Astro­naut Had­field turns author

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - ARTS & LIFE - By Bob Arm­strong

CANA­DIAN astro­naut Chris Had­field be­came a so­cial me­dia star with his pho­tos, Twit­ter ob­ser­va­tions and much-shared video per­for­mance of David Bowie’s song Space Odd­ity at the In­ter­na­tional Space Sta­tion.

Now he’ll bring his ex­pe­ri­ences and ob­ser­va­tions to a much older medium this Oc­to­ber, when Ran­dom House Canada pub­lishes his book An Astro­naut’s Guide to Life on Earth.

As de­scribed on the web­site Gal­leycat, the book com­bines the be­hind-thescenes ex­pe­ri­ences of an astro­naut with down-to-earth life lessons.

Cana­dian author and jour­nal­ist Jan Wong has been or­dered to pay an undis­closed sum of money for vi­o­lat­ing a non-dis­clo­sure agree­ment with the Globe and Mail in her 2012 self-pub­lished best­seller Out of the Blue.

In her mem­oir, Wong wrote about her strug­gles with clin­i­cal de­pres­sion and her bat­tles with Globe and Mail man­age­ment, and said the news­pa­per had given her “a big pile of money to go away.”

That state­ment was ruled by an ar­bi­tra­tor to be a vi­o­la­tion of her con­fi­den­tial­ity agree­ment with the news­pa­per.

The news­pa­per, which re­ported the court or­der, says it will do­nate the set­tle­ment funds to the Cen­tre for Ad­dic­tion and Men­tal Health in Toronto.

The June flood in south­ern Al­berta de­stroyed an un­known num­ber of rare and an­tique books when it flooded Tom Wil­liams Books in the city’s gen­tri­fy­ing In­gle­wood area.

Wil­liams, 77, told the Calgary Sun that he lost his en­tire stock of 200,000 sec­ond-hand books. Among the books flooded were early edi­tions of book by ex­plor­ers Alexan­der Macken­zie and Sa­muel Hearne, one of which was a first edi­tion.

The Thin Air Win­nipeg In­ter­na­tional Writ­ers Fes­ti­val has an­nounced some of the head­lin­ers for this Septem­ber’s event, in­clud­ing one of Canada’s most pop­u­lar mys­tery writ­ers and a best­selling author of lit­er­ary/po­lit­i­cal fic­tion from Seat­tle.

Jim Lynch, whose novel Truth Like the Sun was a study of pol­i­tics and cor­rup­tion set in Seat­tle, will be joined by Saskatchewan mys­tery writer Gail Bowen, South Africa-born Cana­dian nov­el­ist Lewis DeSoto, and Deb­o­rah El­lis, a chil­dren’s lit­er­a­ture author who spe­cial­izes in is­sue-based nov­els, of­ten with an in­ter­na­tional flavour. The fes­ti­val runs Sept. 20-28.

For more an­nounce­ments on the line-up, see the Thin Air web­site.

Heav­ily tat­tooed punk-rock­er­turned-author Chris Wal­ter has just re­leased his 22nd book — a crime novel set in Van­cou­ver and Win­nipeg called Chase the Dragon.

Like many of Wal­ter’s self-pub­lished nov­els and his mem­oirs of his time in the punk scene, Chase the Dragon has a cast of lowlifes and a grimy set­ting. The novel fo­cuses on an addict on the run from a hit­man and a death me­tal mu­si­cian.

In an in­ter­view with Van­cou­ver arts and cul­ture news­pa­per The Straight, Wal­ter also men­tions that an ear­lier book of his, Lang­side, named for the Win­nipeg street where he used to live, was op­tioned for tele­vi­sion, but didn’t make it to pro­duc­tion.

If you’ve ever given up on read­ing a book be­cause it bored you, the pro­tag­o­nist was re­pel­lent or the writer’s style just wasn’t work­ing for you, you’re not alone.

The on­line read­ing com­mu­nity Goodreads re­cently posted an in­fo­graphic show­ing the most fre­quently aban­doned books ( J.K. Rowl­ing’s The Ca­sual Va­cancy and E L James’s Fifty Shades of Grey) as well as rea­sons cited by the 62 per cent of read­ers who con­fess to throw­ing in the towel on oc­ca­sion.

The graphic also lists the five most fre­quently aban­doned classics, in­clud­ing James Joyce’s Ulysses, which Pa­per Chase has given up on twice.

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