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Brush up your Shakespeare!

Do you enjoy live theatre, but find Shakespeare's plays a little intimidating?  I've been looking through the Stratford Shakespearean Festival's playbill and wondering whether to attend one of the Bard's three plays being presented this year.  My first thought is to read the plays, Julius Caesar, Macbeth and


At the Library

Encyclopedias or Reference Books:

Picture Books for Adults?

What a treat to read a literary work with lots of illustrations!  Even though I'm many years past reading picture books to my young children, I still have a weakness for books with attractive pictures or vivid art work.  So my attention was immediately caught by a beautiful new book, 'Paintings in Proust',  which is a lavishly illustrated visual guide to

Possession: a novel to savour

book cover image of PossessionThere are certain books that I return to regularly because each time I read them I discover something new. I recently re-read Possession by A.S. Byatt, winner of the Booker Prize in 1990, and found myself yet again swept up in this amazing story.

Mostly Happy

Mostly Happy book cover image

Fans of Lullabies for Little Criminals, the 2007 Canada Reads winner written by Heather O'Neill or The Glass Castle by American author Jeanette Wells, should check out this debut novel by Pam Bustin. Mostly Happy is the story of

Joan Barfoot visiting Central Library

Celebrated London author Joan Barfoot is coming to the Central Library on Tuesday September 30 at 7:30pm! She will be doing a reading from her new novel Exit Lines  that evening. Tickets are $5 each and all proceeds go to a Book for Every Child . You can also purchase a signed copy of

Penn Kemp, a local poet celebrated

You may have read the recent article in The Londoner about local poet Penn Kemp. Internationally known, Penn's work "Crossing the Light" has been posted on the government of Canada’s website by John Steffler, Canada’s Library of Parliament’s poet laureate.

Not Just for Children

     The Mennyms by Sylvia Waugh is a novel written for children, presumably.  But like any fine children's novel, or indeed any fine novel at all, The Mennyms defies and redefines its genre.  I suspect that its author, a retired British schoolteacher, sat down and wrote her book without any idea of aiming it squarely at a specific audience:  The story is too quirky and compelling for that kind of calculation. 

Re-discovering Thoreau

bookcover image  "Every man looks at his woodpile with a kind of affection."  Henry David Thoreau, author of Walden and Civil Disobedience, wrote few more charming sentences than this one.  The man and his woodpile, modestly iconic, suggest a life of pleasurable striving in a homespun utopia -- or so I imagined during an adolescence given over to the teachings of this nineteenth century transcendental hippie.

Elizabeth Hay wins the Scotiabank Giller prize!

There was exciting news in the world of Canadian publishing last night as the winner of the 2007 Scotiabank Giller prize was announced at a gala dinner in Toronto.  I thought this year's shortlist was particularly strong and that all the nominees were worthy of the prize.  I was rooting for Elizabeth Hay and her novel Late Nights on Air, and was delighted when her name was announced. I have been an admirer of her beautiful writing since I read A Student of Weather