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Best of the West: Great Authors from Western Canada

Best of the West: Great Authors from Western Canada

Every now and then, I like to get a slightly different perspective in my CanLit. As a born-and-raised Ontarian, it is easy to strongly identify with characters whose horizons are the same as my own. But sometimes it’s nice to jump outside that comfortable perspective and see what it’s like in other parts of the country.

In keeping, here are some authors from Western Canada, whose works are sure to give you a taste of a different locale…

 

The Understanding

The Understanding
Jane Barker Wright

This lively novel by BC-based author Jane Barker Wright is full of fascinating characters who prove that ordinary people can have extraordinary stories. The Understanding follows the Whitechapels and their nine children, who learn that secrets don’t stay buried, and that fame and notoriety often coexist.

Learn more about The Understanding »


Bitter Lake
Marika Deliyannides

Calgary author Marika Deliyannides’s Bitter Lake tells the story of a thirtysomething professional organizer whose life spirals out of control when she returns to her rural childhood home. Her run-ins with her parents, sister, and old high school crush make her contemplate the mistakes of her past and begin to chart a new course for her future

Learn more about Bitter Lake »


Niceman Cometh
David Carpenter

In Niceman Cometh, David Carpenter brings Saskatoon to life with the story of Glory who, newly single, has an uncanny ability to attract scads of admirers—especially the unsuitable ones. Naturally, her precocious six-and-a-half-year-old son, Bobby, has some thoughts about the situation. This is a playful yarn about the joys and sorrows of modern life.

Learn more about Niceman Cometh »


The Bird in the Stillness
Joe Rosenblatt

To truly appreciate the West, you have to appreciate the breathtaking natural environment. Qualicum Beach, BC’s Joe Rosenblatt does just that in The Bird in the Stillness. You’ll almost feel as if you’re walking through the great, towering forests of British Columbia as you page through these exquisite poems, or like you’re walking along the beaches of Vancouver Island. With charming drawings to illustrate the scene, you’ll be feeling green in no time!

Learn more about The Bird in the Stillness »


portraitFeel free to browse through these fantastic reads by western Canadian writers. We promise you won’t be disappointed!

Cheers,sig


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PQ Weekly Roundup: 11 Aug 2017

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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Thanks for tuning into our PQ Weekly Roundup. Hope to see you right back here next week.

Cheers!sig


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How to Make a Notebook

Hello Quill friends! Back-to-school is officially on the horizon for little ones and big ones alike. I know this because the seasonal aisle at Walmart is all backpacks and pencil cases nowadays.

Now that my academic years are (pretty much) over, I find myself looking back wistfully at all the new school supplies that I used to buy in preparation for the first day of school. Pens, pencils, rulers and notebooks—oh, how I loved the fresh start and feeling of promise that all those items imparted! I decided to revisit that fondness paper products by making my own little notebook.

I started by digging up a kit for a 3-hole pamphlet that the Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild (CBBAG) sold at the Grimsby Wayzgoose this year. I’d been sitting on that little gem since April, so this was the perfect opportunity to finally put it to good use.

This awesome little kit from CBBAG contained everything I needed to make my own notebook and a few extra goodies, too!

Step 1: Cut the paper.

Half-sheets of 8.5 x 11 paper are all you need. Simply cut to size.

Step 2: Fold.

 The instructions specify that you use a bone folder to get a good edge. If you don’t have that, try a clean metal ruler—worked for me!

Step 3: Make a template.

The instructions tell you how to make a template in preparation for sewing your notebook.

Step 4: Poke holes.

The template tells you where to put them. Smart! You’re supposed to use an awl to do this step, but since I didn’t have one, I just used the needle that came in the package.

Step 5: Sew.

The instructions tell you exactly how to feed the needle through to make the book nice and strong. If you can tie a knot, you can do this!

Step 6: Enjoy!

I customized my notebook by adding a little colour to the binding. You could also use stickers, if you have them handy.

It took about half an hour all told to make my notebook. You could probably do it in half that time if you’re not a) going off script and adding extra stuff like I did and b) not trying to document the process in photos.

Thanks for following my adventures in notebook making. If you try your hand at the process, let me know how it goes. Otherwise, do visit the CBBAG website. They do some nifty stuff!

Happy crafting,


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PQ Weekly Roundup: 4 Aug 2017

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 that’s it for our nice little crop of bookish links this week. As always, tune in next week for more.

Happy long weekend!sig


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Porcupine’s Quill: News for August

Lately, I’ve rekindled my relationship with a lost love. Which is to say that I’ve recently started to visit the local public library again.

The reasons for our initial break-up are many and varied. It moved (twice) and so did I (four times). There was the period of several months when the library was closed due to a protracted contract dispute—the less said about that the better. And I blush to think of the time I went temporarily insane and purchased a rather alarming number of books with little thought as to the practicalities, like where to store them, or when I’d actually find time to read them.

Long story short, after years of absence, I finally decided to get in touch with the ex, so to speak, and journey back into the loving arms of my erstwhile literary refuge.

children reading

Reunited and it feels so goooood.

I have to say, my baby looked good. Located inside a brand-spanking new civic centre, it features high ceilings, near floor-to-ceiling windows, and shelving that accommodates the needs of those of all physical abilities. But though everything was shiny and new, I found myself nostalgic for the tall stacks of old, and wondering where all the books went. During my most recent trip, I was a bit disappointed to see a small collection populated with tepid thrillers and predictable romances by frighteningly prolific perennial blockbusters. I remember that there was once a far greater selection, and an obvious effort to incorporate timeless classics, obscure-but-fantastic finds and hot up-and-comers. Granted, I can order most anything I might be interested in, via a fourteen-branch inter-library loan system, but the pleasure of browsing, of discovering something new and exciting, was noticeably diminished.

Maybe … maybe you can never go home again—or to one’s home branch, as it were.

Perhaps I’m looking back with rose-coloured glasses when I remember the old library. Perhaps I’m being too quick to judge—maybe I just need to spend more time in the new space in order to discover and appreciate its foibles. Here’s hoping!

 

What’s happening this month…

At PQL.

With the last books of the spring launched and well on their way to greatness, we’re already hard at work preparing our new fall titles! That’s right, we’ve got five new beauties coming down the pipe starting in September. Catch a peek at what’s coming on our home page.

In Montreal.

Paragraphe Bookstore

Barbara Sibbald is on the road again, this time heading to Paragraphe Bookstore in Montreal for a reading of her book, The Museum of Possibilities. She will be joined by a pair of Biblioasis writers: Diane Schoemperlen (First Things First) and Andrée Michaud (Boundary). Be sure to stop in on August 23 for an evening of great stories!

In the world.

August 3 is Grab Some Nuts Day. You may interpret that as you will, but please note that PQL takes no responsibility for said interpretation!

August 17 is National Thriftshop Day. Hit up your local charity shop to make a donation, and probably leave with a bunch of inexpensive books, if we’re being honest.

insect

And finally, August 31 is National Eat Outside Day. Woohoo! Let’s do it! But if there are bees, wasps, mosquitos, or biting/stinging/flying insects of any kind, I reserve the right to flail like a windmill and screech like a stroppy child.

 

From the porcupette’s corner.

I feel like by now you can probably guess what I’m up to. If we’re starting to talk about fall books … clearly that means I’m starting to think about spring ones!

jousting

Getting down to business to defeat the scourge that is tipsheet preparation. Take that, tipsheets. Take that!

That’s right—I’ve been tackling new manuscripts right and left, wrestling them around and preparing those ever-helpful tipsheets and basking in the glow of new and exciting literature. I’m particularly excited this time around as there seems to be a good mix—some poetry, a bit of fiction, a beautiful memoir, some fantastic artwork… It really hits the spot, and I can’t wait until we start sharing next season’s gems.

 

Well, hate to dump those spoilers on you and run, but I’ve got manuscripts to read and product descriptions to write!

See you soon,


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PQ Weekly Roundup: 28 Jul 2017

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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Happy Friday, Quill fans! Hope you enjoyed this week’s update, and as always, have a wonderful weekend.

Cheers,sig


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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.