1. This week started with a bang, as the Scotiabank Giller Prize Gala was held in Toronto on Tuesday night. The Giller Prize is Canada’s most prestigious literary award for fiction, akin to the Oscars in the film world, only better because the winner receives $50,000! The jury for this year’s Giller included Irish author and screenwriter Roddy Doyle; Canadian publisher, writer and essayist Anna Porter; and American author and satirist Gary Shteyngart. This year’s prize was awarded to Will Ferguson for his thrilling novel, 419. Other nominees included Inside by Alix Ohlin, Ru by Kim Thúy, Whirl Away by Russell Wangersky, and HarperCollins’ very own Nancy Richler with her gorgeous novel, The Imposter Bride. The Giller Gala is a pretty exclusive event, so most of us in the office attended a fun party called Giller Light! Nearly everyone who works in Canadian publishing was in attendance, and it featured a live broadcast of the award ceremony, which we all watched with bated breath. While we were, of course, rooting for Nancy Richler, we want to congratulate Will Ferguson on a job well done! During his acceptance speech, Ferguson – wearing traditional Highland dress, including a kilt! – lifted a flask and proposed a toast “to the written word”. We’ll cheers to that!
2. As you know, it was everyone’s favorite candy-fueled holiday this week – Halloween! We had some fun celebrating around the office with lots of mini chocolate bars, and some of us even wore our costumes to work! We also featured a couple posts on the Savvy Reader blog dedicated to our favorite spooky reads – The Top 10 Adult Halloween Reads, and The Top 10 YA Halloween Reads (for those of us too chicken to read Krampus: The Yule Lord or anything with a scary clown on the cover…even if it is only about baking cakes.) Check them out to get ideas for your next thrilling read!
3. We had some fabulous authors come in to the HarperCollins office this week. Nancy Richler, Giller nominee extraordinaire, was here on Monday, and we all toasted to her success. If you haven’t read her novel The Imposter Bride yet, I would recommend it – it received glowing reviews from The Globe and Mail and National Post, among others. We were even lucky enough to get some books signed! The lovely Laura Lippman also came for a visit this week, signing copies of her brilliant new mystery novel, And When She Was Good, which The New York Times called “nuanced and interesting…a steady, surprising tale”. Check it out!
4. Yesterday we hosted a discussion on Facebook about the new HCC Fan Choice Pick, Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore! This book has been a huge hit around our office, as you can tell from reading Suman’s post on the Savvy Reader, “My Favorite Quotes from Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore”. We’ve all been charmed by this feisty little book; a “literary adventure story for the 21st century.” Last week, its author Robin Sloan was a guest at IFOA, and he also had a great interview with Nora Young on CBC’s Spark – take a listen!
5. On a somber note, Hurricane Sandy swept through parts of the U.S. and Canada this week (including here in Toronto), causing some devastating damage. We were happy to hear that our friends at HarperCollins in New York City are okay, even though parts of Manhattan are still without power. We are sending positive energy to all those involved in the recovery efforts, along with this list of the Top 10 Rainy Day Reads, until the sky clears!
As always, we wish you a great weekend!