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Books & Lit

Wanna buy a book from the Biblio-mat?

Posted by Alexandra Grigorescu / November 15, 2012

toronto monkey's paw book vending machineFor the past few years, The Monkey's Paw on Dundas West has garnered a reputation for doing things a little bit differently. From their notoriously eclectic and rare collection of books, to their unusual window displays, they've always upheld one of my personal mandates--that from strolling through musty bookcases, to being drawn in by particularly odd cover art, every book should feel like a surprise. Owner Stephen Fowler is now taking that a step further with the world's first and only book vending machine, the Biblio-mat. Fowler says that "it's an extension of the shop--people come here expecting to be startled."

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Books & Lit

Schwarzenegger seduces fans at Toronto Indigo store

Posted by Robyn Urback / October 4, 2012

Schwarzenegger TorontoArnold Schwarzenegger — former governor, action hero, and scandal-plagued celebrity — was in Toronto today to promote his memoir Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story.

The Terminator arrived at the Manulife Centre Indigo sans sunglasses and leather gloves shortly after 12 pm, telling the ecstatic crowd he just came from visiting his "good friend" Michael Budman at Roots. "But when I left," Schwarzenegger said, cracking a smile, "I told him 'I'll Be Back.'"

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Books & Lit

Glad Day 2.0 re-invents itself for the LGBTQ community

Posted by Ab Velasco / August 29, 2012

toronto glad day booksThis past Monday evening, an intimate crowd gathered at Glad Day Bookshop to hear Dan Parent speak about creating Archie Comics' first gay character, Kevin Keller. Introduced in 2010, the character signalled a new era for the publisher.

Glad Day is also experiencing new life. In January, the bookstore's fate was bleak. Thanks to 22 new co-owners who took over in February, the world's oldest LGBTQ bookstore launched in a new direction. These days, the store is fostering a community space with its new third floor programming room, formerly occupied by another tenant.

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Books & Lit

10 places Toronto writers go to get inspired

Posted by Ab Velasco / August 15, 2012

toronto places inspire writersToronto writers don't easily have access to classically inspirational haunts, such as the Café de la Rotonde in Paris, the Literary Café in St. Petersburg, or the Antico Caffè Greco in Rome. These famous European cafés were the hangouts for legendary writers like Hemingway, Dostoyevsky and Keats, and some have even inspired classic literary works.

But in more recent times, Toronto has also served as a literary canvas, with some of Canada's most well-known novels set in our city - including those by Margaret Atwood, Robertson Davies, Timothy Findley, and Michael Ondaatje.

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Books & Lit

Mjolk's first book is full of wonderfully weird designs

Posted by Alexandra Grigorescu / July 15, 2012

mjolk bookMjolk, the much-touted furniture and home decor shop in the Junction has been been open a little over two years. Sound like a good time to release a book? Mjolk certainly thinks so. The result is a stunning guide (read: ode) to the design capitals that most inspire them, namely Stockholm, Reykjavik, and Asahikawa, Japan.

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Books & Lit

Toronto's back alley beauty gets the book treatment

Posted by Derek Flack / June 3, 2012

Michael Cho Back AlleysForget ravines. It's back alleys and laneways that make Toronto's urban landscape unique. Hidden in plain sight, these capillaries are far more intriguing than their pragmatic function may indicate — they're the quintessence of what Shawn Micallef likes to call our "messy urbanism." A hodgepodge of coach houses, garages, and various DIY infrastructure, our alleyways are more gritty than beautiful, but they're always fascinating. And now there's a lovely new book devoted to them.

Local illustrator Michael Cho has been documenting this particular aspect of Toronto's urban form since 2006, which has culminated in the recently released collection Back Alleys and Urban Landscapes. Featuring pared down drawings and paintings, the images that make up this book capture the untidy subject matter just about perfectly.

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