SHAUN SMITH'S SUNDAY SUNDRIES

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A WEEKLY ROUNDUP OF INTERNET CURIOSITIES FROM THE BOOK WORLD

WORLD VIEW
A new project called the World Digital Library was recently launched by UNESCO. Its mission: "The World Digital Library (WDL) makes available on the Internet, free of charge and in multilingual format, significant primary materials from countries and cultures around the world." There are currently 13 Canadian items available for viewing, from which we learn that Canada is a nation of explorers, woodsmen, bear-hatted Parliamentary guards, and spectacular natural wonders. What, no igloos? Obviously they still have some work to do.

GUTTER VIEW
Filmmaker Guy Maddin knows a thing or two about the Northland, being from Winterpeg and all. NYC's Village Voice has an interview/review by Zach Baron of Maddin's MY WINNIPEG, which is the companion book to his film of the same name. My favourite passage: "It's just way more time than should be spent with oneself," Maddin admits, about his experiment in overwhelming (if often misleading) self-disclosure. "And certainly with one person. It'd be different if you were reading War and Peace or something, and the three months you spent with Tolstoy felt ennobling. But I just feel like I'm going to drag someone down to the gutter and then urinate on them, you know?" ...Um, no I don't know, Guy, and I'm not sure I want to.

COVERING COVERS
The National Post continues their series looking at the "ecology of books" (whatever that means) in Canada, talking to a gaggle of book designers. (This is a short version of the round table. Supposedly there is a longer version on the Post's Ampersand blog. Good luck finding it.)

MAKEOVER
Speaking of book covers, two series are getting retro refits: Harry Potter & Faber Classics.

GEOBLURBING
The UK's Guardian Newspaper's Books Blog tells us about a rather prosai...er, I mean admirable project the Canadians are up to. "Let's follow Canada and display writers' words in the places they describe." I don't know about you, but I'm running right over to the Bloor St viaduct today for my CanLit fix.

TAKING IT WITH YOU
Odds are you've already seen the bookshelf that can be converted into a coffin, but it is just so oddball I couldn't resist. (These though bubble shelves are also cute, if functionally questionable. [Thanks to The Causal Optometrist.])

DIY
And for those looking for a Sunday do-it-yourself project, here's how to build your very own bookscanner using junk, garbage, crap n' stuff.

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