Edmonton trails — and media

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I did some walking last week in Edmonton, the city where I lived for 10 years before moving to Ottawa. The trails in the North Saskatchewan River Valley and Mill Creek Ravine were as beautiful as ever, with the scent of spring in the air and on the trees. Unfortunately, I had to head home before Jane’s Walk got underway, but at least I got to hear Ian Hosler, the city’s Jane’s Walk organizer and manager of Walk Edmonton’s Wayfinding Project, who spoke at the event last Thursday night at Audreys Books, where Calgary writer Tom Babin (Frostbike) and I talked about how our books came to be, and how the way you move around a city impacts your perceptions of place and of yourself. The room was packed at Audreys, thanks in part to some great exposure on CBC radio and in Edmonton Journal, and the store sold out of copies of Born to Walk.

The media coverage continues to roll. The Toronto Star‘s Sarah Murdoch recently had this to say: “About four pages into this book I was hooked: The writing is high quality, it’s dotted with nuggets of research and Rubinstein has travelled far afield to interview (and walk with) some of the world’s most interesting pedestrians.” Born to Walk made the Journal‘s non-fiction bestsellers list last week, right after Thomas King, and recently cracked the national independent bestseller list for non-fiction as well, right after Malcolm Gladwell — so I’m in good company. Lastly, after the previous weekend’s excellent press in the Globe and Mail‘s Saturday Deep Read feature, it made slot 106 in the top-100 books overall on Amazon.ca, a reminder that “legacy” media still does matter. Look for coverage in the Literary Review of Canada‘s May issue, a Kobo Writing Life podcast, and my interview with Shelagh Rogers on “The Next Chapter” in the weeks ahead.

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