March 2014

J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter spin-off to be adapted into film trilogy

Speaking to the New York Times recently, Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara confirmed that three movies are slated to be produced from the material and that Rowling herself will be writing the screenplay, the first time she has done so....

#prequelthisbook: Share your prequel suggestions

The indelible character Mammy, Scarlett O'Hara's maid, from Margaret Mitchell's classic novel Gone With the Wind, will star in a prequel book that follows her arrival in Georgia. Wouldn't it be great if all great pieces of literature had secret prequels in the works?...

This ... is ... LITERARY JEOPARDY!

To celebrate all the years of buzzer-beating fun, Daily Doubles, knowledge bombs (and more than 30 years of Canadian host Alex Trebek), we've come up our own Jeopardy!-themed literary quiz...

Rohinton Mistry's A Fine Balance on Combat des livres

Next week, Rohinton Mistry's critically acclaimed novel, set in India during a major period of upheaval in the mid-1970s, will have a chance to win the French-language version of Canada Reads -- le Combat des livres....

5 books you might be surprised to know were written in prison

Literature and prisons have quite an interesting history. In fact, many classic books were written or conceived of while their authors were in prison. Here are just a few examples....

7 interesting facts about Jane Austen

Austen, who is consistently recognized as one of the most important English-language literary voices in history, came of age in England's Georgian era, a time of immense social and artistic change. Here are seven interesting facts you may not know about Austen's life....

Love the Massey Lectures? There's an app for that!

2013 Massey lecturer Lawrence Hill discuss the importance of bringing the lectures into the digital age....

Benedict Cumberbatch to play Hamlet

The English actor will play the leading role in one of Shakespeare's most popular plays in a 12 week-run during the summer of 2015 at the Barbican theatre in London. We take a look at some of the performers that have played the prince of Denmark over the years, as well as some quotes from the play....

VOTE: The Great Canadian Character Showdown Round Two

Which fictional friends do you want to see move on? Cast your vote now! ...

Tennessee Williams is the latest in a string of previously unreleased works

A short story by playwright Tennessee Williams will be available for public consumption for the first time in about 80 years. This is the latest in a string of newly released works in the last few years. Here are some highlights of some newly available and previously unreleased writing. ...

The most important book on addiction in over a decade

Prominent addiction writer David Sheff discussed what he learned about addiction through his son's struggles....

9 poets on what makes a great poem stand out

When you're reading hundreds of poems and trying to choose the most compelling, what do you look for? We posed this question to some...... Read More »

Should children's books not be gender exclusive?

Kate Guest, the U.K. newspaper's literary editor, joined The Sunday Edition host Michael Enright to discuss the controversial decision to stop reviewing books explicitly marketed at only girls or boys....

A life in Middlemarch: A Writers & Company conversation

Is Middlemarch the greatest English novel ever written? Eleanor Wachtel explores this question with a panel of writers and George Eliot fans. ...

Rush Limbaugh shortlisted for children's book award

The Children's Book Council in America is responding to criticisms for including conservative political pundit Rush Limbaugh on its shortlist for author of the year award....

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Replay the show below: Replay the Q&A below: The on-demand video replay of the debate and the Q&A will be available this afternoon. You can......

Who Said It: Avril Lavigne or Twilight's Bella Swan?

The "most famous" Canadian (according to MIT anyways) and the starring character of one of vampire literature's biggest franchises. Can you tell the words of Avril Lavigne and Twilight's Bella Swan apart?...

Can you guess who is the number one best selling author in the new millennium?

Hint: the world's bestselling author since 2001 isn't J.K. Rowling. Nor is it E.L. James of Fifty Shades of Grey fame or George R.R. Martin, the true king of Game of Thrones. ...

The 10 books you need to read this spring

Ditch your winter cap and mittens, print off this list and head to your local library or bookstore. Here is the CBC Books spring 2014 reading list....

How well do you know your rocker kid lit?

It may seem like an odd move for a rock star to turn their attention to children's books, but rock star-turned-children's-author is more common than you might think. Take this quiz to determine how well you know your rockstar kid's lit. ...

VOTE: The Great Canadian Character Showdown Round One

The 32 finalists for most iconic Canadian character are now facing off in head-to-head match-ups. Which fictional friends do you want to see move on? Cast your vote now! ...

Where are the writers of colour?

Are mainstream media, publishers and reviewers are failing writers of colour? Author Aimee Phan says yes -- and stopped by Q to explain what we can do about it. ...

David Blaine vs. literary magicians

Can David Blaine top our favourite magicians from literature? Let's find out. ...

Why time is our scarcest resource

Author Brigid Schulte examines the struggle for work/life balance in her new book Overwhelmed: Work, Love and Play When No One Has the Time....

Game of Thrones: From page to screen

As legions of Game of Thrones fans eagerly anticipate the start of the fourth season next month, HBO has released a pretty cool short video featuring executive producers Dan Weiss and David Benioff explaining how they went about adapting George R. R. Martin's epic fantasy series....

Literary family trees: A.J. Jacobs on finding family members

Immersion journalist A.J. Jacobs is taking on a new project -- organizing the world's largest family tree. Learn more about his latest quest as well as about some literary family connections may be surprised by....

10 pearls of wisdom from Irish writers

Happy St. Patrick's Day! On a day when "everyone's a little Irish," we'd like to pay homage to the great writers (and there are so many) of this island. ...

CBC Short Story Prize: "Longshot" by Annie Reid

A couple at the race track must decide if their relationship is worth betting on in Annie Reid's "Longshot," shortlisted for the 2014 CBC Short Story Prize....... Read More »

Literature's biggest betrayals

Beware the Ides of March, Caesar. To mark this famous moment in history, we highlight five of literature's most notable betrayals....

5 cool math fiction books for Pi Day

Happy Pi Day! Many of us aren't huge fans of doing math, but don't let that discourage you from checking out these math fiction books....

Who Solved It? Quizzes!

It's Mystery Month on CBC's The Next Chapter! With March's up-and-down weather, it's the perfect month to curl up and get cozy with a mystery...but just how well do you know your literary detectives?...

Superhero therapy: How comic books can help you psychologically

Batman, Spiderman and Superman may not seem like highly likely names to come up during a patient's therapy session, but one mental health expert says superhero therapy often finds a place in his sessions....

The 2014 vampire power rankings

With news that Anne Rice is bringing the legendary Lestat back in a new novel, we decided to update our vampire power rankings list (OK, we don't so much update it as make it up entirely). ...

W.O. Mitchell tribute: Happy 100th birthday

Born in the Canadian prairies 100 years ago today, W.O. Mitchell became one of the country's most treasured authors and broadcasters....

How W.O. Mitchell revolutionized creative writing

March 13, 2014 was W.O. Mitchell's centenary birthday. And if you only know him as an author, or even as a peerless raconteur, you're missing...... Read More »

Mark Twain's book recommendations for boys and girls

We here at CBC Books love reading lists, but especially when they're from legendary author Mark Twain offering his personal selection of books for young people....

CBC Short Story Prize: "Saad Steps Out" by Trent Lewin

A 12-year-old boy looks for a way to escape the violence and desperation of his home life and save the girl next door in "Saad...... Read More »

Dan Riskin on why he thinks Mother Nature is trying to kill you

We tend to idealize the natural world, but nature can be much nastier than we like to think. Biologist and Daily Planet co-host Dan Riskin takes a lively look at the darker side of the natural world in his new book....

CBC Short Story Prize: "Tukisiviit?" by Laura Legge

A patronizing and insensitive geography teacher is taught a lesson in humility in "Tukisiviit?" shortlisted for the 2014 CBC Short Story Prize....... Read More »

6 wacky book records

Guinness released its top ten reading-related world records, we picked the best....

Girls creator Lena Dunham to write Archie comic series

Recently, Girls creator and star Lena Dunham announced that she will be writing a four issue Archie comic book for 2015. We take a look at some potential plot points!...

CBC Short Story Prize: "Smiley" by Jane Eaton Hamilton

Jane Eaton Hamilton won the 2014 CBC Short Story Prize for her story "Smiley," in which a child living in South Africa struggles with gender issues and first...... Read More »

Who Said It: True Detective or Dashiell Hammett character?

HBO's crime series True Detective wrapped up its critically acclaimed first season this past weekend. Despite featuring only eight episodes in season one, the show......

RBC Taylor Prize: Live Blog

Find out the winner of this year's RBC Taylor Prize today. The announcement will take place around 1:30 p.m. ET. Follow along on our live blog....

CBC Short Story Prize: "Jumbo" by Alix Hawley

A child bonds and falls in love with an African bush elephant at the London Zoo in "Jumbo," shortlisted for the 2014 CBC Short Story Prize....... Read More »

Do you think Amazon.com should ban anonymous commenting/reviewing?

Author Anne Rice is one of nearly 3,000 people who have signed an online petition calling on Amazon to do more to prevent bullying in comments....

Who Solved It? Quiz 1

It's Mystery Month on CBC's The Next Chapter! With March's up-and-down weather, it's the perfect month to curl up and get cozy with a mystery...but just how well do you know your literary detectives?...

Who is the most iconic Canadian literary character?

Canada Reads may be over, but we know people have CanLit on the brain all year 'round. With this in mind, CBC Books is launching a new campaign to identify the most iconic literary Canadian character ever....

RBC Taylor Prize finalist J.B. MacKinnon on his authorial spirit animal

The RBC Taylor Prize finalist for The Once and Future World: Nature As It Was, As It Is, As It Could Be tackles questions from the Canadian literati in...... Read More »

Welcoming the post-antibiotic era

(First aired on The Sunday Edition 02/03/2014) After so-called miracle drug penicillin revolutionized our world, medical and public health experts fear society is on......

Thomas King on why humour and tragedy are inseparable

The Governor General's Award-winning author of The Back of the Turtle tackles questions from the Canadian literati in our patented Magic 8 Q&A, reflecting on why CanLit...... Read More »

RBC Taylor Prize finalist Charlotte Gray on the worst interview she's ever done

The Canadian doyenne of literary nonfiction and RBC Taylor Prize finalist for The Massey Murder: A Maid, Her Master and the Trial that Shocked a Country tackles...... Read More »

Fifty Shades trilogy joins bestselling book franchises

E.L. James was the publishing phenomenon of recent years with her erotic romance novel Fifty Shades of Grey. (Associated Press) It's the 100 million club......

RBC Taylor Prize finalist Graeme Smith on dodging bullets and downing iced capps

The former Globe and Mail correspondent and RBC Taylor Prize finalist for The Dogs Are Eating Them Now tackles questions from the Canadian literati in our patented...... Read More »

CanLit at the Oscars

It's Oscar night! Here's a look at some Canadian novels and short stories that inspired feature films and earned Oscar nods....

The Next Chapter's March Mysteries Reading List

CBC's The Next Chapter is highlighting some of Canada's greatest mystery writers in March and their newest books. Here is a look at some of the novels that should jump to the top of your to-read list....

The 10 books you need to read this spring: Bark

Alice Munro, Lynn Coady, Mavis Gallant: Canadians love a good short story, especially right now. Which is why we think it's time to get......

The 10 books you need to read this spring: Boy, Snow, Bird

Helen Oyeyemi brings the classic fairy tale Snow White to 1950s New York City with her latest novel, Boy, Snow, Bird. Boy is the......

The 10 books you need to read this spring: Frog Music

Love historical fiction or a good crime story? What about both? If so, Emma Donoghue has written the book for you. The author behind......

The 10 books you need to read this spring: Medicine Walk

If Richard Wagamese's previous novel, the Canada Reads 2013 finalist Indian Horse, completely gutted you, well, get ready. His latest novel, Medicine Walk will......

The 10 books you need to read this spring: One More Thing

B.J. Novak is the latest Hollywood multi-hyphenate to add "author" to an already impressive resume. If you're a fan of the writing of the......

The 10 books you need to read this spring: Shovel Ready

Featuring a garbageman-turned-hit man trying to survive in a crumbling and contaminated post-nuclear New York,Shovel Ready by Adam Sternbergh is both a dark throwback......

The 10 books you need to read this spring: The Bear

Two young children -- five-year-old Anna and her younger brother Stick -- are left to survive on their own after a bear viciously attacks......

The 10 books you need to read this spring: Crazy Town

I thought I was prepared, but I couldn't hide my shock.

There was Rob Ford -- and there was no doubt in my mind that it was Rob Ford -- the mayor of the fourth-largest city in North America, slurring, rambling, wobbling around in his chair, sucking on what looked like a crack pipe.


From Crazy Town by Robyn Doolittle. Copyright © 2014 by Robyn Doolittle. Published by Penguin Canada. ...

The 10 books you need to read this spring: Listen to the Squawking Chicken

author photo: Dexter Chew Elaine Lui -- known to many as Lainey Lui, the celebrity gossip extraordinaire behind the site Lainey Gossip -- has......

The 10 books you need to read this spring: The Orenda

The Orenda, Joseph Boyden's masterful third novel, recently won the 2014 edition of Canada Reads. And it just came out in paperback, making spring......