craig davidson is coming to town on january 23

craig davidson, celebrated author of "rust and bone" and "cataract city" will join us to discuss his recent memoir, "precious cargo: my year driving the kids on school bus 3077", a chronicle of the year Davidson operated a school bus for a group of handicapped children in suburban Calgary.

craig is well known to his followers as an enthusiastic researcher and keen observer of his subjects. join us on january 23 to hear more about this and any other question you want to toss his way!

... Craig Davidson’s Precious Cargo [is] an almost singular accomplishment – a work of non-fiction that’s a pleasure to read, despite being about an able-bodied man who decides to hang out with disabled people.

The book’s skillfulness shouldn’t be a surprise. Toronto-born Davidson is an accomplished novelist: his most recent, Cataract City, was short-listed for the Giller prize while his first book of stories, Rust and Bone, became a harrowing Golden Globes-nominated film. He also writes thrillers and horror stories under a pair of pseudonyms. He knows how to kick a story along.
— ian brown, globe and mail

november is literary month in waterloo (part 2)

november 4-6: the fifth annual wild writers festival, hosted by the new quarterly, kicks off on friday night. we've included a few highlights below and the full program is available here

friday night at 7pm: guy gavriel kay and rosemary sullivan in conversation with craig norris in the CIGI auditorium. 

saturday all day: a variety of workshops hosted by authors on everything from poetry, fantasy, detective, art of literary research and so much more. read details here 

sunday: literary brunch at rhapsody barrel bar with authors madeleine thien, alissa york and michael helm

tickets: many of the saturday workshops at the balsillie school are free. find tickets to the entire weekend or to individual events here

november is literary month in waterloo (part 1)

november 3: come out to uptown 21 for a "schmecks inspired" tapas dinner to fete ann walmsley, winner of this year's edna staebler award for creative non-fiction. $100 gets you a ticket that includes dinner and a cocktail with the author (and many past recipients of the award) and a ticket to a discussion with past winners at the princess cinema afterward. 

ann's book, "the prison book club", recounts ann's 18 months participating in a book club for prisoners of collins bay and the stories of 6 of the inmates in the book club. she writes that "the books changed the men and the men changed [her]". read more about the book here.  and buy tickets to the celebration on november 3 here

holy smokes!

both events sold out in less than twenty four hours. that's almost 100 book sales for two deserving authors and for our wonderful indie book store, wordsworth. not to mention a few cocktails and dinners for two of our favourite restaurants in the city: public kitchen and uptown 21. 

well done everybody! and thanks so much for your continuing support of the book club. as always, if you didn't get a ticket this time, let us know. we keep a wait list. and watch for news about more fun and interesting literary events in the region in november. 


and another date in november


on wednesday november 9 emma donoghue, acclaimed author of "room" and giller prize nominee will be joining us for an evening of cocktails, tapas dinner and conversation about her new book, "the wonder". in a bit of a change from usual, we will gather at nick and nat's in uptown waterloo. 

An Irish village is mystified by what appears to be a miracle but may actually be murder in the next masterpiece from New York Times—bestselling author Emma Donoghue.

A village in 1850s Ireland is baffled by Anna O’Donnell’s fast. A little girl appears to be thriving after months without food, and the story of this 'wonder' has reached fever pitch.

Tourists flock in droves to the O'Donnell family's modest cabin, and an international journalist is sent to cover the sensational story. Enter Lib, an English nurse trained by Florence Nightingale, who is hired to keep watch for two weeks and determine whether or not Anna is a fraud.

As Anna deteriorates, Lib finds herself responsible not just for the care of a child, but for getting to the root of why the child may actually be the victim of murder in slow motion.

A magnetic novel written with all the spare and propulsive tension that made ROOM a huge bestseller, THE WONDER works beautifully on many levels—as a simple tale of two strangers who will transform each other’s lives, a powerful psychological thriller, and a story of love pitted against evil in its many masks.

an answer to the demand

demand for tickets to appetite events has been, quite simply, overwhelming. past years we have hosted two evenings back to back with the same author but this has proven to be awfully demanding on our authors. so we have returned to a "one night; one author" model for book club. 

that has lead to other challenges: there simply aren't enough spots to satisfy all the demand for tickets. but we love the small intimate venue that public kitchen offers. and, of course, we love the food and cocktails there. so we don't want to move to a bigger venue.

then along came a solution: nick and nat's uptown 21 is re-imagining itself as an event space and they are digging our concept of cocktails, tapas dinner and conversation. at the same time, there seem to be lots of authors who are interested in coming to chat with us over dinner. so we are in the happy position of being able to run two events close together with two different authors at two different venues. 

november is the first month to try this new model. check it out and prepare yourself for a difficult choice!

and for november option 1

Like a song of mourning, the work is not only sorrowful and commemorative – it attempts to reconcile us to his loss, to all loss, as part of the “sway of things beyond fighting.”
— The Globe and Mail
Seductive, supple and haunting . . . Sweetland is a wistful eulogy for a dying way of life.
— The Toronto Star

On November 7th we welcome Michael Crummey, acclaimed Newfoundland poet and author of "Sweetland".

Michael's depiction of harsh lives in Newfoundland has been described as "illumined by compassion and rich language". his poetry described as "generous, genuine, rich and warm with some form of grace always present to receive whatever hardships his characters endure. 

For twelve generations, when the fish were plentiful and when they all-but disappeared, the inhabitants of this remote island in Newfoundland have lived and died together. Now, in the second decade of the 21st century, they are facing resettlement, and each has been offered a generous compensation package to leave. But the money is offered with a proviso: everyone has to go; the government won't be responsible for one crazy coot who chooses to stay alone on an island.

That coot is Moses Sweetland. Motivated in part by a sense of history and belonging, haunted by memories of the short and lonely time he spent away from his home as a younger man, and concerned that his somewhat eccentric great-nephew will wilt on the mainland, Moses refuses to leave. But in the face of determined, sometimes violent, opposition from his family and his friends, Sweetland is eventually swayed to sign on to the government's plan. Then a tragic accident prompts him to fake his own death and stay on the deserted island. As he manages a desperately diminishing food supply, and battles against the ravages of weather, Sweetland finds himself in the company of the vibrant ghosts of the former islanders, whose porch lights still seem to turn on at night.

Wow. that was quick

tickets for the event with zoe whittall sold out quickly. maybe it was that excerpt in the globe and mail last saturday.

we wont be running a second night but be sure to let us know if you want to be added to the wait list. we are happy to keep that list and reach out when tickets unexpectedly become available. 

in the meantime, keep watching the site for news of upcoming events. spoiler alert: we have a busy and super exciting november planned!