DOUBLE TAKE: Clare/Redekop

Great Writer; Terrible Person

Thanks to social media and exhaustive tell-all biographies, readers have more and more opportunities to discover the fundamental unpleasantness of their favourite writers, living and dead. Should the fact that writers are total jerks affect how you read their work? Are some sins forgivable while others represent deal-breakers? Kerry Clare and Corey Redekop—both writers with utterly spotless personalities—discuss the problem of reading the reprehensible.

Posted on December 7, 2015 .

DOUBLE TAKE: Beattie/Fowles

Dispatches from the Flame Wars

Every week or so, the more bookish end of Facebook and Twitter lights up with another flame war, with writers, readers, legit commenters, and trolls furiously flinging rhetorical bombs in all directions. Do these online bun fights offer anything other than cheap entertainment? Are serious points ever made amid all the noise? Here, writer-critics Steven W. Beattie and Stacey May Fowles, both veterans of many such brawls, discuss the merits of battling it out online.

Posted on October 9, 2015 .

DOUBLE TAKE: de Mariaffi/Bydlowska

Too Much Information

All authors hate to be censored. But what about self-censorship? What if a scene or a story seems guaranteed to upset readers? And what if those readers are close friends or family members? Authors Elisabeth de Mariaffi and Jowita Bydlowska overshare on the topic of what to leave in, what to leave out, and the occasionally awkward assumptions readers make about writers...

Posted on July 17, 2015 .

DOUBLE TAKE: Keeler/Galloway

The Critical Situation

Have formal book reviews become obsolete in the era of shrinking book coverage, Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter and the like? If so, does that matter? Do we need critics? National Post Books editor Emily Keeler and novelist Steven Galloway hash it out...

Posted on June 12, 2015 .

DOUBLE TAKE: Elliot/McNally

The Book World in 2015: Hope on the Horizon, or to Hell in a Handbasket?”

Two longtime booksellers tell us how they think the book world is trending. Ian Elliot has been an independent bookseller for most of his career, and is presently the owner and manager of A Different Drummer Books in Burlington, Ontario. Ben McNally has been a bookseller in Toronto for more than 40 years, and has operated his own store on Toronto’s Bay Street since 2007...

Posted on March 28, 2015 .