Noted: Big moments in book news this week

Neil Peart’s writing life

On the passing of Rush drummer — and writer and intellectual — Neil Peart, reported Friday, Jan. 10, his editor at ECW Press, Jen Knoch, wrote a lovely tribute on the company’s blog: “I love that he collected national park stamps, learned to draw his daughter’s favourite cartoon characters, read voraciously, travelled extensively, wrote eloquent letters, prioritized time for quiet and reflection. I love that he learned the names of birds and plants, the curious histories of the places he passed through. He knew that details matter.”

In a note to the Star, AbeBooks.com reported that Peart’s books were some of the top sellers throughout the weekend after his death with his motorcycle memoir about grief and healing “Ghost Rider: Travelling on the Healing Road” and “The Masked Rider: Cycling in West Africa” proving the most popular, according to the site’s spokesperson, Richard Davies. Also in demand among Peart’s other books was a sci-fi novel “Clockwork Angels” he co-wrote with Kevin J. Anderson in 2014.

Upping book clubs’ author game

In a quiet launch that quickly picked up social media steam this week (Twitter: @inviteanauthor), a pair of authors — Ann Y.K. Choi (“Kay’s Lucky Coin Variety”) and David Albertyn (“Undercard”) — and a teacher librarian — Fiona Ross — quickly became a book club-goers dream. They’ve developed The Authors’ Book Club because they are “interested in bringing authors and readers together to talk about all things related to books and writing.” The idea is to create an online community (theauthorsbookclub.ca) for authors and readers to talk directly to each other — and if you’ve got a book club, that also means authors who are willing to appear at your next meeting — in person or via Skype. Don’t be shy.

Meet the 2020 Giller Prize Jury

The first sign that it’s a new year in the book world is the announcement of the jury for this year’s Scotiabank Giller Prize. The ones who’ll be reading upward of 110 novels or books of short stories to determine Canada’s “best” — a label that always makes for some interesting debate. It’s a stellar panel: David Chariandy (author of “Brother” and a previous Giller nominee); Eden Robinson (“Son of a Trickster,” among other books, including Giller nominees); Mark Sakamoto (author, broadcaster, and arts and tech entrepreneur ) is the jury chair; Tom Rachman (British/American, but he was raised in and studied extensively in Canada); and Guardian journalist Claire Armitstead.

Get more books in your inbox

Get the latest book news and reviews with our Books email newsletter.

Sign Up Now

Deborah Dundas

TORONTO STAR