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Upcoming events

2013 Charles Taylor Prize Shortlist Globe & Mail/Ben McNally Books Authors' Brunch


Sunday, March 3, 2013 - 10:00am


King Edward Hotel

37 King St. East

Toronto, ON  M5C 1E9

2013 marks the twelfth awarding of The Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-fiction. Join us at the Vanity Fair Ballroom at the King Edward Hotel on March 3rd to hear each of the finalists share their experiences, wit, and insights into the writer's life.

Tickets are $50.00 each (taxes included). To purchase tickets call us at the store (416-361-0032). All of the shortlisted books will be available to purchase at our sale table just outside the Ballroom.

Carol Bishop-Gwyn for The Pursuit of Perfection: A Life of Celia Franca

Cormorant Books
<strong>Carol Bishop-Gwyn</strong> for <em>The Pursuit of Perfection: A Life of Celia Franca</em>

With great art and skill, Carol Bishop-Gwyn does for Celia Franca what history requires and demands. She gives us the complex story of an artist both driven and tyrannical, both sensitive and unreasonable, but someone able, with little help and in what was little more than a cultural backwater, to found a ballet company which was to become one of the best in the world, the National Ballet of Canada. The company still bears her stamp. Bishop-Gwyn’s rich biography tells us exactly why.

Tim Cook for Warlords: Borden, Mackenzie King, and Canada’s World Wars

Allen Lane
<strong>Tim Cook</strong> for <em>Warlords: Borden, Mackenzie King, and Canada’s World Wars</em>

We measure Robert Borden and William Lyon Mackenzie King, our two world war prime ministers, by the extent to which each rose to the occasion, led our country to bloody war, and led us out again, each of them effective warriors striving for peace. Tim Cook’s Warlords: Borden, Mackenzie King, and Canada’s World Wars portrays these two men as they really were, men moderately able to lead Canada through a dark time and, despite their numerous shortcomings (particularly Mackenzie King’s), able to survive politically. Cook’s great achievement is his capturing of Canada as it grapples with its identity.

Sandra Djwa for Journey with No Maps: A Life of P.K. Page

McGill-Queen’s University Press
<strong>Sandra Djwa</strong> for <em>Journey with No Maps: A Life of P.K. Page</em>

In taking on the life of P.K. Page, Sandra Djwa needed to be as driven and sensitive as her subject. Journey with No Maps: A Life of P.K. Page is not only the story of one of Canada’s great artists and poets, but also a history of the flowering of Canadian literature and culture in the twentieth century. Using the tools of the scholar — letters, notes, diaries, manuscripts, texts and interviews — Djwa fashions a compelling and necessary biography. She does the important job of leaving us with the big, rich life story, which gives an extra dimension to the art of a great visual artist and writer.

Ross King for Leonardo and The Last Supper

Bond Street Books
<strong>Ross King</strong> for <em>Leonardo and The Last Supper</em>

Told with flair, Leonardo and The Last Supper is the latest in Ross King’s studies of medieval Italian masters from Machiavelli to Brunelleschi to, now, the grand master of all, Leonardo da Vinci. The Last Supper is the most famous painting in the world excepting only for another by the same painter, the Mona Lisa, and it is the painting that raised da Vinci from the status of a highly promising but exasperatingly unproductive painter to the rank of the greatest artistic genius of all time. Leonardo and The Last Supper is a masterly exercise in the art of popular biography.

Andrew Preston for Sword of the Spirit, Shield of Faith: Religion in American War and Diplomacy

Knopf Canada
<strong>Andrew Preston</strong> for <em>Sword of the Spirit, Shield of Faith: Religion in American War and Diplomacy</em>

Fluently written, comprehensively researched, and scrupulously balanced, Andrew Preston’s Sword of the Spirit, Shield of the Faith describes how the foreign policy of the United States has been and is influenced, alternately decisively and marginally, by the fact that so many Americans regard themselves as a people chosen to do God’s work to others and because American leaders all the way from Lincoln to George W. Bush have used religious convictions to justify political acts. Showing that the centrality of religion in American life is by no means unique to fundamentalists and neo-conservatives, this important work has such chapter titles as “High Priests of the Cold War” and “A Judeo-Christian Foreign Policy,” which convey Preston’s originality and, indeed, his bravery.