Had­field land­ing for launch in Winnipeg

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - BOOKS - By Bob Arm­strong

CANA­DIAN as­tro­naut Chris Had­field has any num­ber of im­pres­sive achieve­ments in his re­sume — di­rec­tor of NASA op­er­a­tions in Star City, Rus­sia; chief of ro­bot­ics at the John­son Space Center in Houston; chief of in­ter­na­tional space sta­tion op­er­a­tions; com­man­der of the ISS for a record-break­ing sci­en­tific mis­sion. But he may well be best known for per­form­ing rock star David Bowie’s hit Space Odd­ity in zero grav­ity. Canada’s true space­ship su­per­star will meet fans at the Winnipeg launch of his first book, An As­tro­naut’s Guide to Life on Earth, Nov. 13 at 7 p.m. at McNally Robin­son. But will he bring his gui­tar? Manitoba nov­el­ist and short-fic­tion au­thor Dora Dueck has won a bor­der­strad­dling hon­our for her first short story col­lec­tion, What You Get at Home (Turn­stone Press). Dueck won the award in the short­story cat­e­gory of this year’s High Plains Book Awards, which rec­og­nize work that ex­plores life in seven north­west­ern states and the three Prairie prov­inces. Other Western Cana­dian books hon­oured at the Oct. 26 cer­e­mony were Sarah Kathryn York’s The Anatomy of Ed­uard Beaupré (Coteau Books), in the first book cat­e­gory, and Dee Hob­s­bawm-Smith’s Food­shed: An Edi­ble Al­berta Al­pha­bet (Touch­Wood Edi­tions), in the culi­nary cat­e­gory. This year’s awards at­tracted a record num­ber of en­tries from 13 states and prov­inces. For­mer Oa­sis gui­tarist/song­writer Noel Gal­lagher has en­tered into the realm of literary crit­i­cism with all the nu­ance and sen­si­tiv­ity he brings to fra­ter­nal get-to­geth­ers with for­mer band­mate and spar­ring part­ner Liam. Pro­filed as a fash­ion icon by the U.K. edi­tion of GQ mag­a­zine, Gal­lagher pro­nounced: “Nov­els and the peo­ple who write them, as I say, are putting them­selves a few rungs above the rest of us. They’re pur­port­ing to be in­tel­lec­tu­als. And for you to write a book is for you to say ‘I’m bet­ter than you.’ My 68 mil­lion records beat your one book.”

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A Mon­treal-based an­ar­chist cabaret per­former, poet, tour­ing cam­pus sex ed­u­ca­tor and genre-hop­ping vi­olin­ist will head­line the sixth an­nual Winnipeg An­ar­chist Book Fair and DIY Fest Nov. 8-10. Nor­man Nawrocki, best known for his per­for­mances on sex and sex­ism that have toured cam­puses across Canada, will read from his first novel, a his­tor­i­cal-po­lit­i­cal ro­mance called Caz­zarola!, which tells the story of sev­eral gen­er­a­tions of a fam­ily of Ital­ian an­ar­chists. The Nawrocki event is Satur­day, Nov. 9, at 7 p.m. The fes­ti­val also in­cludes a Fri­day night cabaret and dis­cus­sions and a book fair Satur­day and Sun­day at the A Zone build­ing at 91 Al­bert St.

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Self-pub­lished books will soon ac­count for half of all new ti­tles, ac­cord­ing to a re­port by R.R. Bowker LLC, a firm that pro­vides in­for­ma­tion man­age­ment for li­braries and pub­lish­ers. The com­pany an­a­lyzed data from ISBNs to de­ter­mine that 391,000 books were self-pub­lished in 2012. That amounted to 40 per cent of all books pub­lished in 2012. In 2007, self-pub­lished books added up to only 11 per cent of the to­tal. As well, the re­port, sum­ma­rized on the web­site Gal­l­ey­Cat, in­di­cates that most of the self-pub­lished books in 2012 were pro­duced through the use of a self-pub­lish­ing plat­form such as Smash­words.

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