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:

Mon-Fri 10h-19h
Saturday 12h-17h


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

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Monthly: Argo Open Mics & Featured Reading Series!

Keep yourself posted through our website for all upcoming events! Check us out on Facebook or Twitter.

Feel free to check out recordings from past events either here on the site, or on our MixCloud account.

Blog and Book Reviews

Vote for Us!


It’s that time of year again! Montreal’s premier Anglophone alt-weekly paper Cult MTL is holding their annual Best of #MTL vote, and we’re hoping you’d consider our little shop for the category of Best New Bookstore. We’ve managed to make it onto folks’ ballots in the past, and we hope to be on there again! Here’s the link.

Straight from the Montrealaise horse’s mouth:

“Welcome to the Best of MTL, Cult MTL’s third annual readers’ poll! This is a forum to reward your favourite local people, places, media, art, food, events and services.

Rules: One entry per person (per IP address). Ballots must have a minimum of 25 categories filled in to be counted. Votes for non-local people or things — that are not based in or made in Montreal — will be disregarded. The deadline for voting is 11:59 p.m. on April 17. Results will appear in the May 2015 print edition of Cult MTL.”


Click here & show us some love!


April Newsletter (04/02/2015)


April need not always be the cruellest month: It’s National Poetry Month, so we’re bringing back our celebratory deal where all Canadian and international poetry titles are 20% off. Enjoy! 

A quick synopsis of the newsletter: April’s book of the month is Guillaume Morissette‘s New Tab from the Montreal publisher Vehicule Press, which was recently shortlisted for the Amazon First Novel Award! As for events (click on the links for the Facebook events), we’ve got a great line-up we hope you’ll check out. First (April 9th) we’ll be hosting scholar Brooke Jeffrey‘s presentation of her book Dismantling Canada: Stephen Harper’s New Conservative Agenda, a book that “explores Harper’s successes and failures, and evaluates the likely outcome of his long-term agenda to change Canada into a country most Canadians would not recognize” (McGill-Queens University Press). Second (April 20th), the Governor General award-winning playwright Erin Shields will be reading from her latest play Soliciting Temptation. Finally, our open mic session is on the 29th of the month.

& don’t forget: We’ve got a regular discount of 15% off offered to any and all book clubs and book club members.

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Book of the Month: 20% off

New Tab by Guillaume Morissette


Set in Montreal, New Tab spans a year in the life of a twenty-six year old videogame designer as he attempts to reset his life, in the process chronicling with humour disillusion, boredom, self-destruction, Facebook chats, Concordia University, bilingualism, good parties, bad parties, a backyard cinema, social anxiety and running a possibly illegal DIY venue.
Guillaume Morissette is the author of the collection of stories & poems I Am My Own Betrayal(Maison Kasini, 2012) and the novel New Tab (Vehicule Press, 2014). His work has appeared inMaisonneuve Magazine, HTMLGIANT, Carte-Blanche, Little Brother Magazine, Metazen, Thought Catalog and many other publications. (Vehicule Press)

“(I) found it both hilarious and sincere. His comedic side comes out in lines like, “Internet porn didn’t judge me” and, “name a time of the day and I have eaten cereal at it.”  Self-reflection scatters the book between the protagonist’s sexual failures, social anxieties, and workplace depression in the form of status updates. New Tab is a narrative of self-transformation within the everyday life of a twenty-something (pushing thirty-something) Quebecker.” New Tab “is lucid and sympathetic, and manages to integrate actual social media habits as well as plot points based on actual Montreal trends into a text which functions believably as a site for character interactions and development.” (from Jason Freure @ The Town Crier, “Morissette: Broke and Precariously Housed”)


New & Latest Arrivals

Featured Montreal-based publisher arrivals this month include selections from DC Books and Metatron Press! Read on for more info. You’ll find a list of our most recent arrivals in the shop 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).


DC Books selection

Metatron Press titles


  • Beyond Remembering: The Collected Poems of Al Purdy
  • Last Makings: Poems by Earle Birney
  • Proof by Larissa Andrusyshyn





  • America and the Cold War, 1941-1991 [2 volumes]: A Realist Interpretation by Norman A. Graebner and Richard Dean Burns
  • Coalitions of Convenience: United States Military Interventions after the Cold War by Sarah E. Kreps


Events for the Month of April


Brooke Jeffrey presents her latest book:
“Dismantling Canada: Stephen Harper’s New Conservative Agenda”
Thursday, April 9th
Argo Bookshop
Doors @ 7PM, Reading @ 7:30PM

We’re pleased to announce that author and professor Brooke Jeffrey will be in the shop on April 9th to discuss her book Dismantling Canada, which “explores Harper’s successes and failures, and evaluates the likely outcome of his long-term agenda to change Canada into a country most Canadians would not recognize.” The event is free.
“Stephen Harper is the first prime minister to represent the new Conservative Party, and the first to declare that his goals include nothing less than changing Canada by entrenching conservative values and replacing the Liberals as the country’s natural governing party. After nine years of a closed-door governing style, his agenda is no longer hidden.
As Brooke Jeffrey outlines in compelling detail in Dismantling Canada, Harper’s agenda is driven by a desire to impose order and tradition at home, and to take firm stands on emerging issues abroad. With only thirty-nine per cent of the popular vote in 2011, his government appears to have gone a surprisingly long way towards achieving those objectives, with little or no concerted public opposition. Illuminating the importance and influence of British and especially American right-wing conservatives on Harper’s strategies, the book explains how he has achieved so much through a combination of stealth, pragmatism, and ruthless determination.” (from McGill-Queen’s University Press)


Playwright Erin Shields reads from her latest play
Monday, April 20th
Argo Bookshop
Doors @ 7PM, Reading @ 7:30PM

“In a sweaty hotel room, a lonely businessman and a young woman meet for sex. Somewhere between reality and fantasy, the sex becomes talk and the talk becomes dangerous. Nothing is off limits in this battle of morality, economics and desire. This witty, dark and sexually charged new play by Governor General’s Award–winner Erin Shields shines a light on the complexities of sex tourism and our preconceptions about love.” (Playwrights of Canada)

Erin Shields is a Canadian stage actress and playwright of six plays. She is best known for her play If We Were Birds, which won the Governor General’s Award for English-language drama at the 2011 Governor General’s Awards, and was a nominee for the 2010 Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Play.



The Argo Open Mic! (#34)
Wednesday, April 29th
Argo Bookshop
Doors @ 7PM, Reading @ 7:30PM

Come to our open mic on the last Wednesday of April to read your poems, stories, anecdotes, songs and opinions! The crowd’s always inviting, and spectators are always welcome. Emerging and established authors alike are encouraged to participate.


March Newsletter (03/02/2015)


March is certainly more than welcome in Montreal. Fingers crossed, we bid adieu to the frigid month of February (reported to have been Quebec’s coldest since the late 1800s) and welcome the beginning thaw. When we’re ever looking out the front window of the shop, it’s just so nice to see people out and about again! That said, we’ve decided to amp up new arrivals and events this month in celebration of the diminishing chill.

For March, we’ve decided on Kazuo Ishiguro‘s The Buried Giant (his first novel in a decade!) as our book of the month, and you’ll find a complete list of new arrivals below. As for events, we hope you come out to one of the events we’ve got lined up: First (March 10th) we’ll be hosting writer and comedian Jonathan Baum tell us stories about his impaired moral compass. Second (March 19th), our featured reading this month will highlight authors from Montreal’s own Metatron Press, Marie DarsignyGuillaume Morissette and Jay Winston Ritchie. Then we’ve got our open mic session on the 25th of the month, and capping it all off with a solo reading from poet Joel Lewis, declared to be the “quintessential New Jersey poet of our time” by poet Ron Silliman.

& don’t forget: We’ve got a regular discount of 15% off offered to any and all book clubs and book club members.

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Book of the Month: 20% off

The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro


He had been in the throes of some powerful and strange emotion, one that had all but put him in a dream, though every word being spoken around him still reached his ears with perfect clarity. He had felt as one standing in a boat on a wintry river, looking out into dense fog, knowing it would at any moment part to reveal vivid glimpses of the land ahead. And he had been caught in a kind of terror, yet at the same time had felt a curiosity – or something stronger and darker – and he had told himself firmly, “Whatever it may be, let me see it, let me see it.”’ (an excerpt from The Buried Giant, originally posted in The Telegraph)

Following his highly-acclaimed novels Never Let Me Go and Against the Day, The Buried Giant is Ishiguro’s first novel in a decade. It tells the story of Axl and Beatrice, a couple of elderly Britons living in a Roman-ravaged Britain, who decide to set off across the scarred countryside to find the son they have not seen for years, the son they can scarcely remember. “They know they will face many hazards—some strange and otherworldly—but they cannot foresee how their journey will reveal to them the dark and forgotten corners of their love for each other. Nor can they foresee that they will be joined on their journey by a Saxon warrior, his orphan charge, and a knight—each of them, like Axl and Beatrice, lost in some way to his own past, but drawn inexorably toward the comfort, and the burden, of the fullness of a life’s memories.” (Random House)


New & Latest Arrivals

You’ll find a list of our most recent arrivals in the shop 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).




  • Virginia McClure: Drawings / Dessins (edited by Victoria Lablanc and Alexandra McClure Troy)





(& there’s always more on the way!)

  • The Freedom: Shadows and Hallucinations in Occupied Iraq by Christian Parenti ($10)
  • Baghdad Express by Joel Turnipseed ($10)
  • Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mamma’s Hung You in the Closet and I’m Feeling So Sad by Arthur L. Kopit ($5)
  • Fences and Windows: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Globalization Debate by Naomi Klein ($8)
  • Mistress to an Age by J. Christopher Herold ($5)
  • The Devil in Massachusetts by Marion L. Starkey ($5)
  • Settlers of the Marsh by Frederick P. Grove ($3)
  • I, Fellini by Charlotte Chandler ($7)
  • Poesies de Rimbaud ($4)
  • The Imitation of Christ by Thomas Kempis ($9)
  • The Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels ($9)
  • Fear The Worst by Linwood Barclay ($5)


Events for the Month of March


Comedian & Writer Jonathan Baum
reads from his debut collection of stories
“My Impaired Moral Compass”
Tuesday, March 10th
Argo Bookshop
Doors @ 7PM, Reading @ 7:30PM

Join us for a night of comedy writing! Jonathan Baum is a stand-up comedian living in Whistler, BC. Stopping by the shop during his cross-country stand-up tour, Baum will be presenting stories from his compilation of ten years’ worth of stories, My Impaired Moral Compass. Navigating the moral ambiguity surrounding his feeble pursuits of money, sex, power, and fame, Baum’s twenty tales touch on misgivings and accomplishments surrounding everyday living, from Craigslist to Tinder dates.


Argo Featured Reading #28:
Guillaume Morissette, Marie Darsigny & Jay Winston Ritchie
Thursday, February 19th
Argo Bookshop
Doors @ 7PM, Reading @ 7:30PM


For our next Featured Reading, we’re putting the spotlight on Metatron, an independent publisher located in Montreal specialized in “contemporary literature & good vibes.” We’ll have three writers fromMetatron performing in store, plus we can talk about “contemporary literature,” or what it’s like to run a small press in Montreal.

Readings & things by:

~ GUILLAUME MORISSETTE, Metatron’s co-editor and the author of the novel New Tab (Vehicule Press, 2014). He tweets at @anxietyissue.

~ MARIE DARSIGNY, a bilingual writer whose work has appeared in both English and French in xoJane, xoVain, Urbania and Nightlife Magazine, among others. A Little Death Around the Heart (Metatron, 2014) is her first collection of writing.

~ JAY WINSTON RITCHIE, the author of Something You Were, Might Have Been, or Have Come to Represent (Insomniac Press, 2014) and How to Remain Perfectly Indifferent While Crying on the Inside (Metatron, 2014). He’s the former editor in chief of The Void and was shortlisted of the LitPop award (2012) for fiction.

If you’d like to find out more about Metatron, you can visit Metatron’s website.



The Argo Open Mic! (#33)
Wednesday, March 25th
Argo Bookshop
Doors @ 7PM, Reading @ 7:30PM


Come to our open mic on the last Wednesday of March to read your poems, stories, anecdotes, songs and opinions! The crowd’s always open and reciprocal, and spectators are always welcome. Emerging and established authors alike are encouraged to participate. Please note that the location is subject to change, depending on the amount of people attending: You can stay informed re: location on the Facebook event page and our website.


New Jersey Poet Joel Lewis reads @ The Argo
Friday, March 27th
Argo Bookshop
Doors @ 7PM, Reading @ 7:30PM



Joel Lewis, declared by Ron Silliman to be “the quintessential New Jersey poet of our time” (as much so as Walt Whitman, William Carlos Williams, Amiri Baraka, David Shapiro or Joe Ceravolo were for theirs), is the author of North River Rundown (2013), Surrender When Leaving Coach (2012), Learning From New Jersey (2007), Vertical’s Currency (1999) and House Rent Boogie (1992). Lewis is winner of the second (and last) Ted Berrigan Memorial Award. He edited Bluestones and Salt Hay, an anthology of contemporary NJ poets, as well as editing Reality Prime, the selected poems of the American Communist poet Walter Lowenfels and On The Level Everyday, the selected talks of Ted Berrigan.

A social worker by day, he has taught creative writing at the Poetry Project, The Writer’s Voice and Rutgers University. And, for better or worse, he initiated the ill-fated New Jersey Poet Laureate position that was such a headache for Amiri Baraka. With his wife, Rutgers University cinema professor Sandy Flitterman-Lewis, he resides in Hoboken, opposite Manhattan and on the west bank of the Hudson River.

For his reading at Argo Bookshop, Joel will be reading from his memoir-in-progress about his friendship with fellow Jersey poet, Amiri Baraka.



Published March 2nd, 2015 in Events, New & Latest Arrivals

February Newsletter (02/02/2015)


Damn you, Mr. Groundhog! If you’re somewhat of a ‘marsupially-superstitious’ person, then you know we’ve now got six more weeks of winter coming our way. Yeesh. What better reason to hunker down after a frosty day outside with a good book and a hot beverage of your choice? Netflix can only offer us so much company.

The month of February brings us a whole new batch of titles in the shop both new and at bargain prices, a new Book of the Month (Akhil Sharma‘s Family Life), new events like our Argo Open Mic and a dual Vallum poetry chapbook launch with Mary di Michele and Nicole Brossard… The only exception is that we will be discontinuing our Book Club (read on for more information about that), and replacing it with a regular discount of 15% off offered to any and all book clubs and book club members.

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Book of the Month: 20% off

Family Life by Akhil Sharma


Family Life is devastating as it reveals how love becomes warped and jagged and even seemingly vanishes in the midst of huge grief.

(Sonali Deraniyagala, “The Repercussions”, New York Times)

“We meet the Mishra family in Delhi in 1978, where eight-year-old Ajay and his older brother Birju play cricket in the streets, waiting for the day when their plane tickets will arrive and they and their mother can fly across the world and join their father in America. America to the Mishras is, indeed, everything they could have imagined and more: when automatic glass doors open before them, they feel that surely they must have been mistaken for somebody important. Pressing an elevator button and the elevator closing its doors and rising, they have a feeling of power at the fact that the elevator is obeying them. Life is extraordinary until tragedy strikes, leaving one brother severely brain-damaged and the other lost and virtually orphaned in a strange land. Ajay, the family’s younger son, prays to a God he envisions as Superman, longing to find his place amid the ruins of his family’s new life.” (W.W. Norton)


New & Latest Arrivals

You’ll find a list of our most recent arrivals in the shop below. What you won’t find listed here is a whopping 80-title list of 1970s science-fiction bargain titles which arrived in the shop in late January.


Click on this link to view a complete list of those books, and a sample picture has been provided 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).










(& there’s always more on the way!)

  • The Way of an Eagle by Dan Potter ($5)
  • Irish Rose by Patrick Wyatt ($5)
  • Life of Pi by Yann Martel ($7)
  • Falling Together by Marisa de los Santos ($4)
  • Mr. Churchill’s Secretary: A Maggie Hope Mystery by Susan Elia MacNeil ($5)


The End of Our Book Club


Dear Montreal,

It’s been roughly two years since we began our book club. Based out of the store, we had a great time getting to know Montrealers over a great selection of literature. However, we can no longer continue a regular bi-monthly book club at this point in time.

If you are looking for a book club to get engaged in, there are many about the city and members of our own book club have expressed interest in continuing one of their own. If you’d like to be put into contact with the group, feel free to send us an email at and we can forward your contact information.

Don’t get us wrong: Book clubs are fantastic! It’s a great way to meet people you otherwise would have never crossed paths with, and it’s always a plus to know that like-minded readers are out there. That’s why we want to encourage your own book club: Book clubs and book club members can receive 15% off their orders! Give us a call, send us an email or message us onFacebook/Twitter to find out more!

Happy reading!


Events for the Month of February


Dual Vallum Poetry Chapbook Launch:

Nicole Brossard & Mary di Michele

Thursday, February 19th

@ Argo Bookshop

Doors @ 7PM, Reading @ 7:30PM

The Argo Bookshop is very excited to host Vallum Magazine’s dual poetry chapbook launch of Mary di Michele‘s The Montreal Book of the Dead and Nicole Brossard‘s A Tilt in the Wondering: And you’re invited! You can find the Facebook event here.

“Envisioning the passage of time under the ‘full and unwaning’ moon of Mont Royal’s beacon cross, di Michele recalls her Italian immigrant parents in Toronto and her current life in Montreal. This sequence, a sort of decameron, written with her customary brightness and gracefulness of diction, concludes at a deserted customs office where no one wants to see her passport: the truly borderless place of poetry itself.” – Sharon Thesen

Poet, novelist, and member of the collaborative writing group Yoko’s Dogs, Mary di Michele is author of eleven books including a selected poems, Stranger in You (Oxford University Press 1995), and the novel Tenor of Love (Viking Canada 2005). She lives in Montreal where she teaches at Concordia University. Her most recent books are The Flower of Youth: The Pier Paolo Pasolini Poems (ECW Press 2011) and Whisk (Pedlar Press 2013), which was co-authored with the group Yoko’s Dogs.


Blending meaning and language, thought and ideas, English and French, A Tilt In The Wondering intimately confuses understanding and the basis by which we judge our own reality. Writing as if the words themselves could vanish, Nicole Brossard fires question after question as if to explore the very nature of existence beyond time and presence. Divided into several poems, which appear to function as sections of the larger work, the language and imagery of each blends into the next and further confounds the already fragile distinctions between the pieces. This leaves the reader with the sense that there is “no real physical space in between/ but a sense of words falling.” (Vallum)


Author to 29 books in French (11 of which are translated into English), Nicole Brossard, O.C. is a leading French Canadian formalist poet and novelist, and a major theoretician and promoter of literary and cultural feminism. Her books have earned her, among other awards, four nominations for the Governor General’s Awards and two have won the Governor General’s Award for Poetry.    



Argo Open Mic #32

Wednesday, February 25th

@ Argo Bookshop

Doors @ 7PM, Reading @ 7:30PM

Come to our open mic on the last Wednesday of February to read your poems, stories, anecdotes, songs and opinions! The crowd’s always open and reciprocal, and spectators are always welcome. Emerging and established authors alike are encouraged to participate. Please note that the location is subject to change, depending on the amount of people attending: You can stay informed re: location on the Facebook event page and our website.


Ahoy, Sci Fi!

We’ve been inundated by eighty (that’s right, eighty) new Sci-Fi titles for our Bargain Books section, all published in or around the 1970s! There are some fantastic authors here, and the books are beyond compare: All of these books are hardcover, part of the Science Fiction Book Club which is still in motion to this day. We’ve priced each of them at either $4, $5 or $6, depending on the title/author and condition of the book. If you wish to reserve any of the titles we’ve listed below, please do not hesitate to contact us. They’re going fast.

And now for a photo:



  • Ellison Wonderland by Harlan Ellison
  • Xeno by D.F. Jones
  • Gray Matters by William Hjortsberg
  • Inconstant Moon by Larry Niven
  • Arrive at Easterwine by R.A. Lafferty
  • The Priests of Psi by Frank Herbert
  • The Stainless Steel Rat Saves the World by Harry Harrison
  • Twin Planets by Philip E. High
  • The Stone That Never Came Down by John Brunner
  • The Stainless Steel Rat Wants You by Harry Harrison
  • You Must Remember Us…? by Leonard Daventry
  • The Lucifer Experiment by Adrian Cole
  • The Anarchistic Colossus by A.E. Van Vogt
  • The God Machine by William Jon Watkins
  • Roadmarks by Roger Zelazny
  • Visions & Ventures by Theodore Sturgeon
  • The Reefs of Earth by R.A. Lafferty
  • Inverted World by Christopher Priest
  • A Wreath of Stars by Bob Shaw
  • The Doors of His Face The Lamps of His Mouth & Other Stories by Roger Zelazny
  • Oil-Seeker by Michael Elder
  • The Survival Game by Colin Kapp
  • Shipwreck by Charles Logan
  • A Different Light by Elizabeth A. Lynn
  • All My Sins Remembered by Joe Haldeman
  • The Faded Sun: Kutath by C.J. Cherryh
  • The Faded Sun: Kesrith by C.J. Cherryh
  • The Faded Sun: Shon’Jir by C.J. Cherryh
  • Eyes of Amber by Joan D. Vinge
  • Somerset Dreams and Other Fictions by Kate Wilhelm
  • The Jonah Kit by Ian Watson
  • The Martian Inca by Ian Watson
  • Alien Embassy by Ian Watson
  • Miracle Visitors by Ian Watson
  • DeathHunter by Ian Watson
  • Mockingbird by Walter Tevis
  • The Stars in Shroud by Gregory Benford
  • Hello Summer, Goodbye by Michael Coney
  • Leviathan’s Deep by Jayge Carr
  • The Stochastic Man by Robert Silverberg
  • Cirque by Terry Carr
  • The Face by Jack Vance
  • Killer Pine by Lindsay Gutteridge
  • Mardoc by Ronald A. McQueen
  • King David’s Spaceship by Jerry Pournelle
  • Man Plus by Frederick Pohl
  • The Cool War by Frederick Pohl
  • A Dream of Wessex by Christopher Priest
  • An Infinite Summer by Christopher Priest
  • The Wandering Worlds by Terry Greenhough
  • Orbitsville by Bob Shaw
  • Ship of Strangers by Bob Shaw
  • Dagger of the Mind by Bob Shaw
  • The Ceres Solution by Bob Shaw
  • The Visitors by Clifford D. Simak
  • A Heritage of Stars by Clifford D. Simak
  • The Fellowship of the Talisman by Clifford D. Simak
  • Domino by Richard Cowper
  • The Road to Corlay by Richard Cowper
  • Worlds Apart by Richard Cowper
  • Star Probe by Joseph Green
  • The Grain Kings by Keith Roberts
  • The Night of Kadar by Garry Kilworth
  • Midworld by Alan Dean Foster
  • The Typhon Intervention by Douglas R. Mason
  • Wonder-Worlds: Stories by William F. Nolan
  • Frostworld and Dreamfire by John Morressy
  • The Five Doors by Jack Rhys
  • Maxwell’s Demon by Martin Sherwood
  • Shadrach in the Furnace by Robert Silverberg
  • The Kramer Project by Robert A. Smith
  • The Lincoln Hunters by Wilson Tucker
  • Deathbeast by David Gerrold


(titles comprised of many of the above-listed authors)

  • The Crystal Ship: 3 Novellas by Vonda N. McIntyre, Marta Randall & Joan D. Vinge
  • Starry Messenger: The Best of Galileo (edited by Charles C. Ryan)
  • Futurelove: 3 Novellas by Anne McCaffrey, Joan Hunter Holly & Jeffrey A. Carver
  • Aries1: Selections (edited by John Grant)
  • New Writings in SF 23 (edited by Kenneth Bulmer)
  • Best Science Fiction Stories of the Year III
  • Best Science Fiction Stories of the Year IV
  • Best Science Fiction Stories of the Year V


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Published January 27th, 2015 in New & Latest Arrivals, Recommendations

Top Ten Books of 2014

…well, our Top Ten Books of 2014 are more like the Top Five Books of 2014, times two. Here are our lists, in no particular hierarchical order whatsoever. Enjoy!


Meg’s Top Five Books of 2014


Insel by Mina Loy
A Dying Colonialism by Frantz Fanon
Stag's Leap by Sharon Olds
The Outward Room by Millen Brand
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami

JP’s Top Five Books of 2014


A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
Tenth of December by George Saunders
Wolf in White Van by John Darnielle
Gunslinger by Ed Dorn
The Tutu by Léon Genonceaux


Some writers we know write about the future: William Gibson, Margaret Atwood, Octavia Butler, Philip K. Dick, Ursula Le Guin. We expect them to find insights about how humans might live. But what about someone like Marguerite Duras, an influential post-war French novelist and filmmaker? She had important things to say about the 20th century. What might she say about the future?

Photonics researcher Antoine Wojdyla stumbled across an interview with Duras from September 1985 in the French magazine Les Inrocks. Struck by Duras’ perspective on technology and deception, he translated the article out of the goodness of his heart and sent it to me. It’s strange and remarkable, an uncanny interpretation of our present.

I read her statement as a kind of pre-answer to Google and wearables and the quantified self. When former Google CEO Eric Schmidt told the Wall Street Journal in 2010, “I actually think most people don’t want Google to answer their questions. They want Google to tell them what they should be doing next.” That’s what Duras means when she says, “In the 2000s, there will only be answers.”

In any case, here’s Duras as translated by Wojdyla:

“In the 2000s, there will be only answers. The demand will be such that there will only be answers. All texts will be answers, in fact. I believe that man will be literally drowned in information, in constant information. About his body, his corporeal future, his health, his family life, his salary, his leisure.

It’s not far from a nightmare. There will be nobody reading anymore.

They will see television. We will have screens everywhere, in the kitchen, in the restrooms, in the office, in the streets.

Where will we be? When we watch television, where are we? We’re not alone.

We will no longer travel, it will no longer be necessary to travel. When you can travel around the world in eight days or a fortnight, why would you?

In traveling, there is the time of the travel. Traveling is not seeing things in a rapid succession, it’s seeing and living in the same instant. Living from the travel, that will no longer be possible.

Everything will be clogged, everything will have been already invested.

The seas will remain, nevertheless, and the oceans.

And reading. People will rediscover that. A man, one day, will read. And everything will start again. We’ll encounter a time where everything will be free. Meaning that answers, at that time, will be granted less consideration. It will start like this, with indiscipline, a risk taken by a human against himself. The day where he will be left alone again with his misfortunes, and his happiness, only that those will depend on himself.

Maybe those who will get over this misstep will be the heroes of the future.

It’s very likely, let’s hope there will be some left…”


(reposted from a article entitled “In the 2000s, There Will Only be Answers” by Alexis C. Madrigal)

January Newsletter + New & Latest Arrivals (01/04/2014)


Happy New Year, everyone! It’s textbook season again here at the shop, so priority’s going to bringing boxes upon boxes upon boxes of textbooks throughout the month. Don’t fret, though! Special orders for customers on a individual basis are more than welcome and we will announce new arrivals as they come in on our website, twitter feed and Facebook page.

You’ll find a short list of our new arrivals below, as well as the following: January’s Book of the Month is Jenny Erpenbeck‘s The End of Days (20% off), a Hans Fallada Prize-winning novel, this month’s Book Club title is Roberto Bolano‘s By Night in Chile (15% off) with a meeting on January 21st, and this month marks our restarting the monthly Argo Open Mic, which will be taking place on January 28th.

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Book of the Month: 20% off

End of Days by Jenny Erpenbeck


reading Erpenbeck always produces a shiver of metaphysical vertigo. Her wisdom feels uncannily ancient and, like the earlier work, The End of Days is shot through with an insight that almost blinds.” (Kapka Kassabova, “The End of Days by Jenny Erpenbeck review”, The Guardian)

Winner of the Hans Fallada prize for fiction and a bestseller in Europe, The End of Days “consists essentially of five “books,” each leading to a different death of the same unnamed woman protagonist. How could it all have gone differently? the narrator asks in the intermezzos. The first chapter begins with the death of a baby in the early twentieth-century Hapsburg Empire. In the next chapter, the same girl grows up in Vienna, but her strange relationship with a boy leads to death. In the next scenario, she survives adolescence and moves to Russia with her husband. Both are dedicated Communists, yet our heroine ends up in a labor camp. But her fate does not end there…”  (New Directions)


New & Latest Arrivals



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 in order to receive regular updates.



Behold: Our First Featured Author!



The first vote is over, and the ‘winner’ is the author George Orwell. All throughout the month of January, if you purchase any titles by this author, whether it’s Burmese Days, Homage to Catalonia, 1984, Animal Farm… it’s 15% off! Take this opportunity to stock up on this amazing author’s work and reap the benefits.


Keep an eye on our Facebook page or our website to see the next Featured Author poll!


January’s Events


The Argo Open Mic! (#31)
Wednesday, January 28th
Argo Bookshop
Doors @ 7PM, Reading @ 7:30PM


Grab those poems, stories, anecdotes, songs and opinions you wrote over the holidays 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. You can find the Facebook event page for this event here.


Holiday Hours – X-Mas 2014

Our holiday hours from the 24th of December to the 2nd of January are as follows:

December 24th

OPEN: 10AM to 7PM

December 25th


December 26th


December 27th


December 28th


December 29th

OPEN: 10AM to 7PM

December 30th

OPEN: 10AM to 7PM

December 31st


January 1st


January 2nd

OPEN: 10AM to 7PM

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Published December 22nd, 2014 in Announcements

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