Celebrate Mother’s Day with Biblioasis!

Mother’s Day is fast approaching! We have some great gift ideas for your mom or any mother figures in your life.

For the mom who keeps up with the bestsellers: A Ghost in the Throat

“A powerful, bewitching blend of memoir and literary investigation … Ní Ghríofa is deeply attuned to the gaps, silences and mysteries in women’s lives, and the book reveals, perhaps above all else, how we absorb what we love—a child, a lover, a poem—and how it changes us from the inside out.”—Nina Maclaughlin, New York Times

For the mom who wants a challenge: Ducks, Newburyport

“Lucy Ellmann has written a genre-defying novel, a torrent on modern life, as well as a hymn to loss and grief. Her creativity and sheer obduracy make demands on the reader. But Ellmann’s daring is exhilarating—as are the wit, humanity and survival of her unforgettable narrator.”—2019 Booker Prize Jury Citation

For the mom who attends open mic night: Hail, the Invisible Watchman

“Alexandra Oliver, Canada’s sublime formal poet, grabs centuries-old traditions by the throat and gives them a huge contemporary shaking in Hail, the Invisible Watchman. Terrifyingly clever, dazzlingly skilled, and chillingly accurate in her social observations, she plunges from lyric to narrative and back again in this, her third volume, where a housewife has ‘a waist like a keyhole’ and a ‘good mood’ has a ‘scent’ … With Hail, the Invisible Watchman Oliver again alters the landscape of Canadian poetry.” —Molly Peacock, author of The Analyst

For the mom who loves historical fiction: The Barrøy Chronicles

“A profound interrogation of freedom and fate, as well as a fascinating portrait of a vanished time, written in prose as clear and washed clean as the world after a storm.”The Guardian

For the mom who is everyone’s best friend: The Last Goldfish

“Lahey is a writer of extraordinary gifts, evoking the world of two raucous schoolgirls growing up in the 1980s in astonishing, at times laugh-out-loud funny, detail … Lou couldn’t have asked for a more stalwart, loyal friend than Anita Lahey; we couldn’t ask for a more acutely observant and empathetic writer.”—Moira Farr, author of After Daniel: A Suicide Survivor’s Tale

For the mom who wants to be surprised: Biblioasis Mystery Box

Each box is unique and carefully curated. Tell us some of your favourite books or genres in the notes box, so we can pick books specially for you, or leave it blank for a complete surprise!

Happy Mother’s Day from all of us at Biblioasis!


With a new month comes another addition to the Biblioasis Spotlight series! For May, we’re weaving through time and place, and history and memory in Rachel Lebowitz’s haunting collection of essays, The Year of No Summer.


“Darkly fascinating…Lebowitz highlights the parables, fables and myths we humans created in order to weave meaning into our lives and to which we return for comfort.” —Atlantic Books Today

On April 10th, 1815, Indonesia’s Mount Tambora erupted. The resulting build-up of ash in the stratosphere altered weather patterns and led, in 1816, to a year without summer. Instead, there were June snowstorms, food shortages, epidemics, inventions, and the proliferation of new cults and religious revivals.

Hauntingly meaningful in today’s climate crisis, Lebowitz’s lyric essay charts the events and effects of that apocalyptic year. Weaving together history, mythology, and memoir, The Year of No Summer ruminates on weather, war, and our search for God and meaning in times of disaster.

Rachel Lebowitz is the author of Hannus (Pedlar Press, 2006), which was shortlisted for the 2007 Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize (BC Book Prize) and the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction. She is also the author of Cottonopolis (Pedlar Press, 2013) and the co-author, with Zachariah Wells, of the children’s picture book Anything But Hank! (Biblioasis, 2008, illustrated by Eric Orchard). She lives in Halifax, where she coordinates adult tutoring programs at her neighbourhood library.

Get your copy of The Year of No Summer here!


What does it mean to be human?

Photo Credit: Nancy McCarthy

“What are you writing these days?” In Fall 2019, I took a leave of absence from one of my day jobs, so I could have time to figure out where I needed to go. I was taking a “writing leave,” I told people, but that of course was a mistake, because the expectation from all of us was that I would write, and then not doing so felt like a failure. We need to give permission for writing to encompass walking and thinking and reading and sitting with a mug of tea, watching the crows. As Rebecca Solnit puts it, “Remember, writing is not typing.”

I walked, I thought, I noticed birds and the sound of the wind. I thought about how noticing is an honouring. And I read. I read and read and put sticky notes in books and then typed them up into my ever-growing notes file, and then, five months later, just when I thought maybe I’m ready to write, the pandemic hit, and I homeschooled my kid and read escapist fiction instead because my brain stopped being able to process anything. Then my leave ended and I went back to working almost full-time in a pandemic, which meant moving from online to in-person to online to in-person, and that’s how it’s been for two years. I have written bits and pieces in that time, but nothing that coheres.

Lately, however, I’ve been obsessively thinking about this book-to-be which is always a good sign. So what am I working on these days? Like many artists, I am trying to make sense of the world. With this climate emergency, I asked myself, “How did we get here?” I asked a question that started with The Year of No Summer: “What does it mean to be human?” I wasn’t done with this question and I wasn’t done with fairytales, either. So, from these has come a grappling. I am using the ancient Greek idea of the elements: Earth, Air, Fire, Water and linking each with specific fairytales (some of our oldest stories). I am writing—or thinking out—essays that use as a jumping off point a fairytale to then delve deeper into humans and our relationship with the natural world, moving from the Neolithic Revolution to 19th Century mariners. Lately, I have read about the California and Klondike gold rushes, the history of spinning, and the Middle Ages. I am a frail thing, watching the crows in the trees, and the tide coming in.




An excerpt of The Music Game (February 8, 2022) by Stéfanie Clermont, trans. by JC Sutcliffe, has been published in Literary Hub! The excerpt was published online on February 28, 2022.

Read the full excerpt here.

The Music Game was also featured on the blog, Buried In Print. Read the full article here.

In the post, they write:

“Readers get a clear sense of that fog of youthfulness (where inherently ideas contain dichotomies like ‘clarity’ and ‘confusion’) but also a sense of lived-in and vibrant Montreal (and Ottawa) … It’s not the kind of story that makes you feel like you need to know what happens—because, actually, very little “happens”—but it’s the kind of storytelling that makes me care about the characters’ daily lives and lifelong dreams.”

In celebration of International Women’s Day, CBC Books put together a list of ’22 women writers in Canada you should read in 2022.’ Included on the list is The Music Game by Stéfanie Clermont, trans. by JC Sutcliffe. You can view the full list here.

The Music Game was listed by both Literary Hub and 49th Shelf as recommended reads for March! You can read the full list from Literary Hub here, and the full list from 49th Shelf here.

In her recommendation for Literary Hub, bookseller Kay Wosewick writes:

The Music Game is a delicious sneak peek into Millennial life, one that acknowledges few boundaries, alternates between excess and emptiness, repeatedly taste-tests and spits out adulthood, and ebbs and flows within the surrounding cacophony. Simultaneously exciting and unsettling.

The Music Game was reviewed in the latest issue of the Montreal Review of Books! The review is printed in their Spring 2022 issue and was posted online on March 2, 2022. You can check out the full review here.

In her review, Roxane Hudon writes:

“Clermont is relentless in her writing, and pain seems to await these characters at every corner, but by concluding this way, with everyone together and alive sharing music and stories, she’s showing us that, even for a generation often teetering on the edge, there is beauty, and friendship, and hope.”

The Music Game was reviewed in the Winnipeg Free Press! The review was posted online on March 12, 2022. Read the full review here.

In her review, Sara Harms writes:

“Montreal author Stéfanie Clermont’s award-winning debut is a stunning, incisive immersion into a community of young radical activists finding love, experiencing violence, rejecting hegemony, and struggling to survive financially in a world of dead-end jobs.”

The Music Game was also reviewed in The Charlatan, posted online on March 10, 2022. Read the full review from The Charlatan here.

In her review, Melissa White writes:

“Canadian author Stéfanie Clermont delivers in her debut novel, The Music Game, pushing the boundaries of narrative structure through intimate portrayals of young adulthood … Similar to the extremely successful Irish-millennial author Sally Rooney, she portrays the complex feelings and emotions of her characters in simple terms, thus making them feel universal.”

Pick up your copy of The Music Game here!


Elise Levine, author of Say This (March 1, 2022), was interviewed in The Baltimore Fishbowl. It was published on March 2, 2022. Read the full interview here.

An excerpt from the interview:

BFB: […] Has form always been a central consideration in your writing?

EL: I’ve always understood form and style as elements in service of character. But with Say This I felt greater freedom to formally experiment. Here I was writing a novella— when I’d previously written short stories and novels—and then a second one, so why not take things further? Especially in light of the characters’ experiences with the unsayable, the unanswerable, which called out for me to push hard on the use of fragments and white space as a kind counter-text.

Say This was reviewed in Toronto Star. It was published online on March 11, 2022, and can be read here.

An excerpt from the review:

“Levine repeats the phrase “everything has already happened” in both novellas and the line is key to the book as a whole. It is both the truth and wishful thinking: the crime is done, it’s already happened, this much is true. But for these characters, the crime is never in the past. It is always happening, a constancy of pain and loss that will forever shape their lives.

Say This is a breathtaking, daring exploration of that constancy, of the lingering power of trauma, and the roots and branches of violence and despair.”

Author Elise Levine was also interviewed by PEN America on March 3, 2022. You can find the full interview here.

An excerpt from the interview:

I used fragments as a way of working against the truisms and conventional handlings of narratives surrounding violent crime. By their very nature, fragments embody what is missing; they convey a sense of absence, what remains unvoiced, including hard-to-name desires and the power imbalances that fuel abuse and thrive on the silences surrounding them. The fragments in the book highlight these silences and absences, reflecting how partial, how broken the characters’ understanding might be, and how difficult if not impossible it is for them to access an all-encompassing, consoling truth.

Say This was also named an Editors’ pick for March 2022 by 49th Shelf. You can see the full list here.

Get your copy of Say This here!


Poguemahone by Patrick McCabe (May 3, 2022) has been reviewed in Publishers Weekly. The review was published online on March 8, 2022, which you can read here. Poguemahone has also been selected as an Indie Next pick for May!

Publishers Weekly writes:

“McCabe draws the reader into a rambling web replete with Gaelic folklore, IRA agitation, and a soundtrack of glam and progressive rock. Lively and ambitious in form, this admirably extends the range of McCabe’s career-long examination of familial and childhood trauma.”

Preorder Poguemahone from Biblioasis here!


A Factotum in the Book Trade by Marius Kociejowski (April 26, 2022) was featured in Hamilton Review of Books as part of “What We’re Reading: Editors’ Picks, Spring 2022.” The article was published online on March 9, 2022. You can read the full list here.

Preorder A Factotum in the Book Trade today here!


Chemical Valley cover

Chemical Valley by David Huebert (October 19, 2021) was named a semi-finalist for the Siskiyou Prize for New Environmental Literature! The announcement was made on March 7, 2022. Congratulations, David!

Chemical Valley also received an excellent review from Kirkus! The review was posted online on February 25, 2022. You can read the full review here.

Kirkus wrote:

“Huebert has a razor-sharp wit and an exacting eye for human foibles … [he] manages to offer intimate portraits of human lives without ever letting readers forget the climate bubbling just outside their windows … A masterful assemblage of environmentally minded tales.”

Order your copy of Chemical Valley here!



On Decline cover

Andrew Potter, author of On Decline (October 19, 2021) was a guest on the podcast Lean Out with Tara Henley. Host Tara Henley is a former CBC reporter, journalist, and bestselling author. The episode was published online yesterday, March 16, 2022. You can listen to the full episode here.

Pick up your copy of On Decline here!