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Book Review: Crazy Town, by Robyn DoolittleThat anyone can feel that they know Rob Ford is thanks in large part to the growing thicket of City Hall reporters who surround him, and Robyn Doolittle in particular. Doolittle is the Toronto Star staffer best known for chasing a surreptitiously recorded video of the mayor smoking crack, and her exhaustive reporting has regularly thrown light on the darkest parts of Ford’s life, work she continues in her new book, Crazy Town. And they sure are dark: a brother, Randy, and sister, Kathy, with long criminal records; a marriage dotted with 911 calls; enough vodka bottles to stock an LCBO; and drugs, lots of drugs: crack, weed, cocaine, Oxi and heroin all make appearances. Those paying attention to Rob Ford as an Etobicoke councillor — it feels like a hundred lifetimes ago — all knew he’d make a bad mayor. But no one without the last name “Ford” could have imagined that a year before his first term as the head of the city was up, there’d already be enough material for a 300-and-something page tell-all, much less that it would be published by an imprint of Penguin: natpo.st/1fzUzxB

Book Review: Crazy Town, by Robyn Doolittle

That anyone can feel that they know Rob Ford is thanks in large part to the growing thicket of City Hall reporters who surround him, and Robyn Doolittle in particular. Doolittle is the Toronto Star staffer best known for chasing a surreptitiously recorded video of the mayor smoking crack, and her exhaustive reporting has regularly thrown light on the darkest parts of Ford’s life, work she continues in her new book, Crazy Town. And they sure are dark: a brother, Randy, and sister, Kathy, with long criminal records; a marriage dotted with 911 calls; enough vodka bottles to stock an LCBO; and drugs, lots of drugs: crack, weed, cocaine, Oxi and heroin all make appearances. Those paying attention to Rob Ford as an Etobicoke councillor — it feels like a hundred lifetimes ago — all knew he’d make a bad mayor. But no one without the last name “Ford” could have imagined that a year before his first term as the head of the city was up, there’d already be enough material for a 300-and-something page tell-all, much less that it would be published by an imprint of Penguin: natpo.st/1fzUzxB

Tagged with:  #Rob Ford  #Books  #Toronto  #Canada  #Crazy Town
From Russia, with liver disease: Real-life James Bond would be an impotent drunk, U.K. doctors say
He may have a license to kill, but is he sober enough to shoot?
British doctors who carefully read Ian Fleming’s series of James Bond novels say the celebrated spy regularly drank more than four times the recommended limit of alcohol per week. Their research was published in the light-hearted Christmas edition of the medical journal BMJ on Thursday: natpo.st/JfxJ4j

From Russia, with liver disease: Real-life James Bond would be an impotent drunk, U.K. doctors say

He may have a license to kill, but is he sober enough to shoot?

British doctors who carefully read Ian Fleming’s series of James Bond novels say the celebrated spy regularly drank more than four times the recommended limit of alcohol per week. Their research was published in the light-hearted Christmas edition of the medical journal BMJ on Thursday: natpo.st/JfxJ4j

Tagged with:  #James Bond  #Bond  #Movies  #Books
The Giller of Gillers
On Tuesday, at a gala ceremony in Toronto, the Scotiabank Giller Prize will be awarded for the 20th time. There are prizes that offer more money (the Griffin Poetry Prize, the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Non-Fiction) and prizes with a more illustrious history (The Governor General’s Literary Awards) but there’s no denying that this prize, founded by Jack Rabinovitch in honour of his late wife, journalist and editor Doris Giller, is (and has for a while been) the most prestigious literary award in Canada. It is not uncommon, in the minutes after the winner is announced, for the book’s publisher to place a call to the printer and order tens of thousands of additional copies. It is a life-changing award. Before we add one more name to the list  — Dan Vyleta, Craig Davidson, Dennis Bock, Lynn Coady and Lisa Moore are nominated for this year’s prize — books editor Mark Medley asked a cross-section of previous recipients to pick (or attempt to pick) their favourite Giller Prize-winning book from the last two decades: http://natpo.st/17xwitf

The Giller of Gillers

On Tuesday, at a gala ceremony in Toronto, the Scotiabank Giller Prize will be awarded for the 20th time. There are prizes that offer more money (the Griffin Poetry Prize, the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Non-Fiction) and prizes with a more illustrious history (The Governor General’s Literary Awards) but there’s no denying that this prize, founded by Jack Rabinovitch in honour of his late wife, journalist and editor Doris Giller, is (and has for a while been) the most prestigious literary award in Canada. It is not uncommon, in the minutes after the winner is announced, for the book’s publisher to place a call to the printer and order tens of thousands of additional copies. It is a life-changing award. Before we add one more name to the list  — Dan Vyleta, Craig Davidson, Dennis Bock, Lynn Coady and Lisa Moore are nominated for this year’s prize — books editor Mark Medley asked a cross-section of previous recipients to pick (or attempt to pick) their favourite Giller Prize-winning book from the last two decades: http://natpo.st/17xwitf

Tagged with:  #Giller Prize  #Books  #Literature  #Canada
Alice Munro — ‘a master of the contemporary short story’ — wins the Nobel Prize for literature
Decorated Canadian author Alice Munro says she never thought she would win the Nobel Prize for Literature, but calls being the first Canadian-based writer to secure the honour “quite wonderful.”
The 82-year-old writer was named today as the 110th Nobel laureate in literature and the only the 13th woman to receive the distinction.
“I knew I was in the running, yes, but I never thought I would win,” Munro said by telephone when contacted by The Canadian Press in Victoria.
She added that she was delighted and “just terribly surprised.” (Photo: Chris Young/The Canadian Press)

Alice Munro — ‘a master of the contemporary short story’ — wins the Nobel Prize for literature

Decorated Canadian author Alice Munro says she never thought she would win the Nobel Prize for Literature, but calls being the first Canadian-based writer to secure the honour “quite wonderful.”

The 82-year-old writer was named today as the 110th Nobel laureate in literature and the only the 13th woman to receive the distinction.

“I knew I was in the running, yes, but I never thought I would win,” Munro said by telephone when contacted by The Canadian Press in Victoria.

She added that she was delighted and “just terribly surprised.” (Photo: Chris Young/The Canadian Press)

Tom Clancy dead at age 66, was best-selling author of numerous military thrillers
Best-selling author Tom Clancy died in a Baltimore hospital at the age of 66 Tuesday night, his publisher confirmed to the New York Times.
Clancy was famous for his jargon-filled military thrillers such as The Hunt for Red October, The Sum of All Fears and Patriot Games. Numerous films and video-games have been based on his work. (Photo: Handout)

Tom Clancy dead at age 66, was best-selling author of numerous military thrillers

Best-selling author Tom Clancy died in a Baltimore hospital at the age of 66 Tuesday night, his publisher confirmed to the New York Times.

Clancy was famous for his jargon-filled military thrillers such as The Hunt for Red October, The Sum of All Fears and Patriot Games. Numerous films and video-games have been based on his work. (Photo: Handout)

Tagged with:  #news  #Tom Clancy  #books  #author  #RIP
'I don’t love women writers enough to teach them': Giller-nominated author and University of Toronto teacher on why he only teaches books by men
David Gilmour has never been afraid to speak his mind. In a 2011 interview with the National Post, he admitted wanting to “beat the living s–t” out of a critic who’d given him a bad review and spoke at length about how much he hated socializing with fellow Canadian authors, whom he labelled “insecure.” His words have finally come back to haunt him. On Wednesday, Hazlitt, an online magazine published by Random House of Canada, posted a story by Emily M. Keeler — who, full disclosure, writes reviews for the Post — about the 63-year-old Gilmour, who spent over a decade working for the CBC as a film critic and arts reporter. In the article, about his bookshelves, Gilmour said, among other things, that “I’m not interested in teaching books by women” and “I don’t love women writers enough to teach them, if you want women writers go down the hall. What I teach is guys. Serious heterosexual guys.” Gilmour, whose latest novel, Extraordinary, was recently longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, tried to explain himself to Books Editor Mark Medley. (Photo: Della Rollins for National Post)

'I don’t love women writers enough to teach them': Giller-nominated author and University of Toronto teacher on why he only teaches books by men

David Gilmour has never been afraid to speak his mind. In a 2011 interview with the National Post, he admitted wanting to “beat the living s–t” out of a critic who’d given him a bad review and spoke at length about how much he hated socializing with fellow Canadian authors, whom he labelled “insecure.” His words have finally come back to haunt him. On Wednesday, Hazlitt, an online magazine published by Random House of Canada, posted a story by Emily M. Keeler — who, full disclosure, writes reviews for the Post — about the 63-year-old Gilmour, who spent over a decade working for the CBC as a film critic and arts reporter. In the article, about his bookshelves, Gilmour said, among other things, that “I’m not interested in teaching books by women” and “I don’t love women writers enough to teach them, if you want women writers go down the hall. What I teach is guys. Serious heterosexual guys.” Gilmour, whose latest novel, Extraordinary, was recently longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, tried to explain himself to Books Editor Mark Medley. (Photo: Della Rollins for National Post)

Neil Gaiman: The kid stays in the literature with ‘The Ocean at the End of the Lane’In her review of Neil Gaiman’s new novel, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, A.S. Byatt describes one of Gaiman’s earlier books as “for adults who remember being child readers.” The same could probably be said of everything he’s ever written; Gaiman taps into childhood as well as any living writer. As a boy, he was obsessed with books, so much so that at family gatherings “they would frisk me to make sure I didn’t have a book on me,” he laughs. But The Ocean at the End of the Lane is not only for adults who remember being children, but, perhaps more importantly, for those who’ve forgotten.The book started as a short story for his wife, the musician Amanda Palmer, but just wouldn’t “behave itself” and eventually ballooned into a novel. It concerns an unnamed narrator who returns to his hometown, in the English countryside, for a funeral. Afterwards he’s compelled to visit the farm where a young neighbour, Lettie Hempstock, once lived with her mother and grandmother. He wanders around the property, winding up at a small duck pond, which Lettie always claimed was an ocean. It is here he begins to remember strange events that occurred four decades ago, when he was a lonely seven-year-old boy, events that began with a suicide. It’s a novel about the reliability of memory, the wonder of childhood, and what we forget, by choice or otherwise, as we grow older. Like a photo seen through an Instagram filter, the novel somehow feels both new and timeless at the same moment. (Peter J. Thompson/National Post)

Neil Gaiman: The kid stays in the literature with ‘The Ocean at the End of the Lane’
In her review of Neil Gaiman’s new novel, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, A.S. Byatt describes one of Gaiman’s earlier books as “for adults who remember being child readers.” The same could probably be said of everything he’s ever written; Gaiman taps into childhood as well as any living writer. As a boy, he was obsessed with books, so much so that at family gatherings “they would frisk me to make sure I didn’t have a book on me,” he laughs. But The Ocean at the End of the Lane is not only for adults who remember being children, but, perhaps more importantly, for those who’ve forgotten.

The book started as a short story for his wife, the musician Amanda Palmer, but just wouldn’t “behave itself” and eventually ballooned into a novel. It concerns an unnamed narrator who returns to his hometown, in the English countryside, for a funeral. Afterwards he’s compelled to visit the farm where a young neighbour, Lettie Hempstock, once lived with her mother and grandmother. He wanders around the property, winding up at a small duck pond, which Lettie always claimed was an ocean. It is here he begins to remember strange events that occurred four decades ago, when he was a lonely seven-year-old boy, events that began with a suicide. It’s a novel about the reliability of memory, the wonder of childhood, and what we forget, by choice or otherwise, as we grow older. Like a photo seen through an Instagram filter, the novel somehow feels both new and timeless at the same moment. (Peter J. Thompson/National Post)

Statue of Colin Firth emerging from the water as Mr. Darcy installed in London’s Hyde Park
It’s a 12-foot fibreglass recreation of the moment that made Firth a sex symbol, and you can swim right up to it! More here: natpo.st/1daTZnR

Statue of Colin Firth emerging from the water as Mr. Darcy installed in London’s Hyde Park

It’s a 12-foot fibreglass recreation of the moment that made Firth a sex symbol, and you can swim right up to it! More here: natpo.st/1daTZnR

Not sure what to read this summer? Books editor Mark Medley joined some of Canada’s top authors to put together the only reading list you’ll need as the temperature rises. Find it here: natpo.st/10Ejwpl

Not sure what to read this summer? Books editor Mark Medley joined some of Canada’s top authors to put together the only reading list you’ll need as the temperature rises. Find it here: natpo.st/10Ejwpl

Tagged with:  #Books  #Literature
Pint-sized historyShakespeare’s Pub sorts through tall tales and famous names to soak up English culture’s single most defining institution natpo.st/1a23jJc

Pint-sized history

Shakespeare’s Pub sorts through tall tales and famous names to soak up English culture’s single most defining institution natpo.st/1a23jJc