Category Archives: Prizes

Giller Prize shortlist for 2014

Here’s where you’ll find the Giller-Prize-shortlisted books at the UC Library (the winner will be announced Nov. 10):

Meanwhile, it was announced today that a book from last year’s Giller shortlist,  Caught by Lisa Moore, will be adapted for TV and will star Allan Hawco of “Republic of Doyle.”


Canada Reads 2014 contenders

The theme for the next CBC Canada Reads is “the novel that could change the nation.”  In case you want to start reading the contenders in advance of the debates (on CBC radio in March), most of them are currently available at the UC Library.

The exception is The Orenda: five U of T libraries, include UC, own a copy of this recent novel by Josepha Boyden, and all five copies are checked out. Given this (and given how popular Joseph Boyden’s previous novels have been!), I have just ordered two additional copies for the UC Library.

Here are the five contenders:

book cover: The Orenda by Joseph Boyden

GG Awards for 2013

Here are the English-language winners of the 2013 Governor General’s Awards — all available at the UC Library!

      The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
      Journey With No Maps: A life of P.K. Page by Sandra Djwa
      North End Love Song by Katherena Vermette
      Fault Lines: Three Plays by Nicolas Billon
      The Major Verbs by Pierre Nepveu, translated by Donald Winkler

book cover: Fault Lines


This is definitely a good year for short stories! Hellgoing, Lynn Coady’s collection of stories which just won the Giller Prize, is available at the UC Library — and we also have her earlier books.

book cover: Hellgoing / Lynn Coady

Luminaries wins the Booker Prize

Eleanor Catton, a 28-year-old New Zealander (born in Canada), has won the Booker Prize for her 832-page novel The Luminaries (currently on the shelf at the UC Library!), which takes place during the 1860s New Zealand gold rush.

Many people are understandably concerned about the future of the Booker Prize, after it was announced last month that U.S. authors will be eligible as of next year. If Julian Barnes’s predictions are correct, it will be a long time before such a young author wins again. (Barnes won the 2011 Booker for The Sense of an Ending.)

The other shortlisted books for this year’s Booker were A Tale for the Time Being (Ruth Ozeki),  The Lowland (Jhumpa Lahiri), We Need New Names (NoViolet Bulawayo), Harvest (Jim Crace), and The Testament of Mary (Colm Toibin).


Intolerable wins Toronto Book Award

Kamal Al-Solaylee has won the 2013 Toronto Book Award for his book Intolerable: A Memoir of Extremes, which is available at the UC Library. The Toronto Book Awards webpage about his win includes a nice excerpt about his first impressions of Toronto.

book cover: Intolerable, by Kamal Al-Solaylee

2013 Giller shortlist

The Giller Prize shortlist was announced today.  We have all 5 shortlisted books at the UC Library, PLUS the other 8 books that made the “long list.” The longlisted books have been on display at the front of the Library for the past ten days (but of course some of them have been borrowed — that’s why we do these displays!). The winner will be announced November 5.

Going Home Again / Dennis Bock
Hellgoing / Lynn Coady
Cataract City / Craig Davidson
Caught / Lisa Moore
The Crooked Maid / Dan Vyleta

The Orenda / Joseph Boyden
How To Get Along With Women / Elisabeth De Mariaffi
Extraordinary / David Gilmour
Emancipation Day / Wayne Grady
October 1970 / Louis Hamelin, translated by Wayne Grady
The Son of a Certain Woman / Wayne Johnston
The Woman Upstairs / Claire Messud
Minister Without Portfolio / Michael Winter


Canada Reads 2013

This year’s “Canada Reads” on CBC seems strange to me, with its mix of old and new books, which are supposed to represent five regions of Canada — but I must admit I always find “Canada Reads” entertaining. Today Jane Urquhart’s novel Away (which I liked a lot) was eliminated, and yesterday David Bergen’s The Age of Hope was eliminated, so there are three books left:

  • February (2009), by Lisa Moore (Atlantic region — defended by comedian Trent McClellan)
  • Indian Horse (2012), by Richard Wagamese (British Columbia and Yukon — defended by athlete Carol Huynh)
  • Two Solitudes (1945) by Hugh MacLennan (Quebec — defended by actor Jay Baruchel)

Speaking of Jay Baruchel, I recently re-watched Jacob Tierney’s movie “The Trotsky” (set in Montreal and starring Jay Baruchel), which I I highly recommend! The DVD is available at Media Commons.

Sarah Polley wins award for best Canadian film of 2012

What great news that Sarah Polley’s wonderful documentary Stories We Tell has won the Toronto Film Critics Association’s $100,000 prize for the best Canadian film of 2012! At University College we are very lucky to have Sarah Polley as this year’s Barker Fairley Distinguished Visitor.

For some interesting quotes about Stories We Tell and Sarah Polley’s other feature films, see the following links to my Canadian Women Film Directors Database:

Will Ferguson wins Giller Prize

Will Ferguson won the Giller Prize tonight (in a kilt!) for his novel 419. As of this writing, all three copies owned by U of T libraries are sitting on the shelf (at the University College Library, Robarts, and U of T Mississauga) — probably not for long!  (By contrast, all 53 Toronto Public Library copies are out on loan, with hundreds of holds.)
book cover: 419 by Will Ferguson



About the novel: “419 takes readers behind the scene of the world’s most insidious internet scam. When Laura’s father gets caught up in one such swindle and pays with his life, she is forced to leave the comfort of North America to make a journey deep into the dangerous back streets and alleyways of the Lagos underworld to confront her father’s killer. […]”  (from the publisher’s website)