Archive for the ‘reviews’ Category

b4b s2 e25: Jane Burpee on Open Access Week

In interviews, radio show, reviews on October 18, 2012 at 3:24 pm

It’s time for the 2012 Raise Your Voice fundraising drive for CFRU, the theme this year is In The Field. Please consider donating to CFRU in our upcoming fundraising drive, or any time.  For anyone who donates $100 or more, there are some cool rewards, including: key to the station, a t-shirt, a toque, and more. Check them out on the Donate page. Also, come on out for music and merriment at Fru-Fest, October 19-25, around Guelph. So much is happening.

Listen to this week’s show on the crfu site.


Dan’s reading list:

– Pamela Druckerman: Bringing Up Bebe: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting >  On the topic of raising kids (and how we’re doing it wrong).

Jonathan Goldstein – I’ll Seize the Day Tomorrow > A new book to tell people about when they say “Give me something to make me laugh!”

– Joan Didon: Blue Nights > On the topic of aging, grieving and surviving loss.

Peter’s reading list: 

– George Orwell: 1984. > Peter makes an analogy to the band Nirvana.

-Mark Binelli: Detroit City is the Place to Be > Peter loves Detroit. You can too.

– Greg Rucka: No Man’s Land > Batman! But… well, Peter was confused but also delighted.

– Don Delillo: Mao II > Paranoid socio-political semi-thriller by Peter’s #1 guy.

Are comic books actually books? Are they? Aren’t they? Depends who you listen to. Junot Díaz has an opinion on this.


Dan and Peter interviewed Jane Burpee from the University of Guelph’s McLauglin Library. In a couple of weeks, she’ll be back to talk about the Campus Author Recognition Program, in which 89 authors associated with the Guelph campus are celebrated this year alone! But today she is with us to talk about  Open Access Week, October 22-26. 

 The library has collaborated with other organizations to bring in speakers all week, on the topic of access to academic writing and research. Their idea is that peer-reviewed scholarly work (publicly funded) should be (but isn’t) available online for free, immediately on publication. As things stand, taxpayers contribute to the production of scholarly journals, which in turn make their output available to post-secondary institutions for a fee; students and faculty have access to these journals online, but lose that access if they stop being enrolled or employed at the university, and anyone without such an affiliation has to pay (sometimes quite a steep price) to view more than an abstract of most scholarly articles. This means, among other things, that professional discourse and development is cut off from discussions and innovations in scholarly research, and this contributes to the “ivory tower” aspect of the academy and research.

What do you think? Come out this week and take part in the discussion.


And we hereby rename our town Bonkersfestville USA (Ontario), in honour of the apparently endless stream of events happening here.

Aside from Fru-Fest (October 19-25), there’s the Festival of Moving Media, Guelph’s international documentary film fest: provocative, affordable, at various locations in Guelph Nov 1-4. Check it out.

And not a festival but: Friday Oct 26, you have a chance to see the popular and critically-acclaimed one-man-show Bookworm, by Corin Raymond, with musical guest David Ross Macdonald, downtown at Magnolia. (Emily recommends this to all book nerds (and book nerd lovers) everywhere.)


Next week’s show will be Live From The Bookshelf! Come on in and be part of the show.  


b4b s2 e24: Jeff Rubin and The End of Growth

In interviews, radio show, reviews on October 11, 2012 at 8:54 am

“My message to environmentalists is: triple-digit oil prices, and the market process that results in those prices, is our friend, not our enemy.”

-Jeff Rubin

The End of Growth

This week’s show features an interview by Jan Andrea Hall (of Royal City Rag) with Jeff Rubin, former chief economist of CIBC, “regarded as one of the world’s most sought-after energy experts.” Rubin will be appearing in Guelph in The End of Growth tour, head-to-head with ecologist David Suzuki, next Tuesday (October 16th), 7pm at the Lakeside Hope House (formerly Norfolk United Church).

Dan read some special ones. Check ’em out:

Rae Spoon: First Spring Grass Fire (Arsenal Pulp Press). Rae is a musician and is branching out to master new art forms with their first book: linked stories about growing up queer, searching for acceptance, discovering music. Peter and Dan spoke with Rae recently; look out for the interview in upcoming weeks. Here’s the book trailer.

Steven Marche: Love and the Mess We’re In (Gaspereau Press, Nova Scotia).

Chris Ware: Building Stories (Pantheon): A box of documents, drawings, illustrations, exploration about books, buildings and tangibility in the world.


These are all going to be awesome:

October 16th, 7pm: Jeff Rubin and David Suzuki will go head to head in The End of Growth tour at the Lakeside Hope House (formerly Norfolk United Church).

October 17th, 11:30 am: Christopher Dewdney, the U of G’s current writer-in-residence, will read at the The Trans-Canada Institute.

October 23rd, 7 pm: William Whitehead (Timothy Findley’s long-time partner) will present his memoir, Words to Live By, on, 7pm at The Bookshelf.

October 19-25: Fru-Fest 2012! Celebrate our amazing community/campus radio station with lots of live music.

Alix Ohlin (b4b s2 e15)

In radio show, reviews on August 9, 2012 at 12:07 pm

“Suffering does not make people noble. A lot of times suffering makes people psychologically incompetent, and they’re not good at having relationships.”
Alix Ohlin

Hear Here:

Download Here:
Alix Ohlin (b4b – s2.e15)

August 2nd: Alix Ohlin
Alix Ohlin (“oh-lean”) is a Montreal-born writer who is four books into a rich writing career that deserves many more readers. June, 2012 saw the simultaneous publication of her new book of stories, Signs and Wonders, and her new novel, Inside. Unheard of, no? But Toronto’s Anansi Press is on to something: Alix Ohlin writes characters you’ll wnat to know better. In her stories, she offers people who are in transition, who alternate between offering help and needing it. “The equation of helping is really very complicated. There are all kinds of reasons why attempts to intervene maynot succeed.”

In the Ohlin-iverse, there is much data for the student of psychology. And lesson after lesson about how easy it is to muddle even a seemingly simple relationship. Or perhaps the lesson is that simple human relationships rare. She says, “unhappiness, as difficult as it is, is usually where the story is found.”

For Alix, stories are more of a playground for the writerly mind, whereas novels take commitment to character over time.

Confessions of a Local Celebrity

In reviews on March 20, 2011 at 10:53 pm

Confessions of a Local Celebrity

by Mike Soret

(Belgravian Press, 190 pages, $10 softcover)

The smallest of the small presses can be the most fertile places to hunt for marginal voices; I think of margins as places filled with lost or undiscovered treasure.

Mike Soret’s memoir is good loot — his Confessions . . . begin in 1995, which is when he led (and eventually destroyed) a Vancouver-based revival swing band called The Molestics. Frankly, sometimes offensively, the book explores five or so years in the life of an unknown band trying to build its audience.

Labelled Dixieland-punk, or “hokum” music, the Molestics gained a reputation for putting on wild performances that focused on making memories over making fans. Soret writes: “My lyrics were never very clever, my horn playing never very good. But as an actor, I brought something.”

And as a memoirist, Soret brings more: with few prospects for any legacy, or enough royalty payments to buy rose-coloured glasses, he uses hindsight to zero in on the tragic-comic theatre of the music industry from the perspective of fleeting celebrity. It’s a reader’s good luck, he’s still putting on a good show.

– Review by Dan Evans