Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015


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"The Book That Can't Be Read"
Nerds at the University of Arizona have definitively dated one of the world's strangest antique manuscripts. The Voynich manuscript was previously believed to have been written by Roger Bacon, a 13th century Franciscan friar and philosopher, but using radiocarbon dating, scientists at UA have now determined that the work was created between 1404 and 1438. By whom? No one knows. The manuscript was purchased in 1912 from Jesuit priests in Rome by the late New York book dealer Wilfrid Michael Voynich (it is now in Yale's archives). It is written in a code that no one has been able to decipher and is filled with bizarre illustrations. Voynich spent 18 years trying to figure it out before dying. Want to take a shot at cracking the code yourself? Give it your best try here. More about the Voynich manuscript on National Geographic.

Ex libris
A wonderful Gallery of Book Trade Labels from

Rotate this
GBS liked to spin.

Book Art
In every act of creation there is an act of destruction. The artist Isaac Salazar has found a novel use for old books.

Rare indies
For once I agree—at least on the content if not the ordering—with one of BlogTO's "Best Of" listings. Personally, I'd move Ben McNally up to number one, but that may just be splitting hairs. Let's be thankful that we still have any indie bookstores.

Shelley's Ghost
The Bodleian Libraries and the New York Public Library have teamed up to mount a major exhibit devoted to the Godwin and Shelley families. The exhibit, which is on now at the Bodleian, features the complete Frankenstein notebooks, a draft of Ozymandias, and Percy Bysshe's baby rattle. Can't get to Oxford? No worries, you can view it all on this superb interactive website.

Everyone for Every Man For Himself
I call upon my legions of readers...ahem! visit the Booker site and vote for Beryl Bainbridge's novel Every Man For Himself to receive a special posthumous Booker Prize being awarded to the late Dame B. Oh, what's that, you've not read her masterpiece about the sinking of the Titanic? Lucky you: you're in for an awfully big adventure.

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