She'll scream with outrage when she hears about this -- she's the woman who begged us to find a way to prevent her from winning our old Readers Poll. But we can't help it. Generous, especially to young writers, engaged in her community, prolific -- another two books this year -- she blew us away with her recent collection of surprisingly personal stories. Unstoppable.
10 Edward, 416-977-3087; 2289 Yonge, 416-482-6002, and others
We've picked a used bookstore for a reason -- it's become an endangered species. Used bookstores -- Bookland and Jamie Fraser Books, for example -- have been dropping like flies over the past couple of years. So how does Patrick Hempelmann keep two stores open and plan to open another one in the Annex's old Hungarian Castle, currently getting a pale blue makeover? By avoiding the rare-book business and selling quality titles at low prices. Smart.
Best bookstore owner most in love with his stock
The Monkey's Paw, 1229 Dundas West, 416-531-2123, www.monkeyspaw.com
Stephen Fowler's Monkey's Paw is a proper second-hand bookshop with all the musty paper scents, faded rugs and vintage typewriters to authenticate your vintage-read shopping experience. Lit lovers browse through volumes on medical curiosities, military history and kooky retro 'how-to' pamphlets, and when you talk to Fowler you get the sense he's fondled every single item.
Best comic book store
601 Markham, 416-533-9168, www.beguiling.com
Batman's cool, but if you want to do more than feed your inner 13-year-old's spandex fantasies, check out the undisputed king of alt-comics in North America. From 18th-century caricaturist William Hogarth to classic strips like Little Orphan Annie to counterculture illustrator Robert Crumb, the boys at the Beguiling know their shit.
Best magazine rack
256 Queen West 416-598-1447, www.pagesbooks.ca
T.O.'s mecca for cultural criticism may seem an odd choice for best magazine rack when there are so many traditional newsstands around town. But you want to go to the place where you can get Euro-style fashion publications and just about every lefty rag in print. Super knowledgeable staff, too.
Best non-fiction writer
In all her work, notably her GG-nominated book about Emily Carr, The Laughing One, this pioneer in the rising genre of creative non-fiction shows a passion for all things Canadian. But she's a tough-thinking activist, too, especially when it comes to the issue of CanCon and intellectual property. The recent groundbreaking CopyCamp event that she spearheaded brought stakeholders together in ways no one thought possible. But then again, Crean does love a challenge.
Most valuable player
Artistic director of the International Festival Of Authors
Not a speck of his predecessor's shadow remains on this guy. Taylor's put his own imprint on the festival by instituting free tix for students, making innovative attempts to green the event and recognizing both popular and bleeding-edge genres. Last year, graphic novels got their due. How low will he go? This year's fest had a mystery component. Good on him. Greg who?