New and Notable: Nineteen years later...Harry Potter and the Cursed Child!

The eighth story in the Harry Potter series hits shelves today in tandem with the world premiere of the London stage production! The script is available as a limited rehearsal edition.

The stage is set nineteen years after the events of the final novel. It's never been easy being Harry Potter and it's definitely not getting easier now that he is an overworked employee for the Ministry of Magic, husband, and father of three. Now, Albus, his youngest son must grapple with the family legacy as Harry tries to make the past remain where it should. Writer and creator J.K. Rowling has alleged that the series is really done now, "Harry Potter has cast his last spell". Don't miss the magic of the next generation! Get it here.

Get 25% Off All D+Q Books Until August 2nd!

This was a landmark year for Drawn & Quarterly at San Diego Comic-Con International's Will Eisner Awards. D+Q authors were nominated in five categories and swept all five of them, with wins for Kate Beaton (Best Humor Publication for Step Aside, Pops), Shigeru Mizuki (Best American Edition of International Material - Asia for Showa 1953-1989), Jillian Tamaki (Best Publication for Teens forSuperMutant Magic Academy) and Adrian Tomine (Best Short Story for "Killing and Dying")! Beaton was the first solo female cartoonist to win in the humor category, a deserved and significant win.

In addition to all that wonderfulness, two of our legendary and defining authors, Lynda Barry and Tove Jansson were inducted into the Will Eisner Hall of Fame. We in the office are still starry-eyed with delight at the many honours that have been lavished upon our authors this Comic-Con season, honours which reveal the breadth of D+Q's publishing mandate. We also want to thank you with some sweet deals! 

We're announcing a 25% OFF, in-store sale. The sale will end next Tuesday, August 2nd.

Summer Reads 2016: Kira

Here's a peek of the books I have been been enjoying, or will imminently be enjoying, as I head into two weeks of vacation!

Double Teenage (Joni Murphy)

It's safe to say I thoroughly enjoyed this book, as I read it in one sitting! The narrative follows two childhood best friends from their adolescence in a small desert town close the the USA-Mexico border. As they grow up (and apart) the story traces their respective romantic, political and academic trajectories into adulthood. Their personal narratives are presented in the context of an undercurrent of violence against women, a pervasive and global phenomenon. Murphy seamlessly weaves in bits of theory, with the last chapter also incorporating poetry in a more experimental format than the prose of the first chapters. 

The Girls (Emma Cline)

I guess I've been on a real "girls coming of age" kick this summer, as I read The Girls and Double Teenage back to back. Though both books are indeed coming of age stories focused on teenage girls, they are not all that similar in other respects. The Girls takes place in the late '60s and follows protagonist Evie as she is drawn into a Manson-like cult. Cline’s crackling, evocative prose is a delight to read, and she has a real knack for capturing that particular brand of summertime teenage longing - the type of longing that can get a young person into all kinds of trouble! Though it's firmly grounded in the '60s setting, the story feels resonant to contemporary experiences of girlhood and womanhood in many ways.

Chainmail Bikini: The Anthology of Women Gamers (Various Authors, ed. Hazel Newlevant)

It’s taken me an inordinately long time to get around to reading this collection, but summer seems the perfect time to remedy that! After a childhood devoid of video games, it’s been an adventure getting into gaming in my 30s, and I’m hoping to find some common ground with the cool gamer ladies who contributed to Chainmail Bikini. I’m also lowkey obsessed with Hellen Jo’s illustrations, so I love the cover art she did for this!

What is Obscenity?: The Story of a Good For Nothing Artist and her Pussy (Rokudenashiko)

I picked up this graphic novel memoir largely on the glowing recommendation of my colleague Marcela, whose taste is impeccable. (See her delightful review of it here on our May office reads blog!) Working to challenge the taboo and double standards surrounding the vagina in Japanese culture, Japanese artist Rokudenashiko (“good for nothing girl”) has for several years been creating manko (slang for vagina, roughly translating to “pussy”) art in various forms, ranging from phone cases and dioramas to a crowd-funded 3D printed kayak made from a mold of her own vulva in which she traversed the Tama River! In 2014, without warning, her home was raided by 10 police officers, who seized her manko art, charged her with obscenity, and took her straight to jail. What is Obscenity is an absolutely charming, funny, and brilliant chronicle of her experiences in this bizarre situation, and her ongoing struggle to bring pussy-positivity to the masses.

Saga Volume Six (Fiona Staples and Brian K. Vaughan)

Very excited to get my Saga fix! It feels like eons since Saga Volume 5 hit the shelves, and I (along with a legion of equally impatient fans) have been waiting for the latest installment very eagerly. It's far and away my favourite sci-fi comic series of the last few years. In case you're not up to speed, a brief plot summary: lovers from warring planets defy their respective governments by getting together and starting a family, forcing them to live on the lam and raise their baby as fugitives while half the galaxy tries to hunt them down for the hefty bounty on their heads. It's an extremely fun, smart, and adventure-packed story with a cast of characters you won't soon forget.

Greatest of Marlys (Lynda Barry)

One of the many wonderful perks of working at D+Q is getting my mitts on advance copies of D+Q books. (The brand new D+Q-published edition of Lynda Barry's classic Greatest of Marlys hits shelves on August 16th.) I'm very much looking forward to delving into these comics which showcase preteen Marlys Mullen, her teenage sister Maybonne, her little brother Freddie, as well as their family and neighbours from the trailer park where they live. Looks like my binge on coming of age teen dramas is set to continue well into the rest of the summer!

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and What I Talk About When I Talk About Running (Haruki Murakami)

When I'm not reading about teenage girls, or lady gamers, or interstellar hijinks, I also intend to go on a Murakami bender in the near future, with both The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and What I Talk About When I Talk About Running on the docket. Wind-Up Bird comes highly recommended by many people whose taste I admire, but I also need some non-fiction in the mix, so Murakami's memoir about getting heavily into running fits the bill. Though my own recent increased interest in running has been largely motivated by Pokemon Go (and I'm not even a little ashamed, dammit!) I'm very interested to read about a more serious athlete's running trajectory.

Summer Reads 2016: Saelan

Hi, everyone! Here's a few things I've either read lately or that I'm looking forward to:

Double Teenage - Joni Murphy and Rich and Poor - Jacob Wren

Here's two new novels from the consistently excellent BookThug Press that I'm eager to dig into. Jacob Wren (a performance artist as well as author) is a perennial local favourite for his frequently autofictional meditations on art and politics. Rich and Poor recalls the title of one of his earlier books, Revenge Fantasies of the Politically Dispossessed, in that it's the story of a poor artist who decides to assassinate a billionaire. Joni Murphy's debut novel is one I've anticipated for some time and, by all accounts, it doesn't disappoint. It comes bearing praise from no less than Chris Kraus and Ariana Reines, and folds reflections on art, literature, and theory into a narrative about girlhood and coming of age under North American neoliberalism.

We Want Everything - Nanni Balestrini and
Revulsion: Thomas Bernhard in San Salvador - Horacio Castellanos Moya

Having adored the passages in Rachel Kushner's The Flamethrowers about Italy in the 1970s, I was thrilled to see this new translation of Nanni Balestrini's classic novel about the ''Hot Autumn'' of 1969-70 and it's implications for the massively influential Workerist movement. Hot summer reading for sure. I'm also looking forward to the new translation of one of the first works by Salvadorean writer Horacio Castellanos Moya, whose Senselessness I previously enjoyed. A style exercise in homage to infamous Austrian misanthrope Thomas Bernhard, Revulsion's diatribe against El Salvador's political culture is so vitriolic that it earned Moya death threats when it was first published in 1997.

Hot Dog Taste Test - Lisa Hanawalt and Mary Wept Over the Feet of Jesus - Chester Brown

Like the rest of my coworkers (and just about everyone), I can't resist Lisa Hanawalt's absurdist body humour. Food! Sex! Anthropomorphic animals! Hot Dog Taste Test has it all. And, as if I needed another reason to love Hanawalt's drawings, I finally started watching Bojack Horseman (which features her character and production design). Sex is dealt with a lot less facetiously in Chester Brown's engrossing, idiosyncratic Mary Wept Over the Feet of Jesus, which looks at prostitution in the Old Testament. Having grown up evangelical, I felt uniquely prepared to digest Brown's unorthodox exegesis, though the revelation that he is a practicing Christian was unexpected, to say the least. It's a provocative and masterfully drawn book, even if it's not entirely persuasive.


Asshell #1 - Nosebleed Comics and Frontier # 11 - Eleanor Davis

Asshell is exceptionally crude, in a Vice-mag gross-out kind of way, but it's still deceptively brilliant. One man's cursed anus becomes a gateway to hell, hijinx ensue. What sets Asshell apart is the balance of juvenile absurdity and macabre occult fantasy. Nosebleed's drawings aren't technically impressive, but they're still pitch-perfect, somehow. By contrast, Eleanor Davis' contribution to Frontier is all about sexual tension on the set of a lesbian BDSM porn shoot, but both her drawings and storytelling are the height of psychological sensitivity and aesthetic craftsmanship. It's also one of the hottest comics I've ever read in my life.

Hatred of Poetry - Ben Lerner and Little Labours - Rivka Galchen

I really loved Ben Lerner's essay of the same title for the LRB, so naturally I was eager to read the expanded version of Hatred of Poetry in this attractive little book. Ken Chan's rather critical review gave me a moment's pause, so now I'm even more curious to read this longer version to see if I agree or not. Meanwhile, I've heard nothing but praise for Rivka Galchen's playful new book of essays on the subject of babies and literature, which, as a bibliophile with a small child, I feel primed to appreciate.

Nanban: Japanese Soul Food - Tim Anderson and
Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream - Lauren O'Neill and Pete and Ben Van Leeuwen

Two of my good friends recently left for a month-long trip to Japan. If I wasn't already jealous about all the delicious food they're going to eat, we just got Nanban, this beautifully-photographed and designed compendium of hearty, satisfying Japanese recipes. Drool-worthy in all respects. I've also become borderline obsessed with making popsicles over the last few summers (though my favourite recipes are more like ice cream bars). I've plundered this Van Leeuwen book a few times for flavour ideas, but it's got me thinking that I really ought to just get myself an ice cream machine. Of course, you don't need a machine to make ice cream, but you absolutely need ice cream to make a great summer. Consider getting yours (or your recipes, anyway) from Van Leeuwen.

Recap: Graphic Novel Book Club features "Hot Dog Taste Test"!

Each month we host a Graphic Novel Book Club meeting, open to all, during which we hang out and informally to discuss a featured graphic novel. This past Wednesday, Lisa Hanawalt’s Hot Dog Taste Test was at the heart of our discussion! We also dug into some hot dogs for a little taste test of our own. In short, an unconventional choice of "graphic novel" made for a great turnout and some excellent talking points.

Our pick for August is The Spectators by Victor Hussenot. We will be meeting at Librairie Drawn & Quarterly (as always) on August 17th at 7:00 pm! 

The Spectators unfolds as a poetic and philosophical introspection on the nature of man. In short, there will be many, many things to talk about. We offer you a 20% discount on The Spectators from now until the meeting date!

TONIGHT - Graphic Novel Book Club: Lisa Hanawalt's Hot Dog Taste Test!


Each month we host a Graphic Novel Book Club meeting, open to all, during which we hang out and informally discuss a featured graphic novel. Our pick for July is Hot Dog Taste Test by Lisa Hanawalt. We will meet at Librairie Drawn & Quarterly on Wednesday, July 13th at 7:00 p.m. Discussion will be hosted by Drawn & Quarterly’s Administrative Assistant Courtney Baird-Lew. There will be refreshments and collective insight! 

We offer you a 20% discount on the graphic novel from now until the meeting date.

~ About Hot Dog Taste Test ~

Hot Dog Taste Test serves up Lisa Hanawalt's devastatingly funny comics, saliva-stimulating art, and deliciously screwball lists as she skewers the pomposities of foodie subculture. From the James Beard Award-winning cartoonist and production designer/producer of Bojack Horseman, Hot Dog Taste Test dishes out five-star laughs as Hanawalt keenly muses on pop culture, relationships, and the animal in all of us.

Ce que Daphné lit cet été!

Trois recueils de nouvelles

An Indoor Kind of Girl, Frankie Barnet
Barnet a l’humour noir de George Saunders et la bizarrerie attrayante de Miranda July. L’appartement infesté de tortues qu’elle dépeint dans ce premier recueil de nouvelles est à la mesure de ses personnages, subtilement décalé. Ceux-ci partent en backpack et rejoignent des plages pareilles aux cartes postales que l’on colle aux frigos. C’est la vingtaine, encore la vingtaine, toujours la vingtaine, dans une prose unique qui rend compte de la difficulté de se sentir exister. Une jeune auteure dont on va assurément entendre parler.

So Much For that Winter, Dorthe Nors
Je connaissais déjà l’auteure danoise pour son recueil de nouvelles Karate Chop. Ce deuxième recueil m’a conquise de plus belle! Entièrement écrit en listes, le livre s’inspire des listicles, ces articles qui pullulent sur le Web. Je n’ai rien à reprocher à l’exercice qui rythme la prose de Nors et surtout, le quotidien de ses deux protagonistes. Une mélancolie pleine de fiel se mêle à de nombreuses successions d’actions numérotées. On croirait lire un Wikihow sur le deuil et la solitude! Poétique et puissant!

Pond, Claire-Louise Bennett
Après avoir fait un tabac en Irlande, ce recueil de 20 courtes nouvelles est enfin arrivé au Canada! Il nous est maintenant possible de découvrir l'immense talent qu'on prête à Bennett et personnellement, j'ai vraiment hâte. La même narratrice donne sa voix à la vingtaine d'histoires qui composent Pond. Solitaire, voire même ermite, elle y décortique son quotidien de recluse et ne vise pas moins qu'un réenchantement du monde.

Un roman

Mémoire de fille, Annie Ernaux
Annie Ernaux, à presque 75 ans, ravive sa Mémoire de fille avec une finesse telle que je m’y retrouve moi-même et pense reconnaître au détour d'une phrase la jeune fille que j’ai été, que je suis encore. “Ce qui me vient spontanément: tout en elle est désir et orgueil. Et: elle attend de vivre une histoire d’amour.” Ernaux dissèque ses souvenirs avec une acuité presque sociologique, repassant au peigne fin son été 1958, celui de la perte de sa virginité. Son va-et-vient continu entre passé et présent permet une importante mise à distance et mêle à la restitution des événements de courtes réflexions lumineuses sur l’écriture.

Deux ouvrages non-romanesques

Little Labors, Rivka Galchen
Ce nouvel ouvrage de New Directions est tout désigné pour les adeptes de creative non-fiction et de récits fragmentaires hybrides. Galchen y explore la maternité dans une prose qui mêle critique et vie, s'enrichissant de réflexions sur l'art et sur la littérature. Little Labors est un genre de "pillow book" sur le quotidien d'une mère qui écrit. On y réfléchit en autres sur la place des bébés dans la littérature, certains classiques littéraires japonais et la couleur orange. Une lecture agréable!

So Sad Today, Melissa Broder
Voici le  récent recueil d'essais de la prolifique poète américaine Melissa Broder, aussi connue sous le nom de @sosadtoday, un compte Twitter sur lequel elle a tweeté anonymement pendant des années de courts gazouillis caustiques sur son angoisse existentielle er sa dépression. Versant dans l'ironie et l'autocritique, la personnalité Twitter est vite devenu une incontournable du Web. La célèbre sad girl s'est d'ailleurs attirée plus de 363 000 abonnés. So Sad Today fait suite à ce succès monstre et rassemble plusieurs essais autobiographiques qui ont pour mot d'ordre la transparence radicale. L'auteure, dans une mise à nue extrême, écrit non seulement sur ses peines d'amour, sa dépendance à l'alcool, mais va aussi jusqu'à nous parler de son fétiche sexuel pour le vomi. So Sad Today, c'est donc l'ethos de la vulnérabilité à son apogée.

Trois romans graphiques

Someone Please Have Sex with Me, Gina Wynbrandt
Une lecture légère par une bédéiste américaine dans la vingtaine, qui comme Broder,  affectionne tout particulièrement l'autodérision. Someone Please Have Sex with Me met en scène une protagoniste solitaire qui rêve de rencontrer l'âme soeur, rêve repris en boucle dans toute la culture pop qu'elle consomme. Wynbrandt y aborde par exemple les mécanismes d'inclusion et d'exclusion sociale, l'image corporelle et le phénomène des groupies. Et qui n'a pas rêvé, comme elle, croiser Justin Bieber en Segway?

What is Obscenity?, Rokudenashiko
Rokudenashiko est une artiste japonaise que j'avais vue passer à quelques reprises sur mon fil Facebook, notamment suite à son oeuvre la plus controversée, soit un kayak de mer modélisé à partir du scan 3D de sa vulve. Si cette oeuvre ne m'avais pas scandalisé du tout, elle a pourtant attirée les foudres du gouvernement japonais, qui a emprisonné l'artiste à deux reprises. What is Obscenity? narre la bataille juridique et médiatique de l'artiste. En plus de livrer d'innombrables informations sur la culture japonaise et le milieu carcéral japonais, ce roman graphique est drôle et divertissant!

Hot Dog Taste Test, Lisa Hanawalt
Nouvellement publié chez Drawn and Quarterly, ce recueil coloré de Hanawalt est une parfaite lecture d'été! Un recueil qui rassemble des dessins, des chroniques culinaires et des chroniques de voyages. Coloré, drôle et divertissant, Hanawalt plaira aux foodies et aux amateurs de loutres!

Un recueil de poésie

Last call les murènes, Maude Veilleux
Après Les choses de l'amour à marde, Maude Veilleux nous revient en force avec un autre magnifique recueil, Last Call les murènes, publié aux Éditions de l'Écrou. Sa poésie douce-amère est écrite dans une prose qui ne laissera personne indifférent. C'est la Beauce, ou bien la bière de mauvaise qualité et les stationnements des magasins à grande surface. Veilleux n'y parle pas de jardin de givre, mais de précarité financière. Merci!

This Shelf Belongs to...Alice Zorn!

Each month, Librairie Drawn & Quarterly invites an author or artist to curate a shelf in the store. This July, we bring you recommendations from Alice Zorn!

Alice Zorn’s new novel, Five Roses, is set in the Montreal neighbourhood of Pointe St-Charles where she lives. She is the author of Arrhythmia, as well as a collection of short fiction, Ruins & Relics, which was shortlisted for the 2009 Quebec Writers Federation First Book Prize. She placed first twice in Prairie Fire's Fiction Contest and won the 2013 Manitoba Magazine Award for Fiction. As Rapunzel, she writes about travel, writing and researching fiction, Grimms’ fairytales, food, gardening and other goings-on at

All of Zorn's picks will be 15% off for the month of July. Here’s a sneak peek of what you’ll find on her shelf:

Guy Delisle, Pyongyang (Drawn & Quarterly, 2012)
Mr Guy, a foreigner, works in an animation studio in the phantom city of Pyongyang (North Korea). At times, before the absurdity of Marxism forced to an extreme, he loses his mouth in bafflement.

Emma Donoghue, Frog Music (Harper Collins, 2014)
A literary whodunnit set in San Francisco in 1876. Burlesque dance, prostitutes and their pimps, cross-dressing, frog hunting, the appalling childcare options for a working woman, a smallpox epidemic. Reading this was a romp kept serious by the murder of the loveable Jenny Bonnet.

Marina Endicott, Close to Hugh (Doubleday, 2015)
The small world of theatre is narrowed to a high school drama workshop. Past relationships and commitments threaten to obstruct new relationships. The teenagers take part in the drama of the workshop and — less willingly — in the drama played out between the adults.

Jack Hannan, The Poet is a Radio (Linda Leith, 2016)
In this novel of loosely connected narratives, poetry takes surprising shape in Montreal’s unnamed, transient spaces — abandoned buildings, the metro, parking lots, an empty shopping mall, spray-painted in the street, trailed high in the air.

Georgina Harding, Painter of Silence
(Bloomsbury, 2012)
Wartime Romania in the 1950s. People survive in a grim world by forgetting what they’ve lost. Augustin, who is deaf and mute, cannot speak to remind them of their stories, but he draws what he remembers with exquisite detail.

Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus (Anchor, 2012)
Morgenstern plays with the reader’s willingness to believe in illusions that might or might not be true. What is true anyhow? There are many twists and sleights of hand in this fantasy, which is less about a circus than a competition between magicians.

Priya Parmar, Vanessa and her Sister (Random House, 2015)
A fictional diary and correspondence offers an unusual perspective on Virginia Woolf and her lesser-known, though also talented sister. Vanessa is the subject of the novel with Virginia portrayed as emotionally manipulative, lacking in empathy, even cruel.

Michel Rabagliati, Paul dans le Nord
(La Pastèque, 2015) 
Paul’s adventures take me back to the 1970s when I was a teenager. It’s all here — the pimples, the hair, the music we adored, the ultra-embarrassing stupidities. Each frame is packed with details and the dialogue is spot on. I especially enjoyed reading it in the original Québécois.

Robert Seethaler, A Whole Life
(Anansi, 2015)
A beautifully and sparsely recounted tale of a hard life that was not without simple if rare satisfactions. It spoke to me especially about my own Alpine heritage — how I imagine my grandfather must have lived.

Hanya Yanagihara, A Little Life (Doubleday, 2015) 
A boy is abused. The man he becomes struggles to survive the self-disgust that brands him. Yanagihara pulls no punches. This book wrenched my heart again and again.

Tonight at 7pm: Montreal Review of Books launches their 50th Issue!!

Join us to celebrate the launch of the Summer 2016 issue -- the 50th issue of the Montreal Review of Books! The evening will feature readings by three Montreal writers: Alice Zorn will read from her latest novel, FIVE ROSES, Sylvain Neuvel from his debut sci-fi thriller, SLEEPING GIANTS, and Xue Yiwei from his latest collection, SHENZHENERS.

Free admission. Wine and snacks will be served.

Alice Zorn is the author of ARRHYTHMIA and a book of short fiction, RUINS & RELICS, which was a finalist for the 2009 Quebec Writers’ Federation First Book Prize. She has twice placed first in Prairie Fire’s Fiction Contest. She lives in Montreal.

Sylvain Neuvel dropped out of high school at age 15. Along the way, he has been a journalist, worked in soil decontamination, sold ice cream in California, and peddled furniture across Canada. He received a Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of Chicago. He taught linguistics in India, and worked as a software engineer in Montreal. He is also a certified translator, though he wishes he were an astronaut. He likes to tinker, dabbles in robotics and is somewhat obsessed with Halloween. He absolutely loves toys; his girlfriend would have him believe that he has too many, so he writes about aliens and giant robots as a blatant excuse to build action figures (for his son, of course).

Xue Yiwei is an award-winning Chinese writer born in Chenzhou and raised in Changsha, in Hunan province. He has a B.Sc. in Computer Science from Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, an M.A. in English Literature from Université de Montréal, and a Ph. D. in Linguistics from Guangdong University of Foreign Studies. He has taught Chinese literature at Shenzhen University and is the author of sixteen books, including four novels -- DESERTION (1989, reissued 2012), DR. BETHUNE'S CHILDREN (2011), FAREWELLS FROM A SHADOW (2013), and EMPTY NEST (2014) -- and five collections of stories. He lives in Montreal. SHENZENERS is his first book to be translated to English; the original collection was named one of the Most Influential Chinese Books of the Year in 2013.

Summer Reads 2016: Helen

What I plan to read this summer in the park, by the pool, on the road!

Hot Dog Taste Test (Lisa Hanawalt)
Hanawalt can always be relied on to deliver the laughs out of left field. This new volume of short gags and longer narratives includes a visit to an otter-petting farm, a family trip to Argentina, and lots of jokes about breakfast, butts, and, yeah, hot dogs. I'm sure to engage in a lot of awkward public LOLing with this one.

Generous Bosom, Parts One and Two (Conor Stechschulte)
The first volume of Generous Bosom was entrancing: a dark, slippery story full of murky intentions and uncomfortable encounters. I will probably give it a reread to refresh my memory before diving into Part Two, which promises to complicate an already tortuous narrative. Stechschulte knows how to play with tension, and his drawings, beautifully risograph printed, serve sometimes to illuminate, sometimes to further confuse.

After Nothing Comes (Aidan Koch)
I can't get enough of Aidan Koch's work these days. After Nothing Comes, published recently by Koyama Press, is a selection of her zines, from between 2008 and 2014. I am drawn to her work the way I was drawn to Seiichi Hayashi's Red Colored Elegy; both artists are experts at portraying a fleeting gesture, and at subtracting elements until only the most necessary parts of an image remain. Fittingly, Koch recently did an illustrated version of Lydia Davis' short story "How Difficult" for the Paris Review. I couldn't think of a better match.

The Reactive (Masande Ntshanga)
London-born, Cape Town-based Ntshanga has already received the PEN International New Voices Award for this debut novel, now available in North America thanks to Two Dollar Radio. Set in the early 2000s, The Reactive follows Lindanathi, a young man in Cape Town, who struggles with the death of his younger brother, and his own HIV+ status in a country where antiretroviral drugs are in scarce supply.

Lagoon (Nnedi Okorafor)
Gotta have a little science fiction in my summer list! Praised by Ngugi Wa Thiong'o and Ursula Le Guin, among others, Lagoon chronicles the chaos that erupts when aliens land in the waters outside Lagos, the fifth most populous city in the world. A review over at Africa's A Country delivers high praise: "Lagoon isn’t merely Sci-fi with an African flavor — a foreign literary form dolled up with some local color. It is a bold, new reinvention of science fiction as a bonafide African form." Can't wait!

Ladivine (Marie Ndiaye, translated by Jordan Stump)
Ndiaye is a writer who, it seems, ought to be better known in English-speaking North America. Four of her books are now available in English, and she has won major prizes in her native France for her work, including the Prix Femina and the Prix Goncourt. Perhaps Ladivine will push her into the anglophone spotlight. This recent novel is no light summer read: it tells of trauma passed unknowingly and uncontrollably through three generations of women, who are all essentially estranged from one another. Ndiaye transmits the far-reaching psychological effects of colonialism, displacement and exile.

Little Labors (Rivka Galchen)
Having immensely enjoyed Galchen's fiction (Atmospheric Disturbances, American Innovations), I look forward this new non-fiction work of hers, a compendium of observations about childbirth, motherhood, babies and literature. I expect it will be surprising, ludicrous, and insightful.

June Poetry Best Sellers

1. Milk and Honey, Rupi Kaur

2. I Wanted to Be the Knife, Sara Sutterlin

3. Love Poems, Pablo Neruda

4. Last Sext, Melissa Broder

5. How to Appear Perfectly Indifferent While Crying on the Inside, Jay Winston Ritchie

Top 5 - June's Bestselling Kid's Books!

Our youngest readers are kicking off their summer reading lists with some great books! Here are the kid's bestsellers for the month of June:

The Illustrated Compendium of Amazing Animal Facts by Maja Säfström

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

Salomé et les hommes en noir de Valérie Amiraux et Francis Desharnais

A is for Activist by Innosanto Nagara

L'abc de Monsieur Pizza de Ohara Hale

TOP 5: Bestselling Graphic Novels of June

Here are the graphic novels being read in high supply this June!

Mary Wept Over the Feet of Jesus - Chester Brown

Hot Dog Taste Test - Lisa Hanawalt

Killing and Dying - Adrian Tomine

Super Mutant Magic Academy - Jillian Tamaki

 Patience - Daniel Clowes

Summer Reads 2016: Courtney

- Poetry -
Ghost in the Club by Greg Zorko

Published by our friends at Metatron Press this past spring, Greg Zorko's collection of short poems is an efficient and well-executed series of gut-punches. With titles like "smoke cloud emoji", "energy efficient lightbulb," and "DIY haircut" setting the tone, Zorko's collection taps into the daily struggles of being a regular ol' human being. And while the term "millennial" has become a bad word of sorts when describing literature, Ghost in the Club nonetheless taps into the awkwardness of the anxious twenty-to-thirty-something, allowing for the collection to adopt an undeniable sense of universality, and subtle cool.


"I go to the club and coat check my entire body"

- Fiction -
The Unprofessionals: New American Writing 
from the Paris Review edited by Lorin Stein

Curated by the Paris Review’s editor-in-chief, this collection of short stories, poems, and non-fiction essays is arguably the best material that the publication has put out over the last few years. While bigger literary names undoubtedly make features in the book – namely Ben Lerner and Zadie Smith – virtual “unknowns” give the most standout performances. With no set theme running through the book, the subjects range from hypermasculine frat boy culture, to gay eastern European BDSM, allowing for each author to push their own set boundaries; the collection serving as a high-calibre hodgepodge of individual voices.


“There are many kinds of prayer. There is a kind of prayer that’s like breathing. There is a kind of prayer that’s like talking to your best friend all day long. There is a kind of prayer in the face of beauty that lifts your hands up because it would be harder to keep them down.”

- Short Fiction -
Fine, Fine, Fine, Fine, Fine by Diane Williams

The first indication that Diane Williams’ acclaimed new collection is going to be a different kind of read is, of course the title. The stories tingle with life; the brevity and precise use of punctuation ring like a gunshot, echoing in your ears for days afterwards. In these stories sometimes nothing happens. Sometimes everything happens. Sometimes things happen backwards, in mixed order, discarding plot in lieu of single sentences and observations that lead both somewhere and nowhere and illuminate in the process. Hilarious, weird, and at times confusing, this collection is filled with small bites of perfection that I encourage you to try.


"She had stopped insisting that they have heart-to-heart conversations, but for stranded people, they had these nice moments together, and he had his professional enjoyment at the newspaper."

- Fiction / Memoir -
Little Labours by Rivka Galchen (Fiction, Memoir)

Inspired by Sei Shonagon’s The Pillow Book, Galchen’s collection of essays, observations, and personal anecdotes about writing and motherhood is a well-composed and ultimately illuminating little book. Published by New Directions, Little Labors has been hailed for its originality by critics and fellow writers - its contents written in a stern, almost didactic tone that somehow ends up being really, really funny. And while notes on modern motherhood are usually reserved for daytime TV, Galchen manages to poke fun at the overbearing nature of modern mommy instruction manuals while simultaneously elevating it to a philosophical level.


“I set her down in her crib, and she didn’t cry. Why, I wondered, is she not distressed? It’s as if she assumes that we will, of course, love and care for her. It seemed so strange for her to assume that. I respected her fearlessness.”

- Graphic Novel -
The Arab of the Future by Riad Sattouf 

In light of certain bigot politicians dominating current mainstream media, this popular autobiographical novel by French cartoonist Riad Sattouf has become a necessary read, in summer or otherwise. Translated into over 10 different languages, Arab of the Future chronicles Sattouf’s childhood split between France, Syria, and Libya during the presidencies of Muammar Gaddafi and Hafez Al-Assad - Sattouf's story focusing on the political landscape of the late 70s and early 80s. Illustrated in specific colour pallets to define the different locations, Arab of the Future follows Sattouf’s loving and dysfunctional family from country to country, painting a picture of shifting political landscapes along the way.

- Graphic Novel-
Hot Dog Taste Test by Lisa Hanawalt

From the James Beard award-winning cartoonist and designer/producer of Netflix’s Bojack Horseman comes Hot Dog Taste Test; a delicious – and necessary – venture into the world of food, anthropomorphized animals, and the brilliant mind of artist Lisa Hanawalt. Tackling subjects ranging from the pomposity of foodie subculture, to the horrors of using public restrooms, Hanawalt’s second book with Drawn and Quarterly is a hilarious assortment of cartoons, doodles, and fully-realized stories that illustrate life in all its beautiful, embarrassing, and at times hyperbolic glory.

- Comic -
Club Life in Moomin Valley by Tove Janssen

Drawn and Quarterly’s obsession with the world of the Moomins has once again taken shape as a fresh, new update to a beloved Tove Jansson classic. Released this past May, Club Life in Moominvalley is a sweet tale that explores the complex notions of one’s quest for identity and need for community in the magical Moomin world. And like all good, classic cartoons, Moomin’s appeal stretches far beyond its intended audience (kids) by throwing the innocent and beloved Moomin family into the mix with the big, bad world. In short, a delightful little read.

- Non-Fiction -
Secondhand Time by Svetlana Alexievich

While “heartbreaking tales of Russian suffering” isn’t usually the first thing that comes to mind when I look for an enjoyable summer read, Alexievich manages to elevate these harrowing first-person accounts of love, joy, and sorrow into something of pure beauty - allowing for normally voiceless individuals to contribute history. Translated into English for the first time, "Secondhand Time" chronicles the demise of communism via interviews collected between 1991 and 2012. Weaving a symphonic tapestry of voices and experiences of real, ordinary women and men throughout the former Soviet Union, Alexievich’s book is a cathartic exploration into a world of which most of us know next to nothing.


"Suicide is a nighttime state, when a person wavers on the edge between being and non-being. Waking and sleep. I want to understand suicide with the rigor of a person in daytime. Someone once asked me: 'Are you worried that you're going to like it?'"

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