I bought this eBook when Kevin first released it in Jan., and I have read it and thought about it ever since … I won’t lie. This is not an easy read – very difficult in parts to relive this past year, in fact … but it is definitely a very important book. Kevin Brennan is like the Daniel Defoe/ Samuel Pepys of our time, documenting day-by-day the shitshow of a year 2020 that just happened to all of us. But documenting those events on his own personal level and perspective. Like Defoe and Pepys, we get an Everyman account that, while being his own take on the daily news that most of us heard about at the time, is also a look at what Kevin and his wife did in order to keep themselves sane while all else appeared to be falling apart around them. Much as the rest of us were trying to do, to cope with a year like we’ve never known before and will, hopefully, never know again! Thanks, Keven for doing the tough work of remembering for all of us. Let’s hope we really do learn from history this time …
Kids, I’ve gone ahead and done the inevitable. I’ve reduced the price of Infamy: A Journal of Our Darkest Year 2020 to 99 cents.
I’m hoping that this enticing offer will move a few more copies of the book, which languishes in obscurity at the moment. I’ve entered it in the “2021 Best of the Obscure” contest, but the competition is fierce, and the grand prize is just a t-shirt that says “Obscure Is Sexy.”
I’m kidding about all that. There is no “2021 Best of the Obscure” contest.
Anyway. If you haven’t already overpaid for this account of how 2020 evolved and played out, drop me a dollar via Amazon and start reliving the magic right now.
Here’s what happened one year ago today, to prime your reading pump:
Monday, March 9, 2020
Thanks to an overnight crash in oil prices, caused by worldwide…
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New from Authors-Readers International Author Kevin Brennan!
Infamy—A Journal of Our Darkest Year 2020 is now live on Amazon for $2.99.
Step right up and read about the year that never stopped delivering … catastrophes, that is.
WATCH an invisible package of genetic information undermine everything we’ve been building for more than two hundred years.
RECOIL at the willfully incompetent actions of a corrupt president as he tries to preserve his reelection chances … and keep himself out of federal prison.
CRINGE at society’s inability to agree that masks protect against infection. It’s science!
WEEP at the exponential death count.
RAIL at a brazen attempt to overthrow democracy and install a serially bankrupt reality-show host as leader for life.
SIGH at how 2021 is showing signs of walking in 2020’s footsteps.
There’s thrills. There’s spills. There’s a toilet paper shortage. There’s outdoor dining.
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Congratulations to Tim Baker on finishing and publishing a new novel! He’s offering a free download of an earlier novel to celebrate.
It’s been a while, I know.
About five months to be specific.
The last blog post I wrote was entitled “How I Spent My Corona Isolation (so far)” and I posted it on April 18th.
At the time I, like many of you I’m sure, thought this virus thing would be over in a couple of months and life would get back to normal.
So much for that – right?
Here it is, September, and any hope for a return to “normal” is wishful thinking to say the least.
So – what have you been up to? (Feel free to share your experiences in the comments below)
As for me – I tried to put the time to good use.
Aside from doing a little SCUBA diving (there are no viruses under water) I also managed to finish my latest novel.
It has been…
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I did not know a boy named Keith Black when I was growing up in The Beach neighbourhood of Toronto. I had never even heard his name, in fact, until I saw the listing for his new book on the Beach Metro News Facebook page. Then I read his bio in that article and realized that, while Keith is six years older (nearly a lifetime difference when you’re kids!), we had a lot in common, having grown up in the same east-end Toronto neighbourhood at approximately the same time. We are both Boomers, after all!
We were born in the same hospital (East General) and had both attended the same schools (Williamson Road Public and Malvern Collegiate). Plus we did a lot of the same things kids at that time did in The Beach. I was primarily interested though in the fact that Keith had written this book but had not yet published it in print or eBook format.
So I contacted him directly to ask about his plans for publication, and we quickly discovered that our families had lived only two blocks away from each other (almost just round the corner, in fact), and we both had older brothers named Rick who were the same age – and were, indeed, friends of one another during the 50s!
So I offered to help Keith get the word out about his book to my blog readers. I know there won’t be a great deal of interest out there in the wide world in a book about a specific neghbourhood in Toronto, let alone one that takes place during the 50s, but I am still in contact with many old friends from that time – some of whom still live in the old ‘hood! I trust they will all find Keith’s stories very nostalgic and a wonderful reminder of days gone by.
On a personal note, I have written several short stories set in The Beach based on my time growing up there, which was in the 60s. My need to write about this neighbourhood was very strong, so I understand Keith’s desire to write down his own experiences. It’s amazing though how universal all these stories are, especially to us Boomers!
For the complete story about Keith Black and his book, as well as links to weekly reprints of the book’s chapters, please see the article Former resident’s book looks back on growing up in the Beach in the Fifties by Alan Shakleton that ran in the Beach Metro News on July 14, 2020.
“Everyone has to grow up sometime and everyone has to grow up
somewhere and I am delighted that I did it in the Fifties and in the Beach.”
Keith Black, who was born in 1947 provides a sparkling narrative about
what it was like to be a child during the 50’s in the Beach area of Toronto
at a time when the streets teemed with children.
As we watch the children play and roam far from home, we also meet
some of the residents, shop in some of the long-forgotten stores, dine in
the restaurants, and remember some surprising events such as a blazing
gun battle on Queen Street and the year everyone received updated
Even if you are not familiar with the neighbourhood, there is something
here for you. As Keith says in the Introduction, “if you remember mello
rolls and Murray Westgate, it doesn’t really matter where you lived”. Or
Chum Charts, or The Yummy Man, or Al Boliska, or Nash Metropolitans,
or cap pistols, or The Happy Gang. And the list goes on.
BOOM. A book not just for Baby Boomers, but also for their kids and
grandkids as they try to understand what it was that molded this
fascinating but often peculiar generation.
The printed form of the book is now in stock at Great Escape Books on Kingston Road, and the stock has been re-supplied at City Books on Queen St. and on the Danforth. A copy can also be ordered directly from the author at kandjomemee (at) gmail.com.
Thanks so much to beetleypete – UK blogger Pete Johnson – for featuring me and my books on his blog today! There’s also a mention of the Authors-Readers International series I have been running here since Dec. 2019!
Today I bring you not only a book by Susan, but also a complete list of the many authors featured on her website. Susan is a writer, a former publisher’s representative, and blogger. Originally from Canada, she is now based on the idyllic island of Bequia, in The Grenadines. She has more than one blog, and is incredibly supportive in her efforts to promote fellow writers and bloggers.
This is one of her books, part of a series she has written based on life on her island.
Here is the short verson of her own bio.
I have been a bookseller, an award-winning publishing sales representative, a literacy teacher, and a promoter of fellow authors and their books through my company, Alberta Books Canada. I am also an author and publisher, under my imprints, IslandCatEditions and IslandShorts. Through Alberta Books Canada, I represented authors directly, helping them find promotion for…
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