Consolation Prize

What did RedBrick read this month? A series of tweets by the best human to ever write using that art form, Mr. Kanye West. For context, West is releasing a long-anticipated new album soon, and he tweeted to announce that the album’s title, previously Swish, was now Waves.


Wiz Khalifa, for reasons I’m not going to go into here, objected to the title change, and West objected to Khalifa’s objection.

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Things I learned from watching television: The Last Girlfriend on Earth


Here’s a post about a book that came out two years ago because a girl can’t always be on the cutting edge, you know? But how did I discover this? While laying around like a zombie watching television on a Sunday morning instead of contributing to society. The way I discover most great things.* Man Seeking Woman is a show on FXX starring Jay Baruchel based on the book The Last Girlfriend on Earth by Simon Rich. It’s one of those frustrating shows that critics love but no one watches. Luckily, it’s on FXX instead of one of the sucky major networks so it has been picked up for a second season. The show, which is run and written by Rich, is filmed in Toronto so as a Canadian I’m obligated to watch it if I want to continue receiving health care.

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Choosing a horse for the Amazon First Novel Award


In partnership with The Walrus, Amazon has announced the shortlist for the prestigious First Novel Award. The award has a history of predicting literary superstars so you’ll want to pay attention here. The shortlist is:

All True not a Lie in it by Alix Hawley

Etta and Otto and Russell and James by Emma Hooper

Us Conductors by Sean Michaels

New Tab by Guillaume Morissette

Pedal by Chelsea Rooney

Us Conductors is probably the bookie’s favourite as it was the winner of this year’s Scotiabank Giller Prize but my money is on Emma Hooper’s excellent Etta and Otto and Russell and James. It stands the trope of ladies wandering for miles in order to find themselves on its head. To read more, check out my recent review of the book in the Fiction Advocate.

Elliot Ackerman’s ‘Green on Blue’ is a remedy for the “glory” of war


If you don’t like war stories but know that they must be told – in fiction as well as in fact – then perhaps Green on Blue is for you.

If you know that stories are an effective way to understand conflict but are worried that Clint Eastwood is the only one willing to tell conflict stories then perhaps Green on Blue is for you.

If you understand that to “the enemy” you are “the enemy” then perhaps Green on Blue is for you.

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Kazuo Ishiguro calls out our buried giants

Last night at the Toronto Public Library’s Appel Salon, Kazuo Ishiguro stopped by to speak about his new novel The Buried Giant. To a sold out crowd, Ishiguro talked about his inspiration, the flack he’s getting for including pixies and ogres, and his long history of plagiarizing Charlotte Bronte.

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Searching the globe for the real James Bond

New York Magazine’s The Vulture has a piece today about Ian Fleming’s post-war life in Jamaica. Fleming built a house called Goldeneye and it is believed that Fleming’s Jamaican life is the source of the James Bond character. At his Jamaican home Fleming wrote all of the Bond novels and rubbed elbows with artists who began to seek refuge on the island, including Noel Coward, Graham Greene and Truman Capote. But the James Bond character began to germinate before Fleming’s time in Jamaica, while he was serving as a British Naval Intelligence Officer for MI5 and was sent to stay at a luxurious hotel in Portugal.

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