Archive for the ‘McNally Robinson’ Category

Heading to Winnipeg later in June…

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012


On June 18th, I head out to Winnipeg for a couple of events. The first night I’ll be doing an on-stage interview with a popular local CBC Radio host, Terry MacLeod at the famous McNally Robinson Grant Park flagship store. I’ve heard so much about this independent bookstore and look forward to a fun evening. I gave a talk and reading at the sadly now-gone McNally Robinson Toronto store a few years ago shortly before they unfortunately closed their doors. I hope my appearance had nothing to do with its demise shortly thereafter.

Then, on June 19th, I’ll be giving a public lecture as part of the annual conference of the Canadian Engineering Education Association at the University of Manitoba. This is the real reason for my trip to Winnipeg. I am an engineer who has never practiced professionally but who believes my engineering education informs nearly everything I do. So I’ll be prattling on about how my years studying engineering at McMaster have shaped the rest of my life, including my writing, even if I’ve never actually worked as an engineer. I wrote a piece about this for an engineering magazine that should give you a sense of what I’ll be talking about in Winnipeg. I encourage any and all to attend.


It’s a sad day for Toronto book lovers…

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

It was a shock to learn yesterday that the wonderful McNally Robinson bookstore, open less than a year ago, has closed as part of bankruptcy proceedings. I’ve been to the MR Toronto store many times, most recently a week or so ago for last minute Christmas shopping. It was a beautiful haven for book lovers. They’ve been very good to me, hosting a reading last June. It was a great event and I’m grateful.

Though it’s a long shot, I’m praying someone else steps up, changes the name, and tries to make a go of it. But it’s a tough business in probably the toughest time ever for booksellers. We clearly need to buy more books!

Thanks McNally Robinson for a great event

Thursday, June 25th, 2009


Last night I gave a talk and reading at the wonderful new McNally Robinson Toronto bookstore in Don Mills.  Carla and her team at MR know how to put on an event.  There were amazing posters hanging throughout the store and public address announcements before the reading started.  They have an events area on the second floor and there were so many people that they kept having to add more rows of chairs.  There were some familiar faces in the crowd from my childhood neighbourhood who had seen ads in the Globe and Mail and Toronto Star for the event.  There were a couple of other writers in the audience including Tom Armstrong whose manuscript recently won second prize in the Frank Collymore Literary Endowment Awards along with the $7,500 payday.  Better yet, Tom just inked a publishing deal with DC Books with publication of his novel slated for April 2010.

The talk and reading seemed to go well and the line-up for the signing was both humbling and gratifying.  Afterwards, Tom and I went for a drink and had a great talk about writing.

Thanks again to Carla and the good folks at McNally Robinson for a memorable evening.

McNally Robinson reading set for June 24th

Sunday, May 24th, 2009

If you live in western Canada, you need no introduction to McNally Robinson. MR is the leading chain of independent bookstores west of Ontario.  They are wonderful large stores with knowledgable staff, an amazing selection of books, and an unrivalled commitment to in-store author events.  Well, last month, McNally Robinson opened their first Ontario store here in Toronto.  I’ve been to the new store twice now and am very impressed.

I’ll be doing a reading and signing at MR on June 24th.  If you’re in the neighbourhood, consider this your formal invitation to come to the event.