Tuesday, January 10, 2012

My Book Launch & Book Giveaway

The book launch for The Reading List is just a month away - I hope that many of you who live in Toronto will be able to make it!

The event will be held:
February 14, 2012 
131 Bloor Street West
5:30-8:00 pm
RSVP: info@jftor.org or  (416)966-1600, ex. 103

Yes, I know it's Valentines Day...  Drop by for a glass of wine before heading to dinner with your significant other or spend the whole evening with us luxuriating in literary chitchat.  Who knows?  Those of you who are single might even meet someone scintillating and well read...

I also want to announce that I will be raffling off two copies of my book to those who wish to participate in this giveaway.  To be entered in the draw, you can do one of the following:

1. Become a Follower of my blog;
2. Leave a comment; or
3. Email me at leslieshimotakahara@gmail.com

The deadline for entry is February 11, 2012.

Here is a brief summary of what The Reading List is about:
Leslie Shimotakahara is a young, disenchanted English professor struggling to revive her childhood love of reading. Her father Jack, recently retired from a high-powered corporate job, finally has time to take up reading books for pleasure. The Reading List tells the story of Leslie’s return home to Toronto to rethink her life and decide what to do next. At the same time, she bonds with her dad over discussions about the lives, loves and works of the novelists on their reading list – Wharton, Joyce, Woolf and Atwood, to name a few. But when their conversations about literature unearth some heartbreaking, deeply buried family secrets surrounding Jack’s own childhood – growing up Japanese-Canadian in the aftermath of World War II – Leslie’s world is changed forever. Could discovering the truth about her father’s past hold the key to her finally being happy in love, life and career?

Btw, some friends have recently asked me which novels are included on the reading list that the main character (me) discusses with her father over the course of the book.  Not surprisingly, they're some of my all-time favourites.  Here is the list:

1. Walden by Henry David Thoreau
2. The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
3. Dubliners by James Joyce
4. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
5. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
6. The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
7. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
8. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
9. The Professor's House by Willa Cather
10. Surfacing by Margaret Atwood
11. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
12. Obasan by Joy Kogawa
13. Running in the Family by Michael Ondaatje

"An engrossing and charming memoir about getting back to basics: home truths, family, and the life-altering, life-saving power of books."
                                                                                   -Emma Donoghue, author of Room


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About Me

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Toronto, ON, Canada
Leslie Shimotakahara is a writer and recovering academic, who wanted to be simply a writer from before the time she could read. Hard-pressed to answer her parents’ question of how she would support herself as a writer, Leslie got drawn into the labyrinthine study of literature, completing her B.A. in Honours English from McGill in 2000, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Modern American Literature from Brown in 2006. After graduation, she taught English at St. Francis Xavier University for two years. Leslie woke up one morning and realized that she’d had enough of the Ivory Tower. The fact that she wasn’t doing what she wanted to do with her life loomed over her, and the realization was startling. It was time to stop studying and passively observing life and do something real instead. She needed to discover herself and tell her own story. This blog and the book she has written under the same title (Variety Crossing Press, spring 2012) are her foray. Leslie's writing has been published in WRITE, TOK: Writing the New Toronto, Maple Tree Literary Supplement, and GENRE.