Thursday Book Beat: Remembering Roald Dahl, TIFF Buzz, and New Chris Hadfield

Happy Thursday  my fellow book lovers! Ashley again, here with your weekly dose of literary news. It seems myself and the rest of the city of Toronto are all fighting off a cold and shaking off the daze of summer to go into fall; geared up for a new semester of school, return to work for some, and the promise of sweater weather (my favourite)!

Wednesday marked the 1ooth birthday of beloved children’s book author Roald Dahl. His book, Matilda was and remains one of my favourite books ever. It’s been 26 years since his death, and yet, his legacy lives on in movie adaptions of The BFG, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Witches, and a new play based on Matilda. His books and writing are timeless and will live on in the hands of each new generation of children and adults who pick his books up for a dose of nostalgia.

Roald Dahl in Memorium
Roald Dahl in Memoriam

In other children’s book related news, astronaut Chris Hadfield’s children’s book The Darkest Dark has hit the book stands. Written in collaboration with Toronto journalist Kate Fillion, the book is based on his own childhood fear of the dark, a fear so awful he couldn’t sleep at night. This might be the perfect new book for your child (or for you) to learn the lesson Chris hopes kids will take away–that it’s okay to be afraid. You can read a full interview with the astronaut/author on

Toronto is buzzing this week as celebrities and film makers head to the city with the arrival of the Toronto International Film Festival. This year, over 40 films being shown at the festival are based on books. If you didn’t get a chance to catch them on the big screen or want to wait till they hit theatres, you can read the books in the meantime! Highlights include The Snowden Files by Luke Harding, The Queen of Katwe by Tim Crothers, and A Long Way Home by Saroo Bierley (serious Oscar buzz here!). You can download the full list at CBC-Radio Canada.

For literary award updates, the ten poetry contenders for the 2016 National Book Award have been announced with prizes being awarded in November in New York. The front runner so far seems to be Rita Dove–who has already won most of the honours an American poet can–for her Collected Poems 1974-2004, but you never know. An artist who can write a poem about poetry is a true artist indeed. Check out a full list of contenders on the Los Angeles Times.

For you Christian Grey fans (are there many?) author E.L. James has announced a new book in the series, Fifty Shades DarkerChristian’s Perspective. I thought that just the protagonist’s was bad enough, but she seems to be cranking out as many as she can. This news came alongside the new trailer for the Fifty Shades Darker movie. Though I dislike the books, some people must love them as the first book told from Christian’s perspective sold more than one million copies in a week. It seems just yesterday I saw a diverse range of women reading the erotica novel everywhere. I guess those days are here again.

Ashley Ash

Ashley Ash

Ashley is a proud Torontonian, third year social worker student, full time child advocate and national award winning writer. She will defend Anakin Skywalker and Jon Snow till she dies.