1) Hey, Savvy Readers! It’s just about that time of year when Canadians get riled up alongside a passionate panel of national celebrities, each vying to have the book they represent crowned champion of CBC’s Canada Reads competition. This year, the patriotic stakes are especially high since all five books represent a specific national region. We’re particularly excited about David Bergen’s beautiful novel The Age of Hope being chosen to contend on behalf of the Prairies and Northern Canada. Even better, it will be defended by Ron MacLean, who’s no doubt sharpened his argumentative skills after twenty years of cohosting Hockey Night in Canada with Don Cherry. The debates will air on CBC Radio everyday between February 11th and 14th, when the official Canada Reads selection will be announced—meaning you have just enough time to familiarize yourself with the contenders. If the past two years’ trials are any indication, be sure to tune in for some heated conversation and lively literary disputes.
2) It’s also that time of year when everyone rounds up their best-of lists, the Globe and Mail having recently published their own much anticipated year-end picks which conveniently doubles as a gift guide for the bookworms in your life. We certainly know what’s on our Christmas list this year! (Hint: Nancy Richler’s Giller-nominee The Imposter Bride, Straphanger by Taras Grescoe and Emma Donoghue’s latest novel, Astray, each make an appearance.)
3.) On the subject of giving, every booklover knows that there is nothing better than passing along a book that you love to someone that you love. Doing so is an act of kindness, and you end up sharing a large part of yourself when you share a much beloved book. That’s why HarperCollinsCanada’s Share Reading campaign, launched this week to celebrate their 100,000 Facebook fans, strikes such a cord. It is a testament to the power of storytelling and the amazing way in which books bring people together, reminding us why reading is so important. You can check out their awesome video—in which they stage a living room in the center of one of Canada’s busiest intersections—here, and the video in which they extend a heartwarming thank you to readers here. You may also want to “like” them on Facebook, ‘cause who knows what they’ll come up with once they hit the 200,000 mark!
4) Alright, so we know you’re a fan of sharing reading and now we’re wondering: are you also a fan of Dennis Lehane? What about good television? If you answered “yes” to both of these questions—and you probably did because, even if you haven’t read Lehane, the films Shutter Island, Mystic River and Gone, Baby, Gone are all based on his novels—then you may be interested to know that shortly after Lehane released his latest book, Live by Night—a thrilling read about rum bootlegging during the prohibition era—HBO called to hire him as a creative consultant for their hit show Boardwalk Empire, about Atlantic City booze smugglers. If you don’t already watch the show, you can go ahead and add the first three seasons to your Christmas list so that you’re all caught up for the twists and turns Lehane surely has in store.
5) In other entertainment news, fans came out in full force for the premiere of Peter Jackson’s first trilogy installment in his long-awaited adaptation of The Hobbit in New Zealand this past week. The crowds—which were reportedly tens of thousands of people wide, most of whom were sporting elf ears and wizard hats—were there to celebrate the film industry Jackson has brought to New Zealand, having filmed his Lord of the Ring trilogy there as well, as much as the movie itself. Shot in 48 frames per second, as opposed to the usual 24, and finally bringing a much-loved literary classic to the big screen, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is sure to thrill audiences when it is officially released around the world on December 14th. In the meantime, may we suggest that you read (or re-read) the book?
That’s it for this week’s edition of Bookmarks. Enjoy your weekend, Savvy Readers!
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