Tag Archives: The Hours (novel)

(Partial) World Book Day

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Q. Why “partial” World Book Day?

A. Because it’s only World Book Day in the UK and Ireland today, March 2, 2017.

Oh, right! I forgot that there’s the “world,” and then there’s a couple of islands in the North Atlantic. Thanks for clearing that one up, WBD!

Nonetheless and nevertheless, any excuse to read or talk about books is all goodly in my books. (Ha ha ha. Get it? Good in my…hmm…)

World Book Day comes with resolutions, right? Excellent. In that case, here’s my WBD Resolution: Let’s get more men reading.

eHarmony? Match.com? AshleyPleaseDoNotHackMyComputerMadison? No wayz. You be readin’? You be sexy. You be up down in that action? You be gettin’ hit on harder than a piñata at a birthday party for sugar-starved kidz.

Menfolk of the world, if you want to amp up your A game one more notch, here’s a piece of goodly advice: start a book club. Not only is it a swank excuse to meet hot dudes and dudettes, but you’ll expand that one muscle you can’t get to at the gym.

So ask yourself, what should you be reading right now that doesn’t include (a) anything about Donnie T.; (b) anything lewd, lascivious or luciously lucious; (c) anything related to your job/kids; or (d) anything that rhymes with “fetish”?

Me, I’m reading Michael Cunningham’s The Hours in honour of CAMH’s One Brave Night initiative for mental health.

Oh, and if you’re wondering when the (other part of the rest of the) World Book Day falls, it’s Sunday, April 23, 2017. For international information on World Book Day, you can visit www.unesco.org

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Quote of the Day (Book of the Month)

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“We throw our parties; we abandon our families to live alone in Canada; we struggle to write books that do not change the world, despite our gifts and our unstinting efforts, our most extravagant hopes. We live our lives, do whatever we do, and then we sleep. It’s as simple and ordinary as that. A few jump out windows, or drown themselves, or take pills; more die by accident; and most of us are slowly devoured by some disease, or, if we’re very fortunate, by time itself. There’s just this for consolation: an hour here or there when our lives seem, against all odds and expectations, to burst open and give us everything we’ve ever imagined, though everyone but children (and perhaps even they) know these hours will inevitably be followed by others, far darker and more difficult. Still, we cherish the city, the morning; we hope, more than anything, for more. Heaven only knows why we love it so…”  

I’m reading Michael Cunningham‘s The Hours right now for my book club and absolutely love this quote. Winner of both the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction (along with a slew of other awards…gulp!), more people will probably be familiar with the movie of the same name, which starred three nobodies (Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore, Nicole Kidman) and a weak-to-quite-weak supporting cast (Ed Harris, John C. Reilly, Stephen Dillane, Jeff Daniels, Miranda Richardson, Allison Janney, Toni Collette and Claire Danes).

What I love about this Quote of the Day is that – aside from being bang-on – it’s depressingly uplifting; it’s both sad and encouraging somehow.  Agents, publishers and editors always stress that less is more, how the simple will always triumph over the convoluted. And guess what? Okay, okay, okay. I’ll give you three guesses, but the first two don’t count.

The answer is that they’re all correct.

While the strength of the passage obviously (obviously!) lies in the fact that Mr. Cunningham recognizes Canada as a superior country to the United States of Donnie T., it’s his simple prose tying so much of our greatest fears and hopes together that makes it sing off the page.

Good on Mikey C., eh? Maybe next time he be go and write good about ‘nother country fulla awesomeness, like that wicked hot place southa’ them there New Great Wall. That’d be somethin’, huh?

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