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

BRAIDS
Vit Wagner in The Toronto Star reports that Robert "Love You Forever" Munsch has teamed up with a new publisher: 3rd grader Taya Kendall, from Sir Isaac Brock Public School, in Guelph, ON. Munsch donated an unpublished story, titled "Braids", to the school's newspaper, which Kendall started up to raise funds for AIDS orphans at the Bukati Primary School, in Kenya. Now Kendall, Munsch and friends have published "Braids" in book form with illustrations by Kendall's schoolmates. All proceeds from the sale of "Braids" will go to the Children of Bukati, so get your copy here.

WEB 2.Boring
Over the last few weeks I've been following the English language's march toward 1-million words. Word 1-million was announced last Wednesday, and what a disappointing entry it is.

WORDNIK
A useful new website aims to scoop the lexicographers and dictionaries (while also riding their coat tails.) Wordnik.com draws from a host of online databases to provide much more than just the definitions for words typed into its search engine.

ABSTRUSE SHIBBOLETHS
The New York Times has released a list of the words most frequently searched on its website's dictionary database. Meanwhile, Zachary M. Seward of Harvard's Nieman Journalism Lab offers an entertaining analysis of the list.

TYPICAL
When I worked in bookstores (12 years!) we used to keep a list of the strange things misguided patrons asked for. It was a very, very long list. Here's a sampling, from memory: towels, Lysol, skateboards, pagers, photocopier. Bookseller and blogger Matt Blind, over at Rocket Bomber, fails to categorize that particular type of bookstore customer (I would call them "The Lost"), but in wonderfully curmudgeonly style he provides an in-depth and (trust me) highly accurate description of all the rest. Which type of bookstore customer are you?

BOOKSEER
Don't want to deal with snarky booksellers? Let a robot make your next reading suggestion.

NINOMIYA-KUN
Don't want to deal with reading? Let Ninomiya-kun do it for you.

LOW SAYLES
According to the LA Times, novelist and film director John Sayles can't get no respect from the publishing world. He's been shopping around a 1,000-page manuscript for his latest novel and no one is biting. Apparently it's the recession's fault, but one wonders what's in that MS.

GRUFFALO
Last week I reported about the Guardian Book Yurt. This week from the Yurt, the Guardian provides a video interview with the illustrator of that favourite kids book creature, the "frightening but cute" Gruffalo.

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