Argo Bookshop is one of Montreal's oldest and finest retail bookstores. 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

Location:

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

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Events:

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

Small Press Arrivals & Hey, What’re You Doing This Saturday?

Always a pleasure to have the shop house local small presses. That said, we want to take a moment to announce two arrivals and an upcoming event this Saturday you should seriously be considering making time for:

#1

M E T A T R O N

We’ve just acquired the complete first (and limited!) print run of the new Montreal-based publisher Metatron‘s six choice chapbooks. Headed by a fantastic, savvy editorial staff, the saddle-stitched and perfect-bound selection of authors includes (in alphabetic order):

1. Interviews by Laura Broadbent, author of the poetry collection Oh There You Are I Can’t See You Is It Raining? from Invisible Publishing in 2012. “Interviews consists of three posthumous interviews with authors beyond the grave: Clarice Lispector, W.G Sebald, and Jean Rhys. Subjects include history, time, decay, the elusive ‘I’, the tyranny of men, fish, obscurity, the you-me, the IT, constellations, etc.”

2. les œuvres se;ected by Matthew E. Duffy, local artist cum mystic cum writer. les œuvres se;ected is a “selection of poetry is composed of six sections that were emailed to (Metatron) editor (in chief) Ashley Opheim in various stages of completion over the span of three years. Upon going over old emails, Opheim discovered this wealth of work she had originally overlooked.”

3. I Am Here by Ashley E. Opheim, founder and co-director of This Is Happening Whether You Like It Or Not, a reading series in Montréal curated with author Guillaume MorrisetteI Am Here “navigates the vast, internal realms of the human mind. Using both stream-of-consciousness and the confessional mode, this collection of poetry offers a fresh perspective, wrought with a depth of feeling that is honest and curious. Tracing the thoughts and feelings of a girl on the verge of womanhood, perils and triumphs are expressed.”

4. Magnetic Days by Roland “Rollie” Pemberton, aka the musician Cadence Weapon, who served as Edmonton’s Poet Laureate from 2009 to 2011.  Magnetic Days is “an abstract rendering of contemporary Canadian youth culture, ‘Magnetic Days’ is a collection of poems and stories about love, class, race, drugs and religion.” It is his first published book of poetry.

5. Tampion by Ali Pinkey. Her first collection of poetry, Tampion is “a collection of disembodied elegies, ‘Tampion’ explores the psychological anatomies of the 21st Century damsel as gun.”

6. How to Appear Perfectly Indifferent While Crying on the Inside by Jay Winston Ritchie,  author of Something You Were, Might Have Been, or Have Come to Represent from Insomniac Press in 2014. How to Appear Perfectly Indifferent While Crying on the Inside features “24-hour diners, swimming pools, haunted McDonald’s, reincarnation and fame in remote East Africa: (poems that follow) a young 20-something as he navigates break-ups, adulthood, technology, and loneliness.”

 

#2

Hey, What’re You Doing This Saturday?

Don Dream And I Dream by Leah Umansky (Kattywompus Press)

…Just thought we’d ask, because, you know, I mean, there’s this reading coming up on Saturday that poetry lovers and fans of the show Mad Men could really sink their teeth into. Leah Umansky will be reading in our shop on April 12th @ 7PM, primarily from her new chapbook Don Dreams and I Dream, published by the Ohio-based Kattywompus Press. Amy Silbergeld from the online literary review HTML Giant had this to say: “Don Dreams and I Dream is compulsively readable, but it is far from a light collection of poems. Most hold the weight of women’s struggles for recognition as human beings over much of the past century. The poems are at once political and confessional, feisty and giddy, aggressive and playfully submissive. The poems are nothing if not sexy, and sensuality is key to their power—just as it is, in large part, the key to Don’s.” You can read the full review here, or this one from Sabotage Reviews.

This will be Umansky’s first reading in Canada.

Ever.

We are stoked.

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

 


 

Despite the sudden snowfalls here in Montreal, spring is apparently around the corner. That means the levy of spring releases and book launches will break, not entirely unlike the book spillage sculptures of Alicia Martin shown above. We have lots of new books to check out in the shop, as well as several excellent events to attend throughout the month. Read on for more info!

Want a copy of the April newsletter for offline browsing?

Argo Bookshop Newsletter – April 2014

 

Book of the Month: 20% off

Guillermo Rosale’s

Leapfrog & Other Stories

Leapfrog is a novella about a boy living in late-‘50s post revolutionary Cuba. He read comic books and hangs around with the neighbourhood kids, yet there is an intense edginess here. Told in the same unrelenting style as (Rosales’) The Halfway House, it is as if Rosales had transcribed all that he’d heard and said as a child into this one moving and very brutal look at lost childhood. Together with a few powerful short stories, we now have the final remnants of the Cuban writer’s work.” (New Directions)

“In the grotesquely comic world of Cuban writer Guillermo Rosales’ collection… children are the original criminals and counter-culture outlaws. (As a friend of the scappy protagonist Agar asks,) ‘Have you ever seen a being more diabolic than a child?’” (The Rumpus)

 

New & Latest Arrivals

Before laying out the list of everything that’s arrived: For those of you who don’t know, we just want to let fans of our shop as well as literary magazine appreciators know that the Montreal issue of CNQ, #89, is available in store. Full of excellent articles, poetry and interviews, this issue includes some great Argo Bookshop-related material to boot, such as a wonderfully loquacious interview with poet Peter Van Toorn by Argo co-owner Meaghan Acosta(!) and an article about our very own Open Mic series by Cory Lavender! Check it out for only $8.

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

  • MxT by Sina Queyras

 

WOMEN’S STUDIES

 

PHILOSOPHY

 

TRAVEL

 

SCIENCE

 

KIDS

  • Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See? Board Book by Bill Martin and Eric Carle
  • Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin and Eric Carle

 

Book Club Update

Our next read is…

On Being Blue: A Philosophical Inquiry by William H. Gass.

Of the colors, blue and green have the greatest emotional range. Sad reds and melancholy yellows are difficult to turn up. Among the ancient elements, blue occurs everywhere: in ice and water, in the flame as purely as in the flower, overhead and inside caves, covering fruit and oozing out of clay… Blue is therefore most suitable as the color of interior life. Whether slick light sharp high bright thin quick sour new and cool or low deep sweet dark soft slow smooth heavy old and warm: blue moves easily among them all, and all profoundly qualify our states of feeling.”

(NYRB)

“Gass is a philosopher-voluptuary, someone who romances language with a roué’s cunning, and isn’t afraid to play with words and ideas for sheer sport.” 

—Diane Ackerman

On May 30th, we’ll get together to discuss the book over some drinks. Everyone’s welcome, and anyone partaking receives a 15% discount off the book.

 

April’s Events

#1

A Reading by Leah Umansky
@ Argo Bookshop
Saturday, April 12th
Doors at 7PM, Reading at 7:30PM

For those of you who had hoped to see Leah Umansky back in November 2013, a new reading date has been confirmed for April 12th, 2014! It’ll be her first reading in Montreal. Named #7 of 23 People Who Will Make You Care About Poetry by Flavorwire in 2013, Leah Umansky is the author of the Mad-Men inspired chapbook, Don Dreams and I Dream (Kattywompus Press, 2014) and the full length collection, Domestic Uncertainties (BlazeVOX, 2013). She has been a contributing writer to BOMB Magazine’s BOMBLOG , Luna Luna MagazineThe Rumpus and Tin House, and live tweets occasionally for the Best American Poetry Blog. She also hosts and curates the COUPLET Reading Series in NYC. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in POETRY, The Poetry Review, Barrow Street and The Brooklyn Rail among others. You can visit her website here: www.leahumansky.com

 

#2

I LIVE I SEE: The Poetry of Vsevolod Nekrasov
Presented by translators Ainsley Morse and Bela Shayevich
Saturday, April 19th
@ Argo Bookshop
Doors at 7PM, Reading at 7:30PM



I Live I See: Selected Poems presents a comprehensive survey of the work of Vsevolod Nekrasov (1934-1999), the Soviet literary underground’s foremost minimalist. This is the first collection of Nekrasov’s work in English translation. The book’s translators Ainsley Morse and Bela Shayevich will be presenting.

“Exploring urban, rural, and purely linguistic environs with an economy of lyrical means and a dark sense of humor, Nekrasov’s groundbreaking early poems rupture the stultified language of Soviet cliché while his later work tackles the excesses of the new Russian order. I Live I See is a testament to Nekrasov’s lifelong conviction that art can not only withstand, but undermine oppression.” (Ugly Duckling Presse)

 

#3

Gaspereau Press Presents:
Gillian Sze launches Peeling Rambutan with Jason Camlot
Wednesday, April 23rd @ 7PM
@ Argo Bookshop

Argo Bookshop will be hosting author Gillian Sze’s launch of her latest work Peeling Rambutan (Gaspereau Press 2014) with poet Jason Camlot, who will read from his latest book What the World Said (Mansfield Press 2013).

“A poetic travelogue, Gillian Sze’s Peeling Rambutan meditates upon the rifts between immigrant parents and their Canadian-born children and the struggle of overlapping values which sometimes arises when we view the complexity of our heritage through the lens of the present. Rooted in Sze’s first experience of Asia, these poems mingle the familiar spaces of her childhood home in Winnipeg with impressions of the distant villages of her parents’ origins. The result is a complex exploration of the relationship between identity, place, and history.” (from Gaspereau Press)

Jason Camlot’s fourth full poetry collection, a Kaddish for the post-google age, explores the meaning of ignorance in the face of death—ignorance of how to practice sadness and rituals of mourning, and of how properly to experience longing and loss. Camlot manipulates a wide range of forms to mine the relationship between the most intimate kinds of grief and the impersonal flood of discourse that the world pours upon us. (from Mansfield Press)

 

#4


Argo Open Mic #26
Wednesday, April 30th
@ Argo Bookshop
Doors at 7PM, Reading at 7:30PM

Montrealers! Come read some of your work for 5 to 10 minutes at our Open Mic! For those of you who might not know: Every month, the Argo Bookshop hosts this open venue for people to share their writing, music, articles and comedy. Bring your friends and enjoy the evening! Make sure to come early to sign up and save yourself a spot!

 

Donate Your Books!

 

 

Donate Your Books

Spread the word!

We started a box at the shop to donate books to prisoners through the awesome collective Open Door Books, located here in Montreal. Donate some of your old paperbacks, whether they’re new fiction/bestsellers (John Grisham, Stephen King, et cetera), soft-cover dictionaries, radical literature, self-help/how-to, health, and especially books on aboriginal histories, law and up-to-date legal handbooks… And if you only have hardbacks to give, that’s fine too; they won’t be shipped out as they’re usually too heavy, but are instead sold by Open Door Books to continue funding the initiative.

What’s the cause?, you may ask. Or maybe Hold on. Aren’t prisoners already supplied with books? The collective says it best on their About page:

ODB seeks to support and work in solidarity with imprisoned communities. We believe that prisons and the (in)justice system act as institutions of social control and oppression, further targeting marginalized communities as a result of patriarchy, racism, homophobia, transphobia, classism, ableism and an ongoing history of colonization.

Open Door Books is a collective comprised entirely of volunteers which seeks to provide free reading material and informational resources to prisoners throughout Canada. Unfortunately, the majority of prisons in Canada have a policy of disallowing prisoners from personally receiving books or other “valuables,” thus preventing us from sending to prisoners on an individual basis. As a result, our collective seeks to form relationships with prison librarians in Québec and Ontario in an effort to send boxes of relevant and requested books to the prison libraries.

Problems faced by ODB include unresponsive librarians, prison restrictions on reading material, and the closure of many libraries throughout parts of year depriving prisoners of the ability to access books for three to four months at a time. We receive all our books by donation and invite those with books to donate to get in touch!

If that doesn’t suffice and you need more information, you can either get in contact with us or Open Door Books either by email (bookstoprisoners [at] gmail [dot] com) or by phone (514-848-7583).

 

New & Latest Arrivals – 15/03/2014

Merry mid-March! It’s our pleasure to bring you a list of the new and latest arrivals in the shop, centred around a hefty selection of literature, philosophy and one new travel title from the fantastic Patrick Leigh Fermor. We’re particularly excited for Town & Country, a selection of short stories put together by the wonderful Kevin Barry, the latest novel from Canadian novelist and poet Peter Norman entitled Emberton (who will be reading at the shop on May 8th!), as well as the new title from Lorrie Moore, Bark. Don’t forget to also check out our acquisition of one of University of Minnesota‘s latest releases from the Univocal imprint by Jean EpsteinThe Intelligence of a Machine, and the curious writings of science fiction/philosophy/satire writer Stansilaw Lem in Summa Technologiae.

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

 

PHILOSOPHY & SCIENCE

 

TRAVEL

 

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Published March 15th, 2014 in New & Latest Arrivals

March Newsletter + New & Latest Arrivals (03/03/2014)

 

 

Grab a copy of the newsletter here (left-click, Save As):

Argo Bookshop Newsletter – March 2014

As winter persists, you may very well resemble the above illustration by NOWNESS, an arts and culture website, which features a copy of Thomas Bernhard’s The Loser, listed as March’s Book of the Month. The rest of those illustrations are definitely worth checking out. That being said, you could probably use a good book to keep you company until the equinox arrives on March 20th and the thaw begins. Take a look at the new arrivals we have to start the month with, and keep in mind that it’s not too late to pick up a copy of this month’s NYRB Book Club selection. This month also has promising upcoming events, with readings by Carolyn ForchéFrancine Prose, and our Featured Reading this month features Daniel Canty and Oana Avasilichioaei. Read on to find out more!

 

Book of the Month: 20% off

Thomas Bernhard’s

The Loser

We’ve been meaning to place The Loser as Book of the Month for some time now. A tried and true favourite of everyone here at the shop, the story follows an unnamed narrator’s recollections of his friendship with Canadian “piano artist” Glenn Gould and their friend Wertheimer during their music studies at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria.

A tale of self-loathing and suicidal tendencies, Wertheimer and the narrator continually struggle with their own aspirations in the face of Gould’s prodigal talent. So great is the presence of Gould that it triggers an undying sense of failure in the narrator and his friend, resulting in a damning meditation: What is the point of trying something if you know there’s someone out there who has already mastered it?

Born Nicolaas Thomas Bernhard in 1931, Bernhard was an Austrian novelist, poet and playwright of more than 60 books, 29 of which are currently available in English. Considered to be one of the most important literary figures since World War II, his general work typically features long, sweeping monologues replete with recurring themes of abandonment and illness while displaying an irrepressible loathing for the airs of society, ego and patriotism.

 

New & Latest Arrivals

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).

FICTION

  • The Penguin Book Of Scottish Short Stories (edited by JF Hendry)

 

SOCIAL SCIENCES

 

MUSIC

 

 KIDS

  • Halifax Hal: An Odd Little Book by Nick Thran & Gabe Foreman

 

Book Club Update

Our next read is…

The Letter Killers Club by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky.

The Letter Killers Club is a secret society of self-described “conceivers” who, to preserve the purity of their conceptions, will commit nothing to paper. (What, after all, is your run-of-the-mill scribbler of stories if not an accomplished corruptor of conceptions?) The logic of the club is strict and uncompromising. Every Saturday, members meet in a firelit room filled with empty black bookshelves where they strive to top one another by developing ever unlikelier, ever more perfect conceptions… (S)et in an ominous Soviet Moscow of the 1920s, the members of the club are strangely mistrustful of one another, while all are under the spell of its despotic President, and there is no telling, in the end, just how lethal the purely conceptual—or, for that matter, letters—may be.  – NYRB

“It is now clear that Krzhizhanovsky is one of the greatest Russian writers of the last century.”

-          Raymond Chandler, The Financial Times

We meet bi-monthly, but we’ll be skipping the month of December to recalibrate. So: On March 27th, we’ll get together to discuss the book over some drinks. Everyone’s welcome, and anyone partaking receives a 15% discount off the book.

 

March’s Events

#1

Concordia University Presents:

Writers Read with Carolyn Forché

Friday, March 14th @ 7PM

1455 de Maisonneuve Blvd. Ouest

7th Floor, Room H-767

 

The excellent writer Carolyn Forché will be the first of two readings as part Concordia University’s Writers Read series this month. Join us to listen to this spectacularly accomplished poet read!

Renowned as a “poet of witness,” Forché is the author of four books of poetry. Her first collection Gathering the Tribes (Yale University Press 1976) won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award. In 1977, she traveled to Spain to translate the Salvadorean-exiled poet Claribel Alegaria, and upon her return, received a Guggenheim Fellowship which enabled her to travel to El Salvador where she worked as a human rights advocate. Her second book The Country Between Us (Harper and Row 1982) received the Poetry Society of America’s Alice Fay di Castagnola Award, her third book The Angel of History (HarperCollins 1994) was chosen for The Los Angeles Times Book Award. Her fourth and latest book of poems is Blue Hour (HarperCollins 2003).

 

#2

Argo Featured Reading #24:

Daniel Canty & Oana Avasilichioaei

@ Argo Bookshop

Thursday, March 20th

7PM

 

Daniel Canty has produced many innovative works in literature, film, design, theatre, as well as the visual and media arts, and he is well known for his collaborations with other creators from these fields. In addition to his recent literary work (Wigrum, 2011; Le Livre de chevet, 2009), he has produced site-specific installations in libraries and former train stations (Bruire, 2013; Le Tableau des départs, 2010), and produced award-winning films, librettos, and myriad other projects. A solo exhibition, Bucky ball, incorporating a transtemporal auto-science-fiction novellaruns until May at Artexte. His next book, Les États-Unis du vent, a memoir of an American journey following the wind, will be published by La Peuplade this Spring. This July, Daniel will undertake a 6-month residency at the Québec Studio in London, England, through the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec.

Poet, translator and editor, Oana Avasilichioaei’s books include We, Beasts (Wolsak & Wynn, 2012, winner of the QWF’s A. M. Klein Prize for Poetry) and feria: a poempark (Wolsak & Wynn, 2008). Her most recent translation is Wigrum, a novel by Daniel Canty (Talonbooks, 2013) and she was the editor of the Quebec poetry feature in Aufgabe 12 (New York, 2013). Her current work-in-progress is Limbinal and she can be found at oanalab.com.

 

#3

Argo Open Mic #25

Wednesday, March 26th @ 7PM

@ Argo Bookshop

 

Montrealers! Come read some of your work for 5 to 10 minutes at our Open Mic!

Every month, the Argo Bookshop hosts this open venue for people to share their writing, music, articles and comedy. Bring your friends and enjoy the evening! Make sure to come early to sign up and save yourself a spot!

 

#4

Concordia University Presents:

Writers Read with Francine Prose

Friday, March 28th

1455 de Maisonneuve Blvd. Ouest

7th Floor, Room H-767

 

Francine Prose is the author of seventeen works of fiction. Her novel A Changed Man won the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and Blue Angel was a finalist for the National Book Award. her most recent nonfiction books include the highly acclaimed Anne Frank: The Book, her Life, the Afterlife, and the New York Times best seller Reading Like a Writer. The recipient of numerous grants and honours, including a Guggenheim and a Fullbright, a Director’s Fellow at the Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library, Francine Prose is a former president of PEN American Center, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She lives in New York City.

 

 

New & Latest Arrivals – 17/02/2014

Despite the cold, the month of February has been such a pleasure so far. Readings from the terrific writers  Kevin Barry, Christine Miscione and Stuart Ross have come and gone, with more on the way: David McGimpsey and Jason Camlot will be gracing the podium of the Atwater Poetry Project soon enough and we’ll be there with books in tow.

Here are the newest and latest arrivals for the halfway point through February: Books for our Literature, Philosophy, Social Sciences and  Criticism & Theory sections, plus one excellent title for the kids. Points of interest include work from Arkady & Boris Strugatsky (whose sci-fi work Roadside Picnic was adapted by Tarkovsky for the film Stalker), new paperback editions of great 2013 titles, great criticism and theory from Umberto Eco and Canadian poet Zachariah Wells, and a new book of historical essays out from Open Letter BooksEurope in Sepia by Dubravka Ugresic.

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).

NEW & LATEST ARRIVALS

 

FICTION

 

POETRY

 

PHILOSOPHY, SOCIAL SCIENCES & HISTORY

 

CRITICISM & THEORY

 

KIDS

 

What are we reading these days? We’ve all been enjoying some die-hard and not-so-die-hard-but-should-be classics at the shop. Gap Boo’s enjoying the poetry of Charles Bukowski with the collection You Get So Alone At Times That It Makes Sense, a great example of “Bukowski writing the same thing over and over, and you just don’t get tired of it.” Eric is reading the first book of the Illuminatus! Trilogy: ”It’s just wild. It’s fantastic, man, so crazy… every chapter just keeps topping itself. What started as a bizarre mystery tale is, by the end of the first book, a scifi novel about people fighting sea monsters.” Meg is adding to her list of the Steinbeck novels she’s read with a beautiful Penguin Modern Classics edition of East of Eden, and JP is is being driven slightly mad by The Tutu by Léon Genonceaux, a book (as mentioned when it came in) seldomly purported as the strangest novel of the 19th century.

 

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Published February 17th, 2014 in Events, New & Latest Arrivals, Recommendations

February Newsletter + New & Latest Arrivals (02/02/2014)

 

 

Grab a copy of the newsletter here (left-click, Save As):

Argo Bookshop Newsletter – February 2014

Sudden cold snaps, polar vortices, polar bear attacks… This winter season is only a stone’s throw away from Jack Nicholson here. Seeing as the winter season is not over just yet, we highly recommend you spend your off-hours indoors curled up with a book instead of tending to frostbitten fingers. Not sure what you could read next? No problem. We’ve got a batch of new arrivals listed below to pick from, a new Book of the Month, and a new NYRB Book Club selection! And if you’d prefer to brave the frigid streets of Montreal, consider coming out to some of the shop-related events.

 

Book of the Month: 20% off

Karen Russell’s

Vampires in the Lemon Grove

Born in 1981, Karen Russell has been making astounding waves as a young writer. Her first book, St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves, earned her ample attention as an up-and-comer, but it was Swamplandia! that was only a few votes shy of earning the Pulitzer Prize. It appears as though her latest book Vampires in the Lemon Grove, published in February 2013, has not received quite as much attention as her previous works, but this certainly makes it no less valuable. Hell, we considered to be one of the Best Reads of 2013. Argo Bookshop shop aide Eric calls it “an enchanting collection of stories that is in at one moment light, at another meditative, even haunting at times, with influential notes of writers such as Borges and Neil Gaiman.”

There are only eight stories in Russell’s new collection, but as readers of Swamplandia! know, Russell doesn’t work small. She’s a world builder, and the stranger the better. Not that she writes fantasy, exactly: the worlds she creates live within the one we know—but sometimes they operate by different rules… Russell’s great gift—along with her antic imagination—who else would give us a barn full of ex-presidents reincarnated as horses?—is her ability to create whole landscapes and lifetimes of strangeness within the confines of a short story.” (from Publishers Weekly)

 

New & Latest Arrivals

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).

HISTORY, PHILOSOPHY & CRITICISM

 

FICTION

  • Carnival by Rawi Hage (paperback edition)

 

POETRY

 

MUSIC & ART

 

KIDS

 

Book Club Update

Our next read is…

The Letter Killers Club by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky.

The Letter Killers Club is a secret society of self-described “conceivers” who, to preserve the purity of their conceptions, will commit nothing to paper. (What, after all, is your run-of-the-mill scribbler of stories if not an accomplished corruptor of conceptions?) The logic of the club is strict and uncompromising. Every Saturday, members meet in a firelit room filled with empty black bookshelves where they strive to top one another by developing ever unlikelier, ever more perfect conceptions… (S)et in an ominous Soviet Moscow of the 1920s, the members of the club are strangely mistrustful of one another, while all are under the spell of its despotic President, and there is no telling, in the end, just how lethal the purely conceptual—or, for that matter, letters—may be.  – NYRB

“It is now clear that Krzhizhanovsky is one of the greatest Russian writers of the last century.”

-          Raymond Chandler, The Financial Times

We meet bi-monthly, but we’ll be skipping the month of December to recalibrate. So: On March 27th, we’ll get together to discuss the book over some drinks. Everyone’s welcome, and anyone partaking receives a 15% discount off the book.

 

February’s Events

#1

The Concordia Depts. Of English and Irish Studies Present:

Kevin Barry Reads at Concordia University

Hall Building (1455 Maissonneuve W.)

Room 763, 7th Floor

Monday February 10th at 6:30PM

 

Now appointed as Artist-in-Residence for the Winter 2014 semester at Concordia Univeristy’s Canadian School of Irish Studies, Kevin Barry will give a public reading from his work.

Don’t know of him? You should. Kevin Barry is the author of two short story collections, There Are Little Kingdoms (2007) and Dark Lies The Island (2012), and the novel City Of Bohane, which won the prestigious International Dublin Literary Award in 2013.  He has also won the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Prize, the European Union Prize for Literature, the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, and the Authors Club Best First Novel Award. He has been short-listed for the Frank O’Connor Short Story Award and the Costa First Novel Prize. His stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Best European Fiction, the Granta Book of the Irish Short Story and many other journals. He also writes screenplays, plays and graphic stories.

 

#2

Argo Featured Reading #23:

Christine Miscione and Stuart Ross

@ Argo Bookshop

Thursday, February 13th

7PM

 

Precede your Valentine’s Day at the Argo Bookshop with readings from prominent Canadian poet Stuart Ross and the up-and-coming author Christine Miscione, reading from her fantastic debut collection of stories entitled Auxiliary Skins.


Christine Miscione is a Canadian fiction writer. Her work has appeared in various Canadian publications, such as Exile: The Literary Quarterly, This Magazine, and The Puritan. In 2011, she was the recipient of the Hamilton Arts Award for Best Emerging Writer. In 2012, Miscione’s story, Skin Just, won first place in the Gloria Vanderbilt/Exile Editions CVC Short Fiction Contest (emerging writer category). Her debut short story collection Auxiliary Skins was released in 2013. She is currently working on her first novel, which will be published through Mansfield Press next Fall 2014.

Stuart Ross is a Canadian fiction writer, poet, editor, and creative-writing instructor. Co-founder of the Toronto Small Press Book Fair, and a founding member of the Meet the Presses collective, Ross has been (to say the least) active in the Toronto literary scene since the mid-1970s. In spring 2013, Ross’s poetry collection You Exist. Details Follow. won the Exist Through The Gift Shop Award, the only prize given to an anglophone writer that year by the Montreal-based group l’Académie de la vie littéraire au tournant du 21e siècle. His latest work is Our Days in Vaudeville, a book of poetry written with 29 collaborators.

 

#3

Argo Open Mic #24

Wednesday, February 26th @ 7PM

@ Argo Bookshop

 

Montrealers! Come read some of your work for 5 to 10 minutes at our Open Mic!

For those of you who might not know: Every month, the Argo Bookshop hosts this open venue for people to share their writing, music, articles and comedy. Bring your friends and enjoy the evening! Make sure to come early to sign up and save yourself a spot!

 

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Published February 2nd, 2014 in Announcements, Events, New & Latest Arrivals

Best Books We Read in 2013 – The Third Chapter

Here’s the third of four posts detailing the Best Books We Read in 2013 (you can view the previous lists here and there). Today’s list comes from our shop’s wonderful aide Eric Bennett, served up in no particular order whatsoever. As it stands, Mary MacLane‘s I Await the Devil’s Coming and Chris Ware‘s Building Stories are taking the lead (that is if you hadn’t already got a sense of our passion for that book). If you haven’t read them yet, you are definitely missing out… unless, respectively speaking, you’re not into damningly reflexive journals or heart-breaking graphic novels. Then you’re fine.

If you would like to know the title and author of a book, just run your mouse over the cover of a book to view the info. Enjoy!

 

Eric’s Best Books of 2013

 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 

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Published January 26th, 2014 in Recommendations

An Astute Rant on the Book Market from Nick Thran

 

A big thanks to poet Nick Thran for allowing us to share this. Re-posted in its raw form, this essentially sums it up for us in so many ways:

 

 

 

“Dear bookish purveyors of ‘the new market realities,’ ‘the new way people receive information,’ the ‘new competition for our attention spans,’ etc, if you’ve honestly found the net, Amazon, ebooks, bargain barns et al. as adequate-to-better replacements for the indie brick-and-mortar, hey, X, I want to show you this book we got in the store, come back on your lunch break kind of social/literary transactions–congrats on your adaptiveness. I’m happy for you. I’ve been trying to figure this new reality out for a few years now too. I personally still vastly prefer the slow browse and the cover fondling and the discussions with the tellers who care deeply about things I might not yet care about better than the click and surf for what first catches my eye. I still need to sit with an actual newspaper to actually feel like I’m retaining the news. Why, in a ‘new market reality’ that has frankly done shit for our abilities’ to buy homes, keep our environment sustainable, find decent jobs with healthcare and pension plans; wouldn’t I mourn some of the last few places where it seemed eyes-on-the-spine possible to find our way into different realities and possibilities? Why wouldn’t I be pissed off that 14 people are looking for work soon, maybe in whatever economically viable, global purveyor of luxury goods that replaces the bookstore? Why wouldn’t I be a little suspicious that maybe these ‘new realities’ don’t really have my best interests in mind? Maybe instead of adapt, adapt, adapt I want to just sit beside a cash register for 30 minutes and let someone else tell me I’m a fool for not knowing anything about Thomas Bernhard, sweat forming on their brow as they gesticulate, because I sometimes need that sort of thing more than “you might also like…” in order to be convinced to hand over my twenty dollar bill. Maybe that sort of ‘competition’ makes me a more informed ‘consumer,’ and perhaps it also makes the bookseller him/herself feel a bit more like an actual human. Ok, I’m done yelling.”

 

Nick Thran has published two collections of poetry, Every Inadequate Name (nominated for the Gerald Lampert Award) and Earworm (Nightwood, 2011). He has been a Goldwater Teaching Fellow and MFA candidate at New York University, and is currently living in Montreal, where his wife poet Sue Sinclair was the CWILA‘s Critic-in Residence in 2013.

 

Best Books We Read in 2013 – The Second Chapter

Greetings! Again!

Now for the second of (now) four posts on the Best Books We Read in 2013. Once again, this is a list of books in no particular order whatsoever. Unfortunately, one of the books this time around isn’t available through bookshops, but it should be! If you would like to know the title and author of a book as you browse, just run your mouse over the cover to view the info. Enjoy!

 

JP’s Best Books of 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Published January 18th, 2014 in Recommendations