Saturday, January 12, 2008

bits and bytes

Mum pointed me in the direction of some good programming on CBC Radio One this morning. Go! host Brent Bambury (who I met/saw briefly on Test the Nation) had Dan Misener in to talk about a reading series he developed called "Grown Ups Reading Things They Wrote As Kids". Dan read a journal entry from his grade one days in Sackville, NS that described a trip to the ice cream store for a "root bear flot". The next reading is in Toronto on 10 March at the Gladstone Ballroom. If I'm in the area I'll definitely check it out.

In other fun internet news, Penguin Canada and have developed a list of the 52 Best Books Ever Written (or, the 52 best books published by Penguin) and are proposing that you read one per week in 2008. Penguin has a great library, so it should be exciting to see what they come up with. They've started with their best foot forward, too: First up is one of my favourite books, Robertson Davies's Fifth Business. It's a brilliant realized, complex, and moving story about Dunstan Ramsey, who is always "fifth business" in his own life:
The novel explains its own title as a character of an opera who has no opposite: the odd man out—neither heroine nor her lover, rival nor villain—yet without whom the plot cannot happen.

I read it for the first time when I was 17, and it's one I'm always happy to come back to. There's magic, politics, war, sex, the divine, and all manner of truly fascinating things in it.

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