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Joan Thomas' Night Table Recommendations

Tuesday, Feb 23, 2010 at 9:12am

I've been reading funny books, it seems, and books with a satiric edge. Oh, just looking for laughs to get me through the winter. And these are all Canadian writers!

Categories: Reviews, Discussions, buzz



Tuesday, Feb 16, 2010 at 9:16am

This week saw the release of a report from the OECD, Pathways to Success: How knowledge and skills at Age 15 shape future lives in Canada. Its most revealing observation is that there is no greater predictor of a child's future educational success than reading proficiency.

The Globe and Mail emphasizes that these results confirm the necessity of a basic education focused on foundational skills. They also bolster the egalitarian credentials of Canada's education system where learned traits such as reading overwhelm inherited factors such as parental income. So, all things being equal, read, read, read.

Holly McNally

Categories: Discussions, buzz

Ron Charach's Night Table Recommendations

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 9:17am

As a psychiatrist and author, I sometimes wonder if I am better at buying books than actually finding the time to sit down and read them through to the end. When I do complete a book, I know it was clearly written and actually offered me a chance to change my perspective on the world, if not my life.

Categories: Reviews, Discussions, buzz


Readers salivate over Salinger's unpublished manuscripts

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 9:01am

J.D. Salinger has been dead a scant two weeks but already people are clamouring for his unpublished work to be made available.

Categories: Discussions, buzz, Publishing News


Larry Verstraete's Night Table recommendations

Wednesday, Feb 03, 2010 at 9:37am

The Ice Master: The Doomed 1913 Voyage of the Karluk by Jennifer Niven

Much of my reading these days is related to topics I am writing and, as a result, leans heavily on non-fiction. At the moment, I am part-way through The Ice Master: The Doomed 1913 Voyage of the Karluk by Jennifer Niven (Hyperion, 2000). The Karluk was a former whaling ship converted to floating laboratory that left Victoria, British Columbia on June 1913 on a scientific mission headed by expedition leader Vilhjalmar Stefansson. Six weeks into the journey, the Karluk became locked in ice north of Alaska, pitting the 28 people aboard - scientists, Inuit hunters and sailors - in a life and death struggle against the elements. Only 17 survived the ordeal. Drawing on archival reports and the diaries of survivors, Niven recreates the story of the Karluk with such fluid detail that I feel that I am on the mission myself, experiencing the same rollercoaster ride of anxiety, fear and decision-making that the passengers on the ill-fated journey likely felt themselves. So far, the book has been a fascinating read.

Categories: Reviews, Discussions, Authors


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