Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Weekend in Review; Sleeps till Zombies, Two!

Afternoon, folks, and happy Tuesday. It was a good if busy weekend here at HQ, what with BookFest Windsor blasting through town and a spate of new reviews to yap about. See them yet on our spiffy new Facebook page? Which you should like, if you haven't already? Yes? Yes. Go. Do it now.* 

So ... here we are. Two more hits (pow pow!) for Anakana Schofield, who was a knockout at IFOA and written up by her panel's moderator (Susan Cole of NOW). Since when does invoking Ulysses get you hopped up and down on? Find out here. And should you be curious as to why AK would claim that "Behind every vice president is a Canadian episodic novel"—which is to say, if you missed that THING in the VP debates—take a look at her IFOA questionnaire

It was also a good weekend for short story champ Nadine McInnis, who appeared at the Ottawa Book Festival on Sunday and was interviewed ("Confronting Mortality") in Saturday's Ottawa Citizen. Both the citizen and the Windsor Star also ran syndications of Emily Keeler's piece from the Post last week (hup hup)! Last but not least, Quill & Quire, stalwart as they are, had a few nice nicenesses to say about Craig Boyko's Psychology and Other Stories

Last but not least, she says with a tremor and a shiver and a quake, there are only TWO MORE SLEEPS till Mark Kingwell launches Unruly Voices at Type Books. (It's possible that zombies make me a little queasy.) RSVP on the you-know-where today! 

*I had to get that plea out of the way early before I talk about Mark's book, since, um, the third sentence of the jacket copy may or may not suggest that facebook-style 'likes' are eroding complex notions of personhood. Sigh. So 'like' us if you like us, and if not the latter, pretend.

Monday, October 29, 2012

If this isn't prettier than any other darn hockey book out there ...

Not quite sure when it's hitting the shelves, but when it does ... man. By the fantastic Gord Robertson of Toronto.

If the Tigers had a book this pretty, they might not have futzed things up so bad.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Biblioasis gets a face lift

Yesterday afternoon, Tara and I spent some time running back and forth through Wyandotte Street traffic to stand on the opposite sidewalk and gawk at the Biblioasis storefront.

Why? Because yesterday we went from a charming green building with a window full of lovely books, to a charming green building with a window full of lovely books and AN AWNING!

Doesn't even look like the same building does it?
Our exterior transformation from purple rocket ship-adorned candy store to bookshop feels a lot more complete with the Biblioasis name over the front window.

Having never designed anything larger than a poster, finalizing the text for an 18-foot awning was a bit intimidating. As the awning company hoisted, drilled and secured our signage, I couldn’t help but fear the whole thing would come out a pixellated mess. Or hope I remembered how to spell ‘purveyors’ (imagine ‘purveyours and publishers of fine books.’ Yikes.) Luckily, all was well, a fact which led to copious cell phone snapshots to celebrate our new look. Then it was time to run back across the street (without being run over) to get back to work (punctuated by pedestrians popping in to say hello and take a look around; the awning is doing its job already!)

Publishing assistants distracting awning installers from their job for photo ops.

The installation of the little frill around the bottom.

As this is not only my first 18’ design project, but also my first post on the Thirsty blog, Dan & co. thought I should introduce myself to our readers as the newest addition to the Biblioasis staff.

In brief: I’m Kate, a recent MA graduate from the English lit & Creative writing program at the University of Windsor. I have worked in the book industry in various capacities since the age of 14, starting off as a public library shelver and desk clerk, moving on to working for an independent bookstore, and finally spending a while as a freelance editor/writer/book designer. I’ve been working full-time at Biblioasis since August of this year, designing a few books (including the recently launched Ghost Road by Marty Gervais and Jessica Hiemstra’s Self-Portrait Without A Bicycle), assisting with the big move, and doing various other marketing and publishing activities around the office. It has been a great first few months at Biblioasis, and I’m looking forward to many more!

To close, here’s a quick BookFest Windsor update for you:
If you missed Ray Robertson last night, he has been scheduled for a second reading this afternoon at 2pm in the Joy Theater at the Capitol along with Phil Hall and Bruce Meyer. Ray, Phil and Bruce will be reading from their own work as well as paying homage to the work of Eugene McNamara, who unfortunately had to cancel his appearance at BookFest due to illness.

Until next time,


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Bookfest Windsor starts tonight ... along with the zombie countdown.

Morning, folks! Today's an exciting day for literature in Windsoria, as it's the kickoff to BookFest, where our very own Ray Robertson (Chathamite and UWindsor Writer-in-Residence candidate for 2013) will be reading with Maxine Gadd, Marty Gervais, Peter HrastovecJohn B. Lee, and Bruce Meyer. Tonight, 7:30, Capitol Theatre. 

Being Thursday October 25th also means we're only one week away from the Zombie Invasion of Toronto. My goodness. Get your shotguns and a copy of the constitution. Mark Kingwell's gonna put Simon Pegg to shame!

All Saints and Fast Zombies,
brought to you live (sort of)
by Biblioasis and Type Books.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Local haunt(ing)s

Marty Gervais, having hacked and elbowed
his way through a corn field, stands triumphant
on the Ghost Road itself.
(See? Real historians don't let rain—
or corn husks—get in their way.)
Happy Monday, all! Just a quick word to say that Marty Gervais' Ghost Road and Other Forgotten Stories of Windsor launches tomorrow, chez nous. Marty's book was written up this weekend in the Star—"Stories of Local Haunts"—so if you want to catch an early glimpse of the book, be sure to check it out online. Same with the writeup on the UWindsor Daily News.
Speaking of ghosts (or, okay, of death): Emily Keeler took a look at Nadine McInnis's Blood Secrets late last week, and had a couple things to say about the "rippling shock of loss that connects each story to the next," and the way Nadine "puts you on the inside of these characters, mapping their meaty interiors." Check out the National Post online for more!

Friday, October 19, 2012

New Manse News

"Fans of satirical fiction will love this book," the National Post said of C.P. Boyko's Psychology and Other Stories last weekend: "so will anyone who has reclined on a therapist’s couch, or taken a psychology course from a larger-than-life professor with obvious neuroses, or read a self-help book by an author whose biography reveals them to be a total mess."

Dan Wells and Chris Andrechek
wrestle the Counter of Death 

The BiblioManse Office in its
Final Hours

The New (Blue!) Office

First Books on the Shelves. Does
anyone else smell poetry?
We know something about total messes over here at the new Bibliomanse. Oh yes we do. That's why we've let a WHOLE WEEK go by without talking to you about the VERY EXCITING THINGS that are happening, will happen, HAVE happened, to our VERY EXCITING authors. We've had a spate of reviews and we have people at festivals and gosh darnit we've even had an award nod. And, of course (of course? really? is it real?), we've moved. Last Friday was the Great Migration. We've been phoneless and internetless to varying degrees over the past four days. Which is just my way of saying, er, if you've perhaps been trying to get in touch and found us slightly less responsive than usual, please do just give another poke and we'll get back to you as soon as we're able. It's been, er, zany. (Imagine steel desks with undersides like the death star and an old cash counter from the Bay [and then from the old shop on Ouellette, and most recently from the basement of Dan's house], an old cash counter made entirely of pressboard, glue and maybe some secretly of anvils—imagine all that good stuff being discombobulated and hauled around some staggering corners on steepish stairs, and then imagine something of the 10,000 books in said basement, and you've got an inkling of our week.)
In any event. I apologize for not giving each of these a proper write-up, but here are a few of the wonderful happenings that we've neglected in our boxish and internet-starved state. We'll have pictures of the new office-in-progress up soon. Till then!

Here's the little swooning-on-the-couch for Boyko that ran in the Post on Saturday (what a glower)! 

Here's an interview that David Helwig did with Seth for CBC PEI last week. 

Here are Mark Kingwell's "Seven Pathways to the Stars," which peeped out this Saturday in the Globe, and here is his upcoming IFOA interview with John Ralston Saul.

Here is Alice Petersen's All the Voices Cry reviewed in the Montreal Review of Books. And HERE—ding ding, exciting!—is the press release announcing that Alice Petersen has been shortlisted for the QWF's First Book Prize! Congratulations to Alice from all of us. 

Here are Rebecca Rosenblum's first and second appearances at the Vancouver International Writers Festival, starting today (the Human Carnival with 
Anne Fleming, AL Kennedy, and Jessica Westhead, then an Afternoon Tea with Steven Heighton, Linda Svendsen, Bill Gaston, Lorna Crozier and J. Jill Robinson);
Here is Anakana Schofield's appearance tonight at said VIWF, in the always-spectacular Literary Caberet (brought to you by Joe Biden—wait, what?—and for which she did an interview on CiTR); 
and here are her appearances at IFOA!

Tonight's an event night here at HQ, with Eugene McNamara reading from Dreaming of Lost America at 7 PM. RSVP on FaceBook today (now, always)—hope to see you soon!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Cook the Caboto Club Way - The Windsor Star

Biblioasis Typesetter & IT Saint
Chris Andrechek, flipping zucchini
crepes. Chris, our resident man
of all seasons, is also a chef.
Well these are beautiful days over in BiblioLand. The sun is glinting off the wet roads like (ugh) ice, and temperatures might be plunging to near-freezing at night, but we were warm by our griddles and chafing dishes last night: we're proud to say that Cooking with Giovanni Caboto launched to great local enthusiasm, with a packed joint nibbling happily on Chris Andrechek's creations, and we were greeted this morning by a full-page spread in the Food section of The Windsor Star. In the area? Pick up a copy. It's got neat stats about the book, a seasonally appropriate recipe sample (can anyone say pumpkin?), a couple beaut photos of Gino, Mauro, and chefs Steven and Remo. Otherwise you can sneak a peek online
Editor Gino Piazza (left), and
Photographer Maura
Chechi (right). Where
would we be without them?

In other BiblioNews, we had a thoughtful meditation from Daniel Green run this weekend on experimentalism and Anakana Schofield's Malarky, and a shout-out for Alice Petersen from Stephen Beattie over at That Shakespearean Rag. We're basking in the digi-love these days. Keep it coming! And keep an eye out for Anakana at the Victoria Book Festival, Wordstock, and the Vancouver International Writers Festival over the next few weeks.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Largehearted Ogres

Afternoon, all, and happy Friday. Because nothing says Thanksgiving like lawyer-eating ogres (??), I thought I'd send you off to your long weekends with Mike Barnes's Reasonable Ogre playlist, which just went up on the Largehearted Boy site today. What's stimming? What's stemming? What songs can Mike Barnes listen to 80 times in a day and why? Find out here.

For those of you who haven't yet seen The Draught yet, issue 2 just went out yesterday, and you can take a little swig online. It's harvest-festival-themed. Enjoy your tofurkey stuffing, all: we hit the ground running on Tuesday with the Caboto Club Cookbook launch and we're in Office-Moving-Crazy-Land for the next week or two, but we're still going to keep you posted on all our happenings. Phone number remains the same. Should be in and nesting by the 15th.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Zut alors! Missed one.

This is ALSO happening tomorrow. Seems the 4th is going to be a fun night in TO.
K.D. Miller, tomorrow, Q Space!

A Wednesday Wrap-Up

Hello, Windsor. Hello, world. What's new? Well, for starters, BiblioPoet Alex Boyd has just returned from the marvellous UNB poetry weekend, which apparently was as fabulous as ever. Thanks to Ross Leckie & to UNB for hosting. Quoth Mr. Boyd, the readings at Memorial Hall—thanks in part to the lovely environs and stained glass—were a bit like Poetry Church. For those of you in Toronto who'd like a poesy experience of a different kind, you can check out Alex (and Sonia Di Placido, Josh Smith and Daniel Tysdal), at LiveWords tomorrow at the Black Swan. More deets here

And of course we can't forget our friends in the West, oh glorious West: C.P. Boyko is reading with Rae Spoon tomorrow at Pages on Kensington. Should be a good show. Rae will be playing some of their music and Craig will be opening with a little Psych work. And of the latter? We had a review come our way which will be running in Booklist on Oct. 16. "Readers will enjoy the author's versatility," they say, along with his "quirky (sometimes uproarious) sense of humor, sardonic view of the world, and fruitful imagination. He is also master of the ambiguous clue and unreliable narrator .... Libraries with any short-fiction readers should buy this book and keep an eye out for the next one."

Other reviews in brief: "Unruly Voices has insightful things to say about the corrupting influence of money on public discourse," said the National Post this weekend of Mark Kingwell's new essay collection (for which we'll be having a launch party at Type on November 1st): "The scourge of incivility might not be new, but it is more pervasive. And, as Kingwell warns, the cost to coherent debate is great." If you check out the Montreal Review of Books, you'll see Alice Petersen talking about books and Beckett. And (as a lead-in to Hallowe'en, perhaps?) the next issue of Prairie Fire begins their review of Laura Boudreau's Suitable Precautions with this: "There is nothing like good old gore to lift a short story out of the bland."
Indeed. Good gore. Love it. 


Monday, October 01, 2012

What Makes Cooking with Giovanni Caboto so Special?

Cooking with Giovanni Caboto launches
Tuesday October 9th
at Biblioasis Headquarters,
1520 Wyandotte St. East.
Morning, folks, and happy Monday. There's a superabundance of news over here in BiblioLand—the BiblioBash tour finished with a bang on Thursday at our first Headquarters launch, the BiblioTourees are scattered to the four winds, Craig Boyko is reading tonight in Saskatoon, Mark Kingwell was reviewed in the National Post, and Alice Petersen interviewed in the mRb—but all that aside, and if you'll permit me, for a moment I'd like wax Thanksgiving-y and talk instead about FOOD.
For the past several months Biblioasis has been collaborating with the Caboto Club of Windsor on a cookbook. It's been fun. It's been (frequently) delicious. The Caboto Club is  southwestern Ontario's oldest and largest Italian organization, boasting spacious reception and banquet facilities, a long history of community involvement and charitable donations, and a now-famous kitchen and catering service. Founded in 1925 and named for the Italian explorer Giovanni Caboto, the Club still serves its original purpose—to encourage camaraderie among new Italian-Canadian citizens—but it has also become an Essex County landmark, and a meeting-place for the Windsor community at large. 
We're having a launch for the cookbook on October 9th; we're putting down our inkes & formes, we're picking up our spiders and spirtles, and we're trying a few recipes out. There'll be free food, mulled wine, and beautifully photographed books (... ready for smudging with happily oiled fingers). Zucchini pancakes. Risotto. Lasagna. Should be both fun AND delicious.
And in case you're wondering why we wandered down this particular road, well, this isn't just any cookbook. For starters it's massive. Gino Piazza and the Cookbook Committee canvassed hundreds of people in search of their best family recipes. They sorted them, in some cases translated them, and tried them individually in the Caboto kitchen. Photographer Mauro Chechi took stunning pictures of each and every dish. It's hard to say this without sounding hyperbolic, but it really is the all-you'll-need-in-a-lifetime resource book for Italian cuisine. 230+ recipes, a glossary of terms, a how-to guide for all the staples of the genre, and photos that will make you, um, hungry. 
Says one of the copy-editors.
For those of you who'd like to know a little more about the cookbook, I've included a little write-up below.

Cooking with Giovanni Caboto

a book launch at
Tuesday, Oct. 9
7 PM
1520 Wyandotte St. East
Edited by Gino Piazza
Photographed by Mauro Chechi
978-1-926845-97-5 (cloth)
978-1-927428-05-4 (ebook)
October 2012
What makes Cooking with Giovanni Caboto so special?
Most Italian cookbooks feature a selection of well-known, old-favourite recipes drawn haphazardly from northern and southern Italy alike. Italian cooking, however, is as diverse as the Italian landscape, and each of the country’s twenty regions has its own flavours, procedures, and ingredients. Cooking with Giovanni Caboto is one of the only commercially available cookbooks to provide an exhaustive survey of recipes and techniques by region, and certainly the only book to do it all in one volume.
Cooking with Giovanni Caboto therefore not only provides authentic recipes for all your favourite dishes—pastas, pizzas, polentas, lasagnas, risottos—but will show you how to prepare a range of local delicacies and staples, the recipes of which are often hard to find. It also includes valuable glossaries and how-to guides to explain the fundamental procedures of Italian cooking. The Club’s easy-to-follow instructions are suitable for beginner cooks, and our individually tested, generations-old recipes will please more seasoned chefs. Altogether Cooking with Giovanni Caboto provides the combination of breadth and in-depth instruction that will make it, like The Joy of Cooking, indispensable to every home.

Over 250 full-colour photographs
10 recipes from each of Italy’s 20 regions, many of which are hard to find in North America
Dessert recipes
Antipasto recipes
An extensive guide to basic procedures, including the preparation of dough, sauces, polenta, salted cod, and more
A glossary of terms