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2014 Man Booker Longlist Announced

July 23, 2014 | Book Buzz | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

It is the first year that the Man Booker Prize has been open to writers from all over the world. Previously the award was restricted to writers from the United Kingdom and Commonwealth nations. A longlist of 13 books has been announced. It includes 6 Britons, 4 Americans, 1 Australian and 2 Irish writers. 

Blazing world Bone clocks The dog History of the rain

The Blazing World by Siri Hustvedt
Talking Book (restricted to Print Disabled patrons)

The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
Talking Book (restricted to Print Disabled patrons)

The Dog by Joseph O'Neill
• Expected publication date: September 9, 2014.

History of the Rain by Niall Williams

How to be both J by howard jacobson Lives of others Narrow road to the deep north

How to be Both by Ali Smith

J by Howard Jacobson

The Lives of Others by Neel Mukherjee

The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan
• Expected publication date: August 12, 2014

Orfeo To rise again at a decent hour Us by david nicholls The wake We are all completely beside ourselves

Orfeo by Richard Powers

To Rise Again at a Decent Hour by Joshua Ferris

Us by David Nicholls

The Wake by Paul Kingsnorth

We are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler

The shortlist will be revealed on September 9.

The winner will be announced on October 14.

Toronto Public Library's Award Winners page lists the Man Booker Prize shortlist and winners dating back to 2007.

Book of the Week: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

July 23, 2014 | M. Elwood | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

We were liarsOne of the most talked about books of the summer is We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. It's been showing up on a lot of summer reading lists lately. It's even being talked about by us--Margaret of the TPL Teens blog posted a review earlier this month. I tend to stay away from books that get this kind of hype because they don't usually live up to my expectations but there are exceptions to every rule and We Were Liars is exceptional in many ways.

Cadence Sinclair Eastman, the novel's narrator, is a member of the elite Sinclair family. She notes that in the Sinclair family "No one is a criminal. No one is an addict. No one is a failure.... No one is needy. No one is wrong". The extended family spends its summers on a private island near Martha's Vineyard. It's beautiful, idyllic, peaceful but something darker is present. Cadence's grandfather, family patriarch Harris, delights in watching his three daughters scramble for his approval, using his sizable estate to stir up conflict among them.

Although their mothers try to involve them in the drama Cadence and her cousins Johnny and Mirren spend their summers lounging on the beach with their friend Gat, whose uncle is dating Johnny's mother. The group is known in the family as "The Liars" for reasons that are not disclosed.

The novel takes place as 17-year-old Cadence returns to the island for the first time in 2 years. When she was 15 something happened that has left her with memory loss and paralyzing migraines. She doesn't remember what happened and no one in the family will tell her. The intense and suspenseful novel describes Cadence's attempt to rebuild her shattered memory and find out the truth about that mysterious summer.

We Were Liars is categorized as teen fiction but will appeal to adult readers as well. I really liked the literary references scattered throughout the book. The creepy, gothic tone reminded me a lot of Shirley Jackson's novel We Have Always Lived in the Castle--one of my favourite books.

We Were Liars is available in:
Regular Print

Related Post:

Boycott the Emmys, Read a Book

July 11, 2014 | Andrea | Comments (3) Facebook Twitter More...

In the wake of every announcement of Emmy nominations, a wave of indignation breaks over the Internet as fans decry the snubs against their favourite shows. This year, critics and viewers are up in arms about the glaring absence of Canadian actress Tatiana Maslany from the lists. To deal with this affront, check out our Orphan Black read-alikes.

Meanwhile, here are some other books to soothe other slights regarding nominees for the 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards.

The Good Wife and Philosophy Masters of Sex An Ordinary Spy Red Dragon The Simpsons Uncensored

The Good Wife and Philosophy edited by Kimberly Baltzer-Jaray and Robert Arp

Despite a strong season and several acting nominations, this network powerhouse was shut out of the Outstanding Drama category. Stop debating whether this is an egregious error with your co-workers and delve into this collection of essays... soon you will be able to debate legal ethics, loopholes and what it means to be a good spouse instead!

Masters of Sex: The Life and Times of William Masters and Virginia Johnson by Thomas Maier

The show may be too provocative to be considered for Outstanding Drama, but the nomination for Lizzy Caplan for her role as Virginia Johnson is an interesting surprise. Delve into this biography about "the couple who taught America how to love."

An Ordinary Spy by Joseph Weisberg

The Americans only received one nomination for guest star Margo Martindale. But did you know the Cold War espionage drama's showrunner is also the author of a CIA novel?

Red Dragon by Thomas Harris

The nightmarishly beautiful Hannibal was shut out even in the technical categories such as art direction and cinematography. Read the novel that introduced Hannibal Lecter to the world.

The Simpsons: An Uncensored, Unauthorized History by John Ortved

Ay caramba! The long-running animated sitcom did not make it as an Outstanding Animated Program contender, but you can look back on its history and reminisce about its golden days.

Two More Books About Seniors Heading Off On Adventures

June 24, 2014 | Kelli | Comments (2) Facebook Twitter More...

Following up on my blog post from December 2012, Senior Adventures: Three Novels About Seniors Who Are On The Move, I've come across two more recently published books about seniors on the run.    I think this could now officially be called a trend!


Flee fly flownFlee, Fly, Flown by Canadian author Janet Hepburn is the bittersweet story of friends Lillian and Audrey, who hatch a plot to escape from Tranquil Meadows Nursing Home in Ottawa and head west.   They set out on their journey not taking into account that their memory problems might make driving and following directions somewhat difficult.  Luckily, they soon meet up with the unsuspecting Rayne, a young man who is also heading west in hope of reconciling with his family. Without minimizing the realities of old age and dementia,  Lillian and Audrey's tale is sweet story that reminds us that we are never to old for an adventure.  Flee, Fly, Flown is nominated for the Ontario Library Assocation's 2014 Evergreen Award .  Author Janet Hepburn  will be speaking at Runnymede branch on Wednesday, June 25th at 7 p.m.  Please call the branch for more information.  Also available in eBook.


Little old lady who broke all the rulesA new book that I just finished is The Little Old Lady Who Broke All The Rules by Swedish author Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg.   Five friends and residents of the Diamond Retirement Home--Martha, Brains, Rake, Christina and Anna-Greta, are unhappy with the new owners of Diamond as the cost-cutting changes has resulted in microwaved food, limits on cups of coffee and a reduction in activities.  After watching a documentary about life in prison, the residents start to wonder if prisoners are not treated better than seniors.   This gives Martha an idea.  They should commit a crime like Robin Hood - stealing from the rich.  The crime has to be big enough to ensure conviction, but  not hurt anyone.   With bolt cutters and high-tech walkers, they set out to start their crime spree with a robbery attempt at a nearby luxury hotel.   Also available in eBook.


Toronto Reading Map

May 17, 2014 | Book Buzz | Comments (1) Facebook Twitter More...

It's no secret that Toronto is a great city with great writers. It should come as no surprise to anyone that the city provides the setting for a whole lot of novels.

Toronto Public Library's Neighbourhood Reading Map not only identifies books that are set in Toronto, but breaks them down into specific parts of the city. There are 19 separate neighbourhoods identified including Don Mills, Parkdale and Kensington Market.

Neighbourhood Reading Map
Take a look and see what we've found in your neighbourhood or explore another part of the city through fiction.

If your favourite Toronto book is not listed, don't despair. The Neighbourhood Reading Map is a work in progress and we're still adding titles.

What's your favourite Toronto novel? Tell us about it in the comments.

Remembering Farley Mowat: 1921 - 2014

May 8, 2014 | Viveca | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Farley Mowat died on May 6 at the age of 92 in Port Hope, Ontario. Canada mourns the loss of its beloved author, outspoken environmentalist, and friend - a passionate Canadian whose works we grew up with and will continue to pass on to future generations. The national outpouring has been overwhelming: read the tributes from the CBC, CTV, The Star, The Globe, The Edmonton Journal, The Huffington Post, The Calgary Herald and The National Post.  Follow the Toronto Star's timeline of his life. 

Mowat once said, "Without a function, we cease to be. So, I will write till I die."  Mowat received many honours for his work including the Governor General's Award, the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour, and the Order of Canada in 1981.  Mowat was also a founding member of the Writers Union of Canada in 1973 and a lifelong (and fierce) advocate for wildlife and the environment. 

Discover or rediscover Mowat's works at the Toronto Public Library:

Owls in the Family, Dog Who Wouldn't Be And No Birds Sang Never Cry Wolf
Bay of Sprits AfterMath People of the Deer Eastern Passage
Lost in the Barrens Otherwise Whale for the Killing Curse of the Viking Grave

Watch Mowat's 2007 interview about his memoir, Bay of Spirits


Watch Mowat's 1976 interview with the CBC

Watch the NFB's 1981 Ten Million Books: An Introduction to Farley Mowat.

Farley Mowat, World War II

Farley Mowat Army

Online Chat with Nicole Lundrigan

May 7, 2014 | Book Buzz | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

On Thursday May 8, Book Buzz welcomes author Nicole Lundrigan for an online chat.

Nicole lundrigan 2The acclaimed author of five novels, Nicole Lundrigan released The Widow Tree in Fall 2013. Set in Yugoslavia in 1953, the novel tells the story of three friends who find ancient coins while harvesting vegetables on a school trip. One of the three, Nevena, wants to report the find to authorities and turn the coins in, another, János wants to keep them, Dorján is an intermediary. When János disappears, Nevena and Dorján are left to pick up the pieces.

Other Books by Nicole Lundrigan:

Glass Boys

The Seary Line


Unraveling Arva

Online chats are a terrific way to meet and get to know great authors. You don't even have to leave your home to participate. Log on to the Book Buzz Chat Website from wherever you have Internet access.

Nervous about joining a live chat? Don't be. It's easy! This very short video will show you what they're like.


The event takes place on Thursday May 8 at 7 PM.

Access the chat by clicking the link below.

Nicole Lundrigan Online Chat

Online Chat with Priscila Uppal

May 4, 2014 | Book Buzz | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Priscila-Uppal-150x185Book Buzz continues its series of online chats this week with a visit from Priscila Uppal on Tuesday May 6 at 7 PM EDT.

She has written poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. Her 2013 memoir Projection: Encounters with My Runaway Mother was a finalist for the Hilary Weston Writers Trust Prize and for the Governor General's Literary Award for Non-Fiction. The heartbreaking memoir documents Uppal's reunion with her mother, who had abandoned the family many years earlier.

Her most recent work is the play 6 Essential Questions based upon Projection: Encounters with My Runaway Mother. It was performed at the Factory Theatre in Toronto in March 2014.

Books by Priscila Uppal:


Confessions of a Fertility Expert

Live Coverage

Ontological Necessities

Summer Sport


Winter Sports


Divine Economy of Salvation

To Whom It May Concern


Projection: Encounters with My Runaway Mother: a Memoir

We are What We Mourn: the Contemporary English-Canadian Elegy

Online chats are a terrific way to meet and get to know great authors. You don't even have to leave your home to participate. Log on to the Book Buzz Chat Website from wherever you have Internet access.

Nervous about joining a live chat? Don't be. It's easy! This very short video will show you what they're like.


Click the link below to access the chat:

Priscila Uppal Online Chat

Abigail Tarttelin's Golden Boy shines.

April 25, 2014 | Soheli | Comments (4) Facebook Twitter More...

Golden Boy by Abigal TarttelinEarlier this month, I picked up a pretty looking little novel called Golden Boy. The synopsis describes it as an exploration of gender and sexuality, but this book is so, so much more.

The titular golden boy is Max Walker. He's a bright, likeable teen with an adoring family, admiring friends and a reputation as an all around good guy. As typical as many parts of his life are, Max, however, is anything but ordinary.

Told in alternating perspectives, Golden Boy explores the complex legacies families share and hide. Max has spent his entire life simply accepting who he is - but acceptance doesn't always mean understanding. As he approaches his sixteenth birthday, he will be thrown into a whirlwind of emotions, labels and difficult decisions.

At its core, Golden Boy asks: who are you? What makes you who you are? And do you ever really know for sure?

I read this book in big, hungry gulps. Max's story is not only entirely unique to me, but is told in such vivid language that makes this novel hard to put down. There are parts of the story - mostly narration from his parents - that really highlight the fear of making the wrong choices and somehow failing to protect the ones you love. "Life turned out differently from what I had predicted," Max's mother, Karen, reflects. "I'm not always the best parent, but I try very, very hard."

Golden Boy is an emotional and gripping story that will be very hard to forget.

I look forward to Abigail Tarttelin's next book. Her style is definitely something that many readers will anticipate.

Don't forget to place a hold on Golden Boy and start reading!

Edit: May 7, 2014
It is probably important to note that there is a rather uncomfortable rape scene that unfolds pretty early on in this story. It is important to the plot, but this shouldn't stand as too much of a spoiler. Hopefully, you'll still be able to enjoy the rest of the story!


Online Chat with Ray Robertson

April 20, 2014 | Book Buzz | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Ray robertsonOnline Chat with Ray Robertson
Wednesday, April 23, 7 PM, EDT

Book Buzz is delighted to welcome author Ray Robertson for an online chat.

I Was There The Night He Died, his most recent novel is described as "a saucy, swaggering look at loss, love, and the redeeming power of music in the twenty-first century". In the book, Sam Samson, a recently widowed writer, returns to his hometown to deal with issues arising from his father's Alzheimer's Disease and his uncle's gambling. An unlikely friendship develops between Sam and an eighteen year old neighbour who is coping with her own struggles.

His book Why Not: Fifteen Reasons to Live was shortlisted for the Hilary Weston Prize for Non-Fiction and longlisted for the Charles Taylor Prize for Non-Fiction. It documents the author's recent battle with depression and examines the universal philosophical question of what makes life worth living. The book inspired a film by Alan Zweig and is screening at Toronto's Hot Docs Film Festival on April 27, April 29, and May 5.


David ray robertson
What happened later
Gently down the stream

I Was There the Night He Died


What Happened Later

Gently Down the Stream

Moody food
Home movies

Moody Food


Home Movies


Why not fifteen
Mental hygiene

Why Not? Fifteen Reasons to Live

Mental Hygiene: Essays on Writers and Writing

The chat takes place on the Book Buzz website. Log in and join the conversation.

Special Thanks to:

Canada council

Canada Council for their assistance in sponsoring the eh List.

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