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



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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).




  • Carnival by Rawi Hage (paperback edition)








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


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.



Argo Featured Reading #23:

Christine Miscione and Stuart Ross

@ Argo Bookshop

Thursday, February 13th



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.



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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