Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Interviews, Recommendations, and More

Shelf Talkers for June

Booksellers across Canada tell Robert J. Wiersema about the books they're recommending to customers.

It’s not just that booksellers sell books (well, hopefully...), it’s that they read. They read not only with a voraciousness and attention unrivalled in the trade, but with a passion and a hope that remains, for the best of them, undiminished, despite years, sometimes decades, of season after season of new books, and new favourites.

The best of those books are the ones they share with their fellow readers in-store, and here, on Shelf Talkers. Here are some bookseller favourites for June.



The Bookseller: David Worsley, Words Worth Books, Waterloo, Ontario


The Pick: Infidelity, by Stacey May Fowles

"Infidelity is emblematic of a new and entirely welcome breed of Canadian fiction. It's a deceptively simple story of an affair between a working-class woman and a tweedy professor in present-day Toronto. Ronnie and Charlie are very different people, but both are in rather prosaic relationships. A meeting at a faculty party results in a goodly number of trysts and the pressure of balancing their secrets with the increasing weight of both of their daily lives.

Where Fowles excels in Infidelity is in making one care about two flawed (trapped?) people, and even though we can see the car crash coming, it's impossible to look away. This was one of my favourite Canadian novels of 2013, and I'll drop everything to read her next book."



The Bookseller: Jenn Hubbs, Curiosity House Books, Creemore, Ontario


The Pick: All the Broken Things, by Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer

"In All the Broken Things, set in early-1980s' Toronto, Kuitenbrouwer introduces us to Bo, a boat person from Vietnam who lives in the Junction with his mother and younger sister. His sister suffers from the effects of Agent Orange in the womb, and Bo is her primary caregiver while their mother works. Through various circumstances, Bo links up with the travelling circus that used to cross the country each summer, and eventually he is given his own tiny bear cub to train. Bo and Bear are each other’s solace and form a unique bond of survival, especially when they find themselves abandoned and on their own. 

All the Broken Things is both magical and melancholy, illustrating our need for love and the acknowledgement of our differences."


The Bookseller: Samantha Fraenkel, Book Warehouse on Broadway, Vancouver, BC


The Pick: The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen, by Susin Nielsen

"The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen by Vancouver's Susin Nielsen made me laugh and cry. It is one of the best kids books I've read in years and everyone (not just kids!) should read this novel about bullying."



The Bookseller: Lindsay Williams, Galiano Island Books, Galiano Island, BC


The Pick: Grayling: A Novella, by Gillian Wigmore

"Grayling is a sweet, swift story that expands to hold a huge range of emotions. From the soft-focus descriptions of nature to the heated moments between characters, this atmospheric novella packs the punch of a full-length novel. Wigmore has crafted an iconic and engaging BC tale."



The Bookseller: Shelley Macbeth, Blue Heron Books, Uxbridge, Ontario


The Pick: No Relation, by Terry Fallis

"A perennial store favourite, Terry Fallis has once again delivered a wise story that makes us laugh (a lot!) and makes us think, populated with a delightful cast of characters with idiosyncrasies born of the famous monikers with which they are saddled. No Relation is crafted with a careful attention to detail that by the final page is all tied up in a neat little bow that leaves the reader completely satisfied."


See more Shelf Talkers.

Comments here

comments powered by Disqus

More from the Blog