Dave Chappelle, Shania Twain to play Toronto shows in 2023

Dave Chappelle, Shania Twain to play Toronto shows in 2023

When it comes to kicking off Toronto’s 2023 concert season, Dave Chappelle isn’t wasting any time. A smattering of seats remained at the time of this writing for the controversial Washington, D.C. comedian’s Jan. 1 stand at Scotiabank Arena — a concert-in-the-round situation that offers an 18,623-seat capacity — and they’re not cheap: thanks to … Read more

The bestselling books in Canada for 2022

The bestselling books in Canada for 2022

There are two big takeaways from the Star’s rankings of 2022’s bestselling books. The first is that social media — TikTok, I’m looking at you — has upturned the publishing business in connecting readers to books. The second, closely related, is that there is a generational gender gap that has fundamentally changed which books sell … Read more

Former promoter John Brower talks about how easy it was to bring Led Zeppelin, the Doors and others to Toronto

Former promoter John Brower talks about how easy it was to bring Led Zeppelin, the Doors and others to Toronto

Trivia question: When British hard rockers Led Zeppelin made their Toronto debut at the Rockpile on Feb. 2, 1969, how many fans were in attendance? 1,200? 600? John Brower has the answer — and he should know, because he promoted the show. “I don’t think we sold more than 20 tickets,” said Brower, one of … Read more

Brock professor co-authors book on prisoner unionization

Brock professor co-authors book on prisoner unionization

A Brock University professor has co-authored a book looking at unionizing inmates in prisons across the country leading to better working conditions and better treatment of inmates who may be doing dangerous jobs. Jordan House, assistant professor of Labour Studies, has co-authored a book titled “Solidarity Beyond Bars: Unionizing Prison Labour” with lawyer Asaf Rashid, … Read more

At the Library: “Fairy Tale” by Stephen King

At the Library: “Fairy Tale” by Stephen King

“Fairy Tale” by Stephen King, Scribner, 2022, 608 pages Charlie, a teenager who’s had a tough childhood, befriends his isolated, elderly and very cranky neighbour, Mr. Bowditch, after a fateful meeting. Feeling a debt owed to the universe for the recovery of his alcoholic father, Charlie takes it upon himself to help Mr. Bowditch any … Read more

Jack Batten’s final Whodunit crime fiction book review

Jack Batten’s final Whodunit crime fiction book review

Jack Batten’s first Whodunit column in the Toronto Star ran on March 7, 1999. It wasn’t the first time he’d written reviews for the paper — a quick search in our archives shows his byline dating back to 1985, and his own crime fiction books were reviewed plenty of times, too — he’s written seven … Read more

Denise Davy picks up two prizes at Hamilton Literary Awards

Denise Davy picks up two prizes at Hamilton Literary Awards

Three very different but powerful works of fiction, non-fiction and poetry are the winners of the Hamilton Arts Council’s 29th annual Hamilton Literary Awards, handed out on Monday night (Dec. 12) at a special ceremony. Joe Ollmann won in the fiction category for “Fictional Father,” published by Drawn & Quarterly. Jaclyn Desforges won for “Danger … Read more

Book excerpt: “The Signs That Define Toronto”

Book excerpt: “The Signs That Define Toronto”

Toronto loves its signs. When Fairmont proposed replacing the Royal York sign on the hotel, a vocal campaign ensued; the Royal York sign stayed. When the landmark El Mocambo sign on Spadina Avenue couldn’t be saved, businessman Michael Wekerle worked to get a replica back up. Toronto Metropolitan University rehung the iconic Sam the Record … Read more

Hamilton literary awards returns with in-person event

Hamilton literary awards returns with in-person event

The Hamilton Arts Council has announced the shortlisted authors for the annual Hamilton Literary Awards. Authors in the Greater Hamilton Area and Six Nations of the Grand River will be recognized in five categories: Fiction, Non-Fiction, Poetry and the Kerry Schooley Book Award. The in-person event happens on Dec. 12 at Theatre Aquarius’ Norman and … Read more

“Leonard Cohen: Everybody Knows” shines light on icon’s life

“Leonard Cohen: Everybody Knows” shines light on icon’s life

“Everybody knows that you love me, baby. Everybody knows that you really do.” What is it about Leonard Cohen that still inspires such devotion beyond the words and music? His enigmatic persona? That smoky baritone voice? The unwavering gaze smouldering with intensity, or is it the fact that the polymathic artist, poet, author and musician … Read more