Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015


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The crimes of George W. Bush, part 1
We all know that controversy sells books, but it is not often that the controversy involves a former US president potentially incriminating himself as an alleged war criminal. On a number of fronts last week, it was reported that George W Bush could find himself water over his admission, in his new memoir Talking Points, that he approved waterboarding of Iraq War prisoners, and for his assertion that waterboarding is not torture. British PM David Cameron has distanced himself from Bush's claims that waterboarding saved British lives (reports AP), the ACLU is calling for an investigation of Bush for war crimes (reports CBS News), the new United Nations' special rapporteur on torture says Bush is hiding behind his lawyers (reports ABC News), and Amnesty International says that under international law the USA is obligated to investigate Bush for war crimes and, failing that, other states must step in (reports Reuters).

The crimes of George W. Bush, part 2

Well, not only is "Dubya" allegedly a war criminal, he's also now been accused of being a plagiarist. Calling the book a "mash-up of worn-out anecdotes" the HuffPo's Ryna Grim reports that Bush's new memoir is rife with quotes lifted verbatim from the previously published memoirs by Bush flunkies, and that it also contains numerous unattributed passages lifted straight from newspapers and magazines.

What are we going to do about it?
Well, the protest group Waging Nonviolence offers one solution, of sorts: start by making sure Bush's new memoir is shelved in the correct section at your local book store: True Crime.

Speaking of crime
The world's greatest living writer has a new book out. Yeah, I'm an unabashed fan of crime novelist Elmore Leonard and I'm using this platform to promote his book. Deal with it. Meanwhile, you can read a profile of Dutch on PW.

The bandwagon of uncertainty
C/o Beth Follet on Facebook, a wonderful typographic accompaniment, by Ronnie Bruce, to poet Taylor Mali's (is that Jesus looming into frame behind him?) rather brilliant reading of his poem "Totally Like Whatever".

Speaking of manipulating type
Vanity Fair has an interview with Jonathan Safran Foer about his quite remarkable (looking, at least) new book, Tree of Codes, which is an intriguing and elaborately die-cut artifact from British publisher Visual Editions. There'll be no e-book edition of this one, that's for sure.

A room full of journalists?
I'm not sure if this would be fun or a form of torture. Nonetheless, on Nov 17, Massey College in Toronto is hosting an open house for journalists who want to shmooze it up a bit. Canadian Magazines' blogspot has the details. The cash bar is probably a wise decision.

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