We've gazed at the stars and peered at our crystal ball so we can highlight the books, trends and happenings we're looking forward to in 2012.
Ecoholic gets personal
Canada's pulled out of Kyoto, so NOW's Ecoholic, Adria Vasil, is working harder than ever. She's taken on everything from home improvements to eating local in her weekly column and two popular books. Now she moves into the world of health and beauty with Ecoholic Body (Vintage), which she calls the ultimate earth-friendly guide to eating healthy and looking good. That means tips on supplements, shampoos, clothing, cosmetics and just about everything else you can think of. Look for a launch in mid-April.
One of last year's big industry events was the publication of Margaret Atwood's In Other Worlds on paper made of straw - a first for Canada. Promoted by the enviro group Canopy, the process makes paper out of the chaff of wheat and flax harvested in the Prairies. It could spell the end of logging for the purpose of producing paper - there's that much chaff left on the ground. Look for more books on straw paper in 2012.
Giller winner returns
Linden MacIntyre scored big with his 2009 Giller Prize-winning The Bishop's Man, about deceit inside the Church. He mines some of the same territory in Why Men Lie (Random House), about a woman who survives a troubled upbringing, achieves independence in middle age, but then makes a risky personal choice. The book streets in March.
Parking's the ticket
If you live downtown, Harbourfront Centre is easily accessible by bike or TTC. But the arts complex serves the GTA and really needs a parking lot for those who have to drive to the waterfront. Construction at Harbourfront has put its on-site lot out of commission for two years. Last time I talked to International Festival of Authors director Geoffrey Taylor, he promised me the lot will be back in commission for IFOA's 2012 instalment next fall. That can only be good for the fest.
We were big fans of Emily Schultz's breakout novel, Heaven Is Small, about a man who dies and goes to that big romance novel publishing house in the sky. We're glad to hear she's finally back, this time with The Blondes (Doubleday) - part thriller, part satire of our obsession with beauty - about a disease overtaking New York City that transforms fair-haired women into killers. Given Schultz's penchant for pointed parody, it promises to be a winner. Coming in May.
Rumour has it that Luminato's literary component will feature authors from both sides of the 49th parallel talking about the complex relationship between Canada and the U.S.