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PAPER CHASE: Williams expands rehab lessons

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If history repeats itself, here's a book that will stay on the McNally Robinson bestseller list for a couple of years.

American songwriter Paul Williams, known to the world for We've Only Just Begun and The Rainbow Connection and to Winnipeggers for starring in the rock opera The Phantom of the Paradise, is writing a book about applying the lessons of recovery to all aspects of life.

Gratitude and Trust: Recovery is Not Just for Addicts, co-written with screenwriter Tracey Jackson, is scheduled to be released by Blue Rider Press in 2014.

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We've all heard that you can't judge a book by its cover, right?

American horror writer, cartoonist and web designer Nathan Shumate has created a tumblr blog that offers evidence to the contrary. It's impossible not to view the badly proportioned, unicorn-intensive font explosions Shumate features on his blog Lousy Book Covers (lousybookcovers.tumblr.com) without rushing to judgment.

Shumate notes on his site that he used to offer a free redesign to any of the self-published authors whose covers he featured on the site, but dropped the offer when he was accused of creating the site just to drum up business.

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With the 75th anniversary of the beginning of the biggest war in history just a year away, leading Canadian military historian Tim Cook has signed with Penguin Canada to publish his two-volume history on Canada's Second World War experience.

The Necessary War will be the followup to his study of Canada's wartime prime ministers, Warlords: Borden and Mackenzie King and Canada's World Wars, which was shortlisted for this year's Charles Taylor Prize for non-fiction.

Cook is the director of research at Ottawa's Canadian War Museum.

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A national tour to promote women and Canadian independent publishers will add a new twist this year -- or to be more, accurate thousands of twists and knots.

The Fictionistas book tour -- which this year will take 16 authors to 11 cities from Victoria to Montreal -- will also feature the work of Canadian knitters his spring.

At each stop on the tour, participating authors will show off an item of clothing that has been created by a volunteer "fictionknitsta" and in some way fits the themes of the author's book.

Manitoba writers taking part in the tour are Dora Dueck (What You Get at Home) and Faith Johnston (The Only Man in the World). They will be joined by Lisa Bird-Wilson of Saskatchewan and Nicole Dixon of Nova Scotia May 31 at 7 p.m. in the Winnipeg stop on the tour, at McNally Robinson.

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Add David Mamet's name to the growing list of successful writers who are choosing to self-publish.

In a story in the New York Times, the playwright, screenwriter and political apostate (his polemic The Secret Knowledge described his late-life conversion to conservatism) explains why he decided to self-publish his forthcoming book, which will include a novella and two short stories.

"Basically, I am doing this because I'm a curmudgeon and because publishing is like Hollywood; nobody ever does the marketing they promise."

booknewsbob@gmail.com

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 11, 2013 J8

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