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Eye Weekly launches new book club

When Oprah announced last November that she is calling it quits in 2011, publishers blessed by the mojo of the daytime television doyenne’s eponymous book club started biting their collective nails, wondering where they would get such valuable free publicity in the future.

While it likely won’t boast Oprahesque numbers, the Toronto-based alternative newspaper eye Weekly announced today that it is inaugurating a monthly book club, called Pop Fiction.

Each month, on Mondays, the club will debate a single title, with the book’s author taking part in the final week to respond to our praises, or our criticisms. Over the first few months of the year, expect visits from Canadian greats like Yann Martel and Andrew Kaufman as well as new voices on the international scene, like Eleanor Catton and Kathleen Winter.

(Quillblog is puzzled about the “international” nature of Newfoundland-based writer Winter, but never mind.)

The book club is hosted by author and eye Weekly book columnist Brian Joseph Davis, and features poet and Toronto bookstore staffer Kyle Buckley, blogger and Penguin Canada publicity assistant Bronwyn Kienapple, eye Weekly staff writer Chandler Levack, and editor of the National Post‘s Afterword blog Mark Medley.

The first book on the club’s agenda is Gil Adamson’s Help Me, Jacques Cousteau. Discussion of this title kicks off one week from today.