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Showing posts from November, 2013

Thinking In New Boxes

For years we have been told, “Think outside the box”. According to Luc De Brabandere and Alan Iny, strategic consultants at The Boston Consulting Group, there is one fundamental flaw in thinking in this manner: It is difficult! So, in their new book Thinking In New Boxes, the duo teach you five essential steps to spark the next big idea.
“You can’t even think without boxes, so don’t even try.”
You need to use a range of existing mental models to simplify things. Your mind relies on pre-existing categories that it has already created. (Consider that German psychologist Gerd Gigerenzer has argued extensively on how heuristics play a role in decision making).
Brabandere and Iny suggest that boxes are sketches, your mind’s way of simplifying, naming, and framing things, so that you can determine how best to respond to them. But, thinking outside the box is not enough!
There are three fundamental problems with Thinking Outside the box:
1.It is hard to get out of a box
2.It is tricky to determ…

The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan

The Governer General's 2013 English Literary Awards - The Winners

FICTION:The Luminaries, Eleanor Catton 

Finalists: 
The Lion Seeker Kenneth Bonert
The Orenda Joseph Boyden
A Beautiful Truth Colin McAdam | Fiction 
The Hungry Ghosts Shyam Selvadurai | Fiction





POETRY: North End Love Songs, Katherena Vermette

Finalists: 
Where the Sun Shines Best, Austin Clarke
The Polymers, Adam Dickinson
Big Down Little Whisper, Don Domanski 
Birds, Metal, Stones & Rain, Russell Thornton





DRAMA:Fault Lines: Three Plays, Nicolas Billon

Finalists: 
Blood: A Scientific Romance, Meg Braem
The Swearing Jar, Kate Hewlett
Frenchtown, Lawrence Jeffery
Shakespeare's Nigga, Joseph Jomo Pierre





NON-FICTION:Journey with No Maps: Life of P.K. Page, Sandra Djwa

Finalists: 
The Juggler's Children: A Journey into Family, Legend and the Genes that Bind Us, Carolyn Abraham

The Idealist: Jeffrey Sachs and the Quest to End Poverty, Nina MunkThe Memory of Water, Allen SmutyloProjection: Encounters with My Runaway Mother, Priscila Uppal


CHILDREN'S TEXT:The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B, Teresa Tot…

What is the one novel that could change Canada?

The countdown for the CBC's Canada Reads 2014 has begun. Here are the top 10 finalists. Which one do you think is going to win? Leave a comment and tell us your thoughts. 
The Canada Reads Top 10Anil's Ghost by Michael OndaatjeAnnabel by Kathleen WinterCockroach by Rawi HageHalf-Blood Blues by Esi EdugyanLittle Brother by Cory DoctorowOctober 1970: A Novel by Louis HamelinThe Orenda by Joseph BoydenA Sunday at the Pool in Kigali by Gil CourtemancheWhat the Body Remembers by Shauna Singh BaldwinThe Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood


Had a Glass 2014 by James Nevison

The stock of wines on the shelves of your liquor store is a daunting prospect for those new to wine yet interested to know a whole lot more. What better course of action than go to a local bookstore to pick up an introduction to wine book? But the shelves of your book store are probably stocked with a plethora of wine titles: perhaps a Ronald S. Jackson handbook for the professional, a Jancis Robinson guide for the aficionado, but what to choose for the newbie?

This is where James Nevison’s Had a Glass 2014 (published in Canada by Appetite by Random House) comes in.

It is designed not just for the newbie but one who is on a budget: hence the subtitle of Top 100 wines under $20, and perhaps best of all, it can be carried in the palm of your hand when you visit the liquor store.

In hunting for value purchases, Nevison understands its nebulous character and states the case:
"Value" is at best squishy and hard to pin down. Value is personal. And like scoring wine on a hundred-point …