Globe Books
 

May 20, 2019

 
 
book club for subscribers
 
Globe Book Club: Margaret Atwood on conservation, writing and Barbara Gowdy’s The White Bone
  Globe Book Club: Margaret Atwood on conservation, writing and Barbara Gowdy’s The White Bone
 

Margaret Atwood

Barbara Gowdy’s The White Bone is Margaret Atwood’s choice for our new Globe and Mail Book Club for subscribers. Every week, Globe Books has looked at themes drawn from the novel to spark discussion among readers, from anthropomorphism to matriarchy. This week, Margaret Atwood explains why The White Bone has stayed with her, and what you can do for a healthier planet.

 
Why did you choose Barbara Gowdy’s The White Bone for the book club?

 
The mandate was: Pick a Canadian book – not from this season’s lists – that struck you when you first read it, that has stayed with you, that you feel others should read and that many would find of interest now. The White Bone is about elephants under threat – from the point of view of the elephants. In this age of mass extinctions, what could be more appropriate? Such a book might have been viewed as whimsical by some at the time of its publication, but right now it’s more like a wakeup-alarm shout.

 
 
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  Globe Book Club, hosted by Margaret Atwood: Readers discuss Barbara Gowdy’s The White Bone and ask the authors questions
 
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intervew
 
Ian MacEwan’s Machines Like Me takes readers on an AI investigation
  Ian MacEwan’s Machines Like Me takes readers on an AI investigation
Ian McEwan’s new novel, Machines Like Me, is a futuristic book set in the past. In an alternate 1982 universe, Britain has lost the Falklands War; personal computers, mobile phones, electric cars and self-driving cars are ubiquitous; the Beatles are back together; and, most pertinent to the story, 25 human-like robots have been made available for purchase at a hefty price. There are 13 Eves – which sell out quickly – and 12 Adams, one of which has been purchased by the book’s narrator, Charlie Friend, with an inheritance from his mother.

 
McEwan – the bestselling, Booker Award-winning author of nearly 20 books – was in Vancouver last week for a Vancouver Writers Fest special event. He was interviewed by The Globe and Mail’s Western Arts correspondent Marsha Lederman.

 
Here is part of their conversation.

 
 
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Reviews
 
Guy Gavriel Kay’s A Brightness Long Ago returns us to the fictional world of Batiara
  Guy Gavriel Kay’s A Brightness Long Ago returns us to the fictional world of Batiara
 

Andray Domise

  • Title: A Brightness Long Ago
  • Author: Guy Gavriel Kay
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Publisher: Viking
  • Pages: 448
About halfway through Guy Gavriel Kay’s latest novel, the occasional narrator suggests to the reader “Someone is deciding what to tell us. What to add, what not to share at all, or when (and how) to reveal a thing.” Kay has made a career of digging through the well-known histories of great civilizations, and refashioning their lesser-shared details into rich historical fiction. In A Brightness Long Ago, Kay continues this pursuit in a way that’s less aesthetically pleasing than usual, but far more rooted in telling a good story.

 
 
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Roy MacLaren eschews biography to deliver a merciless takedown of Mackenzie King’s response to Hitler and fascism
  Roy MacLaren eschews biography to deliver a merciless takedown of Mackenzie King’s response to Hitler and fascism
 

Ken McGoogan

  • Title: Mackenzie King in the Age of the Dictators: Canada’s Imperial and Foreign Policies
  • Author: Roy MacLaren
  • Genre: Non-fiction
  • Publisher: McGill-Queen’s University Press
  • Pages: 318
After talking privately with Adolf Hitler in Berlin, William Lyon Mackenzie King concluded that the German Fuhrer was a fellow mystic who spoke the truth when he insisted “that there would be no war as far as Germany was concerned.” Hitler’s face, the Canadian prime minister wrote in his diary, was “not that of a fiery, over-strained nature, but of a calm, passive man, deeply and thoughtfully in earnest.… As I talked with him I could not but think of Joan of Arc.”

 
 
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Books news, essays and more
 
Master plans and messy reality: Larry Beasley and Ken Greenberg consider the future of cities
  Master plans and messy reality: Larry Beasley and Ken Greenberg consider the future of cities
 

Alex Bozikovic

 
Architecture Critic
 
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‘A novel in warnings’: Anakana Schofield’s novel Bina addresses modern questions surrounding friendship and death
  ‘A novel in warnings’: Anakana Schofield’s novel Bina addresses modern questions surrounding friendship and death
 

Marsha Lederman

 
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Dionne Brand and Miriam Toews among finalists for Ontario’s Trillium Book Award
Dionne Brand and Miriam Toews among finalists for Ontario’s Trillium Book Award
 
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The latest cookbooks and food memoirs to savour
  The latest cookbooks and food memoirs to savour
 
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Summer is coming – Three literary ways to spend the rest of May
  Summer is coming – Three literary ways to spend the rest of May
 
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In case you missed it
 
Natasha Deen’s latest In the Key of Nira Ghani, and two other novels to read this summer
  Natasha Deen’s latest In the Key of Nira Ghani, and two other novels to read this summer
 

Chidera Ukairo

 
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Free for subscribers
 
Join human rights activist Nazanin Afshin-Jam MacKay, author Samra Zafar and Globe columnist Sarah Hampson on June 11 in Toronto for an important conversation about women’s rights in honour-based societies.
 
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