October 2019 Newsletter

Read on for updates on our upcoming events, books we are reading and loving, and new releases we're excited about this month.

 We are doing storytime every Saturday morning at 11. Queen Books staff (or special guest readers) will read 3-4 books; the books will be chosen to suit the age of the kiddos in the crowd. We will continue to feature some amazing kid's authors and illustrators!

For audiobook lovers: we've partnered with Libro.fm! Whenever you purchase an audio book with Libro.fm, you can select us to be your partnered independent bookstore and support us, too!

 We will be closing early at 5PM on Tuesday, October 8 due to store inventory. We'll be back to regular hours Wednesday, October 9. We will also be closed Saturday, October 26 from 11:30AM-2PM for a private event with Mona Awad (tickets are still available below)!

Mona Awad, author of 13 Ways of Looking at A Fat Girl & Bunny, recommends 5 of the best books she's read lately below!
Don't miss our lunch and salon with her on Saturday, October 26! Ticket link available here. 

Under The Bridge by Rebecca Godfrey (Harper Collins)

Rebecca Godfrey is one of my all time favorite writers and Torn Skirt, her first novel, is the book I would live in if I could live in a book--a gorgeously raw fever dream that I'll go back to again and again. Under the Bridge, a work of true crime, blew me away. Re-released this summer, it recounts the stories behind and around the murder of 14-year old Reena Virk in Victoria, British Columbia. Godfrey's storytelling style is remarkable--vivid, empathetic and challenging--she brings everyone in this tragic story to life.

Shut Up, You’re Pretty by Tea Mutonji (Arsenal Pulp Press)

Mutonji had me at the title of this stellar collection and then she hooked me again with the very first and very excellent story, "Tits for Cigs." These linked stories follow a young Congolese woman living in Toronto as she navigates the fraught terrains of race, sex, female friendship, and family. The voice is intimate and dangerous, hilarious and wise, incisive but always generous. There are some gutting moments in this one--the good kind of gutting. Totally addictive storytelling.

Bone Clocks by David Mitchell (Knopf)
(Any book by David Mitchell) remains one of the most incredible fiction reading experiences I’ve ever had. His uncanny ability to fully inhabit the voices of his characters and bring them to such crackling, dimensional life not only makes for some of the most gripping and complex fiction but also the most moving. If you like it, check out the equally brilliant Slade House which takes place in the same universe as BC--a wondrous little horror novel and a perfect book for deep fall.

The Paper Wasp by Lauren Acampora (Grove/Atlantic)
Set partly in Michigan, partly in Los Angeles, this is dreamy Lynchian drama at its Mulholland Drive best. Acampora writes gorgeously about the darker recesses of the imagination and the barbed dynamics between women. I gobbled this up in two days. Also in this vein: Laura Sims' smart, elegant and oh so deliciously dark literary thriller, Looker. One of those novels I wish I hadn’t read just so I could have the singular pleasure of reading it again for the first time.

Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata (Grove/Atlantic)
I so loved this darkly funny novel about a convenience store worker in Japan. The main character is so odd and compelling and well, not a little disturbing. Being in her strange and unpredictable brain was a singular pleasure. Looking for another black comedy about work? The New Me by Halle Butler is everything you want to read about a dark-minded, milennial temp. Brilliant. Bitter. Fantastic.

Book Club Updates

Fiction Book Club
Monday, November 4
This month we are reading An Ocean of Minutes by Thea Lim. All are welcome; check out our Facebook groups at this link, or RSVP at raevin@queenbooks.ca to join our Fiction Book Club mailing list.

True Crime Book Club
Tuesday, October 29
This month we are reading Highway of Tears: A True Story of Racism, Indifference and the Pursuit of Justice for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls by Jessica McDiarmid. All are welcome; check out our Facebook groups at this link, or RSVP at rachel@queenbooks.ca to join our True Crime Book Club mailing list.

Reading Queens
Wednesday, October 30
We are starting up Reading Queens again, our book club for teens! This month we're reading Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram. Queen Books staff member and young adult fiction aficionado, Ana, will be facilitating. All teens are welcome - RSVP at info@queenbooks.ca!

Upcoming Events

Storytime every Saturday at 11AM. Attendance is free and all ages are welcome!

Wednesday, October 9
Mad Hatter Launch with Amanda Hale
Join us to celebrate the launch of Amanda Hale's newest book, Mad Hatter, forthcoming with Guernica Editions.

Friday, October 11
 WITCHfest North 2019 & Queen Books: Tarot Readings at Queen Books
Join us for tarot readings as part of WITCHfest North's 2019 Art & Culture Festival! Reader and prices TBA.

Saturday, October 12
Reading & Signing with Angela Misri for Pickles Vs. Zombies
Come celebrate the release of local author Angela Misri's new middle grade book Pickles Vs. Zombies, forthcoming from Cormorant Books.

Wednesday, October 16
Yoga Storytime with Appleseed Yoga 
Join us for fall storytime with Appleseed Yoga! No need to register or bring a yoga mat, just come as you are and bring some water! This event is FREE and drop-in. All kids welcome.

Saturday, October 19
Fay & Fluffy’s Halloween Storytime at Queen Books
Join us for songs and stories with beloved Toronto drag performers, Fay & Fluffy! All ages are welcome, and the event is free to attend.

Tuesday, October 22
In Conversation: Ida Jessen and Anne Michaels
Join us for a rare appearance by acclaimed Danish author, Ida Jessen, in conversation with Anne Michaels, at this special pre-Toronto International Festival of Authors event.

Saturday, October 26 
Salon with Mona Awad
We are very excited to be hosting a private lunch with author of Bunny, Mona Awad. Tickets will include appetizers, lunch, drinks, and an optional copy of the book. Tickets will be on sale in store and online at this link.

Saturday, November 2
Yoga Storytime with Appleseed Yoga 
Join us for fall storytime with Appleseed Yoga! No need to register or bring a yoga mat, just come as you are and bring some water! This event is FREE and drop-in. All kids welcome.

Saturday, November 2
Signing and Meet & Greet with Jeff Lemire 
Join us for a signing with local author & cartoonist Jeff Lemire to celebrate his newest book, Frogcatchers (Simon & Schuster).

Sunday, November 3
Sergeant Billy Launch with Mireille Messier and Kass Reich
Celebrate the adorable new picture book from author Mireille Messier, featuring illustrations by Kass Reich, Sergant Billy (Tundra Books). Light refreshments will be served and we encourage everyone to wear poppies to the launch in honour of Remembrance Day!

Tuesday, November 5
Reading & Meet and Greet with Lynn Coady 
Join us for a reading and meet and greet with Lynn Coady to celebrate her newest book, Watching You Without Me (House of Anansi)! All are welcome, free to attend, books will be for sale.

Thursday, November 7
How to Lose Friends Without Really Trying Chapbook Launch with Syd Lazarus ft. Nour Abi-Nakoul, Terese Mason Pierre, and Hana Shafi 
Come join your favourite local cryptid Syd Lazarus launch their first chapbook! Featuring awesome readings from Nour, Terese, Hana, and Syd. Free to attend, and chapbooks will be for sale.

What We're Reading This Month

The Topeka School by Ben Lerner (McClellan & Stewart)
I love Ben Lerner's brain. His novels are clear-eyed and wildly intelligent and beautifully realized and The Topeka School is excellent.

Things We Lost in the Fire by Mariana Enriquez (Crown/Archetype)
I've been thinking a lot about this book since coming back from Argentina--where these stories are set, and where I happen to be from. Pulling inspiration from her literary predecessors, Enriquez gets at something new and gritty in these gripping and haunting stories. Things We Lost in the Fire blends the realities of today's cultural and soci-economically disparate landscape in Argentina--the uncertainty it brings, the communities it bridges together--while infusing them with a fantastical overtone that blurs reality into something mystical and at times incomprehensible.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (Penguin Classics) 
My first time reading this gothic classic and it is, of course, delightfully creepy and existential. No one is more punk rock than Mary Shelley.

Saga of the Swamp Thing by Alan Moore, Steve Bissette, and John Totleben (DC Comics)
Swamp Thing was an obscure hero of the 1970s before Alan Moore took the helm of the series in the early 1980s, bringing to bear his ability to develop realistic characters in an otherwise unrealistic setting on the comic series, and using his skill at genuine dialogue and narrative pacing.  I actually didn't have much of an interest in this series at the outset (giant swamp monster?) but thought I would give it a shot regardless, and I was pleasantly surprised.

The Second Body by Daisy Hildyard (Fitzcarraldo Editions)
In her brief yet impactful book, Daisy Hildyard pursues something I and many others struggle to embrace in the anthropocene; that is, how to acknowledge climate collapse in a meaningful, corporeal way when life in our immediate surrounding seems, for lack of a better word, normal. 
Hildyard suggests that we have a "first" body--the autonomous flesh with which we interface with the world--and a "second" body, which exists on a global scale wherein every action we take has material and immaterial consequences for the furthest reaching corners of life on Earth. With a candid self-reflexiveness, Hildyard's essays are a reckoning with the dichotomous self on planet Earth.

Fleishman is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Ackner (Random House)
This novel is incredibly clever and well-observed, a story of a marriage that falls apart and a midlife crisis of sorts.  

Mooncalves by Victoria Hetherington (Now or Never Co.)
Mooncalves is a moving, sexy, and angst filled story about women who are groomed, isolated and controlled by a Manson-like leader in an eco-cult or 'family' called Walden. The premise is well known but Hetherington adds a bit of speculative-future genre elements to make it a truly unique novel. It's viscerality kept pulling me back.

Lampedusa by Steven Price (Mclelland & Stewart + Giller 2019 Shortlist!)
Lampedusa is the fictionalized story of Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa. At the end of his life, wanting to leave something behind, to create something bigger than himself, Lampadusa writes his only novel The Leopard. The book has the feel of being about one of the minor characters of the movie The Great Beauty (set in a different time and city) but written with that sort of somber beauty.

New Releases We're Excited for This Month

October 1
Face It by Debbie Harry (Harper Collins)
Rebent Sinner by Ivan E. Coyote (Arsenal Pulp Press)

October 3
Greenfeast: Autumn, Winter by Nigel Slater (Harper Collins)

October 8
Grand Union: Stories by Zadie Smith (Hamish Hamilton)
How We Fight for Our Lives by Saeed Jones (Simon & Schuster)
I Used To Be Charming: The Rest of Eve Babitz by Eve Babitz (New York Review of Books)

October 15
Olive Again by Elizabeth Strout (Random House)
The Man Who Saw Everything by Deborah Levy (Hamish Hamilton)

October 19
One Drum by Richard Wagamese (Douglas & McIntyre)

October 22
Blanket Toss Under Midnight Sun by Paul Seesequasis (Knopf Random Vintage Canada)
Morning Glory on the Vine: Early Songs and Drawings by Joni Mitchell (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Nothing Fancy by Alison Roman (Clarkson Potter) 

October 29
Find Me by André Aciman (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

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