The finished hardcover arrived today. And, all right, I stand besotted. The folks at HarperCollins Canada, led by Patrick Crean, have outdone themselves. Check out the final touches on the cover: the raised lettering, the glossy finish on the maple leaves, the tartan trim on the spine. The quality paper stock makes a big difference, especially to the 65 images inside, most of them shot by Sheena Fraser McGoogan. And, oh, the endpapers! The map, called A Celtic Perspective, is by Winnipeg designer Dawn Huck. We are talking gorgeous. See photo adjacent. Okay, okay. I won't go on. On September 22, Celtic Lightning hits the bookstores. Subtitle: How the Scots and the Irish Created a Canadian Nation. Spreading the word will involve a series of events along these lines: -- Sept. 27, Toronto: Word on the Street. -- Oct. 1, Toronto launch: Ben McNally Books (bagpipes + kilt). -- Oct. 3, Westport, ON., Writers Reading (with Frances Itani, Eric McCormack, & Alison Pick) -- Oct. 6, Calgary: Owl's Nest bookstore. -- Oct. 8, Winnipeg: McNally Robinson. -- Oct. 23, Fort Erie, Ontario: Ridgeway Reading Series. -- Nov. 12, Toronto: Eh List, Toronto Reference Library. Nov. 15, Montreal: Paragraphe Books & Breakfast -- Nov. 18, Halifax: Central Library. Nov. 20: Winnipeg: St. Andrew's Society Dinner. -- Dec. 1, Hamilton: Different Drummer Books. If you've read this far, I say come on down for at least one of these events!