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The blogger/aspiring author/enthusiastic reader works full-time for a non-profit agency and describes her life as "chaotically busy." She's never been married, and it's been well over a year since her last relationship.

"I think I'm a little more at peace with being single," she says.

You are carrying a book, one that says something about you.

You're going from table to table, looking for a literary connection or, in the best case scenario, a love match. The VPL tried this out for the first time this winter: a book-club/speed-dating hybrid, where singles rotate around the room, spending four minutes each with about 20 others, all armed with a favourite book (or DVD or CD) to break the ice; something to help fill in those awkward pre-first-date gaps.

"It would be a great side benefit," she says, "but I don't have any expectation that oh my God, this will be it." Neither did Ambrose Kwong.

At 29, the suburban Vancouver mortgage broker has had a few relationships, but has never had a girlfriend on Valentine's Day.

Thinking he might break the pattern – and, frankly, curious – he signed up for last November's Read Dating event.

"I couldn't wait to see when Hercule Poirot met his Miss Marple or when Cathy met her Heathcliffe. But I was kind of caught up in my own conversations," says Mr.

Kwong, whose own pseudonym, Tony Blake, came from Jackie Collins's .

Then there's Caleb Lee, 28, who has had "zero relationships." Raised by Christian missionary parents, Mr.

On the eve of the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers this Tuesday, in the dimly lit streets of Bamako, the Malian police set out to conduct a night patrol with the support of UN police officers.

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