August 2012

From the Writers & Company archives: Roddy Doyle

This summer, the Writers & Company weekly podcast featured some of the best shows from the show's archives. We hope you enjoyed this opportunity......

CBC Books' Fall Reading List

Fall. It's the season of boots, bookbags and, of course, books. What books should you be adding to your to-read pile as the leaves......

CanLit Quiz: Fashion

September is the time to pull out the fall scarves, boots and coats. Maybe you're picking up a back-to-school wardrobe. If you're style-conscious, you might......

Shelagh's Summer Specials: Adam Gopnik

Shelagh Rogers interviewed many fabulous authors this past season on The Next Chapter. Every now and then, she would have a conversation so compelling,......

The global reach of English

First aired on Babel (27/8/12) About two billion people -- more than a third of the world's total population -- speak English. And as use......

Sunday Edition beach reads: Louise Penny

First aired on The Sunday Edition (26/08/12)When one goes on an excursion to the beach, it's always good to bring a friend. Someone to help......

The real Mitt Romney

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and U.S. President Barack Obama are in a dead heat heading into the GOP convention, according to several polls......

Quirks & Quarks: The life of Neil Armstrong

Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, passed away last weekend, at the age of 82. His "giant leap for mankind" changed our sense of our place in the universe. In honour of his legacy, Quirks & Quarks presented a special podcast featuring an interview with Armstrong's biographer from December 2005. (You can listen to the podcast...... Read More »

The online book review industry

Meet the man who made up to $28,000 a month writing internet book reviews.New York Times reporter David Streitfeld has written a fascinating piece about......

British women's charity calls for the burning of Fifty Shades

The erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey has become the bestselling book of all time in England since record-keeping began (Associated Press file photo)A British......

Betting odds for the Nobel Prize in literature

Which authors have the best odds of taking home the prestigious award, according to British sports betting company Ladbrokes?...

Remember 1982 for a chance to win 1982 by Jian Ghomeshi

In 1982, Prince William was born, the Ocean Ranger sank and Michael Jackson released Thriller. It was also the year that CBC host Jian......

Jargon: A user's guide

First aired on Babel (20/8/12) Did you order your grande skinny half-caf breve today? In order to get the java, it helps to speak...... Read More »

Shelagh's Summer Specials: Linden MacIntyre

Shelagh Rogers interviewed many fabulous authors this past season on The Next Chapter. Every now and then, she would have a conversation so compelling,...... Read More »

From the Writers & Company archives: Alan Bennett

This summer, the Writers & Company weekly podcast will feature some of the best shows from the show's archives. We hope you'll enjoy this......

Moving a library, one book at a time

First aired on CBC News (15/8/12) When the Wildwood Public Library had to move to a new location, the staff chose an unusual method......

Books to pass on

Researchers at England's University of Worcester have found that parents would want their children to read Charles Dickens' classic A Christmas Carol more than any......

The Great Gatsby in the 21st century

A graph of countries plotted on the Great Gatsby curve (Source: MilesCorak.com). The complete findings are found in "Inequality from Generation to Generation: The...... Read More »

Tracking the U.S. election through book sales

As the U.S. election campaign ramps up, online retailer Amazon has been using "heat map" to graph conservative-themed "Red" and left-leaning "Blue" political book sales throughout the country in the past month....

Life at 35,000 feet

First aired on DNTO (11/8/12) What kind of airplane passenger are you? Do you patiently wait your turn to board or do you push...... Read More »

Confessions of a media manipulator

First aired on Q (13/08/12)Self-proclaimed media manipulator Ryan Holiday had a secret. In this age of social media, blogs and the 24-hour news cycle, he......

A colourful way to teach English

First aired on Babel (13/8/12) "What's stupid about English is that letters don't represent sounds." After teaching English as a second language for 13......

Sunday Edition beach reads: Giles Blunt and Peter Kirby

First aired on The Sunday Edition (19/08/12)Murder mysteries may not be the first books you think of to take the beach, but novelists Giles......

Why teenagers are supposed to drive you crazy

First aired on The Nature of Things (09/08/12) Words such as selfish, reckless, irrational, irritable and impossible are often used to describe teenagers. But...... Read More »

Gen Y buys more books than baby boomers

Who says that a generation raised on video games doesn't pick up books?Members of Generation Y, those born between 1979 and 1989, spent more money......

Is this the end of the male pronoun's golden age?

"She" is catching up to "he" when it comes to books.A new study has found that the gap between masculine and feminine pronouns in books......

From the Writers & Company Archives: Susan Sontag

Writer Susan Sontag at the Frankfurt Book Fair in central Germany on Oct. 11, 2003 (AP Photo/Michael Probst) This summer, the Writers & Company......

Lauren Conrad destroys books, angers internet

[View the story "Books as craft projects" on Storify]......

Shelagh's Summer Specials: Northwords

Shelagh Rogers interviewed many fabulous authors this past season on The Next Chapter. Every now and then, she would have a conversation so compelling,...... Read More »

Rhonda's literary meal

Recently, a series of photos by Dinah Fried of meals with a literary theme inspired us to ask our audience to come up with an image......

Paul Ryan and the resurgence of Ayn Rand

The U.S. Republican vice-presidential hopeful has backed off over his past declarations of support for the ideas of intensely pro-capitalist novelist Ayn Rand. But how much is Ryan actually influenced by the controversial writer? ...

Hobbit writer Tolkien gets his own crater

NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington Author J.R.R. Tolkien has received an honour that's out of this world.The much revered creator of......

Author answers student's online plea for book summary

Imagine, if you can, being back in high school and getting in touch with Mark Twain through social media to talk about the Huckleberry Finn......

CBC Books presents the Summer Sports Showdown champions

The triumph, the defeat, the sacrifices, the pain, the getting to the top and the falling short: the excruciating and emotional journey of an......

Celebrating Julia Child's 100th birthday

Julia Child displays a salade nicoise she prepared in the kitchen of her vacation home in Grasse, in southern France, in this August 21,......

Punctuation in the past, present and future

First aired on Babel (06/08/12) Punctuation can help clarify what we mean and even emphasize certain points. But with the proliferation of smart phones,...... Read More »

The life of a prison librarian

Quebec-born Jean Charbonneau has a unique job working as a prison librarian in Maryland. He discusses what it's like to choose books for inmates and lead literary discussions....

Protecting Jackie Kennedy

President John F. Kennedy riding in motorcade with his wife Jacqueline Kenndy before he was shot in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963 (AP...... Read More »

The Sunday Edition goes to the beach: Thrillers

First aired on The Sunday Edition (12/08/12)This week's installment of The Sunday Edition's beach reads series looks at thrillers. Emily Schultz knows a thing or......

Author's son outraged by use of Steinbeck character in execution case

Legendary novelist John Steinbeck would have been outraged over how the Texas authorities are using his character Lennie Small, his son Thomas says (Associated Press)First......

From the Writers & Company Archives: Jane Jacobs

Author Jane Jacobs in Toronto on May 12, 2004 (CP PHOTO/Adrian Wyld) This summer, the Writers & Company weekly podcast will feature some of...... Read More »

Is pop music dumber and louder than ever?

First aired on Day 6 (03/08/12) Is pop music getting louder and dumber? A new study by Spanish researchers suggests that's the case. According to......

Shelagh's Summer Specials: Writing the Titanic

In this April 10, 1912, file photo, the Titanic leaves Southampton, England, on its maiden voyage to New York City. Five days into its...... Read More »

Why do scary stories still scare when we're grown up?

First aired on Fear Itself (06/08/12)For many of us, the childhood summer camping experience isn't complete without sitting around a roaring fire, roasting marshmallows and......

How to be a game changer

Canada's Derek Drouin won a bronze medal in the men's high jump competition Tuesday at the London Olympics (Ryan Remiorz/Canadian Press) First aired on...... Read More »

David Rakoff's Half Empty

Essayist David Rakoff passed away Thursday at 47 years of age. Rakoff, who was born in Montreal, was diagnosed with cancer a second time two......

The Sunday Edition beach reads: Suspense!

First aired on The Sunday Edition (05/08/12)Some people may want to relax at the beach and let their minds wander, but fans of suspense want......

The 10 toughest books in literary history

Online literary magazine The Millions says it has identified the 10 most difficult books in English-language literature. Project curators Emily Colette Wilkinson and Garth Risk......

Cheating in the ancient Olympic Games

China's Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang (R) play against South Korea's Jung Kyung-eun and Kim Ha-na during their women's doubles badminton match in the...... Read More »

CanLit Quiz: Sports Lit

Christine Sinclair, captain of the Canadian women's soccer team (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press) UPDATE: This contest is now closed. Congrats to Julia E. who won......

Creating an English-language mash-up

Edwin Encarnacion (left) and Jose Bautista (right) are two of the multilingual members of the Toronto Blue Jays (Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) First aired on......

'Don't just do something, stand there': Frank Partnoy on the benefits of procrastination

Putting off work may actually help you perform better later, if you do it right. In his new book Wait: The Art and Science of Delay, Partnoy makes the case for productive procrastination. Check out his interview on Q. Sometime today. ... Read More »

Books about Marilyn

It's been 50 years since Marilyn Monroe died, yet fascination with the sex symbol from the post-war era remains high. Born Norma Jean Mortenson, she......

From the Writers & Company Archives: Jonathan Miller

This summer, the Writers & Company weekly podcast will feature some of the best shows from the show's archives. We hope you'll enjoy this......

The high-flying history of Superman

First aired on The Current (01/08/12)Since the late 1930s, Superman has been, and remains, one of the most iconic superheroes in history. His story......

What's your favourite last line in literature?

Last lines are so important. They are the final thought readers are left with. They conclude the story at hand but set up possibility for......

Shelagh's Summer Specials: Kim Thuy

Shelagh Rogers interviewed many fabulous authors this past season on The Next Chapter. Every now and then, she would have a conversation so compelling,......

August #CanLit Chat Replay: Sport Lit

We hosted the July #CanLit chat on Thursday, August 2, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. ET. The theme was "Ready, set, go: reading......

Celebrating Jamaica 50: 5 Jamaican-Canadian writers to check out

On August 6, Jamaica will celebrate its 50th anniversary of independence. CBC is celebrating with events, a special TV documentary Two Worlds, One Love,......

D.W. Wilson makes Dylan Thomas Prize longlist

D.W. Wilson is the lone Canadian on the 2012 Dylan Thomas Prize longlist. Wilson, who is nominated for his short story collection Once You......

Caitlin Moran on How To Be a Woman

First aired on Q (31/7/12) Caitlin Moran has been called "the British Tina Fey" and a "feminist hero for our times." She's one of......

Celebrated author Gore Vidal passes away at 86

Author and playwright Gore Vidal, passed away at his home in the Hollywood Hills on Tuesday evening, CBC News reports. Vidal was sick for......