Thursday Book Beat: Hermoine’s Hiding Books, Writers Trust Awards, and Laws that Require Reading

Hi book lovers! Ashley here again! Did you miss me? I missed you! It was a heck of a week with midterm exams and my part time advocate job so unfortunately the only things I was reading were my textbooks and policy texts.

I might be boring but you know who isn’t? Emma Watson! I adored her as the embodiment of Hermoine Granger, one of my favourite female literary characters, and then she grew up to be her own version of a feminist heroine. She actually leads a book club that is open and feminist focused. This month of November, the chosen book is My Shared Self by Maya Angelou, another of my favourite. This week on Instragram, Watson shared herself hiding copies of the book around the London tube. Hope you snagged one! You can read more on why she chose this particular book here.

Emma Watson Hiding Books in London Tube
Emma Watson Hiding Books in London Tube

As a previous award winner, I was lucky enough to be invited to the Writers Trust Awards on Wednesday night. The only thing better than the open bar, is seeing the growing literary community in Canada. This year, the Writers Trust gave out seven awards, valued at $219,000. All that money is going towards supporting Canadian writers. What I loved about these awards was the range, from children’s books, poetry, non-fiction and fiction, it showcased how each category is sophisticated and valued in it’s own right. Another thing was that there was an award specifically for struggling writers (financially, usually), and that multiple award winners were Indigenous. The big winners included, Deborah Campbell who took home the Hilary Weston Non-Fiction Prize for her book about her time in Syria and Iraq, A Disappearance in Damascus: A Story of Friendship and Survival in the Shadow of War. As well, Yasuko Thanh won the Rogers Fiction Prize for her debut novel, Mysterious Fragrance of the Yellow Mountain. You can read more about all the nominees and winners here.

In other literary award news, 29 poets have made the 2016 CBC Poetry Prize longlist. The shortlist will be announced in a week and the winner will receive a monetary award, publication and a writer’s retreat vacation.

I’ll admit it, I’m highly attracted to Anthony Bourdain. I don’t know why, perhaps it’s kind of crazy, kind of endearing manner. The host of the show, Parts Unknown, was in Toronto this week to promote his new book, Appetites: A Cookbook. In it, the new family man includes all his favourite recipes and his struggles with becoming a father and settling down.

In other, rather stunning news, the United Arab Emirates has launched a new program to make reading a habit. Under the new law, citizens will be given time dedicated to reading. Sure, it might be work-related reading or meant to foster professional development, but it’s meant to encourage reading as a daily habit. You can read more about the first law of its kind here.

Happy Thursday and Happy Reading!

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.