Monthly Archives: January 2014

Magical Narcissism: Selected Writings on Books, Writers, Food, and Chefs – Shaun Smith

Magical Narcissism Cover

PRICE: $11.95 sale price!
ISBN: 978-1926639598




What has happened to Bret Easton Ellis ego? Why does Ferran Adrià reject the gastronomy its said he invented? Who was the novelist that punched her poet husband in the face? Why is David Sedaris broken in the wrong way? When is it comforting to eat spleen? In Magical Narcissism, award-winning Canadian journalist and critic Shaun Smith investigates all these questions and many others as he pursues his two great loves: books and food.

In dozens of pieces, Smith tackles works by such luminaries as Steve Martin, Joan Didion, Douglas Coupland, Iain Banks, Christopher Hitchens, Heston Blumenthal, Susur Lee, Jennifer McLagan, Bonnie Stern, Jeffrey Steingarten, and A.A. Gill. He takes us to pig roasts in southern Ontario and northern Spain. He wonders why people want books defaced by author autographs. He sings the praises of invention. And he laments a dearth of donuts.

Sometimes caustic, sometimes celebratory, always entertaining, the works in this volume represent the best from fifteen years of writing for such outlets as the The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, CBC.ca, Quill & Quire, and many others. Books and food are not really so disparate, writes Smith both provide sustenance and, if you’re lucky, gratification, and both can—and in my case usually do—elicit strong opinion.

Shaun Smith is a novelist and award-winning journalist in Toronto, Canada. His young-adult novel Snakes & Ladders was published in 2009. As a journalist he has published hundreds of articles and reviews on books, food and other subjects with such publications as The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, CBC.ca, Toronto Life, Quill & Quire, Chatelaine, and ELLE Canada. A former chef, he cooked in such noted kitchens as Scaramouche, The Senator, The Rosedale Diner, and David Wood Food Shop. Since 1995 he has worked widely as a book reviewer and publishing commentator, and also as a cookbook columnist, food writer, restaurant critic, and cookbook reviewer. In April 2011, he was inducted as a Fellow into the Ontario Hostelry Institute in recognition of his work as a food writer, book reviewer and commentator. Hervé This is a chemist who works for the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique at AgroParisTech in Paris, France, whose main area of scientific research is molecular gastronomy. He is the author of numerous scientific publications and several books on the subject.

Posted in Catalogue, Halloween Sale, M, Non-fiction, special holiday sale, Spring 2013 | Tagged , , , , , , , , |

Standing in the Whale’s Jaw – Kathy-Diane Leveille

Standing-in-the-whale's-jaw PROMOISBN: 9781926639611

Fifteen-year-old Elsa Byrd is on the verge of becoming a woman in the summer of 1935. It seems to her that, in a world run by men, coming of age is more of a curse than a blessing. Elsa feels powerless when her father enters the tuberculosis sanitarium and she’s forced to live on her grandparents’ farm. When she stumbles upon a stranger hiding in the barn, it’s a welcome diversion as hiding him becomes an intoxicating secret. When a dead girl is discovered floating in a dory, it quickly shifts from the kind of secret Elsa wants to hug close, to the kind she doesn’t dare let out. Her mentor, Lavinia Twigg, joins the police investigation and Elsa’s caught between silence and disclosure, trust and doubt, risk and fear.

“Nineteen thirties rural New Brunswick shines in this multi-layered, coming-of-age murder mystery. The lives of women, and the expectations surrounding them, are portrayed with insight and sympathy. I hope we hear from Elsa Byrd and Lavinia Twigg again—they make a first-rate detective team.” —Laurie Glenn Norris, author, Haunted Girl: Esther Cox and the Great Amherst Mystery

“Murder mystery enthusiasts will be completely satiated. Leveille has brilliantly concocted scenarios
where several individuals make plausible suspects.”—Michelle Brunet, Arts East

Kathy-Diane Leveille is the author of the novel Let the Shadows Fall Behind You and the short story collection Roads Unravelling. Her prose has been published in a number of literary journals, including the Cormorant, Grain, the Oklahoma Review, Pottersfield Portfolio, and Room of One’s Own, as well as various anthologies such as New Brunswick Short Stories and Water Studies: New Voices in Maritime Fiction. Her fiction won the Short Grain Contest for dramatic monologue in 2000 and was listed as a finalist in the Writers’ Union of Canada Short Fiction Contest in 2002. She lives in Saint John, New Brunswick.

Posted in Novels, S, Spring 2013, Uncategorized, Valentine Sale | Tagged , , , , , , , , |

Keep It Beautiful – Kelly Ward

Keep it Beautiful CoverISBN: 9781926639628
PRICE: $10 special sale price




Kelly Ward’s debut collection of stories teems with characters just on the fringe of the mainstream, and each story examines the mundane and abject sides of normalcy. A middle-aged woman spends her life in the slot machine pit of a rural casino where she navigates her misplaced affections for two men: one a lifelong gambler and couch-surfing cad, the other a kid in his early 20s who makes her forget her own age and place in the world. Twenty-something newlyweds Asa and Maria attempt to conceive for the first six months of their marriage. When her apparent dream of becoming a mother doesn’t pan out quickly, Maria distances herself from Asa. A septuagenarian utilizes younger shoppers as pawns to make her weekly grocery-store jaunt that much easier to navigate. Each of Keep it Beautiful‘s characters find humor and beauty in unlikely places, while often playing victim—or at times accomplice—to their circumstances.

“Ward’s marginal characters—geriatric shoplifters, lovelorn gamblers, Zellers employees, OCD municipal workers—are curious curiosities. Ward lifts the everyday and everyman and transforms absurd disappointments and fragmented joys of the quotidian to reveal a fresh, intimate compassionate perspective, as all gifted writers do.”—Ibi Kaslik, author of Skinny and The Angel Riots

“Ward favour[s] shorter stories that provide just enough information to comprehend their characters’ motivations and morality, while simultaneously refusing to explain things in a blandly expository manner.”—The National Post

Keep It Beautiful is full of characters both odd and endearing and makes for fantastic summer reading for short story lovers.”—Open Book Toronto

“The author’s deft facility with character and her willingness to trust her readers by infusing her stories with just the right degree of contingency mark her as an author to watch.”—Steve W. Beattie, 49th Shelf

“Observant and compassionate to the end”—goodreads.com

Kelly Ward is a freelance writer and editor whose fiction, poetry, and journalism have appeared in various publications across Canada, including Existere, Matrix Magazine, SubTerrain, Taddle Creek, Word Magazine, and various other literary journals.  Her story, “A Girl And A Dog On A Friday Night,” was longlisted for the 2017 Journey Prize. She lives in Toronto.

Posted in 2015 sale, Catalogue, Holiday Fiction Sale, K, Short Fiction, short fiction sale, Spring 2013, Uncategorized, Valentine Sale | Tagged , , , , , , , |

Hart Strings – Julie Hart

Hart Strings Cover
PRICE: $19.95
ISBN: 978-1926639635




Being married is one thing, but being married to Bret “Hitman” Hart—former five-time World Wrestling Entertainment Champion—is another. In her vibrant and honest memoir, Hart’s ex-wife and the mother of his four children chronicles the ups and downs of balancing life with a superstar husband in the circus world of professional wrestling. Beginning with Julie’s teen years and early romance with Bret, the story follows the couple’s marriage, children, divorce, and continued presence in each other’s lives, culminating in Julie’s growing role as one of the new matriarchs of the ever-expanding Hart family in Calgary. Vividly detailed and humorous, this authentic account of Julie’s life as an individual, wife, mother, sister, and friend is told by, quite arguably, the Hitman’s toughest opponent and greatest ally of all time.

Hart Strings, at its heart, is a tale of survival… a tale of life away from the big arenas and the bright lights, and it’s certainly compelling reading”
— CollarAndElbow.com

Julie Hart is a former stroke group facilitator at the Calgary Foothills Hospital and has been a speaker for brain injury awareness, a fundraiser for the Winnipeg Children’s Hospital, and an overseas coordinator and operations specialist for the Love of Children’s Society of Alberta. She lives in Calgary, Alberta.

Posted in Catalogue, H, Non-fiction, Spring 2013 | Tagged , , , , , , |

Tangle – Julie Cameron Gray

Tangle CoverPRICE:  $14.95—special sale price

ISBN: 9781926639574




Teetering on the brink of longing and the downtrodden, Julie Cameron Gray’s poetic debut explores isolation and the distance between human understanding and human experience. Her poems showcase the relationship between people and their work, urban living and the fringe existence of “wild” animals, the flaws that relationships tend to encompass despite best intentions, and the mysteries inanimate objects hold. Tangle is a verdict, a web of dysfunction, and an alibi.

“Julie Cameron Gray has achieved something crucial, but too rare, in today’s world of rapid change: how to be true to a sense of the new through an energizing sense of continuity with the imaginative richness of the past. . . . If we value zestful continuity as part of an allegiance to exploration and change, Julie Cameron Gray is a poet to watch.”  —Roger Nash, author, Something Blue and Flying Upward

“This is a compact collection of distilled, mature poetry.”—Anne Burke, League of Canadian Poets

“All in all, a delightful read”—goodreads.com

Julie Cameron Gray is the author of the chapbook Coordinating Geometry, and her poetry has appeared in Carousel, Contemporary Verse 2, Event, Fiddlehead, and PRISM International as well as the anthology Best Canadian Poetry in English 2011.

Posted in Catalogue, Poetry, poetrysale, Spring 2013, T, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , |