Queen Books February 2020 Newsletter
Read on for updates on our upcoming events, books we are reading and loving, and new releases we're excited about this month.
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Book Club News!
True Crime Book Club
Tuesday, March 24
This month, we are reading Forest City Killer by Vanessa Brown (ECW). All are welcome; check out our Facebook groups at this link, or RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org to join our True Crime Book Club mailing list.
Fiction Book Club
Our fiction book club is on a break right now—stay tuned for updates! Reading QueensMonday, March 235-6
Our middle grade book club features books aimed at ages of 9-12, but will have content that is appropriate and accessible to both younger and older readers should they want to join. This month we're reading Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead (Random House Children's Books).
Check out our event page at our website for more details: http://queenbooks.ca/events
Sunday, March 1
Storytime & Activities with Author Christopher Gordon
Join author Christopher Gordon as he reads his picture book Timothy’s Lessons in Good Values: Volume 2 and leads fun activities with GIVEAWAYS! Attendance is free of charge, all children are welcome and encouraged to dress up as their favourite super hero! The book is aimed at children ages 4-11 years old.
Saturday, March 7
I Am a Polar Bear & I Am a Beaver Launch & Storytime with Paul Covello
Join us for a very special Saturday storytime with Toronto author, illustrator, and artist Paul Covello! Paul will be reading his two new board books, I Am A Beaver & I Am A Polar Bear (Harper Collins). He will also be doing a drawing demo with kids as well as crafts, and we will have special polar bear and beaver decorated cookies and a face painter! Don't miss it! The event is free of charge and tickets available here.
Saturday, March 7
The Paper Bag Princess Day Celebration!
Join us to celebrate one of our favourite children's books of all time and participate in the first ever Paper Bag Princess Day! We will have a special storytime, lots of The Paper Bag Princess (Annick) related crafts, and prizes. All children welcome and Paper Bag Princess related costumes encouraged! The event is free of charge and tickets available here.
Tuesday, March 10
Fight Like a Girl Launch with Sheena Kamal
Celebrate the launch of award-winning and bestselling author Sheena Kamal's hella fierce YA debut, Fight Like a Girl (Penguin Teen)! Join Sheena Kamal for snacks, a book signing, and a Muay Thai demonstration. We will also be raffling off a one-month gym membership, and a pair of training gloves and handwraps. The book is appropriate for age 13 & up! The event is free of charge and tickets available here.
Thursday, March 12
Resilience is Futile Launch with Julie S. Lalonde
Join us for the launch of Julie S. Lalonde’s debut memoir, Resilience is Futile: The Life and Death and Life of Julie S. Lalonde (Between the Lines)! The event is free of charge and tickets available here.
Friday, March 13
That’s Why I’m a Doctor Launch & Discussion
Award-winning journalist Mark Bulgutch presents That’s Why I’m a Doctor: Physicians Recount Their Most Memorable Moments (Douglas & McIntyre), a compendium of inspiring and revealing essays from physicians, researchers, surgeons, and other medical professionals across Canada. Joined by Dr. Karen Devon, Dr. Fred Saibil, Dr. Stan Feinberg, and Dr. Lisa del Giudice, this event will uplift, inform, and reveal the incredible lives of doctors. The event is free of charge and tickets available here.
Saturday, March 21
The Lovebird’s Freedom Launch & Storytime with Esther Maloney
Join us as we celebrate the launch of local author Esther Maloney's new picture book, The Lovebird's Freedom, with a storytime from Esther herself. The event is free of cost and all children are welcome!
Sunday, March 22
Why Do Dogs Sniff Butts? Storytime with Illustrator Lily Snowden-Fine
Join us for a special Sunday storytime with illustrator Lily Snowden-Fine as she reads from her new children's book, Why Do Dogs Sniff Butts? (Thames & Hudson). Event is free and all children are welcome! Tickets available here.
Tuesday, April 14
Gold Rush Launch with Poet Claire Caldwell
Claire Caldwell launches her latest poetry collection Gold Rush (Invisible Publishing) at Queen Books. Please join us! The event is free of charge and tickets available here.
What We're Reading This Month
Nickel Mountain by John Gardner (New Directions)
I had been meaning to read John Gardner for years and finally got to it. Nickel Mountain has a deep kinship with Stoner by John Williams and Elizabeth Strout’s Olive Kitteridge books: a deeply human and poignant story with a cast of not-quite-quirky townspeople and the disquiet of unfulfilled dreams.
Operatic by Kyo Maclear, illus. Byron Eggenschwiler (Groundwood Books)
This gorgeous graphic novel follows Charlie as she tries to find a song that resonates with her entire being. At the same time, she is acutely aware of one classmate’s absence while being incapable of ignoring another’s presence. A story about first love, friendship, and fearlessness, I could hear the melodies emerge from the page.
Die (vol. 1): Fantasy Heartbreaker by Kieron Gillen, illus. Stephanie Hans (Image Comics)
Die follows a group of six teenagers who, while at a birthday party, decide to play a “new type of RPG” and proceed to disappear for two years. Upon their return, they are deeply scarred, both physically and emotionally, but also missing one of their group. This melding of Jumanji and Dungeons & Dragons is a dark tale about friends and secrets, with incredibly evocative artwork that draws you in and doesn’t let go!
The Fifth Season (Broken Earth Trilogy, Book 1) by N.K. Jemisin
I moved this up my reading queue after eavesdropping on a conversation in which my colleague Sarah and a customer gushed about it at length. And I could not be happier that I did. The world-building is astonishing, the writing exquisite; Jemisin has managed to create a world that is completely recognizable yet entirely foreign. The Fifth Season truly has everything: post-apocalyptic horror, magic, super powers, complex political systems, racial segregation, gut-wrenching tragedy, and plot twists. So many plot twists! I'm thoroughly looking forward to tearing through the entire series.
Weather by Jenny Offill (Knopf)
Our protagonist, Lizzie, is struggling to juggle life as a young mother, wife, librarian, and caretaker to her mother and addict brother, when she is asked by her former mentor Sylvia to answer emails relating to Sylvia’s podcast about climate change--a request that plunges Lizzie into the crazy, polarized world of leftie climate activists and right-wing climate change deniers. Weather is a follow up to Offill’s excellent Dept. of Speculation and is equally poignant and insightful, similarly comprised of beautiful and effective little vignettes about Lizzie’s life that are hard to describe but immensely enjoyable to read.
Exhalation by Ted Chiang (Knopf)
This short story collection is an absolute 5 out of 5 for me. Each story highlights a handful of questions about being in the world and more importantly being alongside others. While ideas about existentialism, ethics, free will, and how understanding is technologically mediated are central, what really stood out for me is the reminder that there’s always the freedom to be compassionate.
The Vegetarian by Han Kang
The Vegetarian is one of those rare perfect novels, a sort of psychotic fairytale. A woman is haunted by her dreams and becomes increasingly detached from the real world while her family watches, unable to understand or assist. But the reader might find themselves preferring the delusion and hoping that maybe some people have the ability to see beyond our world.
Norma Jean Baker of Troy by Ann Carson (New Directions)
Anne Carson wrote a play that is remarkable and strange. After reading it, I had no idea how it could be performed. But the language is gorgeous and pulls you along anyway.
New Releases We're Excited About This Month
The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich (Harper Collins)Sharks in the Time of Saviors by Kawai Strong Washburn (McClelland & Stewart)March 10
The Mirror & The Light by Hilary Mantel (Harper Collins) March 24
The Glass Hotel by Emily St John Mandel (Harper Collins) Lakewood by Megan Giddings (Harper Collins)The City We Became by N. K. Jemisin (Orbit)March 31
Wow, No Thank You by Samantha Irby (Vintage)Rebel Mama’s Handbook for (Cool) Moms by Aleksandra Jassem & Nikita Stanley (Harper Collins)KidsMarch 3I Am a Polar Bear by Paul Covello (Harper Collins) I Am a Beaver by Paul Covello (Harper Collins)My Best Friend by Julie Fogliano, illus. Jillian Tamaki (Atheneum)Future of the Time Dragon (Dragon Masters #15) by Tracey West, illus. Daniel Griffo (Scholastic)March 31
Your Nose by Sandra Boynton (Workman Publishing)