Book News

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Skrappy’s List of Recs for the Clueless Christmas Shopper


Old Time Holiday is a 1000 piece puzzle from Springbok. It is available at the Book Vault in Stratford, Ontario.

So, you have one of those people in your life. The book reader. Alas, we here at the Vault know your pain. Here is the list compiled by our resident Skrappy, with emphasis on things actually in stock(and in no particular order), as she wandered around the store aimlessly during some quiet moments. Hopefully she can make your confused and hectic shopping season a little easier and make you a little less likely to stab someone with a Christmas ornament.

Please note that she makes no guarantee on the actual content of these books. You have to make up your own mind about that.

For the person who feels they must learn something while reading fiction:
Hellgoing – Lynn Coady
Alice Munro… Anything
Luminaries – Eleanor Catton
Astray – Emma Donoghue
The Son – Philip Meyer
The Paris Wife – Paula McLain
Road Ends – Mary Lawson
The Purchase – Linda Spalding
Painted Girls – Cathy Marie Buchanan
First Phone Call from Heaven – Mitch Albom
Perfect – Rachel Joyce
Annabel – Kathleen Winter
Dovekeepers – Alice Hoffman
House I Loved – Tatiana de Rosnay

Pity this book because we can’t seem to market it for crap:
Son of a Certain Woman – Wayne Johnston

Stuff we don’t know if it’s good or not yet, but is selling well:
The Ordenda – Joseph Boyden
Hellgoing – Lynn Coady
Luminaries – Eleanor Catton

Crap you probably should have already read by now:
Breakfast of Champions – Kurt Vonnegut
Ernest Hemingway… anything will do. (readers of The Paris Wife, I’m lookin’ at you!)
Malcolm Gladwell… anything
Pillars of the Earth – Ken Follett
Pierre Berton’s War of 1812
Freakonomics – Levitt and Dubner
Beowulf – Seamus Heaney translation
Wolf Hall – Hilary Mantel
Still Life – Louise Penny
Stardust – Neil Gaiman
Water for Elephants – Sarah Gruen
Secret Garden – Francis Hodges Burnett
A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
Slammerkin – Emma Donoghue
Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
Blandings Castle – P.G. Wodehouse
Catch-22 – Joseph Heller
Dune – Frank Hebert
Game of Thrones – George R.R. Martin
The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
Angela’s Ashes – Frank McCourt
Book of Negroes – Lawrence Hill
Best Kept Secret, Sins of the Father, Only Time Will Tell – Jeffrey Archer
The Glass Castle – Jeannette Walls

For your Grandma/Mom/Sister-in-Law, or other lady you should probably avoid angering during the Holidays:
Patrick Taylor’s Irish Country series
The Longest Ride – Nicholas Sparks

For the Maeve Binchey fan still in mourning:
Yellow House – Patricia Falvey
Linen Queen – Patricia Falvey
Patrick Taylor’s Irish Country series

For the aging Twilight fan who’s in university now and knows better:
The Historian – Elizabeth Kostova
The Accused – Joyce Carol Oates
H.P. Lovecraft

For the fan of The Borgias:
Blood and Beauty – Sarah Dunant
Malice of Fortune – Michael Ennis
The Scarlet Contessa – Jeanne Kalogridis
Lucrezia – Bradford (bio)
Cardinal’s Hat – Hollingsford (history)
Sarah Poole’s series

For the aging Hipster (Quick! Get them before they’re cool!):
The 100-Year-Old Man who Climbed out the Window and Disappeared – Jonas Jonasson
Mr. Prenumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore – Robin Sloan
Oh My Gods – Phillip Freeman
David and Goliath – Malcolm Gladwell
An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth – Chris Hadfield
Keon and Me – Dave Bidini
My Brief History – Stephen Hawking

For the Jane Austen devotee:
Longbourn – Jo Baker
Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen – Syrie James
Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen – Syrie James
Jane Austen Marriage Manual – Kim Izzo
Definitely Not Mr. Darcy – Karen Doornebos
Mr. Darcy’s Guide to Courtship – Fitzwilliam Darcy
Carrie Bebris’ Mr. and Mrs. Darcy Mysteries
…And definitely run in terror from the lifeless piece of Austen Fan Fiction that P.D. James tried to pass off as Austen Lit. Seriously. Crap.

For the family Prozac taker:
Mr. Chartwell – Rebecca Hunt
The Psychopath Test – Jon Ronson
Daring Greatly – Brene Brown
Understanding Our Mind – Thich Nhat Hahn
Gift of Adversity – Norman Rosenthal

For the Funny One:
Carl Hiaasen
Christopher Moore
David Sedaris
Terry Fallis
Not Quite the Classics – Colin Mochrie
Anchorboy – Jay Onrait
A Nation Worth Ranting About – Rick Mercer
Red Green’s Beginner’s Guide to Women – Red Green
Time Now for the Vinyl Cafe Story Exchange – Stuart McLean
Canadian Pie – Will Ferguson
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened – Jenny Lawson
How to be Canadian – Will Ferguson
America But Better – Cannon and Calvert

For the Dudes:
Robert Ludlum… anything
Sisters Brothers – Patrick DeWitt
True Grit – Charles Portis
Flashman series – George MacDonald Fraser
Jeffrey Archer
Clive Cussler

For the Lady-Girl-Type-People:
Midwife of Venice – Roberta Rich
The Harem Midwife – Roberta Rich
The Thirteenth Tale – Setterfield
The Last Time I Saw Paris – Sheene
The Mistress of Nothing – Kate Pullinger

For the Mystery Buffs:
Camilla Lackberg
Jo Nesbo
Alan Bradley
King and Maxwell – David Baldacci
Dust – Patricia Cornwell
How the Light Gets In – Louise Penny
The Golden Egg – Donna Leon

For the Atheist Christmas kill-joy:
The Moral Landscape – Sam Harris
Hitch-22 – Christopher Hitchens
An Appetite for Wonder – Richard Dawkins
Magic of Reality – Richard Dawkins

For the Art Snob:
Leonardo and the Last Supper – Ross King
Emily Carr Collected – Ian Thom
The Paper Garden – Molly Peacock
Titian: His Life – Sheila Hale

For the English Major:
Rude Story of English – Tom Howell
Filthy English – Peter Silverton
The Story of English – Robert McCrum

For the Jock:
Orr: My Story – Bobby Orr
The Great Game – Stephen J. Harper
The Game – Ken Dryden
Keon and Me – Dave Bidini
Chuvalo, A Fighter’s Life – George Chuvalo
Wherever I Wind Up – R.A. Dickey

For the History buff:
The World Until Yesterday – Jared Diamond
Collapse – Jared Diamond
Home – Bill Bryson
The Swerve – Stephen Greenblatt
David Starkey… Anything
Neil Oliver… Anything
Simon Winchester… Anything
Peter Ackroyd… Anything
The Year 1000 – Robery Lacey and Danny Danziger

For the World War II buff:
War that Ended Peace – Margaret MacMillan
Warlords – Tim Cook
Army of Evil – Adrian Wealer
Berlin at War – Roger Moorhouse
Battle of Britain – James Holland
Endgame 1945 – David Stafford

For the Canadian history buff:
Don’t Tell the Newfoundlanders! – Greg Malone
Warlords – Tim Cook
Short History of Canada – Desmond Morton
Fifty Canadians Who Changed the World – Ken McGoogan
How We Lead – Joe Clark

For the Hippie:
Living Beautifully – Pema Chodron
First Phone Call from Heaven – Mitch Albom
More Than Good Intentions – Dean Karlan and Jacob Appel
Your True Home – Thich Nhat Hanh

For the Macabre Goth Kid:
Curtains: Adventures of an Undertaker in Training – Tom Jokinen
H.P. Lovecraft

For the Science and Math Geek:
My Brief History – Stephen Hawking
An Appetite for Wonder – Richard Dawkins
Hallucinations – Oliver Sacks
Great Animal Orchestra – Bernie Krauss
Brilliant Blunders – Mario Livio
The Language God Talks – Herman Wouk
Here’s Looking at Euclid – Alex Bellos
Viking in the Wheat Field – Susan Dworkin
Black Hole War – Leonard Susskind

For the Boozehound:
Canadian Wineries – Tony Aspler and Jean-Francois Bergeron
Canadian Whisky: The Portable Expert – Davin de Kergommeaux
Great Whiskies – DK

Area libraries launch Perth County Reads program


A Place of Her Own by James Christensen is a 500 piece puzzle from Sunsout. It is usually available at the Book Vault, but it is on reorder and will be back in stock soon.

Laura Cudworth, The Beacon Herald
Monday, November 25, 2013 11:44:15 EST AM

Meet other Perth County residents between the pages of a book.

The first Perth County Reads program hopes to connect all corners of the county and different generations. There will be book discussion groups and other events at each Perth County public library throughout 2014.

“One book, one community event such as this help build a sense of community” said Robyn Godfrey of Stratford Public Library. “This is your chance to vote on the title for the first ever Perth County Reads for 2014.”

Readers are invited to vote on a book from a selection of shortlisted titles:

The Carnivore, by Mark Sinnett

Emancipation Day, by Wayne Grady

The Lives of Girls and Women, by Alice Munro

The Sisters Brothers, by Patrick DeWitt

Things Go Flying, by Shari Lapena

Voting can be done by paper ballot or online and is unlimited and open to all Perth County residents. Voting ends Nov. 30. The winner will be announced Dec. 2.

Perth County Reads is an initiative by the Perth County Information Network which is made up of North Perth, Perth East, Stratford, St. Marys and West Perth public libraries.

Link to original article on The Beacon Herald’s website

Congratulations Alice Munro!


The Nobel Prize in Literature 2013 was awarded to the Canadian author

Alice Munro

master of the contemporary short story”.

We’re so pleased that Alice Munro won the Nobel Prize for Literature. After selling out within a day of the announcement, we have limited quantities of her work back in stock. They’re selling quick, so pick yours up soon!

Scotiabank Giller Prize 2013 Announces its Longlist


Famous Writers is a 1000 piece puzzle from Eurographics. It is available at the Book Vault.

16 Sep 2013

September 16, 2013 (Vancouver, BC) – The Scotiabank Giller Prize today announced its longlist for this year’s award from the University of British Columbia’s famed Museum of Anthropology. The event was co-hosted by UBC’s Creative Writing Program and the Vancouver Writers Fest (VWF).

Twenty thirteen marks the 20th anniversary of the Giller Prize and the 50th anniversary of UBC’s distinguished Creative Writing Program.

Author and 2013 Giller juror Esi Edugyan was at the event to present the 13 titles that were chosen from a field of 147 books, submitted by 61 publishers from every region of the country.

Edugyan’s fellow jurors this year are Canadian writer Margaret Atwood and American author Jonathan Lethem.

The longlist for the 20th anniversary of the Scotiabank Giller Prize is:

- Dennis Bock for his novel Going Home Again, published by HarperCollins Canada

- Joseph Boyden for his novel The Orenda, published by Hamish Hamilton Canada

- Lynn Coady for her short story collection Hellgoing, published by House of Anansi Press

- Craig Davidson for his novel Cataract City, published by Doubleday Canada

- Elisabeth De Mariaffi for her short story collection How To Get Along With Women, published by Invisible Publishing

- David Gilmour for his novel Extraordinary, published by Patrick Crean Editions

- Wayne Grady for his novel Emancipation Day, published by Doubleday Canada

- Louis Hamelin for his novel October 1970, translated by Wayne Grady and published by House of Anansi Press

- Wayne Johnston for his novel The Son of a Certain Woman, published by Knopf Canada

- Claire Messud for her novel The Woman Upstairs, published by Knopf Canada

- Lisa Moore for her novel Caught, published by House of Anansi Press

- Dan Vyleta for his novel The Crooked Maid, published by HarperCollins Canada

- Michael Winter for his novel Minister Without Portfolio, published by Hamish Hamilton Canada.

Of the longlist, the jury writes:

“These are essential stories. Each of these novels and story collections offer a glimpse of who we are, who we might be. Whether set in postwar Vienna, or 1970s Montreal, contemporary Afghanistan or Newfoundland, each of these books took us out of ourselves to places that were at times uncomfortable, at times exhilarating. Some of the short stories in these collections exhibit a scope and breadth one would normally associate with a novel; some of the novels on this list have the distilled intensity one expects from short fiction. But all of these books surprised us with their formal rigour, the ferocity of their vision, and their willingness to tell unknown stories in remarkably familiar ways. These thirteen books remind us, once again, of that particular beauty only the written word can realize. This is writing at its finest.”

The Giller Prize will present its shortlist at a special event in Toronto on October 8th. The winner will be announced at a gala ceremony to honour the finalists on Tuesday, November 5th during a live broadcast on CBC Television at 9:00 p.m. (9:30 NT), hosted by Jian Ghomeshi from CBC Radio One’s Q.

On Monday, November 4, 2013, we are delighted to present a very special event, taking place at Koerner Hall. Between the Pages: An Evening with the Scotiabank Giller Prize Finalists will take you inside the minds and creative lives of the five writers on the 2013 shortlist. CBC Radio`s Carol Off will gather the finalists for an insightful and lively discussion of their work, characters and themes. Special guests will present readings from the shortlisted books and beautiful music will round out an unforgettable evening of Canadian arts and culture.

About the Prize:

The Scotiabank Giller Prize strives to highlight the very best in Canadian fiction year after year. The prize awards $50,000 annually to the author of the best Canadian novel or short story collection published in English, and $5,000 to each of the finalists. The award is named in honour of the late literary journalist Doris Giller and was founded in 1994 by her husband, Toronto businessman Jack Rabinovitch.

Source: Scotiabank Giller Prize Website

Man Booker Prize 2013 Shortlist Announced


The Tower of Babel by Breughel the Elder is a 1000 piece puzzle from D-Toys, and is available at the Book Vault.

10 September 2013

- We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo (Chatto & Windus)

- The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton (Granta)

- Harvest by Jim Crace (Picador)

- The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri (Bloomsbury)

- A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki (Canongate)

The Testament of Mary by Colm Tóibín (Penguin)

When Robert Macfarlane, the chair of this year’s Man Booker Prize judges, announced the longlist he called it the most diverse in recent memory. He was right, and the same is still true of the shortlist he and his peers have just selected. The 151 novels they started with represented a tour d’horizon of contemporary fiction, a grand vista that encompassed everything from the epic to the miniaturist. The longlist distilled the numbers but kept the flavour and now the shortlist has intensified it further.

The six books on the list could not be more diverse. There are examples from novelists from New Zealand, England, Canada, Ireland and Zimbabwe – each with its own highly distinctive taste. They range in size from the 832 pages of Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries to the 104-page The Testament of Mary by Colm Tóibín. The times represented stretch from the biblical Middle East (Tóibín) to contemporary Zimbabwe (NoViolet Bulawayo) by way of 19th-century New Zealand (Catton), 1960s India (Jumpha Lahiri), 18th-century rural England (Crace) and modern Tokyo (Ruth Ozeki). The oldest author on the list, Jim Crace, is 67, the youngest (indeed the youngest ever shortlistee), Eleanor Catton, is 28. Colm Tóibín has written more than 15 books, The Luminaries is only Catton’s second.

What does such a list say about the taste of the judges? Messrs Macfarlane, Douglas-Fairhurst, Haynes, Kearney and Kelly have now read each of the books at least twice. Any book that bears re-reading has merit. A book that then stands out above its peers is special indeed. The judges’ arguments will have been impassioned – no one invests the time and energy to read 151 books without the enterprise mattering to them. The shortlist is a consensus: it is one that shows that the judges have wide-ranging tastes; that they are unswayed by reputations (many big names didn’t make the longlist let alone the shortlist); that they have no predilection for one particular genre; or books by one gender (there are four women and two men on the list); that they like new voices as well as familiar ones; that historical fiction has no more precedence than modern; that form is less important than quality.

And what does the list say about the writers? It is clear that the perennial complaint that fiction is too safe and unadventurous is a ridiculous one; it shows that the novel remains a multi-faceted thing; that writing and inspiration knows no geographical borders; that diaspora tales are a powerful strand in imaginative thinking; and that human voices, in all their diversity, drive fiction.

The shortlist, in other words, is fiendishly difficult to categorise. And that is exactly what you would hope from a list selecting from the best that contemporary fiction has to offer. Quality comes in different forms and in 2013 there is plenty of it about.

Man Booker Prize Press Release

Alice Munro Writers and Readers Festival September 28-29, 2013


Meet Your Neighbour: The Wee Book and Photo Shop


This unique new Downtown business named The Wee Book and Photo Shop is nestled at 15 York Street.

Co-owners Maureen Cook and Suzanne Fitzpatrick have turned their passions into this new and exciting business. Suzanne, an award winning photographer with over 25 years of experience in portrait photography and Maureen’s passion for vintage clothing, hats and books. They combined their talents and created The Wee Book and Photo Shop. You can peruse a selection of terrific books, then hop on into the costume area where you can try on some vintage outfits and get a portrait done against a hand painted backdrop for as low as $35. They also have a large format printer and can print up to 44″ wide onsite. Suzanne can perform photo restoration, bring in your precious memories and have them brought back to life. Also, other photographers who wish to have their artwork printed are welcome to come in. They can print on canvas and other fine art papers. The Wee Book and Photo Shop also carries a selection of vintage watches, unique jewellery and “Wee Book” jewellery.

The Wee Book and Photo Shop on Facebook

Money Rules – rule your money or your money will rule you

MONEY RULES by Gail Vaz-Oxlade 

My New Book - Money Rules by Gail Vaz-Oxlade

Your money is YOUR responsibility. If you won’t take the time to figure out how it works, you shouldn’t be surprised when it doesn’t work for YOU.

A lot of people out there are going to try to get your money to work for them. Retailers want you to spend it. Bankers want you to borrow and pay them interest. Investment advisors want you to put your money where it does their sales targets the most good.

You’re working hard for your money. Don’t you want to put that money to use for YOU ? Don’t you want it to serve YOUR needs and wants?

Money Rules is the truth about what you need to know about money, and who’s going to try to pull one over on you. Some of these rules debunk older rules that should never have been rules because they’re wrong. Some are misunderstandings that we think are rules because they’re repeated so often. And some of the rules are plain ol’ common sense.

I want to show you how to turn common sense into money in the bank.


The Book Vault’s famous sidewalk sale in Stratford, Ontario.


Our SIDEWALK BOOK SALE is always on, all year, weather permitting!
The book sale continues year round INSIDE THE STORE, as well.






No mail orders … In-store sales only


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