OLM Book Review: Half Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan

May 15, 2014 1:51 pm
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Author Esi Edugyan’s eloquent prose pays a worthy homage to the blues, as it is often considered the simplest yet most difficult music to play. The beginning of World War Two has The Hot Time Swingers on the run. This Blues band, along with their prodigy trumpet player, Hieronymus Falk […]

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Fake It Til You Make It: Perfecting Life’s Performances

March 11, 2014 2:54 pm
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Self-help books are sold on the promise that they can fill the gaps between who we are and who we want to be. Who are we really though, but actors?  If “all the world is a stage,” as Shakespeare famously wrote, then stage fright can be a real problem. This […]

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Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?

February 12, 2014 4:34 pm
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The Lowland Jhumpa Lahiri Knopf Publishing, Toronto, 2013, 340pp. Reviewed by Don MacLean February 2014.     A scene in the early pages of Jhumpa Lahiri’s marvelous novel The Lowland is formative for the story’s two main characters. Suhhash and Udayan are young brothers, separated by only 15 months, growing up […]

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Family Ties

January 15, 2014 9:08 am
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 Sugar in the Blood: A Family’s Story of Slavery and Empire Vintage Books, 2012, 353pp. By Andrea Stuart Reviewed by Don MacLean Family trees are all the rage. Part of their appeal is surely the element of surprise. The deeper one digs, the more likely a discovery that the tree’s […]

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3 Things Every Woman Should Know About Herself & Her Money

January 3, 2014 3:45 pm
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‘It’s a Relationship That’s Not Going Away,’ Advises Female Financial Expert If you’re a woman, chances are good that in the years ahead, it will be you and you alone who’s responsible for managing your money. That could be a problem: Even among the very affluent, many women admit they […]

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Thought Leadership Will Empower Your Workforce

December 18, 2013 9:45 am
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On average, only 29% of employees are actively engaged in their work. Marketers often view thought leadership as a platform that is focused externally. But while thought leadership is an effective means of influencing customers, it’s also a very successful way of empowering employees. Over the last decade, various organizations […]

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Distant Stars – John Banville – Ancient Light

December 2, 2013 2:40 pm
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John Banville – Ancient Light Vintage Canada 2012 Reviewed by Don MacLean Readers familiar with the great Irish writer John Banville will also be familiar with the characters Alexander (Alex) Cleave, his wife Lydia and their troubled daughter Catherine (Cass), all of whom feature prominently in some of his previous […]

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World War I Could Easily Have Been Avoided but for Human Folly

November 14, 2013 12:21 pm
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Margaret MacMillan’s The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914 is  a compelling narrative of the political, cultural and personal forces that shaped Europe’s path to the First World War (1914-1918). Countless volumes have chronicled the political struggles, the diplomatic efforts, the battles and the strategies behind them, the […]

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Shopping for Votes: How Politicians Choose Us and We Choose Them – Susan Delacourt (Douglas & McIntyre)

October 31, 2013 10:14 am
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Here is an insightful and provocative look at the inside world of political marketing in Canada – and what this means about the state of our democracy in the 21st century – from a leading political commentator. “Canada is now a nation of shoppers… We may want to ask whether […]

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How We Lead: Canada in a Century of Change by Joe Clark

October 29, 2013 12:25 pm
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In HOW WE LEAD: Canada in a Century of Change, former Canadian Prime Minister Joe Clark launches an impassioned argument for Canada to reassert its international position as an agent of change, diplomacy and peace. Drawing on our history, successes, and the unique qualities that we possess today, Clark describes […]

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Conversations with a Dead Man: The Legacy of Duncan Campbell Scott by Mark Abley (Douglas & McIntyre)

October 24, 2013 9:34 am
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Duncan Campbell Scott (1862-1947) died one of the most respected men in Canada – a well-known poet and short-story writer, a former president of the Royal Society of Canada, a founder of the Dominion Drama Festival, and a recipient of honorary doctorates from Queen’s University and the University of Toronto. […]

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Building the Orange Wave: The Inside Story Behind the Historic Rise of Jack Layton and the NDP (Douglas & McIntyre)

October 23, 2013 11:29 am
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Building the Orange Wave is a true insider’s account of Jack Layton and the NDP’s rise to success.  Brad Lavigne was not just the campaign manager of the New Democratic Party’s 2011 breakthrough election campaign that took Jack Layton from last place to Official Opposition – he was a key […]

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Fire on the Hill: A Canadian historical suspense novel by Frank Rockland

February 1, 2013 11:38 am
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Discover what really happened on the night of February 3, 1916, when a suspicious fire destroyed the centre block of the Canadian Parliament Buildings. On tours of the Center Block of the Parliament buildings, guides explain that the previous building was destroyed by a fire on the night of February 3, […]

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Book Launch: A Colourful Life – the art and drawing of Josh Silburt

January 23, 2013 1:26 pm
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On February 6 in Ottawa, a book launch for A Colourful Life – the art and drawing of Josh Silburt will take place at the Cube Gallery at 1285 Wellington St. W. from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. The Cube is mounting a show of acclaimed Canadian painter and cartoonist Josh […]

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50 SHADES OF ROMANCE

December 17, 2012 12:03 pm
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The best-selling success of E.L. James’ 50 Shades erotic trilogy has raised the profile of erotic romance fiction. Although extensive attention is being paid to it now, erotic romance has been around for years, and is one of many subgenres that fall under the romance banner. Romance is frequently dismissed, but someone […]

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…Insightful Reading on Urban Sustainability

November 22, 2012 4:45 pm
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The University of Toronto Press has published Urban Sustainability: Reconnecting Space & Place, edited by Ann Dale, William T. Dushenko and Pamela Robinson. Given ongoing concerns about global climate change and its environmental and economic impacts, the need for urban sustainability has never been greater. Urban Sustainability: Reconnecting Space & […]

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Freedom and Darkness in Salman Rushdie’s Joseph Anton

November 14, 2012 1:37 pm
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Salman Rushdie begins his brilliant new memoir Joseph Anton (Knopf Canada, 2012) by describing a phone call from a BBC journalist in February 1989 in which she asks what it’s like knowing that he’s going to be killed. Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini, she went on to tell him, had issued a fatwa […]

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