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Struggling Through Pandemonium

(We've got Donna Morrissey's memoir Pluck is up for giveaway right now! Don't miss your chance to enter to win.)

While writing Pluck I was drawn to the stories of others struggling through pandemonium and learning to quieten its crazed babel. We all have a have memoir in us, we talk it out every time we sit with family, friends or shrinks, trying to make sense of whatever the hell just happened back there, and why’s it still happening.

We find patterns of behaviour in all of us, and in our relationships and workplaces and the towns we live in.  We are all living out the stories of our ancestors going back thousands of years. Which is why I varied my reading to include more objective works as well as personal memoir. God knows, we need all the help we can in navigating this terrible wonderful life bestowed upon us.  

These are only some of the books from which I learned of new questions to ask, and found answers to those I hadn’t thought of asking.

*****

Care Of: Letters, Connections, and Cures, by Ivan Coyote

As deep as it is poignant, Care Of is a co …

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Top Shelf Ep 5: Peeking Into Authors' Bookshelves

bookshelf

Julie Wilson's Shelf Exposure series is something special in Canadian book coverage, joining readers and authors in book love in a unique way.

In Shelf Exposure, Julie invites writers to take a closer look at their bookshelves and to present viewers with a short list of titles based on a theme of their choosing. Then they enter the lightning round, where Julie puts them on the spot with a list of random requests.

The result is an almost tangible book experience—rare in the online space. Perhaps because they're talking about other people's writing, not their own, authors seem entirely themselves. The depth of their attachment to their books is incredible to watch.

Every episode of Shelf Exposure—which is founded on a Skype discussion which Julie edits and formats into an audio-visual crackle of fun—produces a book the viewer never knew of or thought of getting. Every episode is a celebration of books, bookshelves, backlist, eclectic tastes, and the joy and brilliance of nerd-dom.

When I asked Julie about what she likes about Shelf Exposure, this is what she said:

"I genuinely love firing up my computer to find an author sitting in their home with a stack of books, ready to report on their findings. And the Lightning Round, in which writers are asked to simply fin …

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