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Thursday, 30 June 2016

Summer Reads 2016: Liz

Theory

The Uprising: On Poetry and Finance (Franco Berardi)



Otherwise known as “Bifo”, Franco Berardi is an Italian marxist thinker, whose theories largely revolve around language as a form of labour co-opted by the semio-capitalist hegemony.  This book delves into the possibilities of poetry as a mode of resistance. He deems it an “excess” of language, one that returns it to the space of the body and affect. The use of poetry here, however, seems to serve as more of a metaphor for “poetics” than any real form of poetic writing. Regardless, Bifo provides the reader with a clear analysis of the failures and flaws of capitalism, but also manages to offer clear counters and modes of resistance.  


Poetry

Limbinal (Oana Avasilichioaei)


This series of poems is joined in the centre by a series of photographs, which both separate and create a sense of flow. I personally find poetry the perfect summer read, as it allows for stops and starts, naps in between, and thoughtful contemplation while sprawled out in the park. Avasilichioaei's use of space and font is not merely an artistic flourish, but integral to the text and its function. It deals with the concept of boundaries - taking them outside of the realm of just materiality, and into the realm of the transient. This is one of those books that stuns, leaving a sense of awe at the craftsmanship of the author. I will definitely be returning over and over again to revive my sense of inspiration and enlightenment.


Fiction

Vertigo (Joanna Walsh)



It’s summer, and I’ve been reading a lot. Many books have surprised me, made me laugh, and brought incredible insight. Reading Vertigo went above and beyond. It quickly separated itself from the pack with its stream of consciousness style and powerful quotidian stories. I found myself tearing up at almost every story, not for sadness, but just pure excess of emotion. It bubbles up and pours off the pages in subtle moments, like watching an ex-lover's green light on Facebook as indication of their "availability". Walsh plays with words, meaning, and time. While Vertigo is a series of short stories, I found myself reading it as a novel, and as such, it felt oddly right.


Agua Viva (Clarice Lispector )


Recently, an impassioned customer came into the store and convinced me that Clarice Lispector was the woman I needed in my life. I am mere three pages into Agua Viva, and thoroughly convinced that her prose will be a transformative experience. The google description lists the novel as a "meditation on the nature of life and time", which builds expectations fairly high. The form seems more poetic and meandering than what would fit into the category of prose. Lispector utilizes an inner dialogue to make connections, and emphasize disconnects, between all things: time, plants, music, etc.. I am looking forward to the experience of immersing myself in the interiority of another person, especially Clarice Lispector.


Non-Fiction

In Other Words (Jumpa Lahiri)



I started listening to Jumpa Lahiri's autobiographical novel on writing, language, race, and culture in the format of an audio-book: a format perfect for multi-tasking. I found it impossible, however, to complete any other task while her words were spoken into my ear. The complexity of her work demands full attention. The intricacies of her style and use of language are what make the book extraordinary. It takes the form of its subject matter, giving rise to the blossoming of difference in language, and all that comes with it. While illuminating the very gaps in between translation, where not everything fits. Lahiri does by no means glorify it. She is simultaneously able to communicate the pain and suffering that comes along with not fitting in/ 


Graphic Novel

The Spectators (Victor Hussenot)


It is easy to get lost in the beautiful colors and shadowing depicted by Victor Hussenot from cover to cover of The Spectators. The choice of watercolor as a medium allows him to create depth and dimension, which just so happens to be the focus of the narrative. Light and darkness emphasize the varying levels of visibility that form the consciousness of the protagonist's experiences, if we can even call them that. This genderless faceless entity comes in the form of a dark shadow, slipping in and out of identities in the form of clothing and masks. Hussenot takes it to the next level: the human becomes buildings,and the buildings become them. The human and their environment are wrapped up in an inextricable exchange of objects and affect, that tug on the memories encoded in the spaces to build on a sense of collectivity.

Poetry is Useless (Anders Nilson)


Anders Nilsen manages to refute all that is within the space of one graphic novel. The pages are filled with a combination of scanned pages from a notebook, photographs, and small side commentary in the form of a comic strip. The narrative voice is pessimistic at best, but in a slightly charming and comic way, he writes: "Dear Stranger , while we wait here in the DMV to receive this license to auto-mote let us not forget that there is no God.". The narrative, or rather lack thereof, tips and turns, feeling more like a list jotted down in a diner than a cohesive novel, but that is part of it's appeal. Poetry is useless, but the poetic uselessness of Nilsen's book makes it useful again. 


Indoor Voice (Jillian Tamaki)






Jillian Tamaki keeps everything fairly abstract in this small book of comics,drawings, and everything in between. She crafts beautifully anti-climactic stories, that repeat and loop throughout the course of the book. The images question the meaning of sexuality: what is a sexual body? how does it look? Tamaki pushes and pushes at the natural connections between object and their signifiers till they burst at the seams. Small explosions rock the entire book,  manifesting in the pages of colorful expanding designs in the centre.   



Monday, 27 June 2016

Summer Reads 2016: Alyssa

The funny thing about the summer is that it's at once the time when things slow down and I feel more capable of devoting myself to more ambitious reading, and the season of light beach reads and carefree days at the park. In the spirit of that contradiction, here's what I have been (and will be!) reading:

Poetry 


So Much Synth (Brenda Shaughnessy)
Aching love and adolescent pain are the driving forces behind Shaughnessy's fourth collection of poems, where the strongest, most resonant angst is bound by mixtape selections and the ennui of growing up. It's both a celebration of, and critical, self-aware look at, the deep, consuming, mundane feelings of our teenaged selves, and it's a delight to read.

Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth (Warsan Shire)
British-Somali poet Warsan Shire was a superstar before Beyoncé featured her words in Lemonade, but if Shire is now getting a little extra attention, it's certainly deserved. Family, place, pain, trust, and memory all fight for their place in words as fierce as they are delicate, strong as they are soft. 

Dark Sparkler (Amber Tamblyn)
A little obsessed with actresses who died before the age of forty, Amber Tamblyn put a lot of research, and six years, into her fourth poetry collection. Dark Sparkler devotes each poem to an individual actress, and, accompanied by art from the likes of David Lynch, Marilyn Manson, and Adrian Tomine, the rich words pick up, and pick apart, threads of beauty, aging, hollowness, violence, and celebrity.

Graphic Novels



My Dirty Dumb Eyes and Hot Dog Taste Test (Lisa Hanawalt)
It takes special skill to marry whimsy with crassness in the particular style of Lisa Hanawalt, and her books—her first, My Dirty Dumb Eyes, recently joined by a second collection, Hot Dog Taste Test—defy easy categorization. But whatever these books are (memoir, comic, humour, essay, non sequitur), they are funny, poignant, and endlessly relatable—whether she's talking about bikini bodies, horseback rides, or her own deep-seated anxieties.

Panther (Brecht Evens)
Best beware of Panther, the titular character in Brecht Evens’s dreamy psychedelic comic about a little girl named Christine and the larger than life feline who shows up in her room one day. A dark unsettling, even twisted, story, I accidentally let Evens’s watercolours lull me into a false sense of whimsy. But the dream quickly turns to nightmare, and Christine soon sees Panther for the shapeshifting, well-spoken threat he really is.

Fiction



Birdie (Tracey Lindberg)
I've been wanting to read this book ever since it was selected as a 2016 Canada Reads contender, and I think the summer is the perfect opportunity for dive into the story of Bernice "Birdie" Meetoos, a Cree woman who travels from Alberta to BC for answers and, maybe, to escape a dark past.

The Left Hand of Darkness (Ursula K. Le Guin)
I normally wouldn't recommend reading about epic journeys on ice planets in the middle of the summer, but for Le Guin, none of the rules seem to matter. This is science fiction at it's finest: beautiful, tense, mind-bending, heartwarming, heartbreaking.

Non-fiction



In the Country We Love (Diane Guerrero and Michelle Burford)
Orange is the New Black and Jane the Virgin actress Diane Guerrero has long been an outspoken supporter of migrants' rights and immigration reform, and in this book she chronicles her own family history: Her parents' deportation when she was fourteen, and the extraordinary odds she faced as a young girl without a support system.

This Changes Everything (Naomi Klein)
This book is a must read for anyone interested in the effects of globalization, capitalism, and corporate irresponsibility on climate change. Beautifully researched and beautifully written, Klein outlines everything from the systematic dismantling of local sustainability projects by trade protectionism to the renaissance of global environmental activism, and makes it all seem accessible and, most importantly, hopeful.

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Summer sidewalk sale!

Happy long weekend, everyone! We're kicking off summer with a big ole sidewalk sale. Come have a browse through the bargain bins, and you're sure to find some real gems: select kids books, comics, fiction, cook books, art books, cards and stationery are on sale! So take a leisurely weekend stroll our way and pick yourself up a summer read (for a song!) while you're at it.
Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Ce soir à 19h00 - Club de lecture francophile: La déesse des mouches à feu de Genevieve Pettersen

Notre club de lecture francophile a bien commencé et nous sommes très fiers de vous annoncer notre troisieme! Pour le mois de juin nous lisons La déesse des mouches à feu de Geneviève Pettersen.

La déesse des mouches à feu, c’est Catherine, quatorze ans, l’adolescence allée chez le diable. C’est l’année noire de toutes les premières fois. C’est 1996 à Chicoutimi-Nord, le punk rock, le fantôme de Kurt Cobain et les cheveux de Mia Wallace. Des petites crisses qui trippent sur Christiane F. et des gars beaux comme dans les films en noir et blanc. Le flânage au terminus et les batailles de skateux contre pouilleux en arrière du centre d’achats. L’hiver au campe dans le fin fond du bois, les plombs aux couteaux, le PCP vert et les baises floues au milieu des sacs de couchage. C’est aussi les parents à bout de souffle et les amants qui se font la guerre. Un jeep qui s’écrase dans un chêne centenaire, les eaux du déluge qui emportent la moitié d’une ville et des oiseaux perdus qu’on essaie de tuer en criant.

Que vous soyez débutant ou francophone d’origine: vous êtes les bienvenus! Nous nous rencontrerons tous les deux mois pour discuter d’un livre francophone, en mettant l’accent sur les auteurs québécois.

Nous en discuterons le 22 juin à 19h00 à la librairie (211 Bernard Ouest). La discussion sera animée par Rebecca Lloyd, gérante de la librairie. Nous vous offrons un rabais de15 % sur La déesse des mouches à feu jusqu’au soir de la rencontre.
Tuesday, 21 June 2016

New D+Q - Anna & Froga: Out and About by Anouk Ricard!

The latest installment of Anouk Ricard's Anna & Froga series hits shelves today!  Anna, Froga, Ron, Christopher, and Bubu are back and in fine form. True to the title, their adventures take them out and about, close to home and further afield. They stop at the mini mall for Christmas craft supplies, head to Paris, take a ride in an air balloon, get on (and are swiftly kicked off) a train, visit their new neighbour, get in a scuffle at the park, and spend some torturous time at a new age health retreat! Here are a few scenes to give you a taste of the hijinks that ensue:

An attempt to "go green" at Christmas yields some interesting results...
 

Ron and Bubu create their own special variations of yoga poses...

A new neighbour with a suspicious aversion to garlic shows up to play Scrabble...

Lessons on hot air balloon safety are learned (the hard way)...

The gang gets a crash course in the realities of city-living in Paris...

In their typically sassy fashion, the friends occasionally tread into frenemy territory as they take on the ups and downs of daily life together. Anouk Ricard's portrayal of "honest friendship" continues to endear itself to readers of all ages in this latest collection. Anna & Froga: Out and About Makes for a perfect summer read while you're out and about on your own adventures!  




Sunday, 19 June 2016

Event Recap: Dave Hill Launches "Dave Hill Doesn't Live Here Anymore"


Last night Dave Hill came into the store to speak with Drawn and Quarterly managing editor Tracy Hurren for the launch of his new book, entitled "Dave Hill Doesn't Live Here Anymore". The book, a series of short stories about himself and his father, brings humor and lightness to the dark places in memory. 



Hill discussed his work on the book, his past, and delved into meandering stories of his encounters with figures like Malcolm Gladwell. After the discussion with Tracy, Hill showed a video of his father and himself playing Stairway to Heaven: his father on piano and him on guitar. The following questions from the audience focused on his cross disciplinary work, from rock musician, to author, to stand up comedian. 




Dave Hill charmed us all with his self-deprecating and truthful humour. As a bonus, those who stuck around got to hear personal anecdotes and stories of encounters with famous people. 


Saturday, 18 June 2016

Tonight at 7:00 p.m. Dave Hill launches Dave Hill Doesn't Live Here Anymore


We are positively stoked to be hosting the launch for Dave Hill's second book, Dave Hill Doesn't Live Here Anymore, on Saturday, June 18th at 7pm, at Librairie Drawn & Quarterly (211 Bernard West)!

Dave will read a tiny bit from his new book -- a collection of essays about his increasingly close relationship with his recently widowed father -- and then chat, mostly. He may also play guitar and/or recite erotic short stories.

Dave Hill is a comedian, writer, and musician originally from Cleveland but now living in New York City. He has writ­ten for The New York Times, The Paris Review, Salon, GQ, McSweeney’s, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and Guitar World, among other publications. He is a regular contributor to public radio’s This American Life and hosts his own radio show, The Goddamn Dave Hill Show, on WFMU in Jersey City, New Jersey. Dave has starred in his own TV series, The King of Miami, and also appeared on Comedy Central, BBC America, MTV, and Adult Swim, among others, and is a regular host on HBO and Cinemax. Dave performs live comedy in theaters and basements all over the world. He also plays guitar and sings in his own rock band, Valley Lodge, whose song “Go” is the theme song for HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. Dave Hill Doesn’t Live Here Anymore is his sec­ond collection of nonfiction essays. Tasteful Nudes: . . . and Other Misguided Attempts at Personal Growth and Validation is his first.
Friday, 17 June 2016

Father's Day Gift Guide

Father's Day is just around the corner, and what better way to show your pops you care than with a thoughtful gift? We've got special treats for Dads of all kinds...

Cooking Dads...

Whiskey-appreciating Dads...

Dads who can do both!
Cycling Dads...

Wood-chopping Dads...


Science Dads...



Film Dads...

History buff Dads...

D.I.Y. creative Dads...

Tattooed Dads...



Dads with a sense of humour about being Dads...


Gardening Dads...

Music Dads...



Magazine-readin' Dads...


Fiction-lovin' Dads...

Coffee Dads...
Travellin' Dads...

...and so many more sorts of books for so many more sorts of Dads. We've also got heaps of very charming Father's Day cards to warm Dad hearts everywhere:




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