Category Archives: Book News

The Great Gatsby

I am fairly fickle when it comes to books-that-are-made-into-movies. Generally speaking, I dislike them. I prefer the pictures and characters I create in my head to the ones orchestrated on the silver screen. However, as with any rule there are exceptions. I blogged about this very thing ad nauseam here.

The other night I went to see Ryan Gosling’s new movie (his presence being the sole reason I went) Gangster Squad and among the previews was Baz Luhrmann’s new movie the Great Gastby. This movie, starring the affable Leonard DiCaprio, was originally supposed to be an Xmas 2012 release in time for the Oscars but was delayed due to unexplained reasons and is now expected out in May of this year.

It’s a long time to wait but I must admit I am already excited! F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel set during the roaring twenties directed by the same man who directed two of my favorite movies starring an on-again-off-again heart throb  like Leo (when I see pictures of Leo in magazines in between films looking scruffy and rather portly I tend to fall out of love with him but this is all erased the minute he’s back on the big screen…) set to music by Jay-z and Kanye… could it get any better?? I ask you!

The release is still months away but the teaser below should help with the wait. Enjoy!

Yann Martel in Calgary

Sadly, I will miss the occasion to hear Yann Martel speak about his new book Beatrice and Virgil. He will be in Calgary at the Central Library’s John Dutton Theatre on April 28th at 7pm. The event is put on by the fantastic independent bookstore Pages in Kensington. Tickets are only $5 and go towards the Writer in Residence program and the Calgary Public Library.

Five years after the success of Life of Pi (for which he won the Man Booker prize in 2002), Yann set out to write his next book entitled A 20th Century Shirt. The book was to be composed of 2 parts, a flip-book of sorts that could be read back to front and front to back. The theme tying the sections together would be the Holocaust.

Now, some three years later, the book has been released with a new title – Beatrice and Virgil – and many other notable changes.

Due to the success of his first book as well as the rumored $1-3 million (depending on the source) advance, this book has been highly anticipated. I have not yet read it but the reviews are mixed and tending towards disappointment.

Coincidentally, his appearance in Calgary falls one day after Yom HaShoah or Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Atwood wins major international prize

Atwood wins major international prize

See article in the Globe and Mail for the full story (

Canadian novelist Margaret Atwood was announced as one of the 2010 winners of the Dan David Prize at Tel Aviv University and will be awarded $1 million to share with one other winner.  The judges praised Atwood’s work, among other reasons, for having “enabled, for the first time the emergence of a defined Canadian identity, while exploring both national and transnational issues, such as colonization, feminism, structures of political power and oppression, and the violation and exploitation of nature.”

With more than 35 novels to her name, there’s no excuse not to have read her work, especially as a Canadian reader/writer/woman. We’ll add her to our list.

As a bit of an aside, I’m not sure which is more exciting, the thought of receiving an award in Tel Aviv or the notion that an author can strike it big (albeit at the age of 70) without having penned Harry Potter. Either way, congratulations Ms Atwood.