Thistledown Scroll - Fiction

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Happy Friday,

This weekend is supposed to be not-rainy here in Vancouver -

a very rare thing indeed in the winter.  I am going to have to make time

to go for a walk along the dyke at Boundary Bay Park.  You wouldn’t

belive the birds that populate that park this time of year -

bald eagles, golden eagles, blue herons and all sorts of birds from the duck family

Bufflehead 2

The only one that comes to mind at the moment is a bufflehead (see above).

Isn’t that a great name for a bird?

Not to make you jealous or anything but the Witch Hazel is in bloom – spring may be on

its way.   Have a great weekend!


Image result for witch hazel images

9781551525747_WhenEverythingFeels books_gg_awards_20141118


I don’t know about you, but I am loving the controversy surrounding Raziel Reid’s

When Everything Feels Like the Movies. It’s been nominated for the 2014 Governor General’s Literary

Award for Children’s Literature and is going to be featured on CBC’s Canada Reads competition in March.

Just when things were already looking up, the best thing that could happen to a book (or any piece of art)

happened: a public figure deemed it inappropriate for the public to commend. In this case, the public is

our fragile youth. Words like “vulgar” and “values-void” and (the best yet) “petition against” are popping

up in my inbox everyday in relation to this book. The best part of it all is that it’s appearing as publicity


The spark that lit the fire was Barbara Kay’s review in the National Post who says, “the

“authentic” narcissism of queer/transgender identity exempts one from the obligation to mature. I’d not have

wasted tax dollars on this values-void novel.” This led to the petition to revoke the Governor General’s Award

for Literature from Raziel Reid.

In response, Arsenal Pulp Press‘ Brian Lam says, “[Reid's] book is a painful yet accurate depiction of youth culture

today, and anyone who thinks otherwise is living with his or head in the ground.”

Call me crazy but haven’t we proved over the years that trying to repress art is the quickest way to make it

not only popular but also cherished for years to come?

I’m just praying for the book to get banned somewhere, then we will cement its existence for all eternity.


- Tamara



Trash Talk cover

No we are not talking about the rivalry between Eugenie Bouchard

and Maria Sharapova!  I ran into Orca author Michelle Mulder today and we

chatted a bit about her new book in the Orca Footprints series Trash Talk. 

Coming in April the book looks at the history of garbage from the ancient

Minoan trash pits to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and investigates ways

people are dealing with trash all over the world.   Thankfully things in Victoria

are improving.   From 1908 to 1958, city workers loaded all of Victoria’s

garbage onto barges and dumped it in the ocean.  The tide washed it back to shore

and beach users had to carry rakes with them to clear places to sit on the sand.

9781459806924 ages 8-12



We’re well into winter here in Vancouver, and though it’s certainly not as cold

as many Canadian cities, it sure is gloomy out. This weekend I decided to cheer

myself up by heading out for margaritas at my favourite local place, El Caminos.

I had such a great time, I decided that this week I’ll try out a few recipes from a

book from one of our new publishers, Sellers.

500 Mexican Dishes
by Judith M. Fertig
9781416207870| Price: $19.95


Happy Friday!  It has been a hectic week and I am looking

forward to the weekend.  I thought I should share this with you:

Books and brains

Hope you have a lovely weekend.



Hi there!

We’re deep into January and the Toronto office realized that we haven’t exactly been living up to

our “New Year, New You” resolutions. So we decided to bring back the Ampersand Health Hustle,

(now renamed “Ampercise”) and climb up 10 flights of stairs – twice. This is sadly, the result.


We almost lost a soldier in battle. We’re happy to report that his condition is stable

and that he only suffered a minor loss of ego.

- Tamara

Forgotten English calendar

Just got my sample of  Forgotten English  A Daily Calendar of

Vanishing Vocabulary and Folklore from Sellers Publishing.

My favourite words thus far:

glottened - suprised; startled; quafftidetime of drinking;

paper stainer - an author or clerk in contempt;  daint -

delicate, elegant;  anparsy also termed parsy-and - &!


This weekend I went to check out the new show at the VAG, to see their new

show Unscrolled: Reframing Tradition in Chinese Contemporary Art .

It was awesome! Now I can’t wait to dig into our office copy of A History of

Art in Twentieth Century China, by Lu Peng.

A History of Art in 20th Century China
by Lu Peng (05/27/15)
9788881587797| Charta| Artbook/DAP
Paperback | Price: $180.00


Ok, I know.  We all have to make a living.  Most of

the time that is a great thing as I love my job.  The

only time that gets in the way is when I am part way

through a book I really, really like.  I started my ARC of

The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler

(978-1-250-05480-7,  $31.50, Macmillan)

and it is so captivating I can’t wait to go home and read.  I don’t want

to do chores, cook, return calls, talk to anyone; I just want to read my


You know how it is when you are grabbed by a book and are totally swept

up into that world?  That’s me at the moment.  Plus, not only is it a good

read but it is a great book story as well.  The author made multiple handmade,

hand-aged, hand-bound copies of her manuscript to send out to publishers.

I will quote her here:

“When submitting The Book of Speculation for publication, I faced a problem.  I

needed to convey the magic of a very old book, a seductive power that leads my

librarian protagonist, Simon, down the rabbit hole of a family curse.  The solution was

both obvious and ridiculous: I’d replicate Simon’s experience and create a book as

alluring as the one he receives, something with pictures, letters, and tarot cards.  I had to

make books.  In teaching myself bookbinding, I fell down my own rabbit hole of needles,

drills, tea staining, illustration, gilding, and more paper dust than one person should

ever inhale.”

I am positive the finished book is going to be a thing of beauty.  The tale in The

Book of Speculation reminds me in a way of The Night Circus; and not just the story but

the way it makes me feel.  When I finished The Night Circus I wanted to read it again immediately.

I have an odd feeling that I will want to do the same with this book.


Book of Speculation

Check out Erika’s blog  erikaswyler.tumblr.com and her

baking  Tumblr  ieatbutter.tumblr.com  (too yummy for words!)

Have a great weekend!


Happy Thursday!

Here’s a funny little joke that’s making its way around Emailverse. I thought I’d share it with you.

Shady Marketing Practices by Publishers

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