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All stories by Alina Seagal

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Daily book biz round-up: Author sues Pentagon; Laura Miller on bad writing; and more

Today’s book news:

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Apple accused of selling pirated books

Japanese publishers are accusing Apple of illegally selling electronic copies of Japanese novels, reports the AFP. The pirated books were authored by Haruki Murakami, Keigo Higashino, and other popular Japanese writers. On Tuesday, the publishers demanded the removal of the works from the iBookstore.

According to the AFP:

“Some of the works have been deleted in response to requests from authors and publishers but a majority of them continue to be illegally distributed,” the [publishers'] statement said. …

Apple Japan said in a comment issued to Japanese media: “We fully understand the importance of intellectual property including copyright. We will promptly and appropriately respond to complaints about violation of copyright.”

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Montreal petitioned to honour Mordecai Richler

On Monday, Montreal city councillor Marvin Rotrand tabled a petition consisting of more than 2,500 signatures calling for a public space to be renamed after Mordecai Richler by July 3, a date marking the 10th anniversary of the author’s death. The CBC has more:

So far, some suggestions have ruffled feathers, including renaming a street such as Mile End’s Fairmount Street or Saint-Urbain Street after the author.

However, Rotrand said one idea is gaining momentum.

“The number one thing is to name a library for Mordecai Richler. A lot of people suggested the Mile End Library,” said Rotrand, noting the library in the heart of the neighbourhood where Richler grew up and set many of his novels, including Barney’s Version. …

“The fact that a writer of the stature of Mordecai Richler doesn’t in his own home town have some sort of recognition seems odd to me,” said Rotrand.

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Unpublished Philip Larkin poem found in a shoebox

An unpublished poem by Philip Larkin has been discovered 25 years after the British poet’s death. A producer working on a documentary about Larkin’s romantic relationship with his secretary, Betty Mackereth, spotted the poem, entitled “Dear Jake,” in a shoebox. The piece was written the year Larkin started seing his secretary outside of work and, according to the Guardian, it sheds light on their relationship:

[T]he manuscript was enclosed with a card from Larkin saying, “This is for you. You can sell it later on,” and explaining that it should be read in conjunction with “Posterity”, his 1968 poem imagining a cynical biographer misunderstanding his life.

The former poet laureate, Andrew Motion, who first revealed the relationship in a biography of Larkin published in 1993 … said that while the poem is “not absolutely premier division Larkin”, it is a marvellous discovery.

“It’s a little, new piece of the jigsaw,” he said, “which gives a very sweet and touching picture of this episode of his life.”

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The Wizard of Oz for $40,000—$60,000

When Jack Haley Jr. was five, his father played the Tin Man in the film version of The Wizard of Oz. Jack Haley Sr. brought a copy of L. Frank Baum’s book to the set and had it signed by the film’s cast and crew. The Los Angeles Times reports that the battered, autographed volume will be auctioned this December. It’s expected to sell for up to $60,000.

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Daily book biz round-up: Oprah likes Dickens; Atwood likes Wilkie Collins; and more

Today’s book news:

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Daily book biz round-up: Atwood giveaways; more recognition for Room; and more

Today’s book news:

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Event photos: This Is Silly! book party

Toronto author and illustrator Gary Taxali signed copies of his new book, This Is Silly! (Scholastic Press), and launched a line of retro wooden toys designed exclusively for Indigo at the chain’s Manulife Centre location in Toronto on Nov. 27. Here are some photos:

Taxali prepares to sign a copy of This Is Silly!

Readers gather to meet Taxali

A colourful This Is Silly! cake.

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Event photos: A Chanukah Noel book launch

Second Story Press launched A Chanukah Noel, written by Sharon Jennings and illustrated by Gillian Newland, at Mabel’s Fables Children’s Bookstore in Toronto on Monday. Here are some photos from the event:

Mabel’s Fables’ A Chanukah Noel–themed window display

Jennings (left) was inspired to write A Chanukah Noel after hearing Charlotte Teeple (right), executive director of The Canadian Children’s Book Centre, tell a story from her own childhood

Jennings reaches out to Teeple, while Mabel’s Fables owner Eleanor LeFave applauds in the background.

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Toronto Public Libraries may face budget cuts

The Toronto Public Library is fighting against proposed cuts to its operating budget. The city asked the TPL to reduce its budget by 5 per cent in 2011. The board declined last week, and instead asked for an additional $5.51 million, a 3.3 per cent increase over last year, to cover inflation and contractual employee raises and benefits.

Now that cost-cutting Mayor Rob Ford is officially in office, things aren’t looking promising for the TPL. The Toronto Star reports:

City manager Joe Pennachetti, whose own job is on the line with a new mayor, told senior staff sternly last week that Ford has an agenda for change. “A lot of our staff, I believe, get it. They understand,” Pennachetti says.

… “[W]e have to look at who is on the library board, if they don’t wish to follow the directions of council,” [deputy mayor Doug] Holyday promises. “The boards should be trying to cooperate.”

According to The Globe and Mail, the TPL would need to close all but five of 99 city libraries on Sundays; reduce its operating hours; and order 116,000 fewer books and materials annually to meet the budget cut demands. Between 2007 and 2009, the TPL saw an 8.1 per cent increase in use of library materials and a 7.1 per cent increase in visits from the public.

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Book Pictures

Do you have great photos from a recent book event in Canada that you'd like to share with us? Submit them to the Quill & Quire Flickr pool and they'll show up here.

Steve Artelle

Chris Jennings

Kaie Kellough


Hall of Honourers

Brandon Wint

Eva Stachniak's Empress of the Night

Eva Stachniak poses with a copy of her book, Empress of the Night

Tea and snacks inspired by Eva Stachniak's Empress of the Night

Rimma Burashko with author Eva Stachniak

Eva Stachniak talks to the audience about the best and worst of Catherine the Great's favourites

Eva Stachniak smiles as she signs a copy of Empress of the Night for a fan

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