SHAUN SMITH'S SUNDAY SUNDRIES

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A WEEKLY ROUNDUP OF INTERNET CURIOSITIES FROM THE BOOK WORLD

Garden of Knowledge
There's a fascinating project happening in the Quebec forest near Grand-Métis. Designers Thilo Folkerts and Rodney LaTourelle have built a "garden" using 40,000 books and called it "Jardin de la Connaissance". It's a double joke, you see, since it refers to Eden and because the books, if left, will decompose to eventually become trees again. Knowledge is temporary; everything is cyclical. (via Galleycat)

I am Canadian?
A very courageous and moving piece on what it is like to be an immigrant in Canada, by the poet Goran Simic.

Did you do it in public?
Yesterday was the first International Read A Comic in Public Day. Did you read one? Maybe it was one of these classics.

Mean ferries
This is just too stupid to warrant comment. The BC Ferry corporation is refusing to carry Annabel Lyon's novel The Golden Mean because — oh horror! — there's a naked bum on the cover. The reason? To protect children. I wonder if they would have made the same decision had the model been a woman. (Lyon responded via Quill & Quire on Wednesday, saying the decision was silly. No kidding.)

Publish and perish
Oh, the CanLit teapot is storming once again. Critics Stephen Beattie and Alex Good pissed off, oh, a good 20 or 30 people with their list of Canada's top ten overrated writers, published in the NatPo last Tuesday. They garnered even less attention with their follow-up list of the underrated the next day. My only beef is with the inclusion of Russell Smith on list #2. Not saying he should be on list #1, nor that there's anything wrong with his writing, but certainly he has gotten his fair share of attention over the years, no?

Top chefs
Oh exciting! Here are the Guardian's choices for the 50 best cookbooks.

Vanity
I have nothing against James Franco. He seems like a nice guy. But I am really, really, really, really, really tired of movie stars using their names to publish their shitty, amateurish fiction that would never in a million years get published if they hadn't lucked into such nice bone structure. It takes attention away from real writers. So I give you PW's brief but deliciously savage review of Franco's new book of short stories.

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.

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