Junction Reads

A Prose Reading Series.



We have a busy month ahead with four great books and four fabulous authors joining us for conversations about their new books.

Subscribe to our Youtube channel because if you miss any of our live events, you can find the videos there.

Register for our Junction Reads events, and you might win a copy of the book from the publisher. Follow us on Instragram @thefirstthirty and @junctionreads and join us for our live events,

On November 10, I am going to chat with Elaine McCluskey about writing her varied and vibrant collection of stories, Rafael has pretty eyes. from Goose Lane.

The seventeen stories in Elaine McCluskey’s latest collection, Rafael Has Pretty Eyes, follow characters who have reached a four-way stop in life; some are deciding whether to follow the signs or defy them; others find a sinkhole forming beneath their feet. Set in the Maritimes but transcending regional boundaries, McCluskey’s stories are experimental, sometimes provocative, and often about those living on the margins. Smart, compassionate and unsparing, Rafael Has Pretty Eyes explores the absurdity and interconnectedness of a life adrift.

Purchase your own copy, directly from the publisher or your local independent book shop.

On Sunday November 13 at 5:00pm EST, Margaret Nowaczyk returns to Junction Returns with her latest book, A Memoir of Genetics, Mental Health and Writing, Chasing Zebras from Wolsak and Wynn.

“From leaving Communist Poland to enduring the demands of medical school, through living with a long undiagnosed mental illness to discovering the fascinating field of genetics, plunging into the pressures of prenatal diagnosis and finally finding the tools of writing and of narrative medicine, Margaret shares a journey that is both inspiring and harrowing. This is a story of constant effort, of growth, of tragedy and of triumph, and most of all, of the importance of openness. In the end, Dr. Nowaczyk invites us all to see that “life is precious and fragile and wondrous and full of mistakes.” And to keep trying.”

Register on EventBrite. PWYC. Tickets are $0-20 and all proceeds to the author. You could win your own copy from the publisher.

On Thursday November 17 at 7:00pm EST, join us on Instagram Live, for a conversation with Nataša Nuhanović about writing and her delicate and heartbreaking love story, The Boy’s Marble from Guernica Editions..

“A boy and girl promise to meet at midnight on a bench halfway between their apartments, and run away together, only the boy never comes. Twenty years later in Montreal, she meets someone who reminds her of the boy and wonders whether it could really be him. A brilliant anti-war story that wakes the reader in hope and love, and helps understand just how useless, meaningless and absurd war really is.”

Follow us and share @junctionreads and @thefirstthirty.

On Sunday November 27 at 5:00pm EST, we welcome back Catherine Graham with her latest novel, The Most Cunning Heart from Palimpsest Press.

“In the early 1990’s, Caitlin Maharg, grieving the loss of her parents, leaves everything she knows in Canada for Northern Ireland to pursue her love of poetry while living in a cottage by the Irish Sea. Feeling like a child again in a distant land still affected by the Troubles, she is haunted by the secrets her parents’ deaths unearthed. In her longing for emotional closeness, she befriends Andy Evans, a well-known poet with a roguish charm. Their attraction soon leads to a love affair. Flouting the paisley headscarf of respectability, she plunges into a relationship that gives her an entry to the literary world, but at a price. Filled with insights into grief, longing and creativity, The Most Cunning Heart is a novel about how a quiet heroine learns to navigate deception, love and loss.”

This is a PWYC event. Register and you might win a copy of the book from the publisher.

New Season, New Readings!

We have made the decision to continue with online readings. I keep thinking (and saying) it was a difficult decision, but truthfully it was an easy one. Without funding and a venue space (Anansi is not yet open to in-person events), it seems the best decision for us. Also, we get to welcome so many great writers from across the country with the very accessible digital interview. I hope you’ll join us when we kick off the new season on September 11 with Kamloops author, Katie Welch and her debut novel, MAD HONEY from Wolsak and Wynn.

We’ve shortened the list of authors as well because I have decided to make some time for my own writing and with Cayley’s promotion at Simon and Schuster, we will both be a bit busier. That being said, we are also excited to welcome Sarah Campbell to the team. She is going to support us with marketing and event stuff. We have also invited some guest hosts to join us, so you’ll get some new and fresh perspectives on writing and the gorgeous books we have this season.

Check out the Upcoming Events page for more details.

We will also continue with our Instagram Live writers’ series, THE FIRST THIRTY, with random Thursday evening events on the gram, where we will talk to authors about writing those challenging openings. They will share new work and new ideas, so all the writers out there should stay tuned. Follow us @junctionreads and @thefirstthirty.

We hope you’ll like, follow and subscribe. (The last link is for Eventbrite) Also check out Cayley’s fantabulous Insta @cayleyisreading!!

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.”

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:
Beach. Phone: 416-698-1444. Email:
Yonge & St. Clair. Phone: 416-926-0749. Email:
Bloor West Village. Phone: 416-961-4496. Email:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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: JUNCTION: 2887 Dundas St W Call: 416-761-9973 Email: FOREST HILL: 427 Spadina Rd Call: 416-487-8973 Email:

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