And the 2014 selection is…

dal reads title announcement


The official selection for Dal Reads 2014 is Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan. Thanks to everyone who voted, whether in person, on the blog, or via email, Facebook or Twitter.

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, by Robin Sloan

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, by Robin Sloan

To learn more about the book and the author, visit Robin Sloan’s website. In the meantime, we’re going to round up some copies of the book and make them available at the Dal Bookstore and the Dal Libraries, as well as plan programming for the fall.

Your mission is to read the book over the summer break and come back in September ready to discuss the book with other members of the Dalhousie community, as well as take part in some innovative, book-related programming. Stay tuned to our blog, Twitter feed and Facebook page for Dal Reads updates!



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Title announced today!

We’re counting DalReads votes today. We’ll announce the 2014 title sometime around noon. Thank you for voting and stay tuned for the title announcement.

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Voting Closes Sunday!

Have you heard about Dal Reads, the unity reading program for Dalhousie? We’re relaunching this year with help from the Dal Libraries and the School of Information Management.

So far, we’ve set our goals for the program, as well as created a short list of titles for the Dal community to vote on. We’re looking for one book from this list to be our 2014 selection, and without further ado, here are the titles.

The Antagonist

This Giller-shortlisted novel by acclaimed Canadian novelist Lynn Coady follows the story of Gordon “Rank” Rankin. Rank has always been cast as a tough guy and has eagerly lived up to this role, until tragedy strikes and he’s forced to disappear. Twenty years later, he’s back to tell his story and confront the truth he has been running from his whole life.

For more, check out reviews in The Globe and Mail and on GoodReads

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore

Part mystery, part modern-day fantasy, this novel by Robin Sloan was one of NPR’s 2012 “Books to Hang On To.” When unemployed web designer Clay Jannon is hired to work the overnight shift at Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, he is warned not to open any of the old volumes in its dimly lit back shelves. When his curiosity get the better of him, Clay stumbles upon a world of secrets, codes, and mysteries that will lead him on an unforgettable adventure.

For more, check out reviews in The Boston Globe and on GoodReads

Reality Boy

This novel by A. S. King is an unflinching look at the life of a reality television phenomenon after the cameras are gone.  Twelve years ago, Gerald Faust’s family invited the  reality television program Network Nanny into their home, exposing their dysfunction to the world and earning Gerald the nickname “The Crapper.” Now Gerald is in high school,  struggling to deal with his family, endure his notoriety, and work through a relationship in the aftermath of the spotlight.

For more, check out reviews in the New York Times and on GoodReads

How do I vote?

We are looking for your vote to determine which of these three books will be the Dal Reads selection for 2014.

There are four ways to send us your vote:

  • Share your vote on our Facebook page
  • Tweet your vote to @dalreads
  • Comment on this blog
  • Email your vote to dalreads at dal. ca

Voting closes on Sunday, April 13th! Get your vote in soon!

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Vote tomorrow at the Killam Library!


Thursday, April 3 from 11:00am to 3:00pm we will be in Killam Memorial Library.

Come find us to hear more about the short list selections and cast your vote for DalReads 2014! Can’t make it to the library tomorrow? Share your thoughts about the short list here on our blog, or find us on Facebook and Twitter.



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Follow Us!

follow us

Dal Reads is now on Facebook and Twitter. Join the conversation and let us know which book from the shortlist you’d like to be the 2014-15 Dal Reads selection. Click on each book cover to learn more about the three books on the short list.


Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, by Robin Sloan

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, by Robin Sloan


The Antagonist, by Lynn Coady

The Antagonist, by Lynn Coady


Reality Boy, by A. S. King

Reality Boy, by A. S. King



Dal Reads 2014 Shortlist

The Dal Reads team is excited to announce our 2014 shortlist:

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore – Robin Sloan

The Antagonist – Lynn Coady

Reality Boy – A.S. King

We selected these  titles from a list of suggestions by student volunteers based on three criteria that we felt were important to an interesting and engaging Dal Reads experience:

  1. The book  must be able to generate discussion and exchange of ideas
  2. The book must be appealing to a broad range of readers of varying ages, literacy levels, and life experience
  3. The book must be strongly written with elements that will generate excitement among readers

Now, it’s your turn – What do you think of our top three choices? Which of these books would get your vote? The final decision will be based on your input,  so leave us a comment or find us on media to let us know what you think Dal should read in 2014.

We look forward to hearing from you!


Dal Reads is underway for 2014!

Welcome back to the Dal Reads blog!

We are working hard to plan some exciting Dal Reads events and activities for the 2014-2015 school year!  This blog is a forum where you are able to share your thoughts and opinions about this year’s book and find the latest news and updates about the initiative.

What is Dal Reads?

Dal Reads is a campus-wide community reading initiative.  We’re encouraging all students and faculty coming to Dalhousie in September 2014 to read the same novel during the summer and we will host related events beginning in the fall. This project is an initiative of Dalhousie’s Libraries with help from students at the School of Information Management.

Similar activities have been happening at public libraries and university campuses across Canada. Dalhousie established Dal Reads in 2009. It is an opportunity for all of Dalhousie to come together in a new way, to promote understanding and connections at the university, and unite over the love of a good book.

How and when can I participate?

We will be releasing our short list of Dal Reads candidates soon, so stay tuned for the opportunity to have your say about the 2014 Dal Reads selection.

We’re in the planning stages of our fall events, but we will post the latest Dal Reads news on this blog as it is available.


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10 best Altantic Canadian Books

Nimbus Publishing (Halifax) has just released Atlantic Canada’s 100 Greatest Books.   The Book of Negroes (which some might debate whether or not it is an Atlantic Canadian work, has made #29.

The top-10 titles are:

1. No Great Mischief by Alistair MacLeod
2. Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery
3. The Colony of Unrequited Dreams by Wayne Johnston
4. The Mountain and the Valley by Ernest Buckler
5. Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald
6. Barometer Rising by Hugh MacLennan
7. Random Passage by Bernice Morgan
8. The Lost Salt Gift of Blood by Alistair MacLeod
9. Mercy Among the Children by David Adams Richards
10. Rockbound by Frank Parker Day

The list was based on the opinions and votes of authors, critics, librarians, professors, booksellers, and readers (Check out the Quill & Quire article).

What do you think about this list? Do you agree it?

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Book of Negroes – Interactive Advertising Campaign!

The Book of Negroes is a part of HarperCollins exciting new interactive campaign in Toronto.

Check out this Quill & Quire article for pictures and more information!

What do you think of this interactive campaign?

Would you plug in?

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Lawrence Hill’s Writing Secrets

This article, found in The Record (a Waterloo, Ontario newspaper), details Lawrence Hill’s interactions with students at a Waterloo area school.

If you would like to read more about Lawrence Hill’s writing secrets, click here.

What are your secrets to writing? What motivates you?

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