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PQ Weekly Roundup: 14 Dec 2018

pqroundup2Every Friday, the PQ Weekly Roundup collects the most shared links in our social media network—bookish articles, reviews, quizzes, recommendations and more—in convenient digest form.

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Can you believe how close the holidays are getting? Here’s hoping that you’re able to relax a little and enjoy the spirit of the season.

Cheers,
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PQL Holiday Giveaway # 1: The Rest Is History

As you know, we love to embrace the spirit of giving at this time of year with our PQL Holiday Giveaway. Welcome our first giveaway of the season!

The Porcupine's Quill Holiday Giveaway Week 1

The holidays—landing at the end of the calendar year, and focused on family and friends—are uniquely positioned to encourage people to look back and reflect. Whether we look back on past experience, remember those we lost, or even just delve into the nostalgia and traditions of times gone by, it is the perfect time to celebrate history.

In keeping, we here at the Porcupine’s Quill want to show our love for the history buffs among us by putting together an attractive giveaway for Quill friends old and new.

 

“THE REST IS HISTORY”
BOOK BUNDLE GIVEAWAY

The Rising Tide and Mrs Romanov

One lucky winner will receive a print copy each of two books: Mark Frutkin’s smart and hilarious novel of 18th-century Venice, The Rising Tide, as well as Mrs Romanov, Lori Cayer’s brilliant collection of poems that delve into the inner life of the last Russian tsarina.

For your chance to win:

1. log in to the form below using email, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram
2. earn up to six entries by visiting Facebook and Instagram, following us or Tweeting on Twitter or by signing up to our newsletter. (If you’re already a newsletter subscriber and an avid social media follower, the bonus entry method is for you!)
3. log out of the form to submit your entry

The winner will be contacted by email next week.

2018_PQLHolidayGiveaway_Week1

PortraitFingers crossed for each and every one of you! Plus, don’t forget—we’ll have another great giveaway next Tuesday. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter, so you don’t miss it!Steph


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PQ Weekly Roundup: 07 Dec 2018

pqroundup2Every Friday, the PQ Weekly Roundup collects the most shared links in our social media network—bookish articles, reviews, quizzes, recommendations and more—in convenient digest form.

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What a great list of links! Congratulations again to Ian Hampton. Such a wonderful way to round out the week.

Happy Friday!
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Dysfunctional Families, Spreading the (Book) Love, and Other News for December at PQL

Every year on Christmas Day, in that awkward lull that falls somewhere between churchgoing, present opening, and the preparation and consumption of massive quantities of food, my family watches National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989). At this point, the film is firmly entrenched as one of our most hallowed holiday traditions. By now I’ve seen it dozens of times so I can pretty much recite it from memory, but nonetheless, I always chuckle at the same jokes, chortle at the slapstick and snicker at the wit. Watching this movie again and again is, to me, almost like rereading a cherished favourite book—it is comforting and pleasant and nostalgic all at once.

family decorating Christmas tree

“Families are like fudge—mostly sweet, with a few nuts.”
—Actor and writer Les Dawson (a guy who clearly knows what he’s talking about)

The movie is admittedly not for everyone, but for me, the enduring appeal is that it serves as a reminder that no matter dysfunctional my family might seem, no matter how many disasters we might face, the holiday season really is about family. It’s about love and togetherness—and forgiveness, if necessary. It’s about being generous and grateful and finding a little bit of joy in the ability to gather and share.

In the lead up to the holidays this year, remember the true spirit of the season is not found in stressing out about finding the perfect gift for Grandma, or in buying the biggest turkey in a 100-kilometre radius. Kick back, relax, enjoy the lights. Read a couple of books. Share your favourites. Spread the love!

Speaking of spreading the love, we do that every year with … well, scroll down to the end and you’ll see.

 

What’s happening this month…

At PQL.

This one’s for the theatre buffs! We’re working on an all-new book for you—Beyond Walls by Peter Jobin. This book tells the fascinating story about one of Canada’s most innovative theatre companies: Theatre Passe Muraille. This book really is a roller coaster ride! And it’s full of photographs to make history really come alive. It’s going to press any minute now, and will be available soon.

In Toronto.

Bound Book Arts Fair

Don’t forget to visit the BOUND Book Arts Fair at Toronto’s Arts and Letters Club on December 9th, 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. There will be printers and publishers and all kinds of bookish artisans. It will be a marvellous event in a spectacular venue, so do stop by and do a little shopping.

In the world.

December 7 is Letter Writing Day. We don’t write enough letters nowadays. Wouldn’t it be nice to get a lovingly written letter from a friend or family member?

December 18 is Bake Cookies Day. I think this is a wonderful idea! A warm kitchen. The smell of shortbreads. A decorating station laden with sprinkles and coloured sugar. Let’s do it!

And finally, December 28 is Card Playing Day. Who’s coming over to play pepper? Anyone? Six-handed? Yes?

 

From the porcupette’s corner…

Two things to highlight this month. First, we just received some stupendous news: Ian Hampton’s wonderful book, Jan in 35 Pieces, has been longlisted for the 2019 RBC Taylor Prize. This prestigious award recognizes excellence in the field of literary non-fiction and is awarded to “the author whose book best combines a superb command of the English language, an elegance of style, and a subtlety of thought and perception.” We have our fingers crossed for the shortlist announcement in January!

The Porcupine's Quill Holiday Giveaway

The second thing is great for you, loyal readers. It’s that time of year! We’re back and better than ever with three more weekly giveaways of bookish loot. Check back every Tuesday for your chance to win a variety of prizes. If you’re keen to check them all out, make sure you sign up for our newsletter and follow us on social media so you don’t miss a thing.

 

PortraitHappy December, folks! Glad you’ve popped over to check out our news, events, and random bookish musings this month. Hope to see you back for more as we get those giveaways started.

Cheers,Steph


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PQ Weekly Roundup: 30 Nov 2018

pqroundup2Every Friday, the PQ Weekly Roundup collects the most shared links in our social media network—bookish articles, reviews, quizzes, recommendations and more—in convenient digest form.

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And with that we close out the month of November with a nice selection of literary newsiness. Can’t wait for more? Be sure to follow us on social media to get real-time book links!

Cheers,
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Pulled from the Pages: The Essential Charles Bruce

The Essential Charles Bruce

If you’ve ever complained that poetry is just too hard or that it makes no sense, well, you’ve been reading the wrong poetry books! But seriously, though, while I love a good meaty poem bursting with poetic devices and figurative language and explosive imagery, there is something to be said for a quieter type of poetry. There is absolutely such thing as more narrative, colloquial poetry whose beauty is in capturing the subtle beauty of everyday experiences.

Charles Bruce’s poetry can be categorized in such a way. In The Essential Charles Bruce, readers are treated to what I like to think of as “fireside poetry”—poems that go down smooth and comfortable on a cold day. The poems in this collection whisk you off to Nova Scotia, where farmers and fisherman go about their daily lives with musically lilting voices. It feels like you get a real slice of life—a peek into a certain time and a certain place, the truth unvarnished. I felt transported to Maritimes—to the cliff’s edge, to the lookout hill, to the grey buildings along the shore. I think you will, too.

Keep reading for an exclusive excerpt pulled from the pages.

 

Excerpt from the Book

 

Biography

His speckled pastures dipped to meet the beach
Where the old fish huts stood. At his front door
A man could stand and see the whole wide reach
Of blue Atlantic. But he stayed ashore.

He stayed ashore and plowed, and drilled his rows,
And planned his hours and finished what he planned.
And made his profits: colts and calves and ewes
And buildings and piled stone and harrowed land.

He was a careful man, a trifle cold
To meet and talk to. There were some who thought
His hand was a bit grasping, when he sold;
A little slow to open when he bought.

But no one said it that way. When you heard
His habits mentioned, there would be a pause.
And then the soft explanatory word.
They said he was dry-footed. And he was.

 

Back Road Farm

This house is built within a sheltering
Sweep of the hills. You will not find the sea
From attic windows; and the seasons bring
No lift and change of tide, here in the lee
Of the land’s high windbreak, where the buffeting
Onshore wind is tripped on the mountain’s knee.
No mist of blowing salt is flung to sting
The trusting flesh. You will not find the sea.

This property is private. Drifting rain
Beats on its shingles and its native stone;
The wind of August on its leaning grain
Is dark with shadow, and the leaves are blown
To a soft thunder. But the hills remain;
Their strength is certain and their purpose known.
Only at night, in the stillness, low and plain
You can hear the far deep rumor of sea on stone.

 

PortraitHope this little snippet has encouraged you to add this collection to your to-read list. And be sure to keep feeding your need for great poetry with the rest of the volumes in the Essential Poets series.

All the best,Steph


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The Porcupine's Quill would like to acknowledge the support of the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts for our publishing program. The financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund (CBF) is also gratefully acknowledged.