lane. March)

Categories: Authors, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Author of the Month
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