Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

SHAUN SMITH'S SUNDAY SUNDRIES

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A WEEKLY ROUNDUP OF INTERNET CURIOSITIES FROM THE BOOK WORLD

TOO MANY PLERFS
The unofficial tally on the English vocab is hovering darn close to 1-million, according to The Global Language Monitor. Says their website: "At the current pace of a new English-language word created about every 98 minutes, English will cross the Million Word Mark on June 10th, 2009 at 10:22 am." Mark your calendars! Set your alarm clocks! Get out the party hats! Start planning the parade routes! Uncork the plerf! (I just invented that word, "plerf". I have no idea what it means, but we're that much closer to 1-million now.) (Thanks to The Economist.)

HUB OF SHAME
The Wilmington News Journal, in Ohio, informs us that American customs agents at the DHL hub in Wilmington Air Park have intercepted $1-million worth of heroin stuffed inside hollowed-out books that were en route from Iran to -- you guessed it -- Toronto! (Someone's not getting their Amazon.ir order!) The News Journal allows comments on its site and I just love this haiku-like tribute to the Wilmington hub from one Bill Neace (delineation and punctuation preserved):

great job to the people
whom caught this from going through!!
shame this hub is closing!!
good job to all..

THE END IS NIGH! GRAB THE CRAYONS!
Sadly, just when we need it, USA today tells us that FEMA has removed their downloadable disaster colouring book — A Scary Thing Happened — from their website. But don't despair completely, you can still download the Disaster Preparedness Coloring Book. (Though honestly, looking around right now, it may be too late for that.)

SUNDAY FUNNIES
Yesterday was Free Comic Book Day. (Really, it was.) We don't have any free comics for you, but we have a link to one, courtesy of the NYTs: Seth's George Sprott (to be published in book form later this month by Drawn & Quarterly).

GREAT WRITER; GREAT PHOTO
So much information is emerging about John Cheever. Probably too much, if you ask me, but it was inevitable. Joseph Berger wrote a lengthy offering in the NYTs on Thursday arguing that Cheever loved the suburbs (which really makes me wonder if Berger has actually read Cheever's work). If not to read the article, it is worth clicking the link to see Paul Hosefros' superb photograph of Cheever at his writing desk, in which the writer has all the presence of a seasoned alcoholic settled in at his favourite bar.

GREAT WRITER; NOT SO GREAT PHOTO
The Guardian's Sarah Crown has a lengthy and fascinating interview with Anne Michaels. (Too bad about the accompanying photograph by Eamonn McCabe, who usually does better work.)

TREES
Open Letters this month has an utterly captivating review by Bryn Haworth of Wildwood: A Journey Through Trees by the late Roger Deakin. “I have the kind of weakness for wood other people have for puppies or chocolates," wrote Deakin (not to be mistaken for the cinema photographer Roger Deakins). Scroll down a bit in the article and click the YouTube link to Pulp's video of "The Trees" to listen to while you read.

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

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Shaun Smith

Shaun Smith is a novelist and journalist living in Toronto. His young adult novel Snakes & Ladders was published in January 2009 by the Dundurn Group.

Go to Shaun Smith ’s Author Page