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Interesting Stuff

Manda does Pongapalooza!

Last night Manda Group participated in the first annual Pongapalooza ping pong tournament at Spin Toronto. Hosted by First Book Canada the event featured a silent auction, delicious hors d'oeuvres, celebrity authors to support the teams and lots of ping pong playing! Our team dressed up and had a blast with our author - Christopher Shulgan, and got copies of his book Superdad. Even though we were out of the tournament after the first round, we managed to find a free table to play on and had a great time hanging out!

We even won a trophy for "best dressed team"!

And did we mention the whole thing served a good purpose? The event and all donations were in support of First Book Canada, which works to provide books to children in need.

The Name is Bond, James Bond

Who hasn't heard of the famous womanizing secret agent? With a large collection of action packed movies and spy novels, James Bond is one of the most well known secret agents of all time. Not exactly good when you're a "secret" agent, but we love him all the same. ISBN: 9781446301951 Publisher: F & W Media CAD $13.50

Amazing & Extraordinary Facts James Bond is your guide to everything James Bond. It shares all kinds of interesting facts about the movie and the books that you may have missed! And for all of you die hard Bond fans, this book has no shortage of challenging trivia to test your knowledge.

Do you know who wrote the James Bond Theme? Or what Ian Fleming's original name for the spy was? Grab yourself a copy and find out.

So Ye Want to Speak Like A Pirate Do Ye?

Did you ever want to be a pirate when you were younger? From time to time, you can still come across people trying to speak like one. That's probably because it's so much fun! ISBN: 9781582974897 Publisher: F & W Media CAD $17.99

This is one of the more unique books in our collection. The Pirate Primer is the only book that can actually teach you to speak pirate! "Whether you're simply fascinated by the culture of the Brethren of the coast or you fancy yourself a modern-day corsair, The Pirate Primer is your guide to authentic pirate speak."

What you can expect to find inside: - 60 different pirate terms for "woman" - 67 kinds of pirate torture and punishment - 44 distinct definitions of "arrgh"

and so much more!


Have you ever heard someone say a word that you thought was absolutely made-up? Something that sounded so outrageous it couldn't posibly be real? Well, you might find that word in this book. ISBN: 9781440528187 Publisher: Adams Media CAD $15.99

Gobbledygook is the most fun, and interesting dictionary that you'll ever set your eyes on. However, it's not your traditional dictionary. Rather than containing every word in the English language, this book captures only the ridiculous ones. But not all of the words in here actually exist! That's the fun part! Only two of the three words per page are actualy correct, but all sound equally absurd. 

For example: If you had to choose between nalophile, acrophony, and dreddour, which one's the fake? Don't look at us, you'll have to find out for yourself!


ISBN: 9780600623359 Publisher: Sterling CAD $29.95

Are you constantly searching for the best of the best? Well look no further! The Top 10 of Everything 2012 is the masterlist for all that is awesome. It includes everything from the top ten largest asteroids, to the top ten reality tv shows, and even the top ten longest passes in the superbowl! Not only does it include a wide variety of top ten lists, but it also has some interesting facts and figures about a few items on each list. Did you know the Mother Goose nursery rhymes have been published since the 18th centruy? I didn't.

"The Top 10 of Everything is simply bursting with facts that will intrigue, fascinate and amaze you."

Women are Heroes

ISBN: 9781419703331 Publisher: Abrams CAD $45.00

Women are Heroes  is an extraordinary book. In order to share the stories of women struggling in their everyday lives, French artist JR went on a journey. He travelled to places like Sierra Leone, Liberia, Sudan, Kenya, Brazil, India and Cambodia to seek these women out. This was a global project with the end goal of taking the stories of struggling women, and spreading them around the world through his art. He accomplished this by pasting mural sized portraits on the sides of buildings, on trains, and on bridges to bring a "haunting human presence to harsh environments of social conflict".

This beautifully illustrated book will inspire you, and others around the world.

And the Band Played On...

My eagerness to read this book was peaked by the upcoming 100th anniversary of the Titanic tragedy. I did not expect to plow through it in 3 days, though. What a fascinating story! Most non-fiction literature about the Titanic that I have come across focuses on the sinking, how it could have been prevented, and ends shortly after the survivors are picked up. This book, however, was written by the grandson of a young violinist who famously went down with the ship and gives an in depth look not only at one family's aftermath of the tragedy, but also the recovery of the floating dead, and the way the White Star Line handled the disaster. A great read that didn't have me bored for a second. Available from Hodder & Stoughton, $16.99, ISBN 9781444707960

Displays We Love!

This week we shine the spotlight The Bookmark in Halifax, and their amazing display of our favourite personalities from The Unemployed Philosophers Guild.  We would love to know what the conversation is like after the staff goes home and the lights go out!  Does it ever come to fisticuffs or do they maintain their philosophical detachments?  All we know is it would make a great animated short film!

Happy Monday!

Since our blog has been kind of quiet, I thought I would take this opportunity to fill you in on what Manda's been up to in the new year! We've started off 2012 with lots of new catalogues and books rolling in, which is always exciting! You can view a full list of the wonderful publishers we represent and their latest catalogues here.

On my lunches I've been perusing The Walking Dead graphic novels from Diamond Book Distributors. These are a great holdover while I wait for Walking Dead season 2 to continue on TV. My bedtime reading currently consists of Paul Torday's The Hopeless Life of Charlie Summers from Orion Publishing, a great read from the author of Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.

Ellen Warwick has been anxiously preparing our exhibit at the CGTA for the end of January. She is currently reading Greyhound of a Girl, written by Roddy Doyle, from Abrams Books. This book is about a 12-year-old girl who is coping with her dying grandmother, a mystifying read for any adolescent who has lost a love one.

Mark Wilson is excited about the January release of The Knowland Retribution, a first in a series, it is available in Canada through Ingram Publisher Services. This book inspired a new Fox TV show, The Finder, which is a spinoff of the popular show Bones. The new show starts this Thursday (Jan 12th, 9pm on Global) so if you're one of those people that must read the book before seeing the movie/show - run out and get it now!

Books for November

Here are a few books that you should add to your shelf this month: Who hasn't missed their daily Oprah fix since her show ended in May? The Oprah Winfrey Show: Reflections on an American Legacy is a beautiful book, available 11/15 from Abrams Books. Featuring never before printed photos and plenty of celebrity contributions, this book will be a great addition to your coffee table.

Another beautiful find: this book will appeal to artists, tattoo enthusiasts, and even the scientifically inclined! Science Ink, from Sterling Publishing has over 250 photographs of science inspired tattoos. Pick this one up not only for the beautiful images, but for the accompanying text which reflects on and explains each image.

Cult of Lego from No Starch Press (distributed by IPS) is also available this month. Flipping through this book will make you want to get out your old bucket of Lego blocks and start building! Chapters delve into the history of Lego, its various uses in art and technology, and the minifig phenomenon.

Click here for some recommended YA books for November!

A Beautiful Book Signing

Yesterday I was lucky enough to attend a book signing at Teatro Verde, in their gorgeous Yorkville location. Lisa Immordino Vreeland was there, doing media interviews and signing copies of her new book published by Abrams Books - Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel (ISBN 9780810997431). The book is about the legendary fashion icon who worked at magazines Harper's Bazaar and Vogue — defining "allure" for females of her time. In addition to meeting Vreeland (and getting a book signed!), I got to watch Jeanne Beker interview her! It was such an honour to meet both of these strong women and see them interact.

Teatro Verde was the perfect spot to have this event, as they were able to pull up some comfortable chairs and set up a great environment for the signing. Their displays of the book, and all product in the store, is truly unique.

Here's Ellen, Teatro Verde's rep chatting with Vreeland:

Hear Me Out!

"Who would want to listen to a book on cd? You can't sing along to that... " was definitely my reaction when first considering audio books. More recently, however, my viewpoint has shifted as I've found the radio to be increasingly repetitive and commercial-filled. Being an avid lover of books and daily being stuck in Toronto traffic led me try out audio books.Now I can't stop!

The first audio book I tried was Michael Moore's Here Comes Trouble (ISBN 9781600244698). Not being a big fan of Moore's, I did not expect to have a strong reaction to this book. Once I got over the surprise of how soft-spoken Moore is, I became completely engrossed in the book and listened to all 10 CD's within a week.

The next audio book that I was very eager to listen to was Ellen Degeneres's Seriously... I'm Kidding (ISBN 9781609410414). Although the book is fabulous as well, I believe that being able to hear Ellen reading this greatly enhanced the experience.

Next, I plan on popping in Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk by David Sedaris (ISBN 9781600244995). This book is a collection of short stories featuring animals and should be interesting to say the least.

To sum up my I-now-love-audio-books rant, I found that audio books have given us a different way to experience literature, and are a great way to kill time when sitting in your vehicle for hours wishing you could be on your couch reading a book!

All of the above books are available from Hachette Audio.

Canada Reads and You Should Too!

CBC's Canada Reads has revealed their Top 40 True Stories nominees and Too Close to the Falls, a gem from ECW Press made the list!

In this book, author Catherine Gildiner tells of her childhood growing up in Lewiston, NY - very close to Niagara Falls. Gildiner recalls stories of working at her father's pharmacy, which allowed her to meet some fascinating characters along the way.

If you haven't yet read this book - do so now. If you have and you loved it as much as we do - vote here to get it in the Canada Reads Top 10 True Stories nominees!

Too Close to the Falls is available now from ECW Press (ISBN 9781550223965)

Judith Miller Book Tour

To celebrate the release of Judith Miller's latest Antiques Price Guide, we were lucky to have the author visit Toronto!

Here is Judith Miller at Breakfast Television this morning, discussing antiques from her own collection as well as Cynthia Findlay's. She even brought a reproduction ("fake") to the show to give tips on how to spot one.

After Breakfast Television followed a book signing at Cynthia Findlay's antique shop. Get in touch with Cynthia's store, they may still have signed books available for sale!


Judith even had time to even do some appraising...

All in all the day was hectic but a lot of fun, we can't wait until Judith Miller returns with her next book!

Deliberate Mayhem & Serious Fun!


For budding spies, there’s no better way to conceal clandestine activities than to miniaturize one’s secret agent arsenal. Hide a tiny catapult in a breath mint tin. Turn a Tic Tac case into a vest pocket candy shooter. Transform a milk jug cap into a fake wristwatch that launches tiny paper darts.  This book offers a whole new array of inventive DIY projects to turn office supplies and household items into the ultimate rubber band flinging, eraser zinging weapons cache, perfect for rainy days and playful office espionage!

All of the projects in Mini Weapons of Mass Destruction 2 are built from inexpensive, commonly kept items: binder clips, playing cards, rubber bands, markers, clothespins and discarded packaging materials. The projects—modeled after real-life gadgetry—range from “agent sidearms” and “weapons in disguise” to “villain mini weapons” and “surveillance and intel,” and cost mere pennies to assemble. Each project includes a supply and tool list, italicized safety tips and step-by-step instructions supplemented by clearly marked, illustrative diagrams. This book will thrill and entertain budding spies and crafty villains alike!

MiniWeapons of Mass Destruction 2: Build a Secret Agent Arsenal, by John Austin; Chicago Review Press, Distributed by Independent Publishers Group; October 2011, CAN $18.95, ISBN: 9781569767160

Guinness World Records 2012 Available Now!

The 2012 edition of Guinness World Records is now available everywhere books are sold! Highlights include Most Dogs Skipping, Biggest Afro, Tightest Parallel Park, updated new records on classics like Longest Fingernails, and over 4000 more. In addition to 900 eye-popping photos, this year's edition offers hidden augmented reality technology: see the pictures come alive! Visit the GWR website for more details and a sneak peek...

Finally in Paperback!

If a Man Booker shortlisted author is not enough to get you to read this book, maybe the subject matter will. You don’t often hear Gregor Mendel’s name come up in fiction books, but this one manages to weave historical fiction with the present day to create a story that you won’t be able to stop reading. The book is told from the perspective of geneticist Dr. Benedict Lambert, distant relative of Mendel himself and also a dwarf. His personal and professional lives are changing dramatically as he looks for the secrets of his own DNA while also looking for a personal connection. A dark and heart-wrenching read, this was first published in 1997, and is now out in paperback. Available now from Abacus  (ISBN 9780349000053) CDN$14.99

Spend Your Weekend Reading...

Gypsy Girl gives you a glimpse into a world that has only recently been opening up to the public. If you’re a fan of My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding from TLC, you'll enjoy this book, which shows an insider perspective on the not-so-glamorous aspects of Gypsy (or Traveller) culture.
Told beautifully in chronological order of the author’s life - the book starts with Rosie being born on the pavement and ends with... well, you'll have to see for yourself! This story leaves you feeling empathetic and understanding towards Rosie's experiences - giving you a window to a world you would otherwise have no access to.
Available from Hodder & Stoughton (Paperback ISBN 9781444708677)

Guinness World Records: Drummer Raises Money for Cancer

Donations have been pouring in from supporters as Steve Gaul of Burlington Ontario drums his way to an ambitious $100,000 goal, and hopefully a new Guinness World Record.  Steve is raising money for Cancer, one beat at a time.

For more on Steve Gaul and his inspiring story, you can check out the full story at The Toronto Star, or to watch a live stream of the attempt please visist or click on the flash player above.

One Creepy-Ass Book

This book is just what you need if you’re feeling down and need a good chuckle. The fact that these dolls actually exist somewhere is interesting, and the fact that someone came up with this concept for a book and executed it just shows that creativity knows no bounds. So kudos to author Stacey Leigh Brooks (Twitter handle @iambeelzebabee) for putting this together and writing hilarious captions for it!