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Here is an explanation of the top pages at the Writer's Cafe.


The "news" page is this page which you are currently reading.


interviews The "interviews" pages feature individual audio interviews with an author about an individual book. Browse our interviews page which lists all our our audio interviews by book and author. Or, select a topic from our "Interview Topics" sidebar to browse a list of books by topic.

history wiki

history wiki The "canadian history wiki" is a forthcoming section which will be a Wikipedia-style section dedicated to books and writing on books and topics in Canadian history.

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walrus magazine

Walrus Interviews In the past the Writer's Cafe conducted interviews with writers of articles in The Walrus magazine. Go to our Walrus Magazine Interviews page to find a list of the interviews you can hear. Or go directly to the Walrus magazine web site.



Many of the interviews at the Writer's Cafe originally aired on "Cabbages & Kings", a one-hour literary program which broadcast for about 15 years on CHUO 89.1 FM at the University of Ottawa, in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.


Press Releases

Book News from the Toronto Star

Yann Martel, animals, and the High Mountains of Portugal

Three-part novel adds up to a ‘forceful’ whole. (Sun, 7 Feb 2016 00:01:00 EST)

Murders, morality and mayhem in the latest books for mystery lovers

Toronto's own Inger Ash Wolfe is out with a new book featuring the sharp-tongued detective Hazel Micallef (Sun, 7 Feb 2016 00:01:00 EST)

Imagination need a boost? Let these reads take you away

Short stories and essays can quickly take us away to another place or make us think — perfect for those days where you want your imagination to take you to another place. (Sun, 7 Feb 2016 00:01:00 EST)

A delicate exploration of faith

Julie Cantrell delves into how two mothers wrestle with the disappearance of a child. (Sun, 7 Feb 2016 00:01:00 EST)

Flying Books finds success with just 10 titles

Flying Books’ curated bookshelf of 10 rotating titles will join general storeTK, cafe TK. (Sat, 6 Feb 2016 15:27:06 EST)

Five independent booksellers that do more with less

Bookstores such as Type, Blue Heron and Archetype have a reason behind every book they carry. (Sat, 6 Feb 2016 00:01:00 EST)

Yann Martel on faith, love and iPhones

Author of The High Mountains of Portugal talks about exploring faith and recommended reading for prime ministers (Sat, 6 Feb 2016 00:01:00 EST)

Three books that influenced Lena Dunham

Lena Dunham, Emmy and Golden Globe-winning creator of HBO’s Girls, talks about three books that made a difference (Fri, 5 Feb 2016 12:12:06 EST)

Matt Haig's book on depression could help save lives: review

Matt Haig's description of his personal battle with depression gives his book insight and provides hope. (Sun, 31 Jan 2016 00:01:00 EST)

Historical fiction fan? Four of the latest to take you back

Four authors with a gift for going into the past. (Sun, 31 Jan 2016 00:01:00 EST)

Karen Hill's much anticipated Cafe Babanussa “deeply moving”

Hill isn't alive to see her novel published — a piercing and deeply moving portrait (Sun, 31 Jan 2016 00:01:00 EST)

Be inspired by lives that made a difference — the latest books reviewed

The individuals at the heart of these books left an indelible mark in the worlds of film, art, comedy, food, music and politics. (Sun, 31 Jan 2016 00:01:00 EST)

Petina Gappah’s debut novel ‘shattering, enchanting’

The Book of Memory is narrated by a death-row inmate called Memory, who was born with albinism and ends up on death row. (Sun, 31 Jan 2016 00:01:00 EST)

The Trouble With Goats and Sheep gets to heart of community

People aren't always what they seem — as author Joanna Cannon, who wrote this book in a parking lot, exemplifies. (Sun, 31 Jan 2016 00:01:00 EST)

Five up-and-coming writers to watch in 2016

You'll be hearing about these buzzed-about authors and their debut books any day now. (Sun, 31 Jan 2016 00:01:00 EST)


The books Canadians bought this week (Sat, 30 Jan 2016 00:01:00 EST)

A century after it was written, lost Beatrix Potter story being published

Tale of Kitty-in-Boots features a chubby black cat in a story with “double identities, colourful villains.” And, says its discoverer, an appearance by an older, portlier Peter Rabbit. (Tue, 26 Jan 2016 10:21:20 EST)

‘Dear Pope Francis’ answers children’s questions in book illustrated with their art

Book entitled Dear Pope Francis, out Mar. 1, collects pontiff’s replies to 30 letters sent from children around the world asking him questions. (Mon, 25 Jan 2016 13:08:26 EST)

American Housewife, circa 2016

Helen Ellis is a Manhattan ingénue who published her first book Eating the Chesire Cat in 2000 to critical acclaim. (Sun, 24 Jan 2016 00:01:00 EST)

The books that influenced musician Terra Lightfoot

(Sat, 23 Jan 2016 00:01:00 EST)

New York Review of Books

from Canoe

Playboy goes non-nude, sort of, in revamped magazine

Playboy goes non-nude, sort of (Thu, 04 Feb 2016 13:17:59 -0500)

'Kitty-in-Boots': New Beatrix Potter story found after 100 years

New Beatrix Potter story found (Tue, 26 Jan 2016 11:52:29 -0500)

Scotiabank Giller Prize selects jury, includes 'Book of Negroes' author

Scotiabank Giller Prize selects jury (Tue, 19 Jan 2016 11:18:58 -0500)

Caitlyn Jenner planning a memoir

Caitlyn Jenner planning a memoir (Tue, 19 Jan 2016 11:13:32 -0500)

Blink 182's Travis Barker details deadly plane crash in new memoir

Barker details deadly plane crash in memoir (Fri, 15 Jan 2016 11:34:10 -0500)

'Girl on the Train' and other books to read before the movie comes out in 2016

Books to read before the film comes out (Fri, 15 Jan 2016 09:00:00 -0500)

New at BookBrowse

Amazon may open about a dozen new stores

An offhand comment yesterday by the CEO of a real estate investment trust that owns and manages 120 shopping malls around the country, threw the book business into a frenzy and caused B&N's share price to drop. In a conference call with investors Sandeep Mathrani, CEO of General Growth Properties said, "You've got Amazon opening brick-and-mortar bookstores, and their goal is to open, as I understand, 300 to 400."

Today, industry newsletter Shelf Awareness adds a little clarity to the situation saying:

Shelf Awareness has heard from knowledgeable people in the industry that Amazon is likely considering opening more Amazon Books stores, but that it aims to open a dozen or so stores in the next year or two, not hundreds. Presumably they would be flagship stores that, like Amazon's Seattle store, showcase a range of Amazon electronic products, including the Kindle and Fire, as well as books. (Wed, 3 Feb 2016 06:00:00 -0500)

New Beatrix Potter book discovered

A new story written by Beatrix Potter more than 100 years ago, is to be published for the first time.

The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots was rediscovered by publisher Jo Hanks after she found a reference to it in an out-of-print Potter biography. Three manuscripts were located in an archive in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

The book is to be published in September 2016 in the UK by Frederick Warne & Co. (Tue, 26 Jan 2016 18:08:34 -0500)

2015 Costa Awards announced

The 2015 Costa award winners were announced today. The winners are:

Costa Book of The Year: The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge
Costa First Novel Award: The Loney by Andrew Michael Hurley
Costa Novel Award: A God In Ruins by Kate Atkinson
Biography Award: Invention of Nature by Andrea Wulf
Poetry Award: 40 Sonnets by Don Paterson
Children's Book Award: The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge (Tue, 26 Jan 2016 06:00:00 -0500)

Report shows impact of Amazon on local USA communities

One of the most well-attended and discussed sessions at yesterday's publishing industry Winter Institute featured the release of a new Civic Economics-ABA study called The Fiscal and Land Use Impacts of Online Retail, which aims to demonstrate the effects of the growth of Amazon on American towns and cities.

The study determined that in 2014:

  • Amazon sold $44.1 billion of retail goods nationwide, which is "the equivalent of 3,215 retail storefronts or 107 million square feet of commercial space, which might have paid $420 million in property tax."
  • Amazon avoided collecting state and local sales tax of $625 million. Between uncollected sales tax and the loss of property tax, state and local governments lost more than $1 billion in revenue.
  • Amazon's warehouses- employed roughly 30,000 full-time workers and 104,000 part-time and seasonal workers. But including all the jobs lost from stores whose sales Amazon supplanted, Amazon sales "produced a net loss of 135,973 retail jobs."
  • Amazon's book sales of $5.618 billion represents about 3,600 "bookshop equivalents and 40,000 bookstore employees."
(Tue, 26 Jan 2016 06:00:00 -0500)

Five Employees of Hong Kong Publishing Companies Missing

A Hong Kong publishing house has allegedly suspended its plans to print a book critical of Chinese president Xi Jinping, fearing retribution from mainland authorities after 5 employees of a different publishing house, Mighty Current, who have disappeared - four in October and one on December 30.

The last to vanish from Mighty Current was British co-owner Paul Lee, also called Lee Bo. Lee was last seen at his Hong Kong warehouse. After his disappearance, he informed his wife that he was in mainland China willingly "assisting" with an unspecified investigation, but this remark has caused deep concern across the Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China, where many fear encroaching mainland authority. (Wed, 13 Jan 2016 06:00:00 -0500)

Penguin Random House sells Author Solutions

Penguin Random House has sold its self-publishing division Author Solutions to an affiliate of Najafi Companies, an international private investment firm that in 2011 had emerged as a potential buyer of Borders Group before withdrawing its bid and from 2008 to 2013, controlled Book-of-the-Month Club, Doubleday Book Clubs and Columbia House. (Wed, 6 Jan 2016 23:25:15 -0500)

Harper Lee, E.L. James, Paula Hawkins and Anthony Doerr top 2015 print fiction bestseller list.

Harper Lee (Go Set a Watchman), E.L James (Grey), Paula Hawkins (The Girl on the Train) and Anthony Doerr (All The Light We Cannot See) topped the print adult fiction bestseller list in 2015 with sales of over one million copies each.

Click below for the full top 20 for fiction, nonfiction and juvenile. (Mon, 4 Jan 2016 10:51:35 -0500)

Sales of print books up for second year in a row

Unit sales of print books from outlets that report to Nielsen BookScan increased 2.8% in 2015 over 2014, marking the second consecutive year that print units posted annual gains.

The retail and club channel had a particularly good year in 2015, with sales up 5.4% over 2014. The increase offset an 8.8% drop in sales through the mass merchandisers channel. The retail and club segment includes independent and chain bookstores, as well as Amazon; the mass merchandiser channel includes large chains such as Walmart.

Adult and juvenile nonfiction saw increases of 7% and 12% respectively, while adult fiction rose 2% and juvenile fiction fell 3%. Looking at sales by format, hardcovers were up 3%, as were trade paperbacks by 5%, while mass market paperbacks (a category that is particularly vulnerable to ebooks) fell 10%. (Mon, 4 Jan 2016 10:46:40 -0500)

Sales of print books grow for second year in a row

The book business looks ready to mark a second consecutive year of unit growth in print books. Unit sales of print books were up 2.8% through the week ended December 20, 2015 compared to the same period in 2014 at outlets that report to Nielsen BookScan with just under 626 million unit sold. The gain in 2015 follows a 2.4% increase in unit sales in 2014. (Wed, 23 Dec 2015 13:02:03 -0500)

American Booksellers Association and others support Apple at Supreme Court

Shelf Awareness reports that The American Booksellers Association, Barnes & Noble, Authors United and the Authors Guild have filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the Supreme Court asking it to review the district court decision, upheld by the appeals court, against Apple, in the so-called agency model case. The court found that Apple violated antitrust law by coordinating with five major U.S. book publishers to influence the price of e-books. In the case, the publishers settled with the Justice Department; only Apple went to court.

The brief argues that "the government's focus on Apple's allegedly anti-competitive activities was misplaced, because Apple's conduct, in fact, enhanced competition by increasing e-book output, the number of e-book titles, and the number of e-book distributors, which led to technological improvements in the e-book market and enhanced freedom of expression and access to e-books." They noted that Apple's entry into the market "actually increased competition, as demonstrated by the fall of Amazon's market share from 90% in 2010 to around 60% two years later." (Thu, 3 Dec 2015 06:00:00 -0500)

New at NPR

How Do You Spot A Nonconformist? You Can Start With Their Internet Browser

According to Adam Grant, a person's preferred browser is one way to tell whether they accept or reject the defaults in their life. His new book is called Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World. (Sun, 07 Feb 2016 07:50:00 -0500)

Folklore For Hipsters: Fairy Tales Before They Were Cool

Translated from Giambattista Basile's 17th century stories, Tale of Tales — known as the world's first collection of fairy tales — traverses through 50 fantastical adventures. (Sun, 07 Feb 2016 06:16:54 -0500)

Weekend Edition's Scott Simon Will Take A Leave Of Absence

Scott Simon announces a leave of absence to collaborate on a book with Tony Bennett. (Sat, 06 Feb 2016 08:25:38 -0500)

Man Booker Prize Awardee Recasts Complex 'Merchant of Venice' Character

In "Shylock Is My Name," Howard Jacobson re-imagines one of Shakespeare's most thought-provoking characters. Scott Simon asks Jacobson about it. (Sat, 06 Feb 2016 08:25:00 -0500)

Profane And Pornographic, Irvine Welsh's Latest Plumbs A New Kind Of Emptiness

A Decent Ride brings back many of Welsh's beloved characters with their ribald humor and Scottish vernacular, but now they must address a new challenge: aging. (Sat, 06 Feb 2016 07:00:06 -0500)

Chris Offutt Reveals A Family Secret In 'My Father, The Pornographer'

Offutt's late father went from running a small insurance agency to writing more than 400 books, mostly pornography. Originally broadcast March 2, 2015. (Fri, 05 Feb 2016 13:53:00 -0500)

Confronting Loss While Scaling 'The High Mountains Of Portugal'

Yann Martel, author of The Life of Pi, conjures up three stories grounded in grief and magical realism in his latest novel. (Fri, 05 Feb 2016 07:00:00 -0500)

In Baby's 'First Bite,' A Chance To Shape A Child's Taste

Bee Wilson's new book, First Bite, examines how genetics, culture, memory and early feeding patterns influence the palate. She says babies are most open to new flavors between ages 4 and 7 months. (Thu, 04 Feb 2016 12:56:00 -0500)

Scouring Brazil For A Celebrated Novelist

When a renowned Brazilian writer mysteriously vanishes in Idra Novey's novel Ways to Disappear, her children and an American translator work to uncover the reason behind the writer's disappearance. (Thu, 04 Feb 2016 07:00:06 -0500)

Is Amazon Planning Hundreds Of Bookstores? Analysts Doubt It

A mall real estate executive let slip that Amazon plans to build up to 400 walk-in stores. Analysts were skeptical, and now the executive says his comment wasn't intended to represent Amazon's plans. (Wed, 03 Feb 2016 17:07:00 -0500)

A Writer Straddles Jerusalem's Two Worlds In 'Native'

With wit and subtle anecdote, Sayed Kashua explores the meaning of identity, prejudice and everyday life as an Arab-Israeli newspaper writer living in Jerusalem. (Wed, 03 Feb 2016 07:00:00 -0500)

The Hong Kong Bookseller Who's Keeping 'Banned' Books On His Shelves

Five people in Hong Kong's book industry have disappeared. All were linked to books forbidden in mainland China. Paul Tang says he has no plans to remove works critical of the Chinese leadership. (Wed, 03 Feb 2016 04:58:00 -0500)

Author Yann Martel On 'That Deeply Unreasonable Phenomenon' Of Faith

Martel's new book, The High Mountains of Portugal, shares some themes with his 2001 novel, Life of Pi: Both feature animals (in this case, a chimpanzee) and both struggle with questions of faith. (Tue, 02 Feb 2016 16:25:00 -0500)

'The Yid' Puts A Brash, Screwball Spin On Soviet Anti-Semitism

Paul Goldberg's debut novel is an ambitious historical fantasy about Stalin's 1953 plan to purge Jews from the Soviet Union. Critic Maureen Corrigan says The Yid is a wildly inventive "what if" story. (Tue, 02 Feb 2016 13:19:00 -0500)

Who Are America's 'Homegrown Terrorists'?

CNN's Peter Bergen describes how the Internet and social media have been used to radicalize and recruit Americans to jihad — and how some new jihadists then use those same tools to draw in others. (Tue, 02 Feb 2016 13:19:00 -0500)

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