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Shelf Talkers Spring 2022

The Bookseller: Jo Treggiari, Block Shop Books (Lunenburg, NS)

The Picks:

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 …

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Jessica Westhead on Ottawa's Octopus Books

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.

Photo of Lisa Greaves, Octopus Books

Lisa Greaves, Octopus Books owner-of-amazingness

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 …

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