The Commuter Pig Keeper

THE COMMUTER PIG KEEPER: A COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO KEEPING PIGS WHEN TIME IS YOUR MOST PRECIOUS COMMODITY by Michaela Giles, has won an illustrious award—The Bookseller’s Diagram prize for the worst book title this year.

Author Giles was really excited about the prize, which came right after one of her prize pigs was crowned supreme champion in a rare breeds show. While there is no monetary prize, the person who nominates the book wins wine. This sounds like a perfectly acceptable way to get people to participate!

The cover of this book is really cute, and I don’t even really mind the title (which won over a book called LOVE YOUR LADY LANDSCAPE). But this brings up the question, what is the weirdest book title you’ve ever seen? And did you read it?



Man Booker Prize 2017 Longlist

If you love books, you’ve probably heard of the Man Booker Prize. It aims to award the best book of the year published in English in the United Kingdom, and awards the author with 50,000 pounds as the prize. But more importantly, it is a wonderful way to promote amazing books and writing. It’s always very exciting to wait for the short list, but the long list was just announced.

Here is the full list of authors and their books:

The 2017 longlist:

4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster (US) (Faber & Faber)
Days Without End by Sebastian Barry (Ireland) (Faber & Faber)
History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund (US) (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)
Exit West by Mohsin Hamid (Pakistan-UK) (Hamish Hamilton)
Solar Bones by Mike McCormack (Ireland) (Canongate)
Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor (UK) (4th Estate)
Elmet by Fiona Mozley (UK) (JM Originals)
The Ministry Of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy (India) (Hamish Hamilton)
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders (US) (Bloomsbury Publishing)
Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie (UK-Pakistan) (Bloomsbury Circus)
Autumn by Ali Smith (UK) (Hamish Hamilton)
Swing Time by Zadie Smith (UK) (Hamish Hamilton)
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead (US) (Fleet)

How many of these have you read?

Mental Health above Wealth

Author Sherman Alexie recently released a memoir entitled YOU DON’T HAVE TO SAY YOU LOVE ME about his often troubled relationship with his mother, who passed away in 2015. While it’s been almost two years since her death, Alexie has been delving deep into her memory, their relationship, and his struggles, even more now that he has been on tour.

In a heartfelt Facebook post this week, Alexie wrote a long explanation to his fans as to why he won’t be continuing his tour, and why it is so necessary for him to take time to work on his mental health in the upcoming days. He writes,

Dear readers and booksellers and friends and family, I am sorry to disappoint you. I am sorry that I will not be traveling to your cities to tell you my stories in person.
But I will be writing.

When I told Diane, my wife, about my mother’s ghost and about my plans to cancel so many events, she said, “Maybe it’s your mother taking care of you from Heaven.”

“Maybe,” I said.

“But I think it’s probably your subconscious taking care of the rest of you. I think it’s probably you being a good mother to yourself. You are mothering you.”

I think more people should be open and honest about times when they need to step back and deal with things in a more productive way. While I’m sure Alexie’s absence from bookstore signings and talks will be noticed, I’m also sure that his fans will understand his need to step away. As more and more of the world’s young and talented have difficulties walking away from the spotlight when they need it most, this is a refreshing change. We wish him the best of luck, and all the time he needs.


Judge a Book by its Cover

Home reno star Chip Gaines is ready to release a memoir in October called CAPITAL GAINES: SMART THINGS I LEARNED DOING STUPID STUFF. And one of the unique things about this book is that he let his potential readers and fans choose the cover. Not exactly super interesting, but what makes this kind of fun is that he picked the one that got the LEAST number of votes.

You can see a fun interview on the Today Show where he makes the big reveal, and also shows you the ones that weren’t chosen.

Now, if you choose to read books because of the cover, you might be inclined to pass this one by. It’s not the most flattering of all of the covers–some were well posed and well lit. This one was a spontaneous moment, but Gaines felt like it was also the most honest, which is something he wanted to convey to his fans.

Maybe this is a good lesson for celebrities in the future. We don’t care about photoshopped perfection. Fans are fans because we feel like we want to know more about our favourites—warts and all. Let’s see if this cover is a bad move, or if Gaines knows what his fans are truly looking for!



Last fall, our Nerd Herd Teen Book Club was lucky enough to have local teen author Shaelyn Ryan visit us to talk about her debut novel, part of the “Timeless” series.

This week, she’s launching her second book in the series called ONLY A MATTER OF TIME at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum. Join her at 5pm for the launch, where she’ll be signing copies which will be available for $22 each, cash only please. She is generously donating $2 from the purchase of each book to the museum, where she is tireless working this summer.

Shaelyn is a super talented young woman, very engaging, and we hope her second book is received as well as the first. As with any author, if you read her book, don’t forget to leave a positive review on Amazon or Goodreads. Reviews are so important to authors, especially those who self-publish. It is the ONLY way books are promoted by the big online sellers (50 reviews on Amazon means the book gets onto a sales list & more people see it).

Happy book launch, Shaelyn!


Yes, it’s a new book from Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code. His latest thriller is called ORIGIN and will be published on October 3rd.

The book follows our favourite sleuth, Robert Langdon, and is set in Spain this time. It asks the questions “Where do we come from?” and “Where are we going?”, both difficult and intriguing. It is bound to keep us all reading well into the night, with a plot that follows a billionaire and futurist who has just made a startling discovery about mankind.

Okay, I don’t think I can wait for this now, either. Get your name on the holds list early, folks. This is going to be another one with a super long waiting list.

What did they wear?

It surprises me to know that authors actually wear something other than sweats and slippers. Or maybe it’s when they go out in public. (I’m totally teasing here, but if you follow any active author on Instagram or Facebook, you’d be hard-pressed to find one who isn’t participating in a sock-Sunday event as the biggest thing of their week). So, this book totally intrigues me.

What do you think? Is there an audience out there for what librarians wear?