Bookishness: Week of October 4th, 2011

-“Imagine: you’re better than James Joyce; you end up like Miles Kington.” So says Guardian columnist Ian Sansom, reflecting on Flann O’Brien’s understated literary legacy. October 5th marks the 100th anniversary of the Irish comic author’s birth — celebrate with a bicycle ride and a re-read of At Swim-Two-Birds.­

Booker PRize
Titles nominated for the Man Booker Prize

iBooker: Visitors to Apple’s iBookstore (included in the free iBooks App for i-Pad/Pod/Phone) can now download a sample of each of the 2011 Man Booker Prize shortlisted titles in book and audio format. The six books on the 2011 shortlist are: The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes, Jamrach’s Menagerie by Carol Birch, The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt, Half Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan, Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman and Snowdrops by A.D. Miller. The winner will be announced on Tuesday October 18th, with Barnes favoured to win.

­ -“Be It Resolved That Toronto Will Never Be Beautiful”: The Walrus Foundation and The Toronto Project debate addresses the city’s aesthetic future. Two teams composed of four prominent Torontonians (architect Jack Diamond and columnist John Barber vs. professor Nick Mount and author Stephen Marche) will face off about Toronto’s infrastructure, ideas and resources and whether the city has what it takes to be beautiful. Moderated by Amanda Lang. October 11th at 7pm at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Tickets available at

-Lived Through This: Courtney Love has inked a deal with HarperCollins imprint William Morrow to write a tell-all memoir, due out in fall 2012. Gawker is offering a (possibly autographed) copy to the person who comes up with the best title. Let the Love/drug/murder puns begin!