Nov 24 2011

Book signing at Britton’s

… in the Glebe, Sunday between 1 pm and 3 pm — 846 Bank Street — thanks to the generous support of Ted Britton — the kind of guy every neighbourhood should have.

In fact, last night on CBC Radio’s As it Happens, Carol Off interviewed the Orange-prize-winning author Ann Patchett about her newest venture: opening an independent bookstore in her neighbourhood after all the existing ones had closed down. Given the precarious states of both publishing and book retailing, the act seems above and beyond the call of duty (shouldn’t it be enough that this fabulous writer has given us the pleasure of being transported by Bel Canto, Truth and Beauty, and Run, among other titles?)

But one of the things that makes a neighbourhood is the quality of the local retailers. And Britton’s, a Glebe fixture since 1966, keeps an impressively diverse collection of newspapers and magazines. Ted Britton has run the business since 1978, and he goes out of his way to stock books on issues of both local and national interest, and to support writers with informal signings.

If you were inconvenienced by my unceremoniously cancelled appointment earlier this week at Chapters, I hope you can make it to Britton’s on Sunday instead.

 


May 11 2011

Poultry inspires surprising insights


Different Drummer Books in Burlington played host yesterday to two of the contributors to I Feel Great About My Hands, Sheila Deane (above) and author Lyndsay Green (below). The two met for the first time at the collection’s Ottawa launch last month and bonded there and at the Toronto event over their shared literary references to poultry. (What can I say – true artists find inspiration in the every day and these women are talented enough to fashion insight from the unlikeliest sources.)

For Sheila it was a menopausal chicken; for Lyndsay, it was the unfortunate nickname applied by her daughters to the undersides of her arms.When the two read recently at the National Arts Centre’s Fourth Stage, and then again in Toronto at Ben McNally’s, hilarity ensued. I wish you’d been there.

But if you weren’t, their poignant pieces, full of unique yet relatable moments, are available in the book.