Bella's Bookshelves

Writers’ Trust Identifies Literary Stars of Tomorrow

Posted by in book-related events

This is a Writers’ Trust press release Finalists Announced for RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers Toronto – April 18, 2013 – The Writers’ Trust of Canada is delighted to announce finalists for a literary award that plays an instrumental role in discovering and promoting the next stars of Canadian literature. The RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers rewards writers under age 35 who are unpublished in book form. Alternating each year between poetry and short fiction, the award will be given this year to the author of an exceptional…read more

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Short Stories for Breakfast Weekly Recap

Posted by in Short Stories for Breakfast

Oy. This post was supposed to be set for this past Sunday but, well, this Sunday passed. As did Monday. These are the days of our lives, yes? As the world turns. Had we but world enough and time, etcetera. Here’s a recap of the short stories I read last week. Most were exceptional. I swear, if I didn’t have favourite authors and wasn’t so excited about some upcoming novels, I’d read only collections for the rest of my literary life. April 8: #shortstoriesforbreakfast: “The Runner,” by Derek Hayes, from…read more

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Short Stories for Breakfast Weekly Recap

Posted by in Short Stories for Breakfast

The short stories I read this weekend were a nice mix, by women and men, contemporary and older, even different in format, since one I read, today, was from a pdf. Here are the breakfasts I enjoyed this week: April 1: #shortstoriesforbreakfast: “The Many Faces of Montgomery Clift,” by Grace O’Connell, author of the novel Magnified World. This story, which reminded me so much of a friendship I had, was part of Writers’ Trust Journey Prize Anthology #24. I enjoyed it so much I emailed Grace and we had a…read more

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Short Stories for Breakfast Weekly Recap

Posted by in Short Stories for Breakfast

About a week and a half ago I began the tradition of reading a short story for breakfast. You can read about it here. This post is a recap of all the stories I read, plus a little more. A different spin on my LitBits posts, kind of! March 21: Really enjoying a short story for breakfast every morning! This morning was Jess Walter’s excellent titular story from We Live In Water. A man tries to find out what happened to his father, who disappeared when he was a kid. Tough,…read more

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Short Stories for Breakfast

Posted by in book-related events

As much as the magazines and websites and professionals stress that you must eat breakfast every morning, I just can’t. I’m not ready, I don’t want it. It takes me a while to ease into my day. But everyone argues that you must have nourishment to start your day properly, to jumpstart your metabolism, blahblahblah. Sorry. No can do. More than ever I’ve been listening to my intuition—literally, here, my gut. It tells me the best time for me to eat is between 10:30 and 11:30, and sometimes even later….read more

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LitBits 29

Posted by in LitBits

Surprise! Yes, it’s long absent me. I’ve been collecting LitBits for you since SEPTEMBER. But let’s shift the focus away from how much I suck to how much these things don’t: 1. Amanda Leduc is a young Canadian author. She has a novel coming out in May, called The Miracles of Ordinary Men, from ECW Press. And because I very happily work for ECW, I had the extreme privilege of working on Amanda’s book. READ IT. It’s very good. Allegra Young is also a young Canadian, a classical music producer…read more

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Bella’s Bookshelves is a Canadian Weblog Awards Winner!

Posted by in book-related events

Hey all, Great things happened today. First, I received an extremely lovely email from a guy named Martin who lives in Switzerland. He wrote to tell me he enjoyed this blog and the reviews and loved the recommendations, and was sad that my reviewing had been infrequent lately. To be honest, I’ve actually wanted to blog here more than ever since that previous post in which I spilled some guts, but my impending deadlines are currently such that I can’t even take a moment to start a review, let alone…read more

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The Rights of the Reader

Posted by in reading

I relate to every single one. Thank you, Daniel Pennac. Yes. And oh! Quentin Blake! How much he understands with these illustrations! Look at those faces! The body language! I love number 10. (Dear Readers, I’m under several deadlines so I haven’t had the time to post or do anything else [I'm exercising right number 1 for the time being], but I thought in the meantime this below would suffice. It really says so very much.)

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Year’s End and Then Some

Posted by in book reviews, other book stuff

2012 was a great year for Bella’s Bookshelves. I found good friends, albeit mostly online, who helped me understand and forge my place in this world and who allowed and encouraged me to give back to it in several ways. Yes, this world, not just the literary one. These new friends are mainly bookish—authors, publishing professionals, book bloggers, book lovers in general. It is not amazing when you think about it—rather, it makes sense—that books bring people together in intimate ways. I’m utterly grateful for these friendships, for the warm…read more

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Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays!

Posted by in other book stuff

I’m sitting in the living room by the tree, Bing’s voice like molasses dripping in my ears. I snuggle deeper under my soft red HarperCollins blanket, sip chocolate chai tea in my Random House mug, and rest my eyes on all the fairy lights and shelves of books. Just looking at books elicits so much emotion in me. Warmth, nostalgia, comfort, sanctuary, the hint of adventure. We don’t often get holidays, but now is the time, and it’s one of the cosiest holidays, too. So many of us don’t get…read more

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Masha’Allah and Other Stories, by Mariah K. Young: A Review

Posted by in book reviews

Yes, it’s been a long while since I’ve posted a review. I’m genuinely sorry. I haven’t been able to get much reading done for the blog lately. But I have read this collection of short stories for a blog tour. And it’s not even Canadian! (gasp!) There are several cool things about Masha’Allah and Other Stories. The main one, aside from the stories, is that it’s published by Heyday (in CA), “an independent, non-profit publisher and unique cultural institution.” That’s exciting, eh? They promote “widespread awareness and celebration of California’s…read more

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“Give Canadian” and “Defying Convention: Reading Short Stories”

Posted by in other book stuff

On the #CanLit chat today on Twitter with @CBC books, a couple of us were talking about the impressions people have of Canadian literature. Usually, these are unfortunate and misguided impressions, caused inadvertently by school teachers or others who define CanLit as only from a few major authors like Atwood, Ondaatje, Shields, etc. Not that there’s anything wrong with these authors or their writing, but CanLit is so much more than the canon. We also discussed the negative and negligent attitude toward short stories. I’ve found as a bookseller that…read more

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