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Cover change pushes back Thomas's next novel

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A cover-art conundrum has pushed back the launch of one of the most anticipated Manitoba titles of the year: Joan Thomas's third novel, The Opening Sky.

Thomas was originally scheduled to launch the book Aug. 19, until a last-minute decision was made to change the book's cover. Advance reading copies for the novel -- the story of a well-off Wolseley family dealing with a long-ago tragedy -- used a cover image implying 1950s domesticity, with a pink upright vacuum cleaner being passed below the legs of what might be a father and daughter. The new cover is far less literal: an artistic image of a gull or tern flying in a blurred blue sky.

PAPER CHASE

As a result of the switch, the book's publication date has been moved to Sept. 16, and the launch event will be held Oct. 7, after the Thin Air festival.

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A former Winnipegger describes her youthful adventures and extracts lessons from the ups and downs of life on the road in Wild Blues: Lessons from the Road, being launched Aug. 14 at 7 p.m. at McNally Robinson Booksellers.

Tasha Waite was 19 when she set off for a jungle adventure in Chiapas, Mexico, a gathering of 30,000 hippies in Wisconsin, an unplanned hitchhiking trip through Vancouver Island logging roads and other travel experiences.

Based in Victoria, where she writes a column in a local paper, Waite has distilled her travels into 19 life lessons in her memoir, published by Aware Now Publishing. She's currently working on a follow-up, which will cover more recent misadventures, such as "running half-marathons hungover."

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One-time Queen of Pop Lady Gaga looks to get a bit more of her publicity back, but not, perhaps, the kind she would prefer.

According to The Guardian, Gaga's former assistant, Jennifer O'Neill, has signed with Atria Books, an imprint of Simon and Schuster, to write a memoir of her two years of catering to the needs of the Artpop diva.

O'Neill sued Gaga in 2011, making a wide range of accusations about overwork and underpayment, so the memoir's tone isn't likely to be favourable.

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A flapper-era sex manual -- originally intended to be sold only to medical professionals -- was returned to the New York Public Library last year, 54 years overdue.

The copy of Ideal Marriage, described by New York librarian Billy Parrott as "a very wordy and very scientific instruction manual for sexual activity written in 1926," was due to be returned Aug. 17, 1959.

Parrott writes on the New York Public Library's website that the overdue book was returned last year, accompanied by a short letter explaining that the book was found among the possessions of the letter-writer's late brother-in-law. The letter continues: "Funny thing is, the book didn't support his efforts with his first and only marriage... it failed! No wonder he hid the book!"

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An Irish filmmaker has found backing from a crowdsourcing site for a virtual reality game based on James Joyce's Ulysses.

The book blog Moby Lives writes that Eoghan Kidney has raised at least 4,500 euros to develop In Ulysses, a game that lets players "step into the mind of Stephen Dedalus," one of the two main characters in Joyce's famous head-scratcher.

Kidney hopes to raise funds for a future follow-up that will allow players to take on the book's main protagonist, Leopold Bloom.

booknewsbob@gmail.com

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 9, 2014 G7

History

Updated on Saturday, August 9, 2014 at 7:45 AM CDT: Formatting.

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