Retro kids

These books are for the kids who yearn for the past. For the simpler times. For the kids who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of modern day urban life. Away from the demands of the internet and technology...
...or perhaps they are just for kids who love smart, fun, creative books.

Nipper!!! The second release in Drawn & Quarterly's publishing of Doug Wright's influential newspaper comic. There is no text and only quick splashes of colour, but oh what a charming comic it is. Got to see it to understand its innate greatness.

Ploc is a new magazine out of London that caters to educating little ones through vivid imagery. It is a contemporary publication but has a total sixties retro style to it. The illustrations are as wonderful and warm as can be.

Oh, to be a kid again...

Kids Day with Sheila Heti this afternoon!

Don't forget! Today, Sunday at 2pm, we are hosting a very special kids day! Join us for an afternoon of juice, cookies, and story readings, this time with the wonderful Sheila Heti.

We will be launching We Need a Horse, a kids book written by Sheila and painted by the wonderful Clare Rojas. It's about a speckled horse who is trying to figure out why he was made a horse, with some help from a sassy tennis-playing sheep and a talking apple. This book is one of the first four from McSweeney’s McMullens, McSweeney's new children’s imprint which strives to remind readers of just how delightful it can be to sit down and read a book.

Sheila will be reading from the book, presenting a slideshow, and answering questions like "How can a sheep play tennis if sheep don't have hands?"

See you there!

Mister Sixties de Robert Crumb

Cornélius vient de sortir le onzième volume de l'anthologie Crumb! Rendu là, doit-on arrêter de s'extasier devant la qualité de l'édition? Ça en devient presque rébarbatif, non? NON!

Bref, pour cette édition, le sir Crumb lui-même a partiellement redessiné l'illustration qui fait la couverture du livre, parue à l'origine dans The Complete Crumb Comics, Volume 4. Vous trouverez quelques images du work-in-progress-behind-the-scenes-yes-sir (ainsi que plusieurs extraits du livre) par ici!

Placé sous le signe du LSD et du mouvement de libération de la femme, Mister Sixties traite des changements socio-culturels des années soixante avec l'humour à double-tranchant aussi loufoque que franchement sombre qu'on connait au père des comics underground.

J'aimerai aussi spécifier que le travail de traduction est, comme toujours chez Cornélius, tout à fait fantastique. Un peu comme avec le doublage français de South Park (IMHO), il n'y a pas une fausse note et tout coule très bien dans l'oreille. Je vous le dit: il ne faut pas avoir peur de lire du Crumb en français, surtout si c'est dans des livres aussi bien fait, à des années lumières des originaux en terme de production!

Poolside paperback

One of my favourite books of 2010 is now in paperback. William Gibson's Zero History is a contemporary-set science-fiction spy adventure about military contracting and fashion. With a wicked cast of characters, sharp writing and the tempo of a mystery novel, Zero History is a great summer read. Now in paperback for the poolside.

Some sound bits:

"After revolutionizing science fiction with a downbeat yet oddly familiar vision of the near future, William Gibson has ventured into new territory – the spy thriller – with a set of novels that look briefly backward, examining our recent history by way of digital art, signals intelligence and postmodern advertising." —The Globe and Mail

"To read Gibson is to read the present as if it were the future, because it seems the present is becoming the future faster than it is becoming the past." —The New York Times

Same Old Scene

The newest book from esteemed pop music pundit Simon Reynolds has arrived! Reynold's last book Rip It Up And Start Again, which dealt with the history of Post-Punk, is unanimously considered a classic (in stock!) of music-lit and all signs point to Retromania following in it's stead.
From the Guardian review:
These days, as Simon Reynolds describes in Retromania, things are very different. Pop music, even though sales of vinyl and cassettes are going up, is less likely to exist in material form. There's no need to dream about what a particular Velvet Underground bootleg or Frankie Wilson's famously rare northern soul stomper "Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)" or 20s field recordings of Inuit might sound like: they're available at the click of a mouse. The deleted, the obscure, the exotic: archaeological layers of musical history are constantly being rediscovered, circulated and filtered into records being released today.

From his interview in The Quietus:
I think the whole antiquing thing, this vintage thing, has something to do with this weird middle class thing of wanting to distance yourself from consumerism while still consuming – because it's enjoyable and you like to have things – and I came across this really cool quote by this artist called Margaret Kilgallen. She uses a lot of commercial imagery and old commercials and signage and stuff from another era… things she got from advertisements in old magazines.She said something like: "This stuff becomes interesting to me when it's no longer selling anything to me."And I thought that was an interesting thing to say because you can see the same thing with the hypnagogic pop people. They're interested in Hall & Oates and Don Henley and all these things from the past, which are no longer mainstream. They're not interested in Adele, which is probably the exact equivalent of those things today. They're interested in yesteryear's mainstream commercial stuff because it's no longer the same to them.

Less than a week to Trampoline Hall

Yes that's right, it's time for my weekly reminder. Did I mention last time that tickets are limited? We will not be selling any more tickets than there are chairs, so you might want to hurry!  Tickets available at Casa Del Popolo and the Librairie. Facebook event here.

Once more, the event is a Trampoline Hall lecture series, with three people lecturing on subjects outside their area of expertise. Each lecture will be followed by a Q+A session. Misha and Sheila will also be reading from their book and answering questions, and the whole thing will be followed by a book signing session.

A few more reviews about The Chairs Are Where the People Go to get you excited:

"the book straddles the line between advice column, self-help manual, motivational speech, urban study, political screed, philosophical treatise, literary experiment and instruction guide to life."

The LA Times sez:
"The result is this glorious collection of essays, all in Glouberman's words, shaped by Heti. They are about living in the city, making friends in the city, compromising in the city, and having fun just about anywhere ... How to arrange chairs at a reading in ways that involve your audience, how to organize a neighborhood to petition toget a noisy bar to quiet down in the wee hours, how to play charades, how to appreciate the beauty of miscommunication; these are just a few of the pieces of truly practical information contained in these pages."

Seriously, people, don't miss it! And don't forget to come by on Sunday for your bi-monthly D+Q cookies and juice!

Kids Day with Sheila Heti next week!

Get ready, our next afternoon of juice, cookies, and story readings, this time with very special guest Sheila Heti, is happening at the store this next Sunday at 2pm!

As you know, Sheila is also gracing us with her presence two days later at the Trampoline Hall/Book Launch for her other new and already acclaimed new book at Sala, but this will be a totally different ball game: we will be launching We Need a Horse, a kids book written by Sheila and painted by the wonderful Clare Rojas.

It's about a speckled horse who is trying to figure out why he was made a horse, with some help from a sassy tennis-playing sheep and a talking apple. This book is one of the first four from McSweeney’s McMullens, McSweeney's new children’s imprint which strives to remind readers of just how delightful it can be to sit down and read a book.

Sheila will be reading from the book, presenting a slideshow, and answering questions like "How can a sheep play tennis if sheep don't have hands?" Don't miss this, it'll be fun and free!

* * *

Praise for We Need a Horse

"This meditation on connectedness and one's purpose has a low-key Zen (or Samuel Beckett?) flavor that is somehow comforting and fun to follow."

San Francisco Chronicle

"In this subtle existential meditation, newcomer Heti imagines a dreamlike landscape in which big questions are gently asked, and just as gently answered. (...) Rojas's animals, with their guarded expressions and stylized postures, have the static quality of folk art, yet the overall sensibility is fresh, even futuristic. The dust jacket, printed on luxuriously heavy paper, unfolds to reveal poster-sized reproductions of the book's artwork."

Publisher's Weekly

Parisian Laundry Catalogs

We just started carrying the publications put out by Parisian Laundry, a fine exhibition space in Montreal and a primary platform for contemporary art in Canada.

Summertime In Paris - Kindling (Rachel Shaw, Jaime Angelopoulos, Luc Paradis, Chloé Desjardins) this show ends on July 30th, go see it while you can!

The gallery has put out catalogs accompanying exhibitions by Valérie Blass, Jennifer Lefort and Janet Werner, three artists represented by the gallery alongside David Armstrong Six, Rick Leong and Justin Stephens to name a few.

Let me show you a sweet little preview of what's inside these three beautiful books!


Okay, so I'll admit it. Those of us at the Librairie have a definite fondness for Sheila Heti's writing (exhibits A, B, C, D, E, F, etc.), and after reading The Chairs Are Where the People Go, I also have a pretty strong bias in favour of Misha Glouberman too.

If you're like us, you'll be delighted to hear that we were able to twist some arms and get them to launch the book in Montreal! It all goes down Tuesday August 2nd at 8 pm sharp at La Sala Rossa, 4848 Boul. Saint-Laurent, and tickets are available now at the Librairie D+Q (211 Bernard O.) and the Casa del Popolo (4873 Saint-Laurent).

Let me backtrack a bit. The book is now on sale! 

The Chairs Are Where The People Go is a collaborative work between Heti and Glouberman. It's a book "of everything Misha knows." The two compiled a list of subjects and, "as Misha talked, Sheila typed." What this produced was an utterly unclassifiable kind of a book, composed of very short chapters which  address very specific topics. At first glance, many of these topics seem of little relevance to my life, and part of what I liked was beginning a chapter balking at its topic, only to melt halfway through.

A few chapters I found particularly compelling were "Is monogamy a trick?"; "Making the city more fun for you and your privileged friends isn't a super-noble political goal"; "Harvard and Class"; and "Failure and Games". In the best of these pieces, Misha's meandering narration leads to insightful observations, (often unexpected) conclusions about race, politics, friendship, love, and various other things that define human interactions.  He does so in a thoughtful way: non-judgmental, wise, and profound, while coming at everything with a perspective that is remarkable in its singularity.

I'm left with the impression that one of his hallmarks is the ability to articulate underlying problems that too often go unarticulated.  Click on the Harvard and Class link to see what I mean.

Anyway, enough blabbing about the book. Instead, let me tell you more about our upcoming (less than two weeks away!) event with these fine folk. Misha and Sheila co-founded the immensely popular Trampoline Hall, a series of lectures where speakers talk on subjects outside their area of expertise. The Trampoline Hall series, hosted by Misha Glouberman, has travelled all across the USA and has run to sold-out houses in Toronto for a decade. And for the first time ever, they are bringing it to Montreal!

The launch party for The Chairs Are Where the People Go will feature readings by Glouberman and Heti, three Trampoline Hall presentations (curated by Mark Slutsky), and a Q&A session. 

The three presenters will be:
Marci Denesiuk ("Evolution and Shadow Puppetry")
Anthony Kinik ("The Evil Eye")
Jesse Staniforth ("The Theory of Relativity")

Let me say it one more time. Run, don't walk! Get your tickets at the Librairie (211 Bernard) or Casa (4873 Saint-Laurent). This is going to be a good one, folks, and all for five small dollars. Pick up your copy of the book at the store now, or purchase a copy at the event!

Take Ivy

In 1965 the Japanese magazine publisher Fujingahosha published Take Ivy, a book of candid photographs of the students and campuses of America's Ivy League universities. The shots focused on the men and their clothes and set off a trend of American "Ivy Style" in Tokyo. The book was re-editioned in Japan in 2006 and sold out immediately. The first English language edition of the book was recently released by Brooklyn-based powerHouse Books. The New York Times is calling it "a treasure for fashion insiders."

More info:

A follow-up to the 1965 book, Take Ivy 8, is in the works.

And here's a good article from the New York Times about prep fashion and the Take Ivy phenomenon.

Lucky kids!

We've just received volume 19 of the amazing and very popular Anorak Magazine from the U.K.

As always, tons of creative, funny and inventive ideas and stories are featured, and kids love it.

Almost even better ('almost' because it's pretty much a tie) is Anorak Press' new foodie magazine for kids "Food Is Fun!"

Learn about food, get some tasty ideas, make something delicious and then eat it!

It'll go great with a Peach of the fortunate variety (see previous post).

And remember...10% off all kids books until the end of July!

Lucky Peach #1 is back in store!

We sold out of the first shipment within days but good newsLucky Peach #1 is back! Get your copy of McSweeney's new food quarterly while it's hot!

Interdisciplinary Studies in Sexuality

I love Dan Savage. Dan is an American sex advice columnist and formidable podcast host (Savage Love, put it on your iPod and go for a walk around the city, I oblige you!). I have learned more listening to his show than I did in the entirety of my fine Concordia education in "Interdisciplinary Studies in Sexuality" and that's saying something—that program introduced me to Michel Foucault. If Dan recommends something, I'll seek it out. That's how I came to read Sex At Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships (originally better subtitled "The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality").

In Sex At Dawn, Christopher Ryan, PhD, and Cacilda Jetha, MD,
seek to dispel the standard evolutionary psychology model of human sexuality which holds that monogamy is a natural form of mating as it most benefits both male and female partners (him because it ensures his paternity, her because she needs him around as provider/protector). They go about this by presenting alternative historical and cultural models of kinship and sexuality and by going into all sorts of fascinating current scientific research on human sexuality. I acquired the hardcover edition back in December and have since lent it out across my friend group. Now that it's out in paperback, I'm recommending everyone buy their own copy of this book. Smart, insightful, funny, Sex At Dawn will provide you with the best bar chat material. (Don't just trust me, Sex At Dawn is a New York Times bestseller, one of NPR's Favorite Books of 2010 and was chosen as a Best Book of 2010 by

Dan Savage has also recently published his own book, co-edited with his partner Terry Miller. It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying, and Creating a Life Worth Living is the book version of Savage's hugely successful YouTube project. Outraged by the number of suicides of LGBT youth who were the victims of harassment and discrimination, Savage created a YouTube video to inspire youngsters and to let them know that It Gets Better. Savage then invited others to record their own inspirational videos. Since its initiation in September 2010, the project has received over 10,000 submissions which have been collectively viewed over 35 million times. Notable contributors include President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Michael Cunningham, David Sedaris, Sarah Silverman, Tim Gunn, and Ellen DeGeneres. It's a beautiful project and a beautiful book.

I love you Dan!

At the top of the post: an early panel from Chester Brown's new, awesome memoir Paying For It. Chester reads Dan Savage in order to learn all about sex work etiquette!

Slave to aesthetics

The theme for this blog post is "Books that I think are supersupercrazy beautiful." The books to be discussed are so attractive and smart and interesting. I am completely smitten, about to crumble into a ball of goo...

But I won't!
I will hold myself together so I can tell you about these fantastic books!

Tate has recently released Nam June Paik, a survey of the artist's groundbreaking and experimental work. From the 60's to the 80's, Paik tackled the language of technology along with its inevitable influence and control.
I will show you the beautiful front cover and back cover, but you`ll have to come in the store to view the whole thing. The book is currently protected by plastic wrap and I want to keep it pristine for as long as possible. If you come in and ask, we will release the book from its shackles!

Le miroir de Mowgli by Ollie Schrauwen comes from the AMAZING French publishing company, atelier de bibliophilie popoulaire, who work primarily in screenprinting (Every single book in their catalogue seems like the greatest. My goodness.)

It`s about this guy, Mowgli, who finds himself in the jungle and becomes attached to a gorilla. They end up having a baby together (through absurdity and magic), but then they lose each other and Mowgli spends the rest of the book trying to find his family. It`s sweet, clever, sad, uplifting. And completely stunning to look at.

Last up comes a book from a bit of a different category: the magical world of mushrooms. Peter Roberts and Shelley Evans` The Book of Fungi is a guide to SIX HUNDRED species of fungi from around the world.

There are fungi that use raindrops to blast spores into the air and those that set traps for eelworms. There are some that help in the process of recycling and, as I'm sure many of you are aware, there are some that help in creating magical mind-bending experiences when ingested.

Enjoy! Give your eyes something wonderful to look at!

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