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PAPER CHASE: Controversial book's author to speak at GLBT forum

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The author of Heather Has Two Mommies, the groundbreaking 1989 children's book that became the focus of much conservative ire in the 1990s, will be among the speakers at the 21st World Conference of GLBT Jews, taking place in Winnipeg July 5-7.

Lesl©a Newman, who will speak July 7 at noon, has written or edited more than 60 books. Other keynote speakers for the event include Joy Ladin, author of Through the Door of Life: A Jewish Journey Between Genders, and Jay Michaelson, author of God vs. Gay? A Religious Case for Equality.

This is the first time the annual conference on gay rights and Judaism has been held in Canada. For more information, see

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Two Manitobans -- and a handful of other Canadians -- are among the finalists in the border-spanning High Plains Book Awards, offered by the Billings (Montana) Public Library since 2006.

Dora Dueck is nominated in the short fiction category for her collection What You Get at Home. Karen Dudley is nominated, oddly enough, in the culinary category for her comic-fantasy novel Food for the Gods, which admittedly does include some recipes.

Both books were published by Winnipeg's Turnstone Press. Turnstone isn't the only Canadian publisher to do well on the shortlist; Saskatchewan's Coteau Books placed three writers on the list.

A record number of books were submitted this year for the nine categories of awards, which honour writers from seven northwestern prairie states and the three Prairie provinces. Among the best-known contenders this year are Richard Ford's novel Canada and Louise Erdrich's novel The Round House. Winners will be announced in the fall.

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Penguin Canada will publish the first of two books about "urban homesteading" by a popular Montreal-area food blogger.

Brown Eggs and Jam Jars: Family Recipes from the Kitchen of Simple Bites will contain 100 recipes as well as stories about jam swaps, apple orchard outings and making maple taffy in the snow.

The book is written by Aim©e Wimbush-Bourque, a mother of three who lives on a tenth of an hectare outside of Montreal and practises what Penguin calls "modern, yet authentic homesteading."

Wimbush-Bourque's blog, Simple Bites, won the "Best Cooking with Kids" award from the Saveur Best Food Blog Awards.

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University of Manitoba education professor Karen Smith will launch her illustrated children's book Steve the Urban Rabbit tomorrow, with singing, games and discussion of ways parents can support their children in learning to read.

In her academic work, Smith promotes literacy development through both paper and e-books. Her book, which combines a rhyming story with facts and ideas about urban wildlife and encouragement to get outside, is published in paper format and for the Kindle, by Maven Media. It's the first of three books on urban animals and will be followed by Suddenly and Earl the Urban Owl.

The book launch is at McNally Robinson tomorrow at 2 p.m.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 29, 2013 A1

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