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Ben McNally/Globe & Mail Books and Brunch
January 29, 2017 @ 10:00 am - 12:30 pm$55.00
Sunday January 29, 10.00 am
King Edward Hotel, 37 King St E.
Brunch is served in the Vanity Fair Ballroom on the second floor of the King Edward Hotel.
Tickets are $55.00 each (taxes included) and must be purchased in advance.
Tickets are non-refundable.
Please call us at 416.361.0032 with your credit card information to reserve tickets
Birds, Art, Life by Kyo Maclear
For Vladimir Nabokov, it was butterflies. For John Cage, it was mushrooms. For Sylvia Plath, it was bees. Each of these artists took time away from their work to become observers of natural phenomena. In 2012, Kyo Maclear met a local Toronto musician with an equally captivating side passion–he had recently lost his heart to birds. Curious about what prompted this young urban artist to suddenly embrace nature, Kyo decides to follow him for a year and find out.
Intimate and philosophical, moving with ease between the granular and the grand view, Birds Art Life celebrates the creative and liberating effects of keeping your eyes and ears wide open, and explores what happens when you apply the core lessons of birding to other aspects of life. In one sense, this is a book about disconnection–how our passions can buckle under the demands and emotions of daily life–and about reconnection: how the act of seeking passion and beauty in small ways can lead us to discover our most satisfying life. On a deeper level, it takes up the questions of how we are shaped and nurtured by our parallel passions, and how we might come to cherish not only the world’s pristine natural places but also the blemished urban spaces where most of us live.
Juliet’s Answer by Glenn Dixon
Simon & Schuster
When Glenn Dixon is spurned by love, he does something unusual. He travels to Verona, Italy, to become a scribe of Juliet, Shakespeare’s fictional character, all in an attempt to understand his heartbreak. Once there, he volunteers to answer the thousands of letters that arrive addressed to Juliet, letters sent from lovelorn people all over the world who long to understand the mysteries of the human heart.
Glenn’s journey takes him deep into the charming community of Verona, where he learns the traditions of the townspeople and becomes involved in unravelling the truth behind Romeo and Juliet—Did these star-crossed lovers actually exist? Did they live in Verona? Why have they remained at the forefront of hearts and minds for centuries? And what can they teach us about love? At the same time, we learn about Claire, Glenn’s unrequited love. Was she truly his soul’s match, or was she, like Rosalind in Shakespeare’s classic play, a mere infatuation who pales in comparison the moment his real Juliet enters his life?
When Glenn returns home to Canada and resumes his duties as a Grade 10 English teacher, he undertakes a lively reading of Romeo and Juliet with his students, engaging them in passions past and present. But in an intriguing reversal of fate and fortune, his students—along with an old friend—instruct the teacher on the true meaning of love, loss, and moving on.
Death in the Family by John Chipman
In the mid-’90s, the Ontario Coroner’s office decided that death investigation teams needed to “think dirty.” They wanted coroners, pathologists and police to be more suspicious–to “assume that all deaths are homicides until satisfied that they are not.” They were particularly concerned about pediatric deaths, which historically had been exceedingly difficult to investigate. There were usually no witnesses; no evidence to gather at the scene; no outward signs of trauma on the body. If the pathologist did not discover the truth of what had happened, child abuse could go uncovered.
Among those charged to “think dirty” was Dr. Charles Smith, Ontario’s top pediatric forensic pathologist at the time. But with virtually no training in forensics, Dr. Smith was ill prepared for his work. Instead of basing his judgments on forensic evidence found during autopsies, he allowed himself to be swayed by circumstantial evidence. The defendants were often single mothers–some on welfare, some struggling with substance abuse. And they made for easy targets. Dr. Smith made dangerous assumptions, and the results were catastrophic. Numerous individuals were pronounced guilty, and incarcerated, on his shaky evidence.
This penetrating investigative work explores the wide ripples of destruction caused when the justice system fails, the burden felt by ethical individuals working within that system, and the importance of its victims finally being heard.
Frontier City by Sean Micallef
It began as a series of reports from the civic drama of the 2014 elections. But beyond the municipal circus, writer and commentator Shawn Micallef discovered the much bigger story of a city emerging into greatness. He walked and talked with candidates from all over Greater Toronto, and observed how they energized their communities, never shying away from the problems that exist within them — poverty, violence, racism, and drugs — but advocating solutions that bring people together. Shawn Micallef introduces us to those fighting for a more inclusive vision of Toronto and reveals the promise and potential for a city that has been suffering through a severe identity crisis but is now on a steep upturn. Toronto, he says, is set fair to be a new urban model for cities all over the world. Micallef reveals Toronto in all its rich variety. It is hard, he says, to grasp the vast size and scope of Toronto until you spend a few hours walking through unfamiliar neighbourhoods. Each reveals another adjacent to it, and then another, and another. The city goes on and on, into unheralded ravines and oblique views of the downtown skyline. Hiding in all that geography is not only great beauty, but a force for change that’s been building for decades as people arrived here from every corner of the globe. Frontier City is a revelatory view of the Toronto of today and an inspiring vision of the Toronto of the near future.