The Bookseller: Jo Treggiari, Block Shop Books (Lunenburg, NS)
The Strangers, by Katherena Vermette
This powerful intergenerational saga, told through multiple narratives, explores family and the connection that endure even when families are broken apart. A complex and beautifully written novel.
Urchin, by Kate Story
This coming-of-age tale of Dor, a non-binary teen, crackles with energy against the backdrop of Newfoundland's surging seas and howling winds, precarious ice fields and mudslides. A glorious, literary mish mash of magical surrealism and history, filled with sparkling moments of suspense and humour.
The Bookseller: David Worsley, Words Worth Books (Waterloo, ON)
The Pick: An Unthinkable Thing, by Nicole Lundrigan
There's a ton of milquetoast crime fiction out there in which a "normal" family behaves abnormally. Broadly …
Jessica Westhead's latest book is the story collection And Also Sharks, and she is also author of the novel Pulpy & Midge. In her Canadian Bookshelf guest post, she celebrates Ottawa's Octopus Books and Lisa Greaves, the woman at its helm.
I first met Lisa Greaves in fall 2007, on a Coach House book tour stop at the Plan 99 Reading series at the Manx in Ottawa. After I read from my then-new first novel, Pulpy & Midge, a grinning blonde woman made my night by telling me how much she’d enjoyed the excerpt. She introduced herself and said she owned a bookstore in town, and would I like to read there some time? I said I’d love to.
We hatched a plan for me to visit Octopus Books that spring, along with local author and Octo-pal Jennifer Whiteford. On Wednesday, March 19, 2008, embraced by crammed, colourful bookshelves and a small but very friendly crowd, Jennifer read from her awesome young adult novel grrrl, and I read from Pulpy. Then we launched into an impromptu Q&A session and animated literary gabfest, fuelled by Lisa’s wine and her giddy enthusiasm for both of our books.
I saw Lisa and Jennifer again at Octopus Books’ 40th birthday celebration the following year. That’s right—this independent book …