Criterion Collection Top Tens!

Here's something awesome on the Internet for you to peruse (as if you needed more): the Criterion Collection website features a section called Top 10s where very cool people pick out and discuss their top ten movies among the Collection. D+Q authors Leanne Shapton and Seth make their contributions, as do several other authors and artists we stock (Marcel Dzama, Jaime Hernandez) and lots of other people of interest (Montreal filmmaker Xavier Dolan, for example, and Mike Allred, and the sisters of Rodarte, who designed the costumes for Black Swan). We carry a healthy selection of Criterion films in store, like My Life As A Dog (Shapton's #10, Dzama's #5, Hernandez's #4).

Canada Reads 2011

Okay, okay, so we are kind of late in blogging about this year's Canada Reads. Terry Fallis's novel The Best Laid Plans has already been announced as the winner, with Jeff Lemire's graphic novel Essex County grabbing the People's Choice Award. The three other 2011 contenders were The Birth House by Ami McKay, The Bone Cage by Angie Abdou and Unless by Carol Shields. All five titles are available in store. I'm with the people here in suggesting Essex County as a great read but all of the books sound fascinating (see here for complete descriptions).

For those of you who don't know, Canada Reads is an annual book competition (in its 10th year) hosted by the CBC. Each year, five Canadian personalities nominate their pick of a Canadian book they think Canadians should read. Each personality must defend their book. Debates are held. Jian Ghomeshi hosts. The winner is selected after a process of elimination. You can learn more about the battle of the books, including extensive videos and podcasts of the year's debate, at

Where Art Belongs - New Chris Kraus!

Sorry yall's, the book got here last week but the staff bought all the copies we had within the first 24 hours... But we got our fix now, so the second shipment of this fascinating book is all yours!

In Where Art Belongs, Chris Kraus reveals instances of collective and underground art-making to expand the argument begun in her earlier book Video Green that “the art world is interesting only insofar as it reflects the larger world outside it.”

Kraus' latest book is comprised of four essays in which stories of art and people evoke the alternatives and the freedom the art world can or could offer beyond its flaws.

Daniel Barrow! Tonight!

Daniel Barrow will be here! 211 Bernard O., Thursday February 24th at 7 pm.

Don't miss it!

Granta a.k.a Exciting Books of 2011

Dear devoted blog reader,

Did you even know we carried Granta? There's been less Granta love on the blog than is warranted. Well that ends today. Let me show you the proof - three beautiful back issues of Granta (Pakistan, Young Spanish Novelists, and Going Back). We try to keep back issues in stock because we know Granta never goes out of style.

Granta 114 is about aliens.

With stories from Aravind Adiga, Roberto Bolano, Dinaw Mengestu, Ann Patchett, Madeleine Thien, Paul Theroux and others, it guarantees quality. The Bolano story is perfection in a single sentence.

As for Madeleine Thien, her contribution is actually drawn from an impending release, Dogs at the Perimeter. I was particularly excited because we will be launching her book here at the Librairie in May. Set in Cambodia during the Khmer Rouge dictatorship, it's about loss and trauma, and how we learn to live with both. Stay tuned for more details. This promises to be a powerful, haunting read.

Letters to Emma Bowlcut

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NEW! Letters to Emma Bowlcut is a handsome novelette from handsome American musician Bill Callahan of Smog. The story is composed of letters written by an unnamed man to a woman with light sucking hair he sees at a party and becomes strangely attracted to. The surrealist cover is printed on satisfyingly embossed card stock. You've got to feel this.

Mo Willems drops by

Yesterday, Peggy, Woody, Gigi, and I drove out to Pointe-Claire to see Mo Willems read at the unbelievably amazing Librairie Babar. Oh, that is a nice bookstore. Two floors packed full of kids and young adult books. Really great. Of course, like any good modern parent, we totally overbook our kids' activities and we rushed from Gigi's afternoon swim lesson to Babar and missed the complete reading. We did however get a chance to say hi to Mo (and meet his wife Cheryl, and his daughter Trixie who some of you may know is the star of Knuffle Bunny!!!) Mo mentioned he already had plans to come by the Drawn & Quarterly bookstore the next day since he was a big fan of our books and wanted to see the operation. Why, yes, we would love to have you!! So this morning Julia and I met them at the store and had a great time chatting about the secrets of writing for kids (I can't tell!!), McSweeneys, Toon Books, riding bikes in the winter, and how hard it is to find open restaurants on Mondays in Montreal. Oh, and then Mo signed a bunch of his books in our kids section. So, parents, get over here now!!

{Woody and Gigi getting their books signed at Librairie Babar.}

Poser: My Life in Twenty-Three Yoga Poses

If writing about music is like dancing about architecture, then writing about yoga might be like baking cookies about social justice, or finger painting about wealth distribution. Even talking about yoga can be offensive. As yoga proponent Elizabeth Gilbert is quoted on the back cover of Claire Dederer's new book Poser: My Life in Twenty-Three Yoga Poses, "yoga sometimes makes people talk like jerks." Gilbert goes on to thank Claire Dederer for writing the book about yoga "we all need", one of clarity, intelligence, and thoughtfulness. Poser is much more than its title suggests. Part memoir, part yoga history, part study of contemporary motherhood, Poser is garnering praise for its humour as much as its teachings. The book is developing that kind of word-of-mouth, between-friends, pass-it-on momentum; something you want to share, because it has improved your life, and believe it could for others, not unlike the practice of yoga itself.

Store highlights: Fashion Week-ness

In the fashion world it's Fall 2011 already. The big fall fashion weeks (New York, London, Milan, Paris) run from February through March every year. I've come to rely on them to help fight my S.A.D.; distracting me from the spring countdown and renewing my interest in cold weather wear (Another two months of boots and coats? No problem!). Inspired by my fashion weakness, I thought I'd highlight some of our amazing fashion focused stock.

Graphic Design for Fashion is a fantastic coffee table book on the print material of contemporary fashion, from magazine design to runway invitations and lookbooks. Shown below: graphic design related to the Swedish creative agency and jeans brand ACNE.

Worn Fashion Journal
is a refreshing alternative to the mass of fashion rags out there—it's smart, well researched, affiliated with Tavi Gevinson, plus it's Canadian! Shown above: the current issue, articles include a look at vintage spectacles and the history of tweed.

It was Terrence Malik's Days of Heaven that provided the main inspiration for Rodarte's Fall 2011 collection but the designers behind the label, Kate and Laura Mulleavy, have also cited Badlands as one of their favourite costumed films.

I've mentioned this book before, but it never seems to get old: Un-Fashion, a photo collection of world costume and dress by Tibor and Maira Kalman.

The most prescient book on the fashion market I've read recently—covering Japanese Americana, secret brands, and vintage tradeshows—is William Gibson's newest novel Zero History. We have a few signed editions of this remarkable novel left. Get it while you can!

Attention Julie Morstad fans!

Singing Away the Dark is a new children's book by the B.C. duo of author Caroline Woodward and artist Julie Morstad. This delicate and gorgeously illustrated slice of life follows the poetic journey of a little girl walking through the winter and a dark forest to find comfort (and the schoolbus that will drive her to school).

Remember that as major Morstad fans, we also carry the two kids books she's illustrated for Sara O'Leary, as well as her hugely successful D&Q Petit Livre Milk Teeth...

Edward Gorey's Dracula: A Toy Theatre!

This is possibly the coolest toy ever. A box. Inside: all the makings to present a dramatization of the three-act play Dracula, including a synopsis of the play, paper dolls of the full cast, props, and amazing set stages, all based on the set and costume designs of Edward Gorey for his Broadway production of the horror classic. Standing invitation to come by and play.

Do you know Daniel Barrow?

Daniel stopped by yesterday to discuss his presentation this coming Thursday the 24th, if you are unfamiliar with his work I suggest checking out his website,overhead projectors, comics influence, voice over WHAT MORE COULD YOU WANT?!

Daniel's work usually involves an ancient overhead projector, and cut outs of his illustrations. When Shary Boyle spoke at the Librairie back in '08 she mentioned how big of an influence Daniel had been for her. Also exciting; we've gotten our hands on a bunch of Daniel's artist edition No One Helped Me which was a limited run of 500. Read more about it here at Art Metropole.

Imagine this illustration moving around through a fuzzy haze of your fourth grade overhead projector? From what I hear Daniel will be doing excerpts from past shows, shows that are normally reserved for galleries. We are LUCKY!

He also happened to be wearing this skookum jacket adorned with Amy Lockhart Dizzler Ilustrations.
I hope fashion trendsetters lay their eyes on this in a vintage heap in 2080.

RSVP on Facebook

Pop T-Shirt Design Contest + Extra Marcel Dzama

POP Montreal!!

We don't usually have any reason to tell you about Pop stuff in between Pop seasons, but they're holding their first annual T-Shirt design contest this spring. And check out who's judging: Marcel Dzama! That's right, THE Marcel Dzama.

The application deadline (March 4th at 6pm) is coming up fast so get your thinking caps on.

The top 10 designs will be displayed at a vernissage April 1st, and the two winners will receive a goodie basket including show tickets and a POP Hopper pass for the 2011 Festival + their designs will be made into T-shirts available for sale during the festival.

Check out the contest details here.

Screening of An Island, a film by Vincent Moon

Tomorrow, Wednesday the 16th at 7pm we encourage you to leave your cozy corner of the city and come join us for a screening of Vincent Moon's new film entitiled An Island it's a music doc of sorts. You can read more about it here and check out the lovely teaser below. Bring popcorn if you want, come early as seating is limited and it looks like it's going to fill up.

n+1 plus cool

A part of their Small Books series, n+1 (a magazine on literature, politics, and culture, sold at D+Q) has been releasing compact books based around on-going research. They describe their books as "carefully composed, but with content capturing the spirit of things still happening, in flux, under debate, made for argument."
So far, three books have been published...and we have all three!

First, What We Should Have Known: Two Discussions:
Composed of two transcripts from panel discussions on contemporary education, specifically related to literature, philosophy, and thought. Scholars recount their experience with education: what they they think should change in post-secondary education, and what actually works towards furthering the development of education. I especially enjoyed the lists given by each speaker on the books that changed their lives.

Second, P.S.1 Symposium: A Practical Avant-Garde:
A transcript of a symposium held at P.S.1 in New York in 2006, attempting to decipher how the avant-garde developed and what it means today. This book decidedly offers questions, rather than solutions, on the idea of the progressive in art and literature.

Thirdly, What Was the Hipster: A Sociological Investigation:
So the story goes: Everyone can point to a hipster, but no one will admit to being a hipster. This book takes an investigative look at the term hipster and how it developed in "the aughts" to mean something very particular (though it should be said that this particularity varies from person to person). Composed of discussions during a symposium, responses to the discussion, and essays, this book takes a pretty varied and wide-ranging look at an intended subculture gone mainstream.

Uppercase 8!

For all you design fiends out there: D+Q has the new Uppercase magazine! As always, the Calgary-based publication shares with us pages of complete awesomeness.

With a loose theme on the minature, Uppercase 8 has articles on teensy-weensey dollhouses, buttons (a personal unexplainable obsession), and old matchbooks.
And I dare not leave out their article on a much important piece of Canadiana: the touque!

No One Helped Me (Daniel Barrow)

In case you want to have an early look at it before its big launch on the 24th, Daniel Barrow's new book No One Helped Me got here this week!

The book documents his performance Everytime I See Your Picture I Cry and related illustrations and drawings. It also comes with a READ & LISTEN story complete with a 7” record and original essays by Jon Davies and Steven Matijcio! We're so excited to host the launch for such a precious book! Click here to view the Facebook page of this event.

New Direction Pearls

I'll admit it: both Rory and I have a little crush on New Directions Press. Not only do they do a wonderful job translating and publishing the beloved Bolano, but they also have this lovely little series called New Directions Pearls, which are, as implied, gems of stories, small and condensed and perfect unto themselves.

You can devour a Pearl in an hour or two, but will still find three or four brilliant lines within each text.

Take, for example, Javier Marias's contribution, a piece called Bad Nature, or With Elvis in Mexico.
Within its more or less 50 pages, without giving anything away, here are some of my favourites:
"Back then, nobody was very suspicious, Kennedy hadn't been assassinated yet."
"I spent that whole eternal night with them..."

While some, like Bad Nature are novellas, others, like Tales of Desire by Tennessee Williams and Borges's Everything and Nothing offer a selection of short stories.

These little books have been translated and collected lovingly. It doesn't hurt that they are also beautiful and affordable. With titles from Cesar Aira, Yukio Mishima, F Scott Fitzgerald, and Joseph Roth, the New Directions Pearls let you access classics from North America, Japan, Austria-Hungary, Spain and Argentina.

Upcoming events at the Librairie

I feel like it's been a while since we've updated you on our upcoming events. Let's remedy that!

First off, this Thursday February 10th at 7 pm, we are pleased to present James Kirkpatrick (a.k.a Thesis Sahib) giving an artist's talk and launching his newest book, Before the End.

RSVP for the launch and view more details on Facebook.

Next week, we will be screening a documentary about Swedish band Efterklang directed by Vincent Moon (of La Blogotheque's Take Away Shows fame -- my current favourites are the Yo La Tengo ones). That all goes down on Wednesday February 16th at 7 pm:
RSVP on Facebook.

And the week after, on Thursday February 24th at 7 pm, we have a launch for Sobey award-winner Daniel Barrow's No One Helped Me. He'll be discussing the book and the projects encapsulated within it. He'll also be doing some of his highly-acclaimed projection work.

RSVP on Facebook (and listen to a catchy Hidden Cameras song!)


NEW IN STORE: Taschen's reproduction of Giambattista Bodoni's standard encyclopedia for printing the alphabet, the Manuale Tipografico of 1818. In 279 pages, the Manual of Typography features 142 sets of Roman and italic typefaces, borders, ornaments, symbols, and flowers as well as typefaces from different alphabets including Greek, Hebrew, Russian, Arabic, Phoenician, Armenian, Coptic and Tibetan.

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