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Vuckovic’s Horror Miscellany | Book Review

Now that Thanksgiving is a distant memory, it’s time to turn our focus away from turkey and towards trick or treating. No other occasion is governed by as creepy an atmosphere as Halloween (although my Aunt Gladys’ birthday comes close), and I for one relish getting into the spooky swing of things. But how people psych themselves up for All Hallows’ Eve is a matter of personal preference. I think we all have a neighbour who goes overboard with the lawn ornaments, or know someone who likes to dress up like a monster and lay still on the porch waiting to jump to life and frighten unwitting children. But, for those of us who aren’t quite as theatrical, getting amped up for Halloween can be as easy as watching a scary movie, or, more to the point, reading a frightening book.

Vuckovic’s Horror Miscellany from Ilex fits the bill perfectly. This is a Halloween book that is perfect for everyone because it has everything! Really, everything. Want an eerie story? They’re in here. Want lists of spooky movies to watch? They’re in here too. Or maybe you’re looking for a brief bio of Alice Cooper. You guessed it; it’s in here.

Written by author, writer and all-around horror aficionado, Jovanka Vuckovic, the subject matter has been expertly curated. Beginning with a list of the universal movie monsters and how they met their demise, this book really starts with a bang (Literally… lots of the monsters were shot). And things keep moving smoothly from there. Jumping seamlessly from bits of trivia, to synopses of horrific works of literature, to profiles on famous horror icons, Vuckovic’s Horror Miscellany will put you in the mood for Halloween and will keep you there until the fateful night arrives.


Jovanka Vuckovic is a writer, director, artist and film critic. An expert in genre film and literature, Vuckovic is also the author of ZOMBIES! An Illustrated History of the Undead.

Governor General's Award Finalists!

Well, awards season is upon us and we at Manda Group are proud to announce that eleven titles that we represent have been shortlisted for Governor General's Awards! POETRY Beginning with Poetry, where we have three shortlisted titles, the finalists are:

Where the Sun Shines Best by Austin Clarke - 9781550716931 - $15.00 / Guernica Editions/UTP Distribution

From Kandahar to Bridgetown to Mississauga, Ontario, Where the Sun Shines Best encompasses a tragedy of epic scope, a lyrical meditation on poverty, racism and war, and a powerful indictment of the ravages of imperialism.

Bite Down Little Whisper by Don Domanski - 9781926829869- $20.00 / Brick Books/LitDistCo

Bite Down Little Whisper, delves into the interconnectedness of all life with spiritual gravitas and powerful mindfulness. These are poems brimming with mythological and scientific energies, with a multi-dimensionality that opens itself to both complexity and clarity.

North End Love Songs by Katherena Vermette - 9781897289761 - $14.95 / J. Gordon Shillingford/UTP Distribution

This collection is a very moving tribute, to the girls and the women, the boys and the men, and the loving trouble that has forever transpired between us. - Joanne Arnott

DRAMA Drama, the category with the most shortlisted titles, has four finalists:

Blood: A Scientific Romance by Meg Braem - 9781770911710 - $16.95 / Playwrights Canada Press/UTP Distribution

Blood: A Scientific Romance

Blood: A Scientific Romance probes the questions: Do relationships take on new meaning when they begin to shape not only our experiences, but our biology? And do we, in fact, complete one another?

The Swearing Jar by Kate Hewlett - 9781897289884 - $15.95 / J. Gordon Shillingford/UTP Distribution

Meet Carey and Simon, an otherwise-perfect married couple with a bit of a swearing problem...

With quirky characters, music and gentle humour, this lovely and intricately-constructed story is about meeting challenges head-on and finding hope.

Shakespeare's Nigga by Pierre Joseph Jomo - 9781770911413 - $16.95 / Playwrights Canada Press/UTP Distribution

On a Southern plantation, Shakespeare holds the fate of several black slaves in his hands. Among them are the rebellious Aaron and the obedient Othello, both of whom share an interest in Shakespeare's unwed daughter. But a vital secret remains hidden that could untangle complex

Frenchtown by Lawrence Jeffrey - 9781550963021- $19.95 / Exile Editions/IPG

Frenchtown: A Drama about Shanghai, P.R.C.

A reflection on family and the power of a nation, this elegant and cerebral drama explores the disquietude of Shanghai and its residents in the wake of Tiananmen Square and the return of Hong Kong to mainland China.

TRANSLATION We are  ecstatic to also have three finalists in the Translation category:

Canada's Forgotten Slaves by Marcel Trudel; trans. George Tombs - 9781550653274 - $27.95 / Vehicule Press/LitDistCo

Canada's Forgotten Slaves: Two Hundred Years of Bondage

By painstakingly combing through unpublished archival records of the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Marcel Trudel gives a human face to the over 4,000 Aboriginal and Black slaves bought, sold and exploited in colonial Canada.

The Stalinist's Wife by France Theoret; trans. Luise von Flotow - 9781550716306 - $20.00 / Guernica Editions/UTP Distribution

France Theoret's La femme du stalinien is the latest novel in a trilogy. It tells the story of Louise Aubert, her break from Mathieu Lord when he joins the Stalinist party, and her re-invention through language into a woman who is no longer governed by ordinary codes, conventions and commonplaces.

The Major Verbs by Pierre Nepveu; trans. Donald Winkler - 9781550653397 - $18.00 / Vehicule Press/LitDistCo

The Major Verbs,is a masterwork consisting of three sequences: one focusing on an immigrant night cleaner glimpsed on a subway, another, a riff on a group of stones on a table, and the third concerning the poet’s parents and their deaths.The book closes with a long meditative poem written in the American southwest.

CHILDREN'S LITERATURE - ILLUSTRATION Last, but certainly not last we have one finalist in the Children's Literature - Illustration category

How To by Julie Morstad - 9781897476574 - $16.95 / Simply Read Books/Ingram Publisher Services

This imaginative ‘how to’ book explores whimsical ways of doing a host of different tasks, including ‘how to wonder’,  ‘how to see the breeze’, and ‘how to be brave’.  With text and images by award-winning illustrator Julie Morstad, this book will be beloved by all ages. How to read this book? That is up to you!

And that rounds out the list of finalists here at Manda Group. We wish all our authors luck, but regardless of results all of these fantastic titles are winners in our books!

Winning books are announced in mid November. Stay Tuned!

Laughing Elephant now sold here!

Laughing Elephant gift & stationery items are now available through Ingram Publisher Services! Their products feature classic illustrations from sources such as antique postcards, late 19th and early 20th century children's books and vintage advertising. These images feature in gorgeous postcard books, greeting cards, stickers, and other stationery. You can browse the collection on their website, but we wanted to call attention to a few items that might peak your interest:

Decorative tape Why use boring clear tape or tacky matte tape to wrap up gifts when there's decorative tape available? The rolls come in different themes for the seasons or in generic designs like the image shown.

Original greeting cards

These greeting cards are unique enough to frame. With antique images and interesting greetings, your card is sure to be a standout.

Unique Stickers Stickers are not only for scrapbookers, although scrapbookers would definitely love these! Inspired by vintage labels evocative of far places and times past.