Ghome­shi sib­lings in lo­cal fundraiser

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

ABROTHER and sis­ter duo will of­fer a va­ri­ety of per­spec­tives on books and lan­guage at a fundrais­ing event in Jan­uary for the Man­i­toba Writ­ers’ Guild. Jian Ghome­shi, who leads the Canada Reads book dis­cus­sions as part of his du­ties on the CBC Radio One show Q, ex­pe­ri­enced the lit­er­ary world from the other side in 2012 when he pub­lished his first book, a mem­oir of life as an Ira­nian-Cana­dian teenager, en­ti­tled 1982. Jila Ghome­shi teaches lin­guis­tics at the Univer­sity of Man­i­toba, has been a colum­nist on lan­guage and is the au­thor of Gram­mar Mat­ters: The So­cial Sig­nif­i­cance of How We Use Lan­guage. Tick­ets for their dis­cus­sion, which takes place at 7:30 p.m., Jan. 18, at the Gas Sta­tion The­atre, are $25 and are available on­line at mb­writer.mb.ca.

and have signed a state­ment warn­ing that such sur­veil­lance rep­re­sents a threat to democ­racy. Ac­cord­ing to the Bri­tish news­pa­per The Guardian, the state­ment calls on the United Na­tions to cre­ate an in­ter­na­tional bill of dig­i­tal rights. Do you re­mem­ber The Dan­ger­ous Book for Boys? A com­pen­dium of sto­ries, games and how-to tips inspired by mem­o­ries of old-fash­ioned pre-In­ter­net boy­hood, it was a mas­sive best­seller in 2006-07 for Bri­tish writ­ers Conn and Hal Ig­gulden. In a re­cent in­ter­view with the New York Times, ac­tor Bryan Cranston dropped hints about his post- Break­ing Bad plans and men­tioned that he had cre­ated a con­cept for a television show inspired by the book. If that seems an odd fit, don’t for­get that there was a sec­tion in Dan­ger­ous Book about chem­istry ex­per­i­ments. Writ­ers of the world are speak­ing out against the mas­sive state sur­veil­lance revealed by Ed­ward Snow­den through the for­mer in­tel­li­gence con­trac­tor’s leaks to the Wik­ileaks or­ga­ni­za­tion. More than 500 lead­ing writ­ers, from 81 coun­tries, in­clud­ing Mar­garet At­wood, Don DeLillo, Gunter Grass Arund­hati Roy, Look­ing for a book for some­body with a lot of time on his hands? Li­brar­i­ans at pris­ons in Scot­land have re­leased lists of the most pop­u­lar books among their clients, whose favourite picks in­cluded thrillers by Lee Child and James Pat­ter­son and the Song of Ice and Fire books by Ge­orge R.R. Martin. A few of the prison li­brary ti­tles men­tioned in the news­pa­per The Scots­man are sur­pris­ing, in­clud­ing a bi­og­ra­phy of singer Su­san Boyle and Mills and Boon (the U.K.’s equiv­a­lent of Har­lequin) ro­mances, while some, such as Mein Kampf and books about se­rial killers, are alarm­ing. At the Ed­in­burgh prison, the most pop­u­lar au­thor is Irvine Welsh, the home­town bad-boy nov­el­ist who wrote the di­alect-heavy, skag-drip­ping best­seller Trainspot­ting. Canada’s largest city isn’t just home to the coun­try’s largest mayor. Toronto’s li­brary sys­tem is by far the largest in the coun­try, with more than 19 mil­lion vis­its recorded in the year 2012. Ac­cord­ing to an eco­nomic im­pact re­port pre­pared for the li­brary sys­tem by the U of T’s Rot­man School of Man­age­ment, the li­brary is an eco­nomic gen­er­a­tor for the city. Each dol­lar the sys­tem re­ceives gen­er­ates $5.63 in eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity, ac­cord­ing to the re­port, available from the li­brary’s web­site. The sys­tem opened its 99th li­brary this fall, the vis­ually strik­ing Fort York Li­brary, and is sched­uled to open its 100th branch next year, in Scar­bor­ough.

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