Search

Junction Reads

A Prose Reading Series.

Category

Uncategorized

May Days = Book Days

Have you started curating your “beach” reads list? These summer reads may or may not be read on a beach, beside or pool or even outside, but they will be read! This summer, more than ever, we will need books that can transport us to the beach, to the streets of Paris, to our favourite camping site, or simply to another place and time where we can watch the narrators live and experience worlds outside our own. Nora Decter and Julia Zarankin have two such places on offer. From mosh pits and music to beaches and birds, these two books will change the way you think about family, life and love.

Just two more books to add to your summer reading list! Consider purchasing from your local Indie book shop, or put them on hold at your local public library!

Nora Decter

How Far We Go and How Fast

“In her teenage narrator, Jolene Tucker, Decter gets it all right: the angst of youth, that simmering rage and bewilderment, looking in the mirror wondering who you are and what your worth to humankind may (or may not) be—Decter nails that mindset, really, she does.”

Craig Davidson

May 16

Junction Reads with Nora Decter

I am excited to welcome Nora Decter to Junction Reads to chat about How Far We Go and How Fast. Her debut has been described as “a novel for teens about girls with guitars, lying to your parents and to yourself, and the transformative power of a mosh-pit.”

Published by Orca Book Publishers, the novel has been classified as YA fiction, but the voice and prose of this book will be appreciated by all readers. Join me as we sit down to talk about writing, reading and how it feels to have such a great book out in the world.

Read more about HFWGHF.


Julia Zarankin

Field Notes From an Unintentional Birder

“The first time I went birding, I went initially to stare at the birders because I had had a completely indoor life… My family didn’t camp. We didn’t do the outdoors, so this is a totally different new world for me…I saw my first red-winged blackbird and it completely changed my life. It made me see in a different way.”

Julia Zarankin

May 30

Junction Reads with Julia Zarankin

I have fallen in love with birdwatching, bird feeding, bird housing and so I feel close to Julia Zarankin’s experience in Field Notes From an Unintentional Birder, but you don’t need to be a birder to appreciate how an obsession can become a life-changing hobby.

The book tells the story of Julia’s “unlikely transformation from total nature-novice to bona fide bird nerd. ‘It’ also tells the story of the unexpected pleasures of discovering one’s wild side and finding meaning in midlife through birds.”

Check out the Trailer for the book here.


These readings are supported by the National Public Readings Program.

Featured post

April 24 Canadian Independent Bookstore Day

Canadian Independent Bookstore Day is Saturday, April 24, 2021!

This day is a celebration of our local bookshops and the contributions they make to our literary communities and our chance, as readers and writers to give back and show them our support. It is very difficult for an independent publisher; an emerging writer or writers creating important work that may not be the next blockbuster film to get into these big stores. This is where your local independent book shop comes in. They are also great supporters of local authors and do the publicity work so many writers need. While big retailers are in the business of selling books, local independent shops are in the business of supporting authors, independent book publishers and readers.

“By shopping locally for your books on April 24, you are advocating for independent businesses, supporting a flourishing bookselling community, and investing in Canadian culture.”

http://www.mcnallyrobinson.com

Toronto Independent Book Shops:

I hope this is an inclusive list. If I am missing your favourite shop, please let me know. Listed in alphabetic order. I have not included accessibility information, but will update this list once we get back to normal times. You can find these booksellers on social media. Follow @junctionreads on our platforms to see them tagged in our posts. Tag me in your posts and I will share details on your favourite Canadian Independent Bookstore.

The Anansi Bookshop is home to award-winning fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and CanLit, published by one of Canada’s oldest independent publishers, House of Anansi. It is located in the Junction Triangle at 128 Sterling Road (416) 363 – 4343 ext. 255. Currently closed to the public. Listed here because we love them so much! Stay tuned for information on their re-opening.

Another Story Bookshop is located on Roncesvalles, but offers curbside, local and Canada-wide delivery. Another Story is a renowned supporter of authors and independent publishers and “sells a broad range of literature for children, young adults and adults with a focus on themes of social justice, equity & diversity.” Contact: 315 Roncesvalles Ave, Toronto, ON, M6R 2M6. Phone: 416-462-1104 Email: books@anotherstory.ca

A Novel Spot Bookshop is a west end book shop located on Royal York, north of Dundas. They offer curbside pick-up, local delivery and you can also stop by, peak in the window and pay at the store. The owner and the staff are voracious readers and their shelves are stocked with handpicked titles. They have had most of our Junction Reads books. Humbertown Shopping.270 The Kingsway, Etobicoke, ON, M9A 3T7. Phone: 416-233-2665

A Different Booklist is an “African-Canadian owned bookstore showcasing the literature of the African and Caribbean diaspora, the global south from all the major publishers and independents.” They are offering curbside pick up and you can check out all their titles online and call or email.  779 Bathurst Street, Toronto, ON, M5S 0B7. Phone: 416-538-0889. Email: info@adifferentbooklist.com

Bakka-Phoenix Books is Canada’s oldest science fiction and fantasy bookstore and hosts a tonne of a events (in normal times) and supports all kinds of things related to the genre. The staff has historically been authors and super knowledgeable writers of science fiction and fantasy. They are currently offering curbside pick-up. 84 Harbord Street, Toronto, ON, M5S 1G5. Phone: 416-963-9993. Email: inquiries@bakkaphoenixbooks.com

Ben McNally Books is a beautiful book shop that says it carries the books you didn’t know you were looking for. They take orders online and by phone. I suggest you join their newsletter list to get curated lists and staff recommendations. Ben McNally is a great support of authors and can be found at many events around town (in the normal times). 317 Adelaide St. East, Toronto, ON, M5A 1N2. Phone: 416-361-0032. Email: info@benmcnallybooks.com

With four locations in Toronto, Book City serves a great number of Toronto readers and has been a mainstay for book lovers for decades. Check out their titles and order online for local delivery and curbside pickup.
Danforth. Phone: 416-469-9997. Email: danforth@bookcity.ca
Beach. Phone: 416-698-1444. Email: beach@bookcity.ca
Yonge & St. Clair. Phone: 416-926-0749. Email: stclair@bookcity.ca
Bloor West Village. Phone: 416-961-4496. Email: bloorwestvillage@bookcity.ca

Ella Minnow Children’s Bookstore is a lovely children’s book shop located in the east end. They have a huge selection of new and used books. They also offer reviews written by local readers, so you get a real feeling for the books before you order. You can order by email or phone and pick up or you can have books delivered in their catchment area. 991 Kingston Road, Toronto, ON, M4E 1T3. Phone: 416-698-2665. Email: Hello@ellaminnow.ca

Flying Books is one of the coolest book spaces in Toronto. It “is a bookstore, book publisher, and writing school. The bookselling part of the equation usually operates inside three different businesses in downtown Toronto.” They are open for online shopping and you must check out their upcoming online classes taught by writers. In-store locations closed for now. Email: hello@flyingbooks.ca

Glad Day Bookshop “is the first queer-focused Canadian bookstore, and the oldest queer bookstore worldwide. Serving the LGBTQ community since 1970,” they “offer the widest possible selection of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, two-spirit, and queer literature.” In the normal times, they are the greatest supporter of reading series and author events in Toronto. 499 Church Street, Toronto, ON, M4Y 2C6. Phone: 416.901.6600. Email: shop@gladdaybookshop.com

Mabel’s Fables Children’s Bookstore was my favourite place when the kids were little. I discovered books that introduced my kids to interesting characters and ideas that nurtured their creative minds. They are open for curbside pickup only and even after lockdown is lifted, they will not open to customers until their staff are vaccinated. They also have a TEEN BOOK CLUB! 662 Mount Pleasant Road, Toronto, ON, M4S 2N3. Phone: 416-322-0438. Email: mabel@mabelsfables.com

Moonbeam Books is located in the west end and they curate books for young readers and parents of soon-to-be readers. They also have a great selection of puzzles and games for kids of all ages. They pride themselves on turning young readers on to new books they’d never think of reading. They also rent board games, which is super cool! Easy online shopping and curbside pickup. 335 Jane Street, Toronto, ON, M6S 3Z3. Phone: 416-901-0832. Email: info@moonbeambooks.com

Queen Books has curated lists online that make it easy for you to browse for a new book for you or a loved one. They have a subscription service that allows you to gift a book a month to someone you love! You can choose curbside pickup at checkout so best to order online or email with questions. This store is a huge supporter of local authors! 914 Queen Street East, Toronto ON, M4M 1J5. Phone: 416.778.5053. Email: info@queenbooks.ca

Type Books has three locations in Toronto and they have something for everyone. Books, puzzles, games and knickknacks, you will find something at one of their stores. They have a MYSTERY BAG that you can order for yourself or a friend. A curated pack of books worth $200 for only $100!. Email and phone orders with options for curbside pickup and delivery. QUEEN: 883 Queen St W. Call: 416-366-8973. Email:  info@typebooks.ca JUNCTION: 2887 Dundas St W Call: 416-761-9973 Email: rebecca@typebooks.ca FOREST HILL: 427 Spadina Rd Call: 416-487-8973 Email: nick@typebooks.ca

Thanks for the support!

Without the support of the Canada Council and the Writer’s Union of Canada, many writers are left to market and publicise their work with their own funds. We are grateful to the Writer’s Union for subsidizing the application fee this cycle of the National Public Readings Program. Without other grants, Junction Reads is limited to our PWYC sales and cannot normally afford to apply for these grants! We are so very grateful to have had our applications approved.

Check out our Upcoming Schedule and register for our events on EventBrite.

Spring Break, Spring Books

We are taking a a bit of a break in our schedule. Due to the interference of homeschooling, particularly, Grade 10 Math, I have had to move things around a bit. Sharon Kirsch has now joined our April line up! This means April is going to be a kick butt bundle of memoir and fiction.

April 11: Sarah Kurchak
April 18: Sharon Kirsch
April 25: Marissa Stapley

Sarah Kurchak is autistic. “She hasn’t let that get in the way of pursuing her dream to become a writer, or to find love, but she has let it get in the way of being in the same room with someone chewing food loudly, and of cleaning her bathroom sink. In I Overcame My Autism and All I Got Was This Lousy Anxiety Disorder, Kurchak examines the Byzantine steps she took to become “an autistic success story,” how the process almost ruined her life and how she is now trying to recover.” More from Douglas and McIntyre

Sharon Kirsch The Smallest Objective is a creative non-fiction book centred in Montreal. “A lantern slide, a faded recipe book, a postcard from Mexico, a nugget of fool’s gold — such are the clues available to the narrator of The Smallest Objective as she excavates for buried treasure in her family home. More from New Star Books.

Marissa Stapley brings us her fourth novel, Lucky, from Simon and Schuster. “Lucky Armstrong is a tough, talented grifter who has just pulled off a million-dollar heist with her boyfriend, Cary. She’s ready to start a brand-new life, with a new identity—when things go sideways. Lucky finds herself alone for the first time, navigating the world without the help of either her father or her boyfriend, the two figures from whom she’s learned the art of the scam. ” Read more on Marissa’s website.

Tickets for all our events are PWYC ($0+). Proceeds to the author. Check out our EventBrite page and register for any and all of our Spring events.

Featured post

March Readings!

March 7: Aparna Kaji Shah

March can be the best and worst month of the year. Depending on who comes roaring in, a lion or a lamb, we can get a month that goes from good to bad or bad to good. It’s not a great month! It is certainly no June or September! I know many of us get a feeling that this month offers promise. The promise of spring. The promise of an end to winter, but there is nothing about this March that feels at all promising.

Except, we have books to read and authors to chat with about those books!

You can rely on Junction Reads – more than the weather – for readings and author talks. Our fun Sunday afternoon chats are something many readers and writers have come to look forward to.

March 7: Aparna Kaji Shah joins us for another fantastic conversation about her beautiful collection of short stories, The Scent of Mogra and Other Stories from Inanna Publications. The Scent of Mogra and Other Stories is a collection of four short stories about strong female characters dealing with difficult life-changing situations. The turmoil that they face is, often, the result of a social structure that discriminates against women. Through these powerful women characters, the stories reflect attitudes and ways of life in a village in India, and in modern day Mumbai; they highlight the values of an older generation, and the dreams of a new one. Beneath all their differences, The Scent of Mogra and Other Stories illuminate the quality of women’s lives, exposing the pain, the injustices, as well as the triumphs that make up their existence. More From Inanna Publications.

NEW DATE: APRIL 18 Sharon Kirsch will join us with readings from her latest A Smallest Objective from New Star Books. “Confronted with her mother’s memory loss, a daughter undertakes a search for buried treasure in her now-vacant family home, aided by a team of archeologists. This first-person narrative produces unsettling discoveries about several Montreal personalities as revealed by the objects that survive them—a microscope and lantern slides, a worn recipe book, the obituary of a renowned black sheep in the family. In the end, the excavation of the narrator’s childhood home yields both less and more than she ever imagined.” You can read an excerpt on her website.

Register for our events on Eventbrite. PWYC ($0+) Proceeds to the author. Captions available.

February Fiction!

We’ve got another three readings lined up for February and they promise to brighten up what some consider the dreariest month of the year. We have a collection of short stories that is hot hot hot, a Young Adult novel with important mental health themes and a bit of poetry and new fiction from one of Canada’s best essayists.

February 7: Jess Taylor joins us with her fantastic collection of stories, Just Pervs from Book*hug Press. This book was the highlight of my summer reads and I can’t wait to sit with Jess to chat about her open and honest approach to relationships, sex and sexuality. A 2020 Lambda Literary Award Finalist in Bisexual Fiction, I am so happy JUST PERVS will be shared with you all.

“Jess Taylor’s second short-story collection is a bold examination of the contemporary underbelly of women’s desires. The stories centre on nuances of longing that are much more interesting than those found in many mainstream narratives: the gross bits; fleeting, horrible Tinder-era flings; and even a refreshing take on queer polyamory (in “A Story About Our Friends Lana and Tia”). Taylor writes about women’s desires across life stages very well, particularly in “So Raw You Can’t Sit,” which follows a septuagenarian protagonist taking up with a new partner in the face of judgment and chronic pain.” Quill and Quire.

February 21: Brent van Staalduinen returns to Junction Reads with his debut YA novel, Nothing But Life, that has a traumatized protagonist at its centre. An award-winning writer, I cannot wait to sit and talk to Brent about his latest novel.

From Dundurn: “Dills and his mom have returned to Hamilton, her hometown, hoping to leave the horrors of Windsor behind. But it’s impossible to escape the echoes of tragedy, and trouble always follows trouble. When Dills hurts a new classmate, it comes out in court that he was in the Windsor High library when the shooter came in. But he won’t talk about what he saw, what he still sees whenever he closes his eyes. He can’t. He definitely can’t tell anyone that the Windsor Shooter is his stepfather, Jesse, that Jesse can speak into his mind from hundreds of kilometres away, and that Dills still loves him even though he committed an unspeakable crime.”

February 28: When I learned Alicia Elliott was working on some poetry while at the same time completing her first novel, I was so excited she agreed to come to Junction Reads to talk about writing in a genre so unlike her popular and inspiring essays.

If you haven’t read Mind Spread Out On The Ground, you should. It is a collection of personal and provocative essays, like no other. A #1 National Bestseller, Shortlisted for the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize and named one of the best books of 2019 by many newspapers and magazines, it is the best non-fiction book I have read.

I hope you can join us for any or all of our upcoming events. Check out the Junction Reads EventBrite page to RSVP to our February Fiction Events.

Proof I Was Here: Becky Blake

I hope you can join us on Sunday January 17 at 5:00pm. Get your tickets on EventBrite today. Tickets are Pay What You Can with proceeds going to the author.

Finishing Proof I Was Here by Becky Blake, I had mixed feelings. While I was happy Niki was growing and moving, I was sad to leave the streets of Barcelona and all the cool people we’d met along the way.

Becky Blake’s debut novel is an immersion in street life, particularly into the world of creative people living off their art and their talent at getting things for free. Whether it’s dumpster diving or pocket diving, Blake’s characters have a value system that make each and every one of them watchable, and likeable.

If you cannot join us, we will have a video of the event uploaded to our YouTube channel. Purchase your copy of the book directly from Buckrider Books, or from your local independent bookstore. (Toronto stores that will deliver).

.

January Reads!

In Toronto, the snow is falling and the fall leaves are dancing in the wind down my street. I am sitting here finishing Becky Blake’s Proof I Was Here with Hannah Brown’s debut novel and Faye Guenther’s short story collection beside me. It’s pretty damn cozy.

We are coming up on our 6th anniversary and for the first time in Junction Reads history, I will have time to read all the books ahead of our author readings. I am glad for my dogs because without them, I might never leave the house.

We will be hosting almost weekly events in the new year and each will be a quick chat about one book with one author. Many of us have been locked to our screens with all-day zoom meetings and want nothing more than to read a book. We will pack each event with a quick chat, a reading and Q and A that you can enjoy while sipping a single cup of tea.

January Reads:

January 17 at 5:00pm: Join me as I welcome Becky Blake and her novel, Proof I Was Here. I have so enjoyed walking through the streets of Barcelona with Niki and Manu as they travel through pain and trauma. You can purchase it directly from Wolsak and Wynn. Get your tickets here.

January 24 at 5:00pm: Hannah Brown will chat about her debut novel, Look After Her. Published by Inanna Publications last year, it is a novel about secrets, sex, love and art, set in Europe during the rise of fascism. Get your tickets here.

January 31 at 5:00pm: Faye Guenther will join us to read and talk about her beautiful short stories, Swimmers in Winter. You can purchase directly from Invisible Publishing. Get your tickets here.

Our season has a book for everyone. Check out the full schedule here.

End of an Era: an interview with author Brit Griffin

Since author Brit Griffin began her Wintermen trilogy five years ago, it seemed the author had her finger on the pulse of what was to come to the world we live in. Setting her story on an earth devastated by climate change, mixed with the page-turning captivation of those old-time spaghetti westerns. Read an interview with Brit here.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑