Bella's Bookshelves

Saleema Nawaz Updates Us on Fire Damage—And Her Books

Posted by in other book stuff

To all who’ve read and so generously responded to my previous blog post Help Canadian Author Saleema Nawaz Rebuild Her Book Collection After Fire: THANK YOU. Your responses showed kindness, understanding, empathy, and also a kindred love of literature. I feel certain that your comments have buoyed Saleema’s spirits even while she’s faced with the destruction of her home. As Sam Gamgee said to Faramir a long, long time ago, you have shown your quality, the very highest. However: Saleema has posted an update on her blog. Please read her post….read more

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Short Stories for Breakfast Weekly Recap

Posted by in Short Stories for Breakfast

Another week of good stories. Some better than others, but I remain convinced that I don’t have a shitty book in this whole house. April 15: #shortstoriesforbreakfast: “Of God and Cod,” by Anthony De Sa, from BARNACLE LOVE. So much richness in one little story. A man leaves his family behind for a voyage from Portugal and Newfoundland. The beginning of what promises to be a very good collection of intimately connected stories. Doubleday, 2008. April 16: #shortstoriesforbreakfast is abominably late today. But better late than never. I read “Elk…read more

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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 The RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers rewards writers under age 35 who are unpublished in book form.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

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

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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“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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LitBits 27

Posted by in LitBits

Lately I’ve been finding it hard to keep up with all the fantastic book stuff! Here’s another LitBit post of some things I’ve collected since LitBits 26. 1. I want this very badly. It’s a tent that looks like a book! My husband and I take Lucy camping every year — have done since 2000 (well, we’ve been camping that long together, but Lucy didn’t start curling up with us by the fire till 2003). Anyway, I’d camp under the stars in this tent without hesitation. It’s awesome. “Sleeps two…read more

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Mad Hope, by Heather Birrell: A Review

Posted by in other book stuff

I’ve always read good books. Because of the way I choose a book, I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve ever regretted a purchase. But I think, during my whole long reading life, never have I read such great books in succession since publishers found this blog a couple of years ago and began offering me review copies. I don’t know if it’s just that my appreciation has deepened through reviewing, or if the books I’m reading (tending to be by young Canadians) are more my…read more

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Whirl Away, by Russell Wangersky: A Review

Posted by in book reviews

One of the very best things about my reading experience with short stories lately is that they keep getting better, just when I don’t think it’s possible. I don’t know if I can say that about the novels I’ve checked out lately. Certainly there are very good ones, but nothing has been so original and skilfully written in my reading these days as the collections of short stories. Whirl Away by Russell Wangersky is certainly no exception. To give the verdict away from the start, this is easily my favourite collection…read more

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“Ten Stories Will Get You One”: Guest Post by Daniel Griffin, Author of Stopping for Strangers

Posted by in authors

There are ten short stories in my new book Stopping for Strangers. I spent about ten years working on the book, so on the face of it, that makes for easy math: I averaged a story a year.  The truth, however, is more complicated. When I switch on my computer and look at the folder where I keep old story drafts, there are dozens and dozens of abandoned or finished-but-never-published stories. There are also some stories that were published but didn’t make it into the collection. While none of this…read more

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Stopping for Strangers, by Daniel Griffin: A Review

Posted by in book reviews

Daniel Griffin is all over the place right now. Just google him. His name’s been frequently popping up in newspapers, journals, magazines, and on blogs. Not long ago, he released Stopping for Strangers: ten polished stories that took him just as many years to write. It’s a slim collection, just shy of 150 pages, but that in no way leaves you feeling cheated. The first story, called “Promise,” about a tense relationship between two grown brothers, sets the tone for what you’re about to embark on—a powerful, insightful, and often jolting experience…read more

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LitBits 25

Posted by in LitBits

A sunny but cold day here in Belleville, Ontario, and a quiet day. I’m in need of some picking up, and you  may be too. Here’s a few literary tidbits to add a bit of fun. 1. I don’t know why I haven’t mentioned this magazine before. It’s called Bookmarks: For Everyone Who Hasn’t Read Everything. It’s American with a small staff, but it’s an impressive compilation of letters, selections (including literary, genre, non-fic titles), Have you Read? and Coming Soon books, books that have won awards, Now in Paperback…read more

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