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Help put Manitobans On the Same Page

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Which of these books should all Manitobans read next year? An academic satire set in a fictionalized Winnipeg university, a young adult novel set in a tuberculosis sanatorium, a memoir of growing up in a Palestinian refugee camp or a collection of Manitoba aboriginal writing from Chief Peguis to today?

The four books -- A Large Harmonium (Sue Sorenson), Queen of Hearts (Martha Brooks), A Thousand Farewells (Nahlah Ayed) and Manitowapow: Aboriginal Writings From the Land of Water (ed. Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair and Warren Cariou) -- are shortlisted for this year's On the Same Page project.

On the Same Page is an effort by the Winnipeg Public Library and the Winnipeg Foundation to select one book to recommend to all Manitobans.

Book lovers can vote online until Sept. 14.

The winning book will be featured through special promotions and author appearances in early 2013.

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After 12 years of writing through loss, Winnipegger Monica Hofer has published a book inspired by her own struggle to recover from the grief of losing her four-year-old child.

Published by her company Healing Soul Press, Heal My Broken Heart will be launched July 18 at 7:30 p.m. at McNally Robinson.

The memoir has been described by readers as both "one long, anguished scream" and "a warm blanket" and comes with an endorsement from Mary-Ann Kirkby, author of the self-published sensation I Am Hutterite.

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Fahrenheit 451 meets Hoarders this summer near Saskatoon, when Shauna Raycraft says she'll have no choice but to burn tonnes of books if she can't get them sorted and given away.

The story of the doomed book collection, which has been covered as far afield at the Los Angeles Times, began when Raycraft acquired more than 300,000 books from the widow of a collector.

After years of trying to find homes for the books -- many of which were acquired in bulk in unopened boxes by the original owner -- Raycraft has put out a call via Facebook for volunteers to help her sort the books starting July 1, with a big bonfire of those she can't give away on July 6.

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Ted Hull, a Winnipeg consultant to churches and charities, won a national book prize this month in the category of Christian leadership for his book A Guide to Governing Charities: Success in the Boardroom Starts with Asking the Right Questions (Word Alive Press).

Hull was one of several Manitobans honoured in the 24th annual Word Guild Canadian Christian Writing Awards.

Manitobans receiving awards of merit in other book categories were Winnipeg poet Sally Ito, for Alert to Glory (Turnstone Press), Sherri Hildebrandt of Landmark for More Than Enough: My Breast Cancer Story (Word Alive Press), and Carla Anne Conroy of Steinbach for Married Mom, Solo Parent: Finding God's Strength to Face the Challenge (Kregel Publications).

Two other Manitobans, Kurt Armstrong of Winnipeg and M.D. Meyer of Norway House, were honoured for magazine articles or contributions to anthologies.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 30, 2012 J8

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