Established in 1966, Argo Bookshop is Montreal's oldest independent Anglophone retail bookstore. With only 200 square feet to stock 6000 titles, we take great care in keeping a choice selection. We have something for everyone, and if you don't find what you are looking for, we will gladly order it for you.

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Opening hours:

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Saturday 12h-17h

Location:

1915 Ste Catherine W.
Montreal, Quebec
Tel: 514-931-3442

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Events:

Monthly: Argo Open Mics & Featured Reading Series!

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Blog and Book Reviews

It Changes Nothing: Clarice Lispector’s First and Only TV Interview

If you’ve never seen it, watch Clarice Lispector’s first and only TV interview, from February 1977, when she appeared on TV Cultura in São Paulo. She’d arrived intending to appear in a program about film, apparently, when the station’s director summoned his nerve and asked for an interview. She died later that year.
Lispector is restless, and charmingly curt, throughout the interview—it seems as if she really, really doesn’t want to be there. Even under duress, though, she gives stronger, more meaningful answers than many writers give at their most accessible. “I write without the hope that what I write can change anything at all. It changes nothing … Because at the end of the day we’re not trying to change things. We’re trying to open up somehow.”
At one point, the interlocutor asks, “What, in your opinion, is the role of the Brazilian writer today?”
“To speak as little as possible,” she says, her head tilted, her thumb half-massaging her temple, a cigarette between her fingers.”

(from Penguin Books UK and The Paris Review)

 

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Published December 12th, 2014 in Recommendations

December Newsletter + New & Latest Arrivals (12/02/2014)

Happy Non-Denominational Non-Sectarian Inter-Faith (or not) Winter Holidays, everyone! In preparation for the season of giving, we’ve accumulated a lot of really. Awesome. Books. Literature, philosophy, social sciences, women’s studies, art… With a humongous amount of bargain books to boot. As for the newsletter synopsis: The Book of the Month is Jonathan Crary‘s 24/7 (20% off), a searing critique on late capitalism’s effect on our circadian rhythms, the Book Club title is Roberto Bolano‘s By Night in Chile (15% off), a night-long rant on the intertwining of church and state in Chile, and finally (breath) we hope you’ll consider voting on our upcoming Monthly Featured Author deal (link’s at the bottom of this newsletter). There’s no events this month as we’ll be heading home for the holidays soon enough, with the shop closing from the 23rd of December to the 2nd of January, so drop by while the getting’s good.

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Book of the Month: 20% off

24/7 by Jonathan Crary

 

Jonathan Crary’s 24/7 is a polemic as finely concentrated as a line of pure cocaine. If you’re wondering what Crary’s position is on late-stage capitalism: he’s against it. How much? A lot.” (Benjamin Reiss, “Sleep’s Hidden Histories”, LA Times)

All too often we North Americans like to discuss our sleep patterns, with ‘less is more’ acting as a badge of honour. So you still worked your eight-hour shift on only three hours of sleep? Man, you look tired, what did you get up to last night? Must have been a crazy adventure in sleep deprivation.

Let’s face it: Late capitalism demands that the engine keeps moving at every hour of the day. New York is no longer the city that never sleeps. In this book, “Jonathan Crary examines how this interminable non-time blurs any separation between an intensified, ubiquitous consumerism and emerging strategies of control and surveillance. He describes the ongoing management of individual attentiveness and the impairment of perception within the compulsory routines of contemporary technological culture. At the same time, he shows that human sleep, as a restorative withdrawal that is intrinsically incompatible with 24/7 capitalism, points to other more formidable and collective refusals of world-destroying patterns of growth and accumulation.” (Verso Books)

 

New & Latest Arrivals

There’s just so many great books here that it’s hard to know where to begin: Frederic Gros’ A Philosophy of Walking? The 2014 Nobel Prize winner Patrick Modiano‘s Suspended Sentences? New selected poetry from John Berryman? Margaret Atwood‘s Stone Mattress? The first-hand account and poetry of one of Kim Jong-il favoured poets and known defector Jang Jin-sung? Bargain books from J.G. Ballard, Roddy Doyle, Amy Hempel, Lydia Davis and more? And we’ve got copies of Humans of New York for only $10?!?

These titles may be great, but they’re going fast since going on display a few days ago. If you see anything you like, or something you think would make a good gift for someone, feel free to give us a call or send us an email to reserve something.

Click the title of a book to view information on or a review of that title, or just search for them in our catalogue (recommended for price checks).

 

LITERATURE & POETRY

  • The Edible Woman by Margaret Atwood
  • The Thief’s Journal by Jean Genet
  • The Complete Short Prose of Samuel Beckett (1929-1989)

 

PHILOSOPHY, SOCIAL STUDIES & WOMEN’S STUDIES

 

KIDS

 

BARGAIN BOOKS

  • Not Without Laughter by Langston Hughes
  • Fargo Rock City by Chuck Klosterman
  • Every Love Story is a Ghost Story by D.T. Max
  • Volunteer Slavery by Jill Nelson
  • An Emergency in Slow Motion: The Inner Life of Diane Arbus by William Todd Schultz
  • Invisible by Paul Auster
  • The Iliad by Homer (translated by Stephen Mitchell)

  • A History of the Present Illness by Louise Aronson
  • The End of the Story by Lydia Davis
  • Tumble Home by Amy Hempel
  • Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha by Roddy Doyle
  • The Hunger Angel by Herta Muller
  • Empire of the Sun by J.G. Ballard
  • The Conundrum by David Owen
  • See Now Then by Jamaica Kincaid
  • Born to Buy by Juliet B. Schor
  • Hunger by Knut Hamsun

  • From a Crooked Rib by Nurddin Farah
  • Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler
  • Curse the River of Time by Per Petterson
  • Beyond Innocence: An Autobiography in Letters, The Later Years by Jane Goodall
  • The Great Divergence by Timothy Noah
  • Humans of New York by Brandon Stanton
  • The City Cook by Kate McDonough

 

Our Next Book Club Title

 

Our next read will be By Night in Chile by Roberto Bolaño:

 

“By Night in Chile‘s single night-long rant provides — as through a crack in the wall — a terrifying, clandestine view of the strange bedfellows of Church and State in Chile. This wild, eerily compact novel — Roberto Bolaño‘s first work available in English––recounts the tale of a poor boy who wanted to be a poet, but ends up a Jesuit priest and a conservative literary critic, a lap dog to Chile’s rich and powerful cultural elite, by whose (favours) he meets Pablo Neruda and Ernst Jünger. Father Urrutia is offered a tour of Europe by agents of Opus Dei (to study “the disintegration of the churches,” a journey into realms of the surreal); and ensnared by this plum, he is next assigned — after the destruction of Allende — a secret, never-to-be-disclosed nighttime job involving Pinochet. Soon, searingly, Father Urrutia’s memories go from bad to worse.” (New Directions)

On January 21st, we’ll get together to discuss the book over some drinks. Everyone’s welcome, and anyone partaking receives a 15% discount off the book. If you would like to join in for our monthly discussions, send an email to argobookshop@gmail.com in order to receive regular updates.

 

 

Vote on our First Monthly Featured Author!

 

Come January, we’ll be introducing our Featured Author deal: Any work by the selected author will be 15% off! Whether the work is in store or special-ordered by you, the deal applies. The thing is, we’re not sure which author to start with:
Simone Weil?
Hélène Cixous?
Alistair McLeod?
Rebecca Solnit?
George Orwell?
Jacques Ellul?
Hubert Aquin?
E.M. Cioran?
Violette Leduc?
Marshall McLuhan?
You’ll find a link below to the ongoing vote, and the deadline is December 31st.  So, which author do you think we should start with?

CLICK HERE TO VOTE!

 

 

Happy Non-Denominational Non-Sectarian Inter-Faith (or not) Winter Holidays, Everyone!

 

 

Poll: Monthly Featured Authors

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Published November 19th, 2014 in Announcements

November Newsletter + New & Latest Arrivals (11/03/2014)

Now’s the time to head out and stockpile your literature, just as the city starts its first steps towards a deep freeze! We’ve got plenty to pick from, with (as always) more on the way. Be sure to check out the new arrivals and Bargain Book selections we’ve posted during October (the links can be found in the New Arrivals section of this post). As for events, we’ll be holding our last Argo Open Mic of this year on November 18th, and for books in our spotlight this month, consider picking up a copy of our Book of the Month (20% off!), Jesse Ball‘s Silence Once Begun and/or joining us for our Book Club in November: We’ll be reading Satantango by László Krasznahorkai, winner of the 2013 Best Translated Book Award.

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Book of the Month: 20% off

Silence Once Begun by Jesse Ball

 

Jesse Ball‘s Silence Once Begun resists the standard narrative tropes of contemporary novels. It pushes against them with antique, gentlemanly language, a conflicting set of stories that clearly reference “Rashomon,” and a structure like a funnel that starts at the wide open end. ” (Carolyn Kellogg, “Jesse Ball’s slippery ‘Silence Once Begun’ built on false confessiom”, LA Times)

In Jesse Ball’s absorbing, finely wrought fourth novel, “Silence Once Begun,” a journalist also named Jesse Ball tells the story of a thread salesman who makes a wager with two people in a bar. Upon losing that wager, he signs an extremely detailed confession to a crime he didn’t commit — the kidnapping of eight people from a Japanese town called Narito over the course of four months. The kidnappings, known to the populace as the “Narito Disappearances,” have spurred a moral panic that demands a scapegoat. A man who would offer himself up as that scapegoat is taking the most desperate of chances, asking all his fellow men for some proof that he should continue to live. (Helen Oyeyemi, “Deathly Quiet”, NY Times)

 

New & Latest Arrivals

It’s great to see so many folks interested in our reinstated Bargain Books section! If you’ve missed out on the batches ‘o books that have been arriving in the shop since October, you can click on the following links to view books lists from October 16th, October 22nd and October 23rd (or the photos below).

Click the title of a book to view information on or a review of that title, or just search for them in our catalogue (recommended for price checks).

 

LITERATURE & POETRY

LITERARY CRITICISM & ESSAYS

  • Barolo by Matthew Gavin Frank

 

POETRY

 

KIDS

  • Son by Lois Lowry

 

BARGAIN BOOKS

  • The Theory of Everything: Love by H.M. Person ($7)
  • The Unpossessed by Tess Slesinger ($7)
  • Self Condemned by Wyndham Lewis (Black Sparrow Press edition, $10)
  • Where I’m Calling From by Raymond Carver ($7.50)
  • The Canal by Lee Rourke ($9)


 

Our Next Book Club Title

 

Our next read will be Satantango by László Krasznahorkai:

Known as the inspiration for the filmmaker Béla Tarr’s six-hour masterpiece of the same name, Satantango is a “spellbinding, bleak, and hauntingly beautiful book”, a testimony that it’s the devil who “has all the good times.” Winner of the 2013 Best Translated Book Award from the online literary periodical Three Percent, the story of Satantango is told over the course of several rainy days in an unnamed hamlet, with readers following its scant inhabitants in their misery of being stuck in the middle of nowehere. “Schemes, crimes, infidelities, hopes of escape, and above all trust and its constant betrayal are Krasznahorkai’s meat.” (New Directions)

On November 19th, we’ll get together to discuss the book over some drinks. Everyone’s welcome, and anyone partaking receives a 15% discount off the book. If you would like to join in for our monthly discussions, send an email to argobookshop@gmail.com in order to receive regular updates.

 

 

Events for the Month of October

#1

The Argo Open Mic (#30)

Tuesday, November 18th

@ Argo Bookshop

Doors @ 7PM, Reading @ 7:30PM

Featured in Canadian Notes and Queries‘ Montreal issue (#89) and online reviews and mentions by websites like LikeaLocalGuide and MTLBlog, the Argo Open Mic has been running since November 2011 as an open platform for Montrealers to read their work to a like-minded public.

Grab all those poems, stories, anecdotes, songs and opinions you penned over the summer and come on by to read for 5 to 10 minutes. Emerging and established authors alike are encouraged to participate. Join us for a drink and a jazz session at Grumpy’s Bar (1242 Rue Bishop) afterwards.

 

 

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Published November 3rd, 2014 in Events, New & Latest Arrivals

New & Latest Arrivals: Bargain Books – (10/23/2014)

As promised, here’s the second batch of bargain books! We’ve accumulated so much, we’ve decided to post a list of select titles, complete with links to reviews and overviews from The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Washington Post, authors’ websites and the New York Times. Come by when you can, these titles are going fast!

NEW & LATEST BARGAIN ARRIVALS: A SELECTION

 

  • Organic Crops in Pots by Deborah Schneebeli-Morrell

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

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Published October 23rd, 2014 in New & Latest Arrivals

New & Latest Arrivals (Bargain Books) – 10/22/2014

The levee’s broken, and another flood of bargain books has been released! Many thanks to all of you who have come by the shop to peruse and pick up the new titles that have been coming in through our door. You’ll find a list of new bargain titles below, and we wish to note one thing: Some of these books have since sold since the time the photos were taken! While we’ve marked down which of these titles have sold, we wish to remind you that reservations for anything you see below are more than welcome. Just give us a call or send us an email specifying which titles you’d like to pick up.

 

 

  • Reality Sandwiches by Allen Ginsberg (sold)
  • Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke (sold)
  • One Hundred Poems from the Japanese by Kenneth Rexroth ($5)
  • The Enormous Room by E.E. Cummings ($5)
  • Pictures from Brueghel by William Carlos Williams ($2)
  • Selected Poems of Ezra Pound (sold)
  • The Gate by Natsume Soseki (NYRB edition, $6)
  • Three Tragedies by Frederico Garcia Lorca ($7)
  • 100 Selected Poems by E.E. Cummings (sold)
  • The Selected Poems of Li Po ($5)
  • The Spirit Level by Seamus Heaney ($2)
  • A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway (sold)
  • Handwriting by Michael Ondaatje ($8)
  • The Selected Poems of Carl Sandburg ($5)

 

 

  • Tree of Smoke by Denis Johnson ($6)
  • 1984 by George Orwell (sold)
  • On Writing by Stephen King (hardcover, $5)
  • Dylan Thomas: Collected Poems, 1934-1953 ($5)
  • Opening a Mountain: Koans of the Zen Masters ($6)
  • Nightwood by Djuna Barnes ($8)
  • Falling Man by Don DeLillo ($5)
  • Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer ($7)
  • Beowulf translated by Seamus Heaney ($9)
  • The Klondike by Zach Worton ($6)
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Published October 22nd, 2014 in New & Latest Arrivals

Bargain Books Have Returned!

Our Bargain section has been reinstated, with new titles being added every month!

 

 

While a new shipment is coming soon of even more bargain books, here’s a list of some of the gems we currently have in stock:

  • Poor People by William T. Vollman ($15)
  • Mauve Desert by Nicole Brossard ($7)
  • The She-Devil in the Mirror by Horacio Castellanos Moya ($9.25)
  • Holy the Firm by Annie Dillard ($8)
  • The Collapse of Globalism by John Ralston Saul ($10)
  • Louis Zukofsky: Selected Poems, edited by Charles Bernstein ($12)
  • Across the Bridge by Mavis Gallant ($5)
  • Next Episode by Hubert Aquin ($3)
  • The Colombian Mule by Massimo Carlotto ($7)
  • John Dryden: Oxford Poetry Library Edition ($5)
  • Markings by Dag Hammarskjold ($5)
  • The Box Man by Kobo Abe ($9.50)

  • The Zen Teaching of Huang Po ($8)
  • Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond ($8)
  • The Amazing Adventures of Cavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon ($5)
  • Three Novellas by Thomas Bernhard ($10)
  • A View from the Bridge / All My Sons by Arthur Miller (out of print edition, $9)
  • Wittgenstein’s Mistress by David Markson ($9)
  • Chourmo by Jean-Claude Izzo ($8)
  • Confessions of Dan Yack by Blaise Cendrars ($9)
  • Le Flaneur by Edmund White ($10)
  • Roof Life by Svetlana Alpers ($12)
  • The Doors of Perception & Heaven and Hell by Aldous Huxley (out of print edition, $5)
  • We Meet by Kenneth Patchen ($10)
  • As a Man Grows Older by Italo Svevo (NYRB edition, $10)
  • Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood ($5)
  • The Enchanted Wanderer by Nikolai Leskov (Melville Novella, $6)
  • American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis (UK edition, $6)

 

…& more to come!

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Published October 16th, 2014 in Announcements, New & Latest Arrivals

October Newsletter + New & Latest Arrivals (10/01/2014)

October arriveth, and so does a batch of new arrivals and monthly events. The fall season brings all kinds of excellent books to the shop, so be sure to check out the selection of literature in the new arrivals section of this post. And don’t forget: Our hiatus from events is over, people! We’ll be hosting reading which newly-published authors from NeWest Press, poets from Montreal and abroad, and our Argo Open Mic is back up and running. Lastly, consider picking up a copy of our Book of the Month, John Darnielle‘s Wolf in White Van (nominated for this year’s National Book Award), and/or joining us for our Book Club in November: We’ll be reading Satantango by László Krasznahorkai, winner of the 2013 Best Translated Book Award.

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Book of the Month: 20% off

Wolf in White Van by John Darnielle

 

Wolf‘s structure, in which plot dances around an unspeakable memory that must be teased out of the text, is not new — but Darnielle is a master at building tenderness from this unspecified grief.” (Carman Maria Machado, “The Monstrous And The Beautiful Dance In ‘White Van'”, NPR)

Many know this novel’s author as the multi-instrumentalist, writer and composer for the band The Mountain Goats, but we assure you: He’s a damn good novelist too. Those familiar with John Darnielle‘s music can find intersecting narrative and thematic consistencies in his debut novel Wolf in White Van, namely from its treatment of adolescent introspection, but the format of the novel has given Darnielle more room to breathe.

The novel follows Sean Phillips, a young man disfigured by an accident which forces him to spend most of his time indoors. Secluded, Sean begins a mail-order game company that distributes text-based adventure games, the most popular of which is Trace Italian, a game where players navigate and attempt to survive a post-apocalyptic America populated by roving gangs of mutagenically infected people. However, Sean’s future as a game writer is compromised by a pair of teenagers who follow the path of their characters in Trace Italian  down to the last syllable, an excursion that results in death and Sean is to blame.

 

New & Latest Arrivals

We’re just starting to catch up on our new arrivals, but for now, we’ve picked what we could from this season’s bevy of releases. Some of titles listed here are even currently being restocked, and reservations/special orders are welcome. Expect another post on new arrivals midway through the month!

As new books come in, we’ll be posting about them here on our website as well as on Facebook and Twitter. No matter how you choose to keep in touch with us, we’ll be sure to let you know.

Click the title of a book to view information on or a review of that title, or just search for them in our catalogue (recommended for price checks).

 

LITERATURE & POETRY

 

 

Our Next Book Club Title

 

Our next read will be Satantango by László Krasznahorkai:

Known as the inspiration for the filmmaker Béla Tarr’s six-hour masterpiece of the same name, Satantango is a “spellbinding, bleak, and hauntingly beautiful book”, a testimony that it’s the devil who “has all the good times.” Winner of the 2013 Best Translated Book Award from the online literary periodical Three Percent, the story of Satantango is told over the course of several rainy days in an unnamed hamlet, with readers following its scant inhabitants in their misery of being stuck in the middle of nowehere. “Schemes, crimes, infidelities, hopes of escape, and above all trust and its constant betrayal are Krasznahorkai’s meat.” (New Directions)

On November 19th, we’ll get together to discuss the book over some drinks. Everyone’s welcome, and anyone partaking receives a 15% discount off the book. If you would like to join in for our monthly discussions, send an email to argobookshop@gmail.com in order to receive regular updates.

 

 

Events for the Month of October

#1

Argo Featured Reading #27:

NeWest Press Presents

Marguerite Pigeon & Laurence Miall

Monday, October 6th

@ Argo Bookshop

Doors @ 7PM, Reading @ 7:30PM

Marguerite Pigeon’s gifts for quick characterization and muscular dialogue are on full display in (her first collection of short stories Some Extremely Boring Drives), where you will encounter competitors in an endurance race at the edge of the world; the secret lives of stray cats, and those who try to catch them night after night; an interview with a once-famous musician who seems to be losing touch with reality; a date in Mexico City that ends in a kidnapping; a woman who comes face to face with her mirror image and finds that she’s taken another path; and a girl who’s determined to never, ever stand still again.” (NeWest Press)

Marguerite Pigeon is a former journalist and traveller turned writer of fiction and poetry. In 2001 she lived for several months near the Honduran-Salvadoran border working with a local indigenous organization, an experience that became the inspiration for her first novel, Open Pit. She later attended UBC’s Creative Writing MFA program. Since graduating, her short stories and poems have appeared in journals throughout Canada and internationally, and her first book of poetry, Inventory (Anvil, 2009), was nominated for the Gerald Lampert Award. Some Extremely Boring Drives is her first book of short stories.  Originally from Blind River, Ontario, she currently lives in Vancouver.

 

“In Blind Spot, debut novelist Laurence Miall crafts an unforgettable literary antihero, a man disconnected from the pain of those around him, yet blind to his own faults: When his parents’ car is hit by a train, Luke, a failed actor, returns to his Edmonton hometown to attend their funeral, wrap up their affairs, and prepare their house to be sold off. But while all others around him grieve, Luke remains detached, striking up a relationship with a woman in a neighbouring house… and stumbling across evidence that his mother may have engaged in a longstanding extramarital affair herself.” (NeWest Press)

Laurence Miall is a Montreal-based writer who spent his childhood in England before emigrating to Edmonton at the age of 14. Miall has contributed to The Edmonton Journal and his short stories have been finalists in the Summer Literary Awards contest and Glimmer Train’s Short Story Award for New Writers. Blind Spot is his first novel.

 

#2

A Poetry Reading with

Ricardo Sternberg & Michael Harris

Thursday, October 16th

@ Argo Bookshop

Doors @ 7PM, Reading @ 7:30PM

Some Dance doesn’t so much mark a departure from Sternberg’s previous work as continue to plot a trend, an evolution from the folkloric and fantastic to the secular and contemporary. Written in the voice of an “inveterate optimist,” Some Dance finds Sternberg taking account of his world, his life, and bestowing to it the dignity of his style, transforming it like the inveterate optimists of the insect world, “The Bees,” with “the trick (or is it wisdom?) / that allows them to distil / from the thorn of grievance, / the sweetest honey.” He takes us through his encounters with charlatans and stoned surgeons, lost loves, failed marriages, dead friends and relatives, the dictionary, a fridge full of expired food and more, and attends to each with the same verbal precision, panache and pathos, so that the unerring consideration of his aesthetic becomes a kind of ethical invigilation, the redemption of imperfect lives by perfect phrases… Ricardo Sternberg is one of the absolute best poets in this country. No s–t.” (from Michael Lista @ The National Post)

On October 16th, we’ll be hosting a reading by Montreal-based poet Michael Harris and Canadian-Brazilian poet Ricardo Sternberg who published his new collection Some Dance earlier this year. “Some Dance is a meditation on stories, the intersection of stories, of things made up, of things imagined, and of things lived – perhaps. Tricks played by memory, scrambling events from life with fiction, are a constant.” (McGill-Queen’s University Press)

Ricardo Sternberg‘s poetry has been published in magazines such as The Paris Review, The Nation, Poetry (Chicago), Descant, American Poetry Review, The Virginia Quarterly and Ploughshares.
Michael Harris is a two-time winner of the CBC Literary Competition, he also has edited poetry books and anthologies and translated the complete poetry of Marie-Claire Blais. He runs Montreal Books, a rare and used Internet bookshop. He lives in Montreal, Quebec.

 

#3

The Argo Open Mic is Back! (#29)

Wednesday, October 29th

@ Argo Bookshop

Doors @ 7PM, Reading @ 7:30PM

Featured in Canadian Notes and Queries‘ Montreal issue (#89) and online reviews and mentions by websites like LikeaLocalGuide and MTLBlog, the Argo Open Mic has been running since November 2011 as an open platform for Montrealers to read their work to a like-minded public.

Grab all those poems, stories, anecdotes, songs and opinions you penned over the summer and come on by to read for 5 to 10 minutes. Emerging and established authors alike are encouraged to participate. Join us for a drink and a jazz session at Grumpy’s Bar (1242 Rue Bishop) afterwards.

 

 

September Newsletter + New & Latest Arrivals (09/01/2014)

So, students, it’s time to head back to school, which means our shelves are packed to the brim once more. It also means our in-store events are still on a hiatus during the month of September, but we’ve written up the events that will be taking place in the month of October below. So don’t worry, the readings will resume again soon enough! Be sure to check out what we have to offer for new arrivals for the beginning of the month as well, with inbound updates as the month continues.

Want a copy of the September newsletter for offline browsing?

Argo Bookshop Newsletter – September 2014

 

Book of the Month: 20% off

Arcanum 17 by André Breton

 

Half-hidden among the dreams, soliloquys and recollections is the book’s real purpose–to question the very way of being that had brought the world to such a horrible pass.” (Publishers Weekly)

Written during a trip to Quebec’s Gaspe Peninsula in the months after D-Day in 1944, when the Allied troops were liberating Occupied Europe, André Breton’s Arcanum 17 is a book of both prose and poetry, both reality and dreams. “Using the huge Percé Rock—its impermanence, its slow-motion crumbling, its singular beauty—as his central metaphor, Breton considers issues of love and loss, aggression and war, pacifism, feminism and the occult”. (Green Integer)

Excellently translated by Zack Rogow, co-winner of the 1993 PEN-Book-of-the-Month Translation Prize for his co-translation of Breton’s Earthlight, and published in Green Integer’s handy-dandy pocketbook form, this book is an excellent piece of surrealism for poetry and prose lovers alike.

 

New & Latest Arrivals

Out of what’s listed below, we recommend you check the latest novel from Murakami, the incisive work of Frantz Fanon, and the oddly-compelling poetry of the Black Mountain poet Edward Dorn and of Pablo Picasso (yes, the painter!). Don’t forget to check out our newly-arrived copy of George Elliott Clarke‘s Traverse and The Griffin Poetry Prize Anthology of 2014.

Seeing as it is textbook season at the store, the first post of New Arrivals in the store will be momentarily slim. However, as new books come in, we’ll be posting about them here on our website as well as on Facebook and Twitter. No matter how you choose to keep in touch with us, we’ll be sure to let you know when we’re packing our copies of, say, the highly anticipated Bone Clocks by David Mitchell. Stay tuned!

Click the title of a book to view information on or a review of that title, or just search for them in our catalogue (recommended for price checks).

 

LITERATURE & POETRY

  • MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood (paperback edition)

 

WRITING

 

PHILOSOPHY & SOCIAL SCIENCES

 

TRAVEL

 

 

Our Next Book Club Title

 

Our next read is Why Does the World Exist?: An Existential Detective Story by Jim Holt:

“Whether framed philosophically as “Why is there a world rather than nothing at all?” or more colloquially as “But, Mommy, who made God?” the metaphysical mystery about how we came into existence remains the most fractious and fascinating question of all time. Following in the footsteps of Christopher Hitchens, Roger Penrose, and even Stephen Hawking, Jim Holt emerges with an engrossing narrative that traces our latest efforts to grasp the origins of the universe.”

- (Liveright Books)

On September 25th, we’ll get together to discuss the book over some drinks. Everyone’s welcome, and anyone partaking receives a 15% discount off the book.

If you would like to join in for our monthly discussions, send an email to argobookshop@gmail.com in order to receive regular updates.

 

 

In Anticipation: October’s Events

#1

Argo Featured Reading #27:

NeWest Press Presents

Marguerite Pigeon & Laurence Miall

Monday, October 6th

@ Argo Bookshop

Doors @ 7PM, Reading @ 7:30PM

Marguerite Pigeon’s gifts for quick characterization and muscular dialogue are on full display in (her first collection of short stories Some Extremely Boring Drives), where you will encounter competitors in an endurance race at the edge of the world; the secret lives of stray cats, and those who try to catch them night after night; an interview with a once-famous musician who seems to be losing touch with reality; a date in Mexico City that ends in a kidnapping; a woman who comes face to face with her mirror image and finds that she’s taken another path; and a girl who’s determined to never, ever stand still again.” (NeWest Press)

Marguerite Pigeon is a former journalist and traveller turned writer of fiction and poetry. In 2001 she lived for several months near the Honduran-Salvadoran border working with a local indigenous organization, an experience that became the inspiration for her first novel, Open Pit. She later attended UBC’s Creative Writing MFA program. Since graduating, her short stories and poems have appeared in journals throughout Canada and internationally, and her first book of poetry, Inventory (Anvil, 2009), was nominated for the Gerald Lampert Award. Some Extremely Boring Drives is her first book of short stories.  Originally from Blind River, Ontario, she currently lives in Vancouver.

 

“In Blind Spot, debut novelist Laurence Miall crafts an unforgettable literary antihero, a man disconnected from the pain of those around him, yet blind to his own faults: When his parents’ car is hit by a train, Luke, a failed actor, returns to his Edmonton hometown to attend their funeral, wrap up their affairs, and prepare their house to be sold off. But while all others around him grieve, Luke remains detached, striking up a relationship with a woman in a neighbouring house… and stumbling across evidence that his mother may have engaged in a longstanding extramarital affair herself.” (NeWest Press)

Laurence Miall is a Montreal-based writer who spent his childhood in England before emigrating to Edmonton at the age of 14. Miall has contributed to The Edmonton Journal and his short stories have been finalists in the Summer Literary Awards contest and Glimmer Train’s Short Story Award for New Writers. Blind Spot is his first novel.

 

#2

A Poetry Reading with

Ricardo Sternberg & Michael Harris

Thursday, October 16th

@ Argo Bookshop

Doors @ 7PM, Reading @ 7:30PM

Some Dance doesn’t so much mark a departure from Sternberg’s previous work as continue to plot a trend, an evolution from the folkloric and fantastic to the secular and contemporary. Written in the voice of an “inveterate optimist,” Some Dance finds Sternberg taking account of his world, his life, and bestowing to it the dignity of his style, transforming it like the inveterate optimists of the insect world, “The Bees,” with “the trick (or is it wisdom?) / that allows them to distil / from the thorn of grievance, / the sweetest honey.” He takes us through his encounters with charlatans and stoned surgeons, lost loves, failed marriages, dead friends and relatives, the dictionary, a fridge full of expired food and more, and attends to each with the same verbal precision, panache and pathos, so that the unerring consideration of his aesthetic becomes a kind of ethical invigilation, the redemption of imperfect lives by perfect phrases… Ricardo Sternberg is one of the absolute best poets in this country. No s–t.” (from Michael Lista @ The National Post)

On October 16th, we’ll be hosting a reading by Montreal-based poet Michael Harris and Canadian-Brazilian poet Ricardo Sternberg who published his new collection Some Dance earlier this year. “Some Dance is a meditation on stories, the intersection of stories, of things made up, of things imagined, and of things lived – perhaps. Tricks played by memory, scrambling events from life with fiction, are a constant.” (McGill-Queen’s University Press)

 

#3

The Argo Open Mic is Back! (#29)

Wednesday, October 29th

@ Argo Bookshop

Doors @ 7PM, Reading @ 7:30PM

Featured in Canadian Notes and Queries‘ Montreal issue (#89) and online reviews and mentions by websites like LikeaLocalGuide and MTLBlog, the Argo Open Mic has been running since November 2011 as an open platform for Montrealers to read their work to a like-minded public.

Grab all those poems, stories, anecdotes, songs and opinions you penned over the summer and come on by to read for 5 to 10 minutes. Emerging and established authors alike are encouraged to participate. Join us for a drink and a jazz session at Grumpy’s Bar (1242 Rue Bishop) afterwards.

 

 

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Published September 1st, 2014 in Announcements, Events, New & Latest Arrivals

August Newsletter + New & Latest Arrivals

Hello, Montreal! Perhaps we will be seeing more of you all since the closure of a downtown Chapters outlet was announced? Only time will tell if the predictions (see the article connected to the link) of Vehicule Press co-publisher Simon Dardick will come to pass. For now, we’ll just keep doing what we do, and we promise we won’t start selling teapots and novelty corkscrews… In other news, the results of our mini poll shows that one of the most anticipated reads for the autumn season is a tie between Consumed by David Cronenberg (yes, the director) and Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami. Many thanks to everyone who voted. Seems we’re all about Murakami this month! Read on to find out more.

For those of you who don’t know, in-store events will be on a hiatus from July to September, and we’ll resume again in the month of October. Keep an eye out for our September newsletter if you wish to see the upcoming fall events.

Want a copy of the August newsletter for offline browsing?

Argo Bookshop Newsletter – August 2014

 

Book of the Month: 20% off

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running 

by Haruki Murakami 

…The neuroses and obsessions of the runner leap from every page… The style is very clipped, many of the sentences short, so you feel the pace of the runner skipping through the text.” (Alastair Campbell, The Guardian)

A memoir of vivid and revelatory qualities, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running is more than just a journal of his struggles to prepare for and complete New York City’s 62-mile ultramarathon. Full of intimate moments, from meditations on where his obsessions of writing and running intertwine, to his ‘eureka moment’ when he decided to become a writer, this book is a great read for newcomers to his work as well as long-time appreciators.

Born on January 12th, 1949, Haruki Murakamis a contemporary Japanese writer who has been translated into 50 languages. His best-selling books have been published in millions of copies. His works of fiction and non-fiction have garnered critical acclaim and numerous awards, both in Japan and internationally.

 

New & Latest Arrivals

The month of August brought us a lot of successful titles now available in paperback, from Eleanor Catton‘s The Luminaries to Margaret Macmillan‘s The War That Ended Peace, but we’ve brought a lot of other interesting books new to the shop as well! Take, for example, new additions to our art section: We’ve brought in a book of beautiful drawings by Kurt Vonnegut and Letter of Note, which “attempt(s) to gather and sort fascinating letters, postcards, telegrams, faxes, and memos.” The latter art title still has a website which updates regularly. We would also like to draw your attention to the latest and most excellent work by Karyn L. Freedman, found in the History& Social Sciences below. Lastly, local author Muriel Gold has been so kind as to drop off her whole canon of criticism on drama! Not too much exists online about her work, so we suggest you come by the shop to check them out.

Click the title of a book to view information on or a review of that title, or just search for them in our catalogue (recommended for price checks).

 

LITERATURE & POETRY

  • Agostino by Alberto Moravia (NYRB edition)
  • White Noise by Don DeLillo (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) 

 

LITERARY CRITICISM & PHILOSOPHY

 

ART

 

HISTORY & SOCIAL SCIENCES

 

DRAMA (LOCAL AUTHOR)

  • Tell Me Why Nights Are Lonesome by Muriel Gold
  • Drama Across the Curriculum: The Fictional Family in Practice by Muriel Gold
  • The Dramatic Legacy of Dorothy Davis and Violet Walters: The Montreal Children’s Theatre, 1933-2009 by Muriel Gold
  • A Gift for Their Mother: The Saidye Bronfman Centre Theatre: A History by Muriel Gold
  • Therapy Through Drama: The Fictional Family by Muriel Gold
  • The Fictional Family: In Drama, Education and Groupwork by Muriel Gold

 

 

Our Next Book Club Title

 

Our next read is Why Does the World Exist?: An Existential Detective Story by Jim Holt:


“Whether framed philosophically as “Why is there a world rather than nothing at all?” or more colloquially as “But, Mommy, who made God?” the metaphysical mystery about how we came into existence remains the most fractious and fascinating question of all time. Following in the footsteps of Christopher Hitchens, Roger Penrose, and even Stephen Hawking, Jim Holt emerges with an engrossing narrative that traces our latest efforts to grasp the origins of the universe.”

  (Liveright Books)

 On September 25th, we’ll get together to discuss the book over some drinks. Everyone’s welcome, and anyone partaking receives a 15% discount off the book.

If you would like to join in for our monthly discussions, send an email to argobookshop@gmail.comin order to receive regular updates.

 

Add a comment »

Published August 5th, 2014 in Announcements, New & Latest Arrivals