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A SPINSTER AND A SIXTH-GRADE JESUS

our reading list for May 2015


DANCING IN THE DARK by Karl Ove Knausgaard
Says The New York Times, "Why would you read a six-volume, 3,600 page Norwegian novel about a man writing a six-volume, 3,600 page novel? The short answer is that it is breathtakingly good and so you cannot stop yourself, and would not want to." The much anticipated fourth installment is now available in English.

ALL OUR HAPPY DAYS ARE STUPID by Sheila Heti
McSweeney's has finally published the play that serves as the turbulent backdrop for Heti's 2010 popular novel How Should A Person Be?.

WILDSAM FIELD GUIDES
Small books about Nashville, Austin, Detroit, New Orleans & San Francisco filled with local lore, interviews, memoir, hand-drawn maps, and personal essays. Equal parts travel guide and tribute that suits both weekender and native alike. 

THE FOLDED CLOCK, a diary by Heidi Julavits
Inspired by the discovery—and consequent reading of—her childhood journals, novelist Julavits chronicles the minutia of her daily life. Concealed beneath her obsession with “dailiness” are sharply observed moments of cultural criticism and emotionally driven philosophical queries.

SPINSTER: MAKING A LIFE OF ONE’S OWN by Kate Bolick
A revelatory look at the pleasures and possibilities of remaining single. Spinster introduces a cast of pioneering women (including columnist Neith Boyce, social visionary Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and poet Edna St. Vincent Millay) from the last century whose genius, tenacity, and flair for drama have emboldened Bolick to fashion her life on her own terms. 

THE AMERICAN PEOPLE VOL.1 SEARCH FOR MY HEART by Larry Kramer
This is historical fiction only in the broadest sense. Kramer took 40 years to write a novel that revises centuries of American civilization, starting with prehistoric monkeys who spread a peculiar virus and culminating in a twentieth century religious conspiracy between eugenicists, McCarthyites, and Ivy Leaguers to exterminate homosexuals. And this is only volume one.

Things that aren't brand new but you should read anyway > ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE by Anthony Doerr just won the Pulitzer and is selling briskly at both our Forest Hill and Queen Street stores, and last year's winner THE GOLDFINCH by Donna Tartt is finally out in paperback.

SEVEN SPOONS by Tara Brady
Delicious photos, hearty recipes, and personal reflections on our relationship to food from the Southern Ontario resident and regular contributor to the always-beautiful UPPERCASEmagazine.  

MY NEW ROOTS by Sarah Britton
Britton is a holistic nutritionist and a sincere lover of food. In this handsomely photographed tome she advocates for using seasonal ingredients and placing vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, lentils, nuts, and seeds at the heart of every meal.

DAYDREAMS OF ANGELS, stories by Heather O’Neill
A sixth-grade Jesus is startled to find wine has appeared in his juice box – this and other fantastical yarns appear in a new story collection infused with the wonderment of childhood tales and bible stories.

AFTER THE TALL TIMBER, collected non-fiction by Renata Adler
Influential novelist Adler's best essays and long-form journalism, book and film reviews, witty and biting social commentary.

BEAUTIFUL BIRDS by Jean Roussen, illustrations by Emmanuelle Walker
The folks at Flying Eye have delivered us another hit from their London press. A rhyming alphabet book where each new turn uncovers a stunning portrait, from close-ups of yellow egret eyes to jaunty little finches scattered across the page. Ages 3-8

SNOW WHITE AND THE 77 DWARFS by Davide Cali, illustrations by Raphaelle Barbanegre
Cali delivers a unique take on a Brothers Grimm classic. Snow White grows tired of keeping house for 77 demanding dwarfs and takes drastic measures. Lots of hidden design details in this one. Ages 6-8

RHYMOCEROS by Janik Coat
A new board book from the French master of minimalist graphic design. This time the star is a blue rhinoceros, juxtaposed against his rhyme doppelgänger on every spread. Maria Popova of Brain Pickings says that Coat “Blends Blexbolex’s unexpected parallels and contrasts with Paul Rand’s simple semiotic sensibility,” and we cannot disagree. Ages 0-2

OUTSTANDING IN THE RAIN by Frank Viva
This charming story of an ill-fated Coney Island birthday trip (complete with rain, hence the title) doubles as a language lesson in oronyms (a pair of phrases that are pronounced similarly due to phonological juncture, hence the title). Ages 3-7

THE TRUTH COMMISSION by Susan Juby
A first-person meditation on the nature of truth, disguised as a teen novel about Nanaimo art-school kids. Best YA so far this year. Ages 14-18

love our backgrounds? They are from our neighbour, The Paper Place