Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Giller 2006 Winner Is...

Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures by Vincent Lam
From the Giller Website (
Toronto, ON (November 7, 2006) – Vincent Lam has been named the 2006 winner of The Scotiabank Giller Prize, Canada’s premier literary prize for fiction, for his novel Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures, published by Doubleday Canada. The announcement was made at a gala dinner and award ceremony that drew more than 450 members of the publishing, media and arts communities. Hosted by Justin Trudeau, The Scotiabank Giller Prize was broadcast across Canada in primetime at 10 p.m. ET on CTV. The telecast will air again tomorrow, Wednesday, Nov. 8 at 10 a.m. ET and Saturday, Nov. 11 at 4 p.m. ET on CTV

The largest annual prize for fiction in the country, The Scotiabank Giller Prize awards $40,000 each year to the author of the best Canadian novel or short story collection published in English and $2,500 to each of the finalists.Selected by an esteemed jury panel comprised of The Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson and distinguished Canadian authors Alice Munro and Michael Winter, the five finalists were chosen from 101 books submitted for consideration by 36 publishing houses from every region of the country.

Of the winning book, the jury remarked: “This series of inter-linked stories is a profound and meaningful glimpse into a world which seems on the surface to be purely medical, but leads us into the metaphorical. The characters and the situations are unexpectedly bound together and make us, as readers, not just witnesses to, but participants in, the world that has been created for us.”

Vincent Lam was born in London, Ontario and grew up in Ottawa. His family is from the expatriate Chinese community of Vietnam. Vincent Lam is a doctor who did his medical training in Toronto and is an emergency physician who also does international evacuation work. His non-fiction writing has appeared in The Globe and Mail, the National Post and the University of Toronto Medical Journal. Lam’s first novel will be published by Doubleday in 2007. He and his wife live in Toronto.

Copies of Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures are on order. Watch our website to place holds.

Friday, November 03, 2006

What We're Reading this Month

November is the perfect month to settle in on a comfy couch with a good book. Why not read what others in Georgina are reading this month? Our Book Clubs are in full swing, and new members are always welcome!

What we're reading in Sutton

An Audience Of Chairs by Joan Clark

Set primarily in rural Cape Breton, An Audience of Chairs recounts the life of Moranna MacKenzie, an unforgettable character. Moranna, suffers from an unnamed mental illness, possibly bi-polar disease, which led to the removal of her two daughters more than thirty years ago. She is a free-spirited recluse who spends her days singing and playing the piano, baking bread and carving figures out of wood. Upon learning of the upcoming wedding of one of her daughters, Moranna is determined to attend. She realizes that she must retain her sanity and composure or lose this chance to reconcile with her daughters. This is book full of gentleness, compassion, humour and beauty.

The Sutton Book Club meets Tuesday, November 28th at 7:30pm at the Peter Gzowski Branch.

What we're reading in Keswick

The Five People you Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom

Eddie is a grizzled war veteran who feels trapped in a meaningless life of fixing rides at a seaside amusement park. As the park has changed over the years -- from the Loop-the-Loop to the Pipeline Plunge -- so, too, has Eddie changed, from optimistic youth to embittered old age. His days are a dull routine of work, loneliness, and regret. Then, on his 83rd birthday, Eddie dies in a tragic accident, trying to save a little girl from a falling cart. With his final breath, he feels two small hands in his -- and then nothing. He awakens in the afterlife, where he learns that heaven is not a lush Garden of Eden, but a place where your earthly life is explained to you by five people who were in it. These people may have been loved ones or distant strangers. In The Five People You Meet in Heaven, Mitch Albom gives us an astoundingly original story that will change everything you've ever thought about the afterlife -- and the meaning of our lives here on earth. With a timeless tale, appealing to all, this is a book that readers of fine fiction, and those who loved Tuesdays with Morrie, will treasure.

The Keswick Book Club meets Tuesday, November 28 at 7pm, at the Keswick Branch

What we're reading in Pefferlaw

Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
14-year-old Lily Owen, neglected by her father and isolated on their Georgia peach farm, spends hours imagining a blissful infancy when she was loved and nurtured by her mother, Deborah, whom she barely remembers. These consoling fantasies are her heart's answer to the family story that as a child, in unclear circumstances, Lily accidentally shot and killed her mother. All Lily has left of Deborah is a strange image of a Black Madonna, with the words "Tiburon, South Carolina" scrawled on the back. The search for a mother, and the need to mother oneself, are crucial elements in this well-written coming-of-age story set in the early 1960s against a background of racial violence and unrest. When Lily's beloved nanny, Rosaleen, manages to insult a group of angry white men on her way to register to vote and has to skip town, Lily takes the opportunity to go with her, fleeing to the only place she can think of--Tiburon, South Carolina--determined to find out more about her dead mother. Although the plot threads are too neatly trimmed, The Secret Life of Bees is a carefully crafted novel with an inspired depiction of character. The legend of the Black Madonna and the brave, kind, peculiar women who perpetuate Lily's story dominate the second half of the book, placing Kidd's debut novel squarely in the honored tradition of the Southern Gothic.

The Pefferlaw Book Club meets Thursday, Dec 7 at 1:30pm, at the Pefferlaw Branch.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

November is National Novel Writing Month

Are you an aspiring writer? Ever dream of being the newest Stephen King? Now's your chance! November is National Novel Writing Month, and at, the motto is No Plot? No Problem!
National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30.
Local chapters (including Georgina) help writers connect to each other and stay motivated.
Visit and join 75,000 other would-be novelists. Happy writing!