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Random House of Canada launches online magazine as part of digital overhaul

What does a major publishing house look like in the digital age?

Random House of Canada has offered one answer with today’s launch of a multifaceted digital strategy that includes an online magazine (known as Hazlitt), an ebook imprint (Hazlitt Originals), and a website redesign.

The centrepiece of the campaign is the online magazine, the subject of some industry speculation ever since Random House of Canada hired Christopher Frey, a founder of Outpost magazine and Toronto Standard, earlier this year. While Hazlitt, which takes its name from a 19th-century literary critic and essayist, will be hosted on the Random House of Canada website, the company says it will maintain editorial independence, relying on freelance journalists to provide much of the content.

“As the idea evolved, there was an understanding at several levels of the company that for this, as a magazine, to succeed and build an audience and have credibility, it will have to have its own editorial identity,” Frey told Q&Q, following a media launch earlier this week. “Many of the people writing for it will have to be non–Random House authors or working journalists. We will need to be able to write about everything in the culture, and not just Random House books.”

Contributing writers will include Lynn Crosbie, Kaitlin Fontana, Billie Livingston, Jason McBride, Drew Nelles, and Carl Wilson, as well as filmmaker Scott Cudmore (who will provide multimedia content). Frey says he views the magazine as “competing with any other Web-based magazine out there, like Slate or Salon or The Awl, or the Web versions of other print magazines.”

Hazlitt stories can be read online for free. At launch, the magazine features limited advertising, and cross-promotions for Random House titles appear low-key.

“This is an opportunity for us directly to engage with readers, and to bring the writers we represent close to readers,” says Robert Wheaton, vice-president and director of strategic digital business development. “Learning from readers is of tremendous importance to us across the entirety of our business.”

As for the other key facet of Random House of Canada’s online push, the digital department will work with the company’s book publishing division to produce ebooks under the Hazlitt Originals imprimatur. The first title in the series, which will focus on non-fiction and essays, is journalist Patrick Graham’s The Man Who Went to War: A Reporter’s Memoir from Libya and the Arab Uprising. It will be followed by U.K. journalist Steven Poole’s “anti-foodie polemic” You Aren’t What You Eat and Ivor Tossell’s The Gift of Ford, about Toronto’s mayor.

The digital-only publishing initiative takes a page from Byliner.com and the Canadian Writers’ Group, the writers’ organization behind the ebook Finding Karla: How I Tracked Down an Elusive Serial Child Killer and Discovered a Mother of Three by journalist Paula Todd. Likewise, the Organization of Book Publishers of Ontario’s Open Book project and the Association of Canadian Publishers’ 49th Shelf are both attempts to create an online hub serving the dual role of marketing tool and source for compelling content.

But the scope of Random House’s digital ambitions are unprecedented in Canadian publishing. “Ultimately, we view this as a platform for future innovations in publishing,” Frey says.

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Cartoonists petition Canada Council for grant eligibility

Kate Beaton (photo: Justin Tobin)

Yesterday at San Diego’s international Comic-Con convention, two generations of Canadian cartoonists, Kate Beaton (Hark! A Vagrant) and Lynn Johnston (For Better or for Worse), shared the stage for a discussion about the craft of serialized comics.

Back at home, the Association of Canadian Editorial Cartoonists is hoping to put some cash and prizes in the pockets of artists like Beaton and Johnston. The group is petitioning the Canada Council for the Arts to make cartoonists and cartoon publishers eligible for its grants and the Governor General’s Literary Awards (graphic novels are eligible for funds but are excluded from the GG awards).

The petition states:

Given the artistic quality of Canadian cartooning, it’s cultural importance, its centrality to an understanding of Canadian society and history, and its appeal to readers of all ages, a strong argument can and should be made that the Canada Council should support the work of cartoonists and that of publishers interested in publishing their work. The Association of Canadian Editorial Cartoonists is ideally positioned to lobby for such a change in Canada Council policy. And we do know that ACEC members are good at getting their point across.


UPDATE: According to Tara Lapointe, head of marketing communications for the Canada Council: “There are no barriers for editorial cartoonists or other artists who bridge editorial and visual art to apply for support from the Canada Council. In fact, they are eligible in two different programs. Under our Publishing program, publications need to demonstrate editorial oversight and/or commentary as part of the collection of works. In our Visual Art program, all professional visual artists, regardless of medium, are eligible if they meet two criteria: firstly, they have produced an independent body of work (e.g. not commissioned) and have had their work presented in a professional context such as a curated exhibition.”

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D&M’s Trena White lands fellowships at Frankfurt, IFOA

Earlier this week, Q&Q reported that Trena White, publisher at D&M Publishers, has been named the inaugural Canadian editorial fellow for the I.V. Programme, the annual networking event that runs alongside Toronto’s International Festival of Authors. It turns out that White, who is based in Vancouver, will have to dust off her passport as well, as she has also been named the sole Canadian fellow at this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair.

The latter fellowship runs from Sept. 30 to Oct. 14 and will see White visiting publishing houses in Frankfurt, Cologne, and Berlin, before attending the international book fair. In a press release, White says of her dual appointments: “It’s a great honour to be granted these opportunities. D&M Publishers has built lasting connections with international publishing contacts over the years, and it’s vital that our next generation of leaders continue in this tradition. The fellowships will allow us to do just that.”

White was promoted to publisher of D&M last March as part of a series of executive-level changes. Before joining the firm in 2010, the B.C. native spent six years as an editor at McClelland & Stewart.

In the March issue of Q&Q, we asked Trena about her editorial vision and D&M’s future:

In general, do you think the non-­fiction being published has changed over the last decade? This is definitely the era of celebrity memoirs and bios. The bestseller list is largely populated by books about or by celebrities, and I don’t know if that was the case 10 years ago. I think there’s been something of a shift, where it seems as though people have been looking for slightly lighter fare in the last couple of years. After 9/11 people were looking for meaty, weighty non-fiction analyzing current events, but now it seems like people want to be more entertained. I’m thinking of books like Neil Pasricha’s The Book of Awesome (Penguin). Maybe there’s a bit of fatigue over books about international affairs.

What do you look for in a manuscript? I love narrative non-fiction, so I love a good story. I want to be entertained as much as I want to be informed. Every editor and publisher talks about discovering a strong voice, somebody whose writing makes you sit up and pay attention, whose writing is original and fresh, and shows a deep talent. I like books that have a social conscience, and that’s a way my values align nicely with Douglas & McIntyre’s. Historically, it’s been a humanistic list: a lot of books about social issues, politics, and current affairs.

How is D&M preparing for the future? These are such challenging times for book publishers: no one knows where things are going, and everything’s in flux. I think there are specific challenges for mid-sized publishers like D&M, because we’re competing nationally against the big corporations that can pay healthy advances, and we don’t have the economies of scale. But I think we’re doing a lot right now to put us in a good place for the future, like focusing on international distribution arrangements; getting our art and architecture books distributed in Europe through Prestel Verlag, for example.

How is working for a Vancouver publisher different than a Toronto-based company? I’m from B.C., so for me, coming to D&M was coming home. It’s different in that there’s a very strong writing and publishing community in Vancouver, and we’re the biggest player in that scene. We get a lot more proposals and manuscripts through referrals, and through relationships various people in the company have with writers and other contacts. We’re tapped into the community in a very significant way, and that’s fantastic.

Are there downsides to being headquartered on the West Coast? I do worry that we’re under the radar of agents and authors in Toronto, though half, if not more, of our authors are based in central or Eastern Canada, and we have a small marketing office in Toronto. I also sometimes worry about the perception that we’re not a big player because we’re not based in Toronto. We don’t see ourselves as a regional publisher – we’re a national publisher competing on a national level.

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Simon & Schuster book jackets to feature QR codes

This fall, in an effort to boost newsletter subscriptions, Simon & Schuster will feature QR codes on the back of every new book jacket.

Scanning the code will lead consumers to an author page on S&S’s website where they are encouraged to sign up for email alerts, watch video interviews, and find out more about the author’s other works.

Tech website Mashable Business quotes Ellie Hirschhorn, executive vice president and chief digital officer at S&S:

The QR code is a way to use the distribution of our physical books as a means to build our [subscriber] database. This direct-to-consumer relationship then enables us to market future books and authors more cost-effectively.

For now, the codes will only be featured on hardcover and trade paperback books, and will be accompanied by  a URL so those without smartphones or QR code scanners can access the author’s page on the S&S website. The codes will be added to other formats later, based on their performance.

Despite the recent announcement of the idea, it has already been met with skepticism by some industry publications (including Paid Content, Mashable Business, and The Digital Reader), which say the QR code trend hasn’t fully caught on in North America, and that URLs are still the better option, as they can be accessed by all browsers.

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WordFest celebrates 100 years of the Calgary Stampede with Wild West programming

Photo courtesy of WordFest and the Calgary Stampede

Calgary’s WordFest has teamed up with the Calgary Stampede to celebrate 100 years of the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.

WildWest Wordfest is a special summer “mini-fest” in tribute to Western Canada’s cowboy culture in literature, music, and art. The free three-day festival launches Monday at Motion Art Gallery with an appearance by Calgary poet laureate Kris Demeanor, an exhibit of images from the Stampede archives, and stories by the winners of the TumbleWord Writing Contest. (Entrants were asked to write a postcard story based on one of five archival Stampede images posted to the WordFest website.)

Highlights from the rest of the week include a Tuesday lunchtime presentation with Piikani storyteller and Stampede School site coordinator Anita Crowshoe; the launch for David Campion and Sandra Shields’ new book of Stampede photography, Cowboy Wild (Rocky Mountain Books), at the Art Gallery of Calgary on Tuesday evening; and the Cowboy Cabaret wrap-up party on Wednesday. The cabaret, which will be held at the Calgary Public Library, features auctioneer Bob Dyck, a collaboration between cowboy poet Doris Daley and singer-songwriter Bruce Innes, a reading from Tom Three Persons by Yvonne Trainer, and a performance of I Just Wanna Be a Stampede Queen by spoken word poet Sheri-D Wilson with dancer Hannah Stilwell.

The WordFest–Stampede partnership might leave some people scratching their heads, but WordFest marketing manager Mary Kapusta says with Calgary being named one of two cultural capitals of Canada for 2012 (the other is Ontario’s Niagara Region), the city has been “buzzing” with opportunities to show off its creative side.

Kapusta admits that the Cowtown’s community of artists hasn’t always appreciated the Stampede’s cultural value, though everyone from actors and  singer-songwriters, to visual artists and writers has responded positively to this partnership. “It’s been an eye-opener for some in our community … learning that the Stampede is about more than just the races and the rodeo,” she says, expressing her own surprise at learning of the Stampede’s involvement in issues such as gender in sport, aboriginal rights and heritage, scientific and technological advances.

Most important, though, was discovering what the two festivals have in common: storytelling. “WordFest is all about stories,” Kapusta says, and the Stampede also treasures a good yarn. “The power of stories is a big thing for them,” she says, noting that the Stampede’s archives provided an entryway to the event’s legends and history. In fact, the archives were integral in putting the Wild West programming together, Kapusta says. “We’re pulling parts of that [history] and playing with it, exploring it, and throwing it against this modern backdrop.”

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J.K. Rowling signs deal for an adult novel; Twitter goes hog wild

Five years after finishing life at Hogwarts, J.K. Rowling is back with a new publisher and a book deal for her first adult novel. Little, Brown will publish the untitled novel in the U.S. and in the U.K., and Hachette Book Group Canada will handle Canadian sales and marketing.

Rowling’s best-selling Harry Potter series, published by Bloomsbury in the U.K. and Scholastic in the U.S., was initially published in Canada by Raincoast Books, which enjoyed record-breaking sales until 2010. Canadian editions are now available through Penguin Canada.

In a statement Rowling said:

Although I’ve enjoyed writing it every bit as much, my next book will be very different to the Harry Potter series, which has been published so brilliantly by Bloomsbury and my other publishers around the world. The freedom to explore new territory is a gift that Harry’s success has brought me, and with that new territory it seemed a logical progression to have a new publisher. I am delighted to have a second publishing home in Little, Brown, and a publishing team that will be a great partner in this new phase of my writing life.

Although the release date and details for the new book are unknown, Rowling, who does not have a social media presence, is trending worldwide on Twitter. Here are a few entertaining tweets out of the thousands already posted:

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Best publicity stunt of the day: Lemony Snicket and Seth collaborate on new series

Quill & Quire is not in the habit of publishing emails, but this one demands sharing.

This afternoon, Q&Q was blind-copied on a correspondence between Vikki VanSickle, marketing and publicity coordinator at HarperCollins Canada, and the curmudgeonly children’s author Daniel Handler, better known as Lemony Snicket. The email revealed the “confidential” news that HarperCollins Canada is publishing a four-book series by Snicket, with illustrations by Canadian artist Seth.

From Lemony Snicket:

From: LemonySnicket
Sent: Wednesday, February 08, 2012 11:43 AM
To: Vansickle, Vikki
Subject: RE: Lemony Snicket Announcement – CONFIDENTIAL

My Dear Ms. VanSickle,

As I have already explained at length to you and others in this publishing conspiracy: no.

Take this press release back, please. I have attached it here. I have sympathy for anyone wanting to promote my work, but none of this information can be released.

In particular, I do not want to see this press release distributed to the list of people I’ve taken care to blind copy above. May they remain forever blind to any information about myself or my work.

These books are questionable and contain questions. I, for one, question why anyone would be interested in reading them.

And have the decency to leave Seth out of it. He has enough trouble as a celebrated artist imprisoned in a basement studio in some wretched university town, not to mention the fact that he’s Canadian.

I would appreciate it if you didn’t contact me again. I’ll be in my office until 4.

With all due respect,

Lemony Snicket

The email was accompanied by a “press release” with a placeholder for a quote from Seth (“if and when he recovers from the trauma of your last encounter”), and a marked-up version of the cover.

The official press release, which arrived 15 minutes later, confirmed that the first book in Snicket’s series, Who Could That Be at This Hour?, will be available in ebook and print formats on Oct. 23.

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Spring preview 2012: Canadian non-fiction

In the January/February issue, Q&Q looks ahead at the spring season’s new books.

MEMOIR AND BIOGRAPHY

Revolutionary activity in the Middle East and North Africa has created an appetite for stories about life in these regions. Among them is the story of CBC News foreign correspondent Nahlah Ayed. In A Thousand Farewells: A Reporter’s Journey from Refugee Camp to the Arab Spring (Penguin Canada, $32 cl., April), the Winnipeg-born journalist traces her passion for reporting on the Middle East to her Palestinian roots and the time she spent in a Jordanian refugee camp as a child. • When Nazanin Afshin-Jam, a Vancouver-raised beauty queen, first heard of Nazanin Fatehi, a teen on death row in Tehran for the murder of her would-be rapist, the two young women had only a name and their Iranian heritage in common. The Tale of Two Nazanins (HarperCollins Canada, $31.99 cl., May), co-written with Susan McClelland, is the story of how the women found common ground in the struggle for Fatehi’s freedom.

While on a tour of duty in Afghanistan in 2006, reservist Trevor Greene had an axe plunged into his skull and lived to tell the tale. Read it for yourself in March Forth: The Inspiring True Story of a Canadian Soldier’s Journey of Love, Hope and Survival (HarperCollins Canada, $29.99 cl., Feb.), co-written with his wife, Debbie Greene.

A pair of memoirs out this spring feature sons coming to terms with their late fathers’ true identities. Deni Béchard follows his fictitious family saga, Vandal Love, with a personal story. Cures for Hunger (Goose Lane Editions, $29.95 cl., May) finds the novelist dealing with the fallout from discovering his dad’s criminal past. • In Cold Comfort: Growing Up Cold War (Talonbooks, $18.95 pa., May), poet Gil McElroy writes about discovering his father’s hidden past working on the controversial Distant Early Warning Line.

In The Many Voyages of Arthur Wellington Clah: A Tsimshian Man on the Pacific Northwest Coast (UBC Press, $29.95 pa., Jan.), historian Peggy Brock creates a portrait of Arthur Wellington Clah, a Hudson’s Bay Company employee who left one of the few first-hand accounts of colonization in Western Canada written from an aboriginal perspective. • In 2008, the Community Arts Council of Greater Victoria commissioned a chronicle of the globetrotting life and unconventional work of artist and printmaker Pat Martin Bates. The result is Balancing on a Thread (Frontenac House Media, $49.95 cl., April), a biography and critical analysis by Pat Bovey, former director of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria.

Internationally renowned composer and music educator R. Murray Schafer recounts personal and artistic growth in My Life on Earth and Elsewhere (The Porcupine’s Quill, $27.95 pa., May), which follows his journey from aspiring painter to sailor to vagabond before deciding to dedicate his life to music. • As an octogenarian, Naomi Beth Wakan considers herself somewhere between old and “old-old,” and thus amply qualified to comment on retirement homes, elder abuse, death, and the disconnect between self-image and society’s perception of seniors. Liquorice and Lavender: Some Thoughts on Roller-coasting into Old Age (Wolsak & Wynn, $19 pa.) appears in April.

William Stevenson may be best known for his book A Man Called Intrepid, about the similarly named British spy William Stephenson, often considered the real-life model for James Bond. Stevenson tells his own life story, touching on his career as a war reporter, in Past to Present: A Reporter’s Story of War, Spies, People, and Politics (Lyons Press/Canadian Manda Group, $28.95 cl., June). • B.C. cowboy and rodeo regular Bruce Watt spins a few yarns about the good, the bad, and the ugly of ranching in Chilcotin Yarns (Heritage House, $16.95 pa., May).

POLITICS AND CURRENT AFFAIRS

As the Canadian government works toward repatriating child soldier Omar Khadr, McGill-Queen’s University Press is set to publish a timely anthology exploring the Canadian-born man’s background, his incarceration at Guantanamo Bay, his treatment at the hands of Canadian authorities, and the implications raised by his legal case. Omar Khadr, Oh Canada ($24.95 pa., May), edited by Janice Williamson, includes contributions from Sherene Razack, Roméo Dallaire, Charles Foran, Judith Thompson, George Elliott Clarke, and Maher Arar.

Nora Young, host of CBC Radio’s Spark, explores issues such as the real-world impact of online communities and why it’s essential to ensure digital privacy in The Virtual Self: How Our Digital Lives Are Altering the World Around Us (McClelland & Stewart, $29.99 cl., April). • Some form of monarchy has ruled Canada since the start of the nation’s recorded history. The Secret of the Crown: Canada’s Long Affair with Royalty (House of Anansi Press, $29.95 cl., March) by John Fraser is a witty look at our country’s enduring appetite for all things regal.

HISTORY

A number of titles this season take an unflinching look at Canada’s history of racism. In Orienting Canada: Race, Empire, and the Transpacific (UBC Press, $34.95 pa., Jan.), John Price, associate professor of history at the University of Victoria, exposes anti-Asian racism at home and in foreign policy through examples such as the 1907 Vancouver race riots and Canada’s early intervention in the Vietnam War. • Canada’s Forgotten Slaves: Two Centuries of Bondage (Véhicule Press, $27.95 pa., May), George Tombs’ English-language translation of the late Marcel Trudel’s groundbreaking work on the history of slavery in colonial Canada, identifies Canadian slave owners and reveals the extent to which national leaders tried to cover up this unsavoury past. • Bryan Prince looks at slavery in One More River to Cross (Dundurn Press, $24.99 pa., Jan.), which tells the real-life story of Isaac Brown, a slave who was falsely accused of murder and made a daring escape from New Orleans before coming to Canada.

Educator Paul Keery and illustrator Michael Wyatt borrow from the graphic novel tradition to make Canada’s military history accessible in Canada at War: An Illustrated History of Canada in the Second World War (Douglas & McIntyre, $24.95 pa., May). • Originally published in Italian in 2003, Pietro Corsi’s Halifax: The Other Door to America (Guernica Editions, $15 pa., March), translated by Antonio D’Alfonso, explores the city’s role in the immigrant experience through a first-hand account.

POP CULTURE

In The Weakerthans: Watermark ($12.95 pa., April), the second instalment in Invisible Publishing’s Bibliophonic music series, author Dave Jaffer makes the case that the Winnipeg indie rockers are among the country’s best musical acts.

SPORTS

Hockey-shmockey. This season’s ice sport of choice is Arctic aviation. Based on the Canadian TV series of the same name, The Ice Pilots: Flying with the Mavericks of the Great White North (Douglas & McIntyre, $21.95 pa., Jan.), by Survivorman series co-author Michael Vlessides, follows pilots at Buffalo Airways in Yellowknife as they haul supplies and passengers in their Second World War–era propeller planes to remote Arctic outposts. • Frontenac House Media is set to publish Yukon Wings ($59.95 cl., May), an illustrated history of the territory’s aviation sector by industry veteran Bob Cameron.

Much has been written about Leanne Shapton’s quirky style and seemingly charmed career. Swimming Studies (Penguin Canada, $26.50 cl., June) dives into new territory: the illustrator’s lifelong passion for swimming, and her former dream of making it to the Olympics. • Speaking of the Olympics, a former athlete and coach have authored a pair of books on leadership. In The Power of More: Achieving Your Goals in Sport and Life (Greystone Books, $22.95 pa., May), three-time Olympic gold-medal rower Marnie McBean explains how to break down big tasks, set goals, strive for more, and recognize success. • In Leave No Doubt: A Credo for Changing Your Dreams (McGill-Queen’s University Press, $19.95 cl., March), NHL coach Mike Babstock (with co-writer Rick Larsen) expands on a pep talk originally intended for Team Canada, whom he coached at the 2010 Winter Games. • Start your own journey from novice to Olympian with Paddle Your Own Kayak (Boston Mills Press/Firefly Books, $29.95 pa., March), a fully illustrated guide by longtime paddlers Gary and Joanie McGuffin.

Vancouver writer Kevin Chong recounts how he unexpectedly found a new life direction as part-owner of a horse in My Year of the Racehorse: Falling in Love With the Sport of Kings (Greystone, $22.95 pa., April), a look into the tradition and faded elegance of the horse-racing scene.

GARDENING

When friends Rachel Fisher, Heather Stretch, and Robin Tunnicliffe ventured into business together they came up with Saanich Organics, a co-operative of small organic farms around greater Victoria. They’ve teamed up again for All the Dirt: Reflections on Organic Farming (TouchWood Editions, $29.95 pa., Feb.), in part a personal reflection on food entrepreneurship, in part a how-to for small-scale organic farming. • Get growing with Canadian Gardener’s Guide (Dorling Kindersley/Tourmaline Editions, $30 cl., March), an illustrated handbook by prolific food writer and urban gardening guru Lorraine Johnson.

FOOD AND DRINK

In 2009, Lynn Crawford resigned as executive chef at Four Seasons New York to launch a restaurant in Toronto and kick off a new travel series for Canada’s Food Network. The spin-off book, Lynn Crawford’s Pitchin’ In: 100 Great Recipes from Simple Ingredients (Penguin Canada, $37 cl., Jan.), includes recipes the chef acquired in her travels across North America. • While Crawford peddles local foods, University of Toronto geography professor Pierre Desrochers and economist Hiroko Shimizu suggest a different approach in The Locavore’s Dilemma: In Praise of the 10,000-mile Diet (Public Affairs/Perseus Books Group, $30 cl., June). The duo argues the locavore ethos is little more than a well-meaning marketing strategy that distracts from global food problems.

A perfect counterpoint to last season’s roster of meat-heavy cookbooks, Eleanor Boyle’s High Steaks: Why and How to Eat Less Meat (New Society Publishers, $17.95 pa., June) investigates the ecological, health, and social problems caused by conventional meat production, and offers guidance on supporting sustainable livestock practices. • University of Toronto Press’s Edible Histories, Cultural Politics: Towards a Canadian Food History ($34.95 pa., May), edited by Franca Iacovetta, Valerie J. Korinek, and Marlene Epp, is a rare scholarly examination of food culture and traditions from a Canadian point of view. • For nearly three decades, Toronto’s FoodShare has fought to make healthy eating possible for everyone. Share: Delicious Dishes from FoodShare and Friends (Between the Lines, $24.95 pa., May), by Adrienne De Francesco with Marion Kane, brings together favourite recipes from the FoodShare community that emphasize healthy, affordable, culturally diverse, and seasonal meals.

BUSINESS, FINANCE, AND ECONOMICS

Economist Jeff Rubin follows up his bestselling Why Your World Is About to Get a Whole Lot Smaller with The End of Growth (Random House Canada, $29.95 cl., May). This time, Rubin posits that the tendency for governments to tie economic well-being to population growth will ultimately lead to disaster. • Michael Lewis and Pat Conaty tread similar territory but offer a solutions-based approach in The Resilience Imperative: Cooperative Transitions to a Steady-state Economy (New Society, $26.95 pa., June), about shifting from growth to a sustainable, low-carbon economy.

Rob Carrick, a columnist at The Globe and Mail, has written a personal finance guide for the Boomerang Generation. How Not to Move Back in with Your Parents: The Young Person’s Guide to Financial Empowerment (Doubleday Canada, $22.95 pa.) comes out in March, just in time for the end of the academic year. • Toronto ad man Rick Padulo – the brains behind the slogans “Leon’s Don’t Pay a Cent Event” and “Black’s Is Photography” – shares the story of his climb up the agency ladder, and spills a few trade secrets, in I Can Get It for You Retail: Down and Dirty Tales from a Canadian Ad Man (Dundurn, $29.99 cl., March).

HEALTH AND WELL-BEING

It seems a new health and fitness fad springs up every week. Timothy Caulfield, director at the Health Law and Science Policy Group at the University of Alberta, has tried some of them so the rest of us don’t have to. Through first-hand research and analysis, Caulfield’s The Cure for Everything! Untangling the Twisted Messages About Health, Fitness, and Happiness (Penguin, $32 cl., Jan.) exposes the special interests behind many scientific claims in the health industries, and suggests getting healthy is not as complicated as it seems. • In Thinking Women and Health Care Reform in Canada (Canadian Scholars’ Press, $39.95 pa., Feb.), the Women and Health Care Reform working group sets out its argument for why changes to Canada’s health care sector are women’s issues. Researchers raise the issue of gender in such areas as privatization, home care, medical insurance, access to treatment, and maternity care. • When a group of women in Parry Sound, Ontario, decided to raise money for a new mammogram machine at their local hospital, they opted for a fundraising project that was fun, creative, and cheeky. Compiled by the West Parry Sound Health Foundation, Support the Girls: Bra Art for Breast Health (Second Story Press, $21.95 pa., April) features the personal stories and bra-based artwork of breast cancer sufferers and survivors, their loved ones, and health-care workers. A portion of proceeds will go to breast cancer research.

Clinical psychologist and psychotherapist Nancy Reeves has travelled throughout North America facilitating workshops on grief, trauma, spirituality, and art therapy. A Path Through Loss: A Guide to Writing Your Healing and Growth (Woodlake Books, $19.95 pa., Feb.) contains self-guided journalling exercises Reeves has employed and honed over the years.

ENVIRONMENT

David Suzuki is back with another collection of thoughts on the environment. The aptly titled Everything Under the Sun: Toward a Brighter Future on a Small Blue Planet (Greystone, $24.95 pa., June), co-written with Ian Hannington, broaches topics such as solar-energy dependence, the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and the difference between human hunters and other predators. • Documentarian Amy Miller investigates the effects of carbon-emissions trading and carbon credit–funded projects in Carbon Rush (Red Deer Press, $24.95 pa., June), a scathing exposé of a system that bankrolls large-scale industrial operations and endangers all manner of life.

Cameron Dueck’s The New Northwest Passage: A Voyage to the Front Lines of Climate Change (Great Plains Publications, $24.95 pa., April) recalls the journalist’s trip through one of the least accessible places on the planet to encounter the effects of climate change on Arctic life. • In Save the Humans (Random House Canada, $29.95 cl., April), Rob Stewart, the filmmaker behind Sharkwater, turns his attention from marine life to the human cost of environmental carelessness. • Couched in tales of hard-living fishermen and the history of the West Coast fishing industry, Bluebacks and Silver Brights: A Lifetime in the B.C. Fisheries from Bounty to Plunder (ECW Press, $22.95 pa., May), by Norman and Allan Safarik, presents a dire ecological outlook for the Pacific Coast thanks to government mismanagement and overfishing. • In Nevermore: A Book of Hours ($20 pa., April), the third title published by Quattro Books’ non-fiction imprint, Fourfront Editions, David Day elegizes species that are long extinct, with illustrations by Maurice Wilson.

SCIENCE

Carolyn Abraham travels around the world, DNA kits at the ready, to probe the genetic background of her spotty family tree. Along the way, she struggles with the ethics behind using genetic tests to trace bloodlines. The Juggler’s Children: Family, Myth and a Tale of Two Chromosomes (Random House Canada, $32 cl.) lands on bookshelves in April. • In developing neurological exercises to overcome her own severe learning disabilities, Barbara Arrowsmith Young pioneered a cognitive training program that demonstrated the possibility for neuroplasticity – the notion that behaviour and training can alter brain function. The Woman Who Changed Her Brain: Stories of Transformation from the Frontier of Brain Science (Free Press/Simon & Schuster, $29.99 cl., May) recounts Arrowsmith’s story and sets out her methodology.

ESSAYS

Author and writing teacher Douglas Glover shares the finer points of the writing life, as well as a few exercises to get scribbling, in The Attack of the Copula Spiders and Other Essays on Writing (Biblioasis, $21.95 pa., April). • Thirty-three writers with ties to Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, including Michael Turner, Madeleine Thien, and Wayde Compton, recast the maligned neighbourhood as a hub of creativity and humanity in V6A: Writing from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (Arsenal Pulp Press, $19.95 pa., April), edited by Elee Kraljii Gardiner and John Mikhail Asfour. • Edited by Kathy Page and Lynne Van Luven, In the Flesh: Twenty Writers Explore the Body (Brindle & Glass, $24.95 pa., April) contains essays by André Alexis, Trevor Cole, Lorna Crozier, Candace Fertile, Kate Pullinger, and Brian Brett that explore aging, illness, and insecurity through a specific body part.

FINE ART AND GRAPHICA

Canadian cities provide a rich source of inspiration for a number of fine art and non-fiction graphica titles this season. Dave Lapp combines new and previously published comics about encounters and conversations on the streets of Toronto in People Around Here (Conundrum Press, $17 pa., April), a follow-up to 2008’s Drop-in. • Toronto streets are brought to the fore in Full Frontal T.O. (Coach House Books, $24.95 pa., May), a chronicle of the Big Smoke’s ever-changing streetscapes by photographer Patrick Cummins and Stroll author Shawn Micallef. • Meanwhile, illustrator Michael Cho wanders Toronto’s backstreets for Back Alleys and Urban Landscapes (Drawn & Quarterly, $19.95 pa., May), a collection of vibrant illustrations of the city’s hidden streetscapes.

Heading West, Michael Kluckner’s Vanishing Vancouver: The Last 20 Years (Whitecap Books, $35 pa., April) updates the artist’s classic book of the same name two decades after its initial release. The new edition documents the city’s rapid development and features more than 200 images, including the author’s own watercolours and brush-and-ink drawings. • Rocky Mountain Books celebrates 100 years of the Calgary Stampede with Cowboy Wild ($39.95 cl., May), a photo book by David Campion chronicling a decade of the greatest show on earth, with text by Samantha Shields.

The latest from D&Q’s Petit Livre art book imprint is Idyll: Dream-filled Landscapes, Portraits, and Abstracts in Beautiful Detail ($19.95 cl., March) by Amber Albrecht. Inspired by the dreaminess of childhood, Albrecht’s paintings, screen prints, and drawings employ folklore and female iconography to address loneliness and loss.

HUMOUR

Just in time for summer break, Thomas Allen Publishers will release Almost There: The Family Vacation Then and Now ($24.95 pa., May), Curtis Gillespie’s take on family travel. • A “good mommy” is as real as a unicorn or Bigfoot, argues Willow Yamauchi in Bad Mommy (Insomniac Press, $19.95 pa., April), which celebrates the kind of parenting that falls somewhere between Joan Crawford and June Cleaver.

RELIGION

Conservative commentator and Sun News Network host Michael Coren’s latest book, Heresy: Ten Lies They Spread About Christianity (Signal/M&S, $29.99 cl., April) picks up where 2011’s Why Catholics Are Right left off, challenging popular assumptions about Christianity regarding issues such as homophobia, sexism, and racism. • To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council, in which the Roman Catholic Church updated its practices for an increasingly secular world, Novalis will publish Vatican II: Fifty Years of Evolution and Revolution in the Catholic Church ($18.95 pa., May) by Margaret Lavin, associate professor at the University of Toronto’s Regis College.

The fine print: Q&Q’s spring preview covers books published between Jan. 1 and June 30, 2012. All information (titles, prices, publication dates, etc.) was supplied by publishers and may have been tentative at Q&Q’s press time. • Titles that have been listed in previous previews do not appear here.

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In the July/August issue of Q&Q: 2011 fall preview

The busy season for publishers has no shortage of big new releases, with novels from Ondaatje, Vanderhaeghe, and Endicott, the Massey Lectures from Adam Gopnik, and kids’ books from Kenneth Oppel and Kit Pearson. In the July/August 2011 issue, Q&Q takes a look at the fall season’s top titles.

Also in this issue, QR-code marketing, novelist Esi Edugyan’s sophomore blues, and publishers’ reactions to Indigo’s new co-op program. Plus reviews of new books by Lynn Coady, Nicole Lundrigan, Cary Fagan, and more.

FEATURES
Fall preview

A sneak peek at the season’s top fiction, non-fiction, children’s, and international titles

The CBA’s balancing act
The Canadian Booksellers Association looks to new digital partnerships – and old-school member outreach – to regain its place as the united voice of booksellers

After the collapse
Canadian book distributors remain optimistic following the bankruptcy of H.B. Fenn and Company

FRONTMATTER
Esi Edugyan finds an unlikely inspiration for her sophomore novel, Half-Blood Blues
Winnipeg’s Aqua Books revinvents itself as a popular community hangout
Joshua Knelman’s art-theft investigation landed him a book deal
Best short stories: Michael Christie on David Bezmozgis’s “Tapka”
Indigo’s new co-op program faces mixed publisher reaction
Is QR-code marketing just a fad, or can it sell books?
Cover to cover: Caitlin Sweet’s The Pattern Scars
Snapshot: eBound Canada CEO Robert Hayashi

REVIEWS
The Water Man’s Daughter by Emma Ruby-Sachs
Alone in the Classroom by Elizabeth Hay
Glass Boys by Nicole Lundrigan
The Antagonist by Lynn Coady
How Shakespeare Changed Everything by Stephen Marche
PLUS more fiction, non-fiction, and poetry

BOOKS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE
Dear Baobab by Cheryl Foggo; Qin Leng, illus.
Nini by François Thisdale
The Summer of Permanent Wants by Jamieson Findlay
Testify
by Valerie Sherrard
Born Ugly by Beth Goobie
Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes by Jonathan Auxier
PLUS more fiction, non-fiction, and picture books

THE Q&Q/BOOKNET CANADA BESTSELLERS

THE LAST WORD
Authors who borrow from historical events face real ethical issues, writes novelist D.J. McIntosh

Subscribe to Quill & Quire
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Robert Kroetsch dead at 83

The Edmonton Journal is reporting that Robert Kroetsch has died. The distinguished Alberta author, who won the Governor General’s Literary Award for the novel The Studhorse Man (1969), was returning from a literary festival in Canmore, Alberta, on Tuesday night when he died in a highway accident. He was 83.

From the Edmonton Journal:

Kroetsch was returning to his home in Leduc from the Artspeak Festival in Canmore Tuesday when the two-car collision occurred near Drumheller on Highway 21. Three other people were hospitalized, according to Cathie Crooks, marketing manager for University of Alberta Press, Kroetsch’s publisher.

Kroetsch was recently recognized with a lieutenant-governor’s Alberta Distinguished Artist award and, just two weeks ago, with a Golden Pen Award from the Writers’ Guild of Alberta.

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