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A book store — and a whole lot more

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There’s always something interesting going on at McNally Robinson Booksellers. The city’s premier book store, located in Grant Park Shopping Centre, regularly hosts a myriad of events, most of which, not surprisingly, have a literary theme.

But not all. In addition to book launches, there are frequent musical events and even a cruise line presentation that was well-attended recently.

The music happens on Friday and Saturday evenings at 8 p.m. and upcoming acts include Robert Burton Trio, Anne-Marie Williot and Major Squeeze.

There’s also an open mic session the first Wednesday of every month starting at 8:30 p.m., at which 11 musicians selected by lottery perform acoustic numbers.

This month, though, will see some very intriguing guests in the store.

Last week, Chris Hadfield, former commander of the International Space Station (and the man who out-Bowied David Bowie with his slick, extra-terrestrial version of Space Oddity) was there.
Hadfield talked about his new book, An Astronauts Guide to Life on Earth.

Tonight  — Weds., Nov. 20 — at 7 p.m. the Right Hon. Joe Clark, our 16th and youngest Prime Minister, will be on hand to discuss his latest book, How We Lead: Canada in a Century of Change.

Then, on Fri., Nov 29 at 7 p.m., the store will play host to one of the world’s best-selling authors, Ian Rankin. Edinburgh native Rankin has penned 33 novels including the very popular Insp. Rebus series of crime novels.

Rankin will be speaking and signing his latest Rebus book, Saints of the Shadow Bible, the 19th book in the series.

The 24,000-square-foot building hosts a restaurant, the aptly-named Prairie Ink, and a dedicated children’s section on its mezzanine.

It also features something called the Espresso Book Machine which, as its name suggests, is a book-printing machine that will be of specific interest to those who have ever considered self-publishing that best-selling novel fermenting inside their heads.

The machine can produce and print books of up to 800 pages, and it takes only 12 minutes to print, bind and trim such a publication. It’s a very affordable way to see that project turned into a finished item.

Trevor Smith is a community correspondent for River Heights. You can contact him via email at smitht@mymts.net

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