Bound but not gagged is the rabble book lounge blog where you'll find news and views about progressive authors, publishers, bookstores and just about anything books! To read our reviews visit http://rabble.ca/books
This week five celebrity panellists gathered with host Jian Ghomeshi for Canada Reads, our country’s annual "title fight," to decide on the book that all Canadians should read. The theme of this year's debate could be particularly relevant to rabble readers: “What is the one novel that could inspire social change in this country?” After four days of debate, Joseph Boyden's The Orenda was crowned champion yesterday morning. And I feel weird about it.
Another Canada Reads is done and another simultaneous outcry and cheer about the validity of the program has happened. Maybe's it's the terrible weather this time of year or maybe it's the reliance on a "survivor" style format, but either way, Canada Reads has become a polarizing topic in discussions about CanLit.
"The format is the worst!" "It generates so much exposure!" "The readers don't have a voice!" "I love Jay Baruchel!" "It's just a game!"
There are lots of opinions and comments about Canada Reads and there seems only one thing left to do: we need to have a point-counterpoint with ourselves.
So, let's compare some art! The question on all our minds: Is Canada Reads beneficial to Canadian literature?
A café table in Paris stands empty. It is the Pablo Picasso table at Le Dôme, one of the four historic cafés at the slanting intersection where Boulevard Raspail crosses Boulevard Montparnasse. Early in the 20th century, each of these cafés buzzed with writers and artists; all are now too expensive for aspiring writers. Today's clientele at Le Dôme, Le Sélect, La Coupole and La Rotonde is a mixture of wealthy Parisians and visitors who are giving themselves a treat. Yet in 1950, when Mavis Gallant arrived in Paris, the cafés of Montparnasse were a welcome refuge for an impoverished artist.
A standing room only crowd gathered at Trinity-St. Paul United Church for the launch of Olivia Chow's My Journey, on January 22 in Toronto. While all attention was on the book and the remarkable story of Chow's life and public service, the much anticipated decision on whether she will run in the upcoming mayorality race in Toronto was the buzz of the evening. Chow chose not to indulge in speculation on her mayorality aspirations (however, if you want to discuss your views on whether she should run, join our discussion on babble.
Oh, the holidays. A time of eggnog, work parties, family gatherings, freezing rain, overt racism thinly veiled as nostalgia ... and overconsumption: of food, booze, packaging and stuff. This year, we at the rabble book lounge have put together a list of holiday gifts that help you (and your giftees!) address, mitigate or take control over how and what you consume. That being said, we are aware that acquiring these books requires some measure of consumption, but! Many of the titles below are printed on recycled paper, can be purchased at independent or used bookstores or are available as e-books.
Delayed, but not forgotten, the babble book club has an official new selection! Or perhaps that is better phrased as selections?
You see, we wanted to read some Alice Munro in light of her recent Nobel Prize in Literature win and her general excellence. So, we started discussing which selection we should all read together, and well, you can see how that would be tough.
The book particularly highlights two important events, the Congress of Black Writers that took place at McGill University in 1968 and the Sir George Williams Affair student action in 1969 at the campus that is now Concordia University.
When I was 12, two major things happened to me. The first was that I found out that I would be moving to Canada.
Scott Monroe, the resident jokester of my seventh grade class (sorry that's grade seven for Canadian readers) announced, "I heard you are moving to Canada. All those people do is eat potato chips, watch tv and play hockey."
"Little did he know," I scoffed.
Twenty five years later, I can safely say he was wrong. He forgot the beer. And the Crown Royal. And that great Canadian drink called the "rum and coke."
The second major thing that happened to me that year? I stopped signing things as "Amanda J. Barker." I decided that that the "J" sounded like I was trying too hard.
Long regarded as the master of the contemporary short story by many a writer, critic and reader, Munro has been a quintessential author in the Canadian literary scene for many years and it is so wonderful to see her acknowledged in such an international light.
For this, we can riff on many a thing about Alice Munro:
Munro is only the 13th women to be awarded the Nobel Prize for literature