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We’re Moving!

I promised a big announcement today, and here it is! After over a year and a half as a wordpress-hosted site, I thought it was time to graduate to kirbc.com for a little more freedom and flexibility. So go check out the new KIRBC! But prepare yourself . . .  it’s like one of those extreme makeover shows where there’s a whole room of people waiting and they all go nuts when their newly coiffed and polished friend/family member emerges. People cheer, the elderly swoon, and children cry because they no longer recognize their mother . . . That’s basically the effect I’m going for.

I know, it’s a lot of excitement to start the week. But collect yourselves a moment. I was planning on having wordpress redirect traffic, but that seems to require some kind of black internet magic from which my new site might never return (if you’ve successfully gone from a wordpress.com to a wordpress.org custom site with a new domain, please do get in touch!). So until I make the requisite blood sacrifices, we’ll do this the old fashioned way: please update your bookmarks!

And never fear, though we’ve got a shiny new look, the Keepin’ It Real Book Club will continue to offer the same books reviews, meeting notes, and special projects that we always have, we’re just eliminated 9 letters from the URL so you can get to the goodness even faster.

Well friends, we have reached the finish line. It’s Day 30 of our month-long video marathon to Keep Toronto Reading, and after kicking off the whole shebang, I thought I’d finish what I started. No one had done a children’s book yet (if we don’t count Lindsey Reeder’s reco for a YA novel), so being a big fan of kidlit, I thought I’d give it a shot. It was really a no-brainer, and I decided to record a recommendation I’ve made countless times: Shaun Tan’s Tales from Outer Suburbia:

Now that we’ve take our last KTR bow, I want to offer my heartfelt thanks to everyone who put up with my pestering and contributed to making another one of my half-baked schemes a great success. I’d also like to give a huge shout-out to Ab at the Toronto Public Library, who supported our effort from day one.

We had a total of 32 videos submitted from 25 different publishing professionals, authors, and civilian book lovers alike, recommending a total of 35 books. Now it’s up to you all to go out in read them! Take them out from your local library branch (the TPL for our targeted Torontonians), or buy them at your local indie bookseller (find one with Indie Bound or  the Canadian Booksellers Association), or, if you’re looking to buy a bundle  (which I’m thinking is going to happen to me), online retailers are a good option. Since I’ve been linking through to Amazon.ca all along, I also built a handy little bookstore that has all the titles and who recommended them. You can shop it here.

As a final note, be sure to drop by on Monday for a big KIRBC announcement (not another campaign this time, or at least not yet), but it’s still exciting. Thanks for coming by, now go get reading!

We’ve hit the last day of our 30-day book bender in the name of Keep Toronto Reading and we’re going out with a bang with another two-video day. Today I have the pleasure of presenting TV guru and Lost expert Nikki Stafford, who right now is busy enough for two people, but took time out to record for us! I trust all of Nikki’s opinions on TV shows, and we also have remarkably similar taste in books, so I’ll be adding this one to the TBR right away. Nikki Stafford gives her stamp of approval to Geektastic edited by Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci:

Nikki Stafford is the author of the acclaimed Finding Lost series of books, complete analytical episode companion guides to every episode of the series. Newsday has referred to Nikki as “one of the show’s leading scholars,” Entertainment Weekly called Nikki a “top-notch” Lost blogger, and superfan DocArzt wrote, “The Finding Lost series is quite simply the best resource for fans.” She has also written companion guides to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Alias, Angel, and Xena: Warrior Princess. Nikki blogs regularly on her site, Nik at Nite and has conducted a complete Lost rewatch at lost-rewatch.blogspot.com. She lives in Toronto, Ontario.

Stay tuned after lunch for our last video of the campaign!

We’ve hit day 29 of our month-long book binge to Keep Toronto Reading. Today we’re heading to the west coast for a recommendation from broadcaster, social media mastermind and Hugh Laurie lookalike Sean Cranbury, who encourages you to get down with your verse-lovin’ self and read Worshipful Company of Fletchers by James Tate:

Sean Cranbury is a writer, broadcaster and social media consultant living in Vancouver. He is the curator and host of Books on the Radio, broadcast on Simon Fraser radio CJSF 90.1 FM. He comes from an independent bookselling and independent publishing background. Sean likes partnering with creative people to co-create cool projects like the BookCamp Vancouver 2009, Advent Book Blog, Eyes of Vancouver Collaborative Fiction, W2 Real Vancouver Writers Series. His most recent project is Summer Publishing TV and it will launch very, very soon.

There’s only one day left, my friends, so stay tuned for our thrilling conclusion tomorrow!

It’s (still) Day 28 of our campaign to Keep Toronto Reading, and I bring you the second half of today’s reco double-header, with a professional’s pitch from Kelvin Kong (I’d buy rights right now!). Kelvin urges us to read Jake Adelstein’s true crime memoir Tokyo Vice:

Kelvin Kong is the Foreign Rights Associate for The Rights Factory, a literary agency in Toronto. That means he sends mass quantities of spam to international publishers and tries to convince them to buy rights for his books. Kelvin also enjoys cooking, obscure alcohols, and living in full-on denial that people don’t gag when they drink his cocktails. Despite all this self-deprecation, he’s a pretty cool guy. Kelvin would like to apologize to you for the dodgy quality of this video, and to Jake Adelstein for butchering his book. He would like you to Keep Reading, and if you’re a publisher, to buy rights from him.

It’s Day 28 of our campaign to Keep Toronto Reading and we’re bringing back birthday boy Nic Boshart, who already gave us a two-for-one recommendation, and this time he’s stepped up his game. He’s added another book, sliced the time by two-thirds, and taken what we’ll call an avant-garde approach. Intrigued? You should be. Forget Hot Docs, you’ve got all the scintillating filmmaking you need right here.

Did you get what three books Nic was referencing? Name those books to win a prize! (In honour of Nic and his birthday I’ll make you a custom MS paint creation, ready to made into your own iron-on decal or cross-stitch pattern.)

Nic Boshart (@NicBoshart) is the Digital Projects Coordinator for the Association of Canadian Publishers. He’s also co-founder and coordinating editor of the indie firm Invisible Publishing and president of the Young Publishers of Canada, a monthly social group in Toronto. In his spare time he works on www.FTPubW.com, a blog about publishing.

It’s Day 27 of our 30-day vlogfest to help Keep Toronto Reading. Today I have the pleasure of welcoming back one of my savvy Civilians, the always charming Ashleigh Gardner. Ashleigh wants you to read Novel About My Wife by Emily Perkins (and recommends her favourite TPL branch while she’s at it!):

Ashleigh Gardner (@ashleighgardner) is the Manager of Digital Development at Dundurn Press and AMAZING at Karaoke. She is one of very, very few people in the world who could later refer to a two hour conversation about ISBNs as “fascinating.” In between her work on social media and eBooks she can be found on twitter @ashleighgardner.

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