News from the Bookshop

Hello Book Friend,


In spite of Fiona’s fury, downed trees, power outages and intermittent internet, here we are publishing our second newsletter on schedule. We hope you are well and still reading.


Issue one of our newsletter was delivered to over 400 Bookmark friends and subscribers. We’ve received a number of very positive emails about the content and suggestions for future editions. Our subscriber list is growing daily, so please share with your family and friends to help us reach more readers. The ‘What’s in your bag?’ segment is a favourite and we plan to make it a regular feature, so if you would like to share your book purchases with our newsletter subscribers, please email us at


Coming soon! Watch our events page and social media channels for news on upcoming events for Bookmark’s Readerity Series: Readers & Writers on Books & Reading. Sidelined by Covid-19, Readerity is back with three new series by outstanding authors Alexander MacLeod, Sheree Fitch and Deirdre Kessler. 


Congratulations to Gary Dunfield and Andrews Steeves at Gaspereau Press who are celebrating 25 years of publishing this Fall. At the core of Gaspereau’s philosophy is a commitment to making books that reinstate the importance of the book as a physical object, reuniting publishing and the book arts, a philosophy that we wholeheartedly endorse. We applaud Gary and Andrew on accomplishing this commitment and for the important role they play in the Canadian book scene. Watch for our list of current Gaspereau titles available at Bookmark in our November newsletter. 


We just finished a very busy summer season at Bookmark and are now planning, ordering, and organizing for the holiday season. One thing to note is that the supply chain challenges that started during Covid-19 are expected to continue into this holiday season. Labour shortages, paper shortages, shipping delays, and printer capacity have combined to create a perfect storm for book supply. We have been warned by all our major publishers to buy accordingly and that books that go to re-print will not likely be available for Christmas. We encourage you to buy early to avoid disappointment in December. One tip is to use our pre-order lists on our website to place your order for future releases. This is the optimal way to ensure that you get the books that you want. 


Congratulations to the new Charlottetown Library Learning Centre on their impressive new space! This will be a wonderful community hub in downtown Charlottetown. We look forward to hosting some of our future author events in this space. 


Due to Hurricane Fiona, we are delaying the start of our 50th Anniversary Reading Series. Watch our events page for further details.

On the Night Table
In this section of the newsletter, booksellers from Halifax and Charlottetown will give you a sneak peek of what they’ve been reading or are looking forward to reading soon!
Trina has been selling books at the Charlottetown store for over four years. A retired librarian, Trina’s reading interests are wide-ranging. The thrill of the next book keeps her reading, and the joy of finding the right book for the right person never ceases to please her.

I have been a fan of Sarah Addison Allen since her first novel, Garden Spells, was published in 2007. Her books often feature lonely or lost souls, characters out of step with the world they inhabit. Her characters display talents or gifts that seem out of sync with those worlds, until they determine the way in which long held secrets will be shared and possibilities achieved, usually with a touch of magic and a dash of comfort. Other Birds does not disappoint.

Maggie O’Farrell returns to historical fiction with The Marriage Portrait, a novel inspired by a poem, inspired by a portrait of a young Italian noblewoman, Lucrezia de Medici, who at 15 was forced by her parents to marry the much older Alfonso II d’Este. While I have not yet read all of Maggie O’Farrell’s books, I have enjoyed those I have read. I regularly refer people to her most recent, Hamnet & Judith, so am eager to start this interval in the world of Renaissance Italy.

Anticipating a trip to Edinburgh, I was pleased to receive a copy of Stevenson’s book. First published in 1878 as a series of essays, later collected as a guidebook, a memoir, and a collection of picturesque notes as it is subtitled. This 2021 edition is a slender hard cover with a delightful cover illustration that will enchant the armchair traveller and the curious alike. I enjoyed opening the book to whichever brief essay took my fancy and appreciate that Stevenson’s writing seems to have aged well. He pulls no punches about the city, nor its weather. It’s debatable whether his opinions would pass muster with the current tourism folks.

The particular philosophical question behind this book in McCall Smith’s Sunday Philosophy Club series caught my attention - is the heart truly the seat of the soul? I’ve not read any previous volumes in the series but probably will now that I’ve dipped a toe in. It was easy to catch on to the regulars in the series, and a pleasant read for a sunny afternoon on the verandah.

Kristen enjoys reading many genres, but her favourites are scifi, literature and science. She loves recommending books to people and will talk about classic scifi for way too long. She homesteads in rural PEI with her family.
This is one of my favourite spooky reads. It’s part haunted house, part David Mitchell weirdness, with just the right amount of cheek. Bonus points for revealing some secrets from the Mitchell-verse and being short enough to read in a sitting.
This series is a fun graphic adaptation of the wildly popular Sapiens series. I recently read Volume 1, The Birth of Humankind, and am looking forward to reading this one. It covers the shift to agriculture and all the woes that follow.
I read the Iliad earlier this year and have since been interested in recent retellings like Song of Achilles and A Thousand Ships. Atwood’s story of Penelope is not to be missed as part of this myth-adjacent genre.
There is a bit of buzz around this Hugo and Nebula winner since Dune director Denis Villeneuve signed on to direct a film version in the near future. The book has 2001: A Space Odyssey vibes and mind bending physics. I can’t wait to see it on screen.
Aaron was born and raised in Prince Rupert, BC but now makes his home in Halifax with his wife and two small children. While out west, Aaron fought forest fires throughout the region and upon moving to Nova Scotia for the Creative Nonfiction MFA programme at King's College, he wrote his first book, Chasing Smoke: A Wildfire Memoir. He is at work on another project. He is very appreciated at Bookmark since his height allows him to reach the topmost shelves with ease. 

After some thin reading years as a teenager, McEwan was one of my first loves when I got back into books as an adult. His novel Saturday is an all time favourite. A fellow McEwan (and Saturday) enthusiast on staff has told me that Lessons is up there with his best.

Hsu writes for the New Yorker and his criticism always has a passage or two that goes beyond the subject at hand and says something bigger about life and art. Stay True is a memoir of Hsu’s teens and early twenties and I’m excited to find out more about the experiences that shaped him.

I’ve never been a huge Chris Bosh fan, but I like to read a basketball book once in a while and I’m especially interested, perhaps morbidly so, when a career is cut short as Bosh’s was. To paraphrase Steve Nash musing about his impending retirement “It’s like there’s this dark presence.” How did Bosh deal with that “dark presence” when it came for him early and unexpectedly?

It’s Joan Didion, “Dids” as I like to call her, so we know right away that this will be better than most other books that have ever sat on my nightstand (which, like a good Haligonian, I found on the side of the road). What drew me most to this one was the title. Not, “Where I Am From” … too generic! Didion wants to talk about  “Where I Was From,” that was contains so much potential sorrow, or even malice? I don’t know, but I need to find out!


When not fervently shelving at Halifax’s Bookmark (a place Rebecca has wanted to work since she was a child) she can be found working as a scriptwriter, director, actor, bartender and film festival programmer. She writes a live-streamed sitcom called  The Crevice, which begins its second season in March 2023.

I ordered this book after I realized how long I've been referencing this Trilling quote I read in an article years ago: "our suspicion of gaiety in art perhaps signifies an inadequate seriousness in ourselves".  

Talbot’s exposé of Allan Dulles’s underhanded influence on global politics as the longest-running director of the CIA is as compelling as a good (horror) novel. 

I fell in love with Shirley Jackson through Ruth Franklin’s 2016 biography A Rather Haunted Life, and have missed her company ever since. I expect these letters to be as warm, witty and heartbreaking as she was.

Andy Miller, one of the hosts of the podcast Backlisted, is a bookseller and writer with impeccable taste. I'm about five pages in and have already laughed out loud many times.

Libro FM

To Audiobook or Not

Did you know you can support your local bookstore while listening to great audiobooks?


It’s as easy as creating an account at, then selecting Bookmark Booksellers as your local bookstore. You can sign up for a monthly membership or buy a book whenever the mood strikes. Whichever you choose, your purchase will support Bookmark Booksellers, your local independent bookseller in your community.


Like the other guys, has over 215,000 titles to choose from, membership includes one audiobook credit per month, has free Apple and android apps, and allows you to redeem credits in-app on IOS.


Unlike the other guys, your credits never expire, you keep your credits when you hold or cancel, downloads are DRM-free (you own your audiobooks), and there are REAL people on support, not bots. 


The other guys? They’re also known as Audible, and they don’t represent local independent booksellers. does. readers love local bookstores for their community, curation, and culture, and also support creating local jobs while helping to keep money in our communities.


Listen with the free app and enjoy features that make listening easier and more enjoyable, including a sleep timer, bookmarks, and more. Start listening now!

Audiobook bestsellers

The top 100 audiobooks on based on sales from over 1,800 partner bookstore locations including Bookmark.
Bookmarks & Dog-Ears

The Making of Modern Ukraine: A Free Online Course from Yale Professor Timothy Snyder

This fall, historian Timothy Snyder is teaching a course at Yale University called The Making of Modern Ukraine. And he’s generously making the lectures available on YouTube–so that you can follow along too. Lectures will be available on Yale’s YouTube ChannelWe highly recommend the following books by Timothy Snyder.


Bookmark in Support of

Wild Threads Literary Festival

Thank you Peter Mansbridge for two wonderful events in Halifax and Charlottetown last month. During his visit to Charlottetown for the Wild Threads Literary Festival, Peter stopped into the store to record an interview with CBC Compass. (photo of Mo Duffy Cobb, Peter Mansbridge, and Lori Cheverie)

Book tourism anyone?
Plan your next trip to one of the 15 Most Instagrammed Bookstores In The World or check out one of these titles from our Books on Books section.
15 Seconds or Thereabouts
Are you looking for your next great read but don’t want to take the time to read a lengthy book review? Mike Hamm, the manager in Halifax, came up with the perfect solution. Dubbed the 15 Seconds or Thereabouts Book Reviews, Mike in Halifax and Olivia in Charlottetown post short videos on Instagram where they give a brief “elevator pitch” about a book. 
Author Visit!
Sean Paul Bedell stopped in to sign copies of his novel, Somewhere There’s Music. If you’re looking for a gritty family story, this Canadian novel is for you! Thanks, Sean!
It’s that time of year again – Calendars now available! We have wall calendars in many sizes, day planners, student planners, agendas and page-a-days.
How Romantic
Gen Z is driving sales of romance books to the top of bestseller lists. If you've been wondering what it's all about, check out this article.

On Browsing and Independent Bookshops

From On Browsing by Jason Guriel published by Canadian independent publisher, Biblioasis.


On the time-honored intellectual and cultural activity known as browsing…


“Browsing is the opposite of ‘search’. Search is precise, browsing is imprecise. When you search, you find what you were looking for; when you browse, you find what you were not looking for. Search corrects your knowledge, browsing corrects your ignorance. Search narrows, browsing enlarges.” - Leon Wieseltier


On independent bookshops… “a business, sure, but a labour of love, as well. We are still waiting for the algorithms to learn how to love.” - Jason Guriel

Kids Corner
Charlottetown bookseller Sophie has picked some of her favourite books for kids under 12! This list includes graphic novels, early readers, and chapter books, so you’re sure to find a great book for the young reader in your life.
October Canadian New Releases
Dates, times and locations are current as of publication date. Please refer to for updates or changes.
Our event with Wayne Johnston is canceled due to Hurricane Fiona and will be re-scheduled. Please check our events page to stay up to date on upcoming events.
Nicholas Herring in Conversation with Alexander MacLeod
Wednesday October 05, 2022 | 7:00PM - 8:30PM
Goose Lane Editions, in partnership with Halifax Central Library, presents Nicholas Herring, author of the new novel,  Some Hellish. Nicholas will be in conversation with award-winning author, Alexander MacLeod.

The event will take place on Wednesday, October 5th at 7:00 PM at the Halifax Central Library, Paul O'Regan Hall, 5440 Spring Garden Road, Charlottetown. This is a free event and everyone is invited.

Nicholas Herring’s writings have appeared in the Puritan and the  Fiddlehead. He lives in Murray Harbour, PEI, where he works as a carpenter.  Some Hellish is Herring’s debut novel.

About the book:
Herring is a hapless lobster fisher lost in an unexceptional life, bored of thinking the same old thoughts. One December day, following a hunch, he cuts a hole in the living room floor and installs a hoist, altering the course of everything in his life. His wife Euna leaves with their children. He buries the family dog in a frozen grave on Christmas Eve. He and his friend Gerry crash his truck into a field, only to be rescued by a passing group of Tibetan monks.

During the spring lobster season, Herring and Gerry find themselves caught in a storm front. Herring falls overboard miles from the harbour, is lost at sea for days, and assumed to be drowned. And then, he is found, miraculously, alive. Having come so near to death, he is forced to confront the things he fears the most: love, friendship, belief, and himself.

Some Hellish is a story about anguish and salvation, the quiet grace and patience of transformation, the powers of addiction and fear, the plausibility of forgiveness, and the immense capacity of friendship and of love.
Staff Picks

Bookmark’s booksellers are passionate book people and an eclectic group of readers with wide ranging interests. We collectively read hundreds of books a year, talk about hundreds and hundreds more within our community of readers, and love to be asked the question, ‘What are you reading?’

For us, it is quite a thrill to share a favourite book and see others fall in love with it. We believe that these very human-to-human recommendations will beat a computer-to-human, algorithm generated recommendation every time!
"I could never have dreamt that there were such goings-on in the world between the covers of books, such sandstorms and ice blasts of words...  or such slashing of humbug, and humbug too, such staggering peace, such enormous laughter, such and so many blinding bright lights... or breaking across the just-awaking wits and splashing all over the pages in a million bits and pieces all of which were words, words, words, and each of which was alive forever in it's own delight and glory and oddity and light.'
- Dylan Thomas
Prize Lists
Giller Prize Short List
Booker Prize Short List
* Treacle Walker is currently unavailable for order.
Local Book Spotlight

Herring is a hapless lobster fisher lost in an unexceptional life, bored of thinking the same old thoughts. One December day, following a hunch, he cuts a hole in the living room floor and installs a hoist, altering the course of everything in his life. 

Some Hellish is a story about anguish and salvation, the quiet grace and patience of transformation, the powers of addiction and fear, the plausibility of forgiveness, and the immense capacity of friendship and of love.

Prince Edward Islanders are famous for hosting family and friends in the kitchen. Canada's Food Island invites you to celebrate the Island's farm-to-table cooking and meet the farmers, fishers and artisans who make those delicious dishes possible. Canada's Food Island combines nearly 100 inspired seasonal recipes with homegrown stories and beautiful photographs to capture the essence of the island's unique food culture - a blend of people, place and locally sourced fresh natural ingredients. You'll learn how mussels and oysters are sustainably raised and harvested, why Island beef is so flavourful and what makes wild blueberries so special. Whether you've spent time on Prince Edward Island or not, you'll want to visit these pages again and again to experience a taste of the Island in the comfort of your own kitchen.


Royalties from sales of the book will go to PEI Food Banks with the mission to increase food security for Islanders by supporting Food Banks and the individuals who are in need of their support.

The author of Alder Music, Gary Saunders returns with an evocative, lyrical, and immersive collection of personal essays on our relationship with nature and with each other.


In nine sections, Earthkeeping ruminates on the necessity of love and earthkeeping, on forage fish and robinsongs, and on the stewardship of our ecological landscape. Offering an antidote to the world’s anxiety about climate change, plastic pollution, and biodiversity loss, Saunders writes with a deep connection to the natural world and his signature humane zest for life. Lovingly illustrated with Saunders’s own drawings, the result is a joyful, personal, and deeply attentive stroll through an enchanted land of blue and green.

The whole world is waiting to see if Shubenacadie Sam's shadow means six more weeks of winter or whether spring is on its way. The day before Groundhog Day though is Groundhog Night, and as Sam discovers, other animals have shadows, too.


Come with us on this moonlit journey of discovery as Shubenacadie Wildlife Park's most famous resident meets moose, fox and an owl and many of the other animals and birds that share the park.


Shubenacadie Sam is not alone.


Shubenacadie Sam is one of the most famous groundhogs in North America. Every year on February 2 at sunrise, Sam leaves the specially built house and checks to see if he sees a shadow. The whole country waits for the result.

What's In Your Bag?
Our friend and fellow bibliophile, Elizabeth Jollimore, has been a NS Supreme Court Justice since late 2008. Elizabeth has a very busy life but makes time to visit our shop in Halifax frequently, adding to her library and that of her friends. She has been a huge supporter of independent businesses and since the first pandemic lockdowns has often treated us to delicious cookies from a local bakery. To celebrate her recent birthday, Elizabeth became an honorary Bookmark employee with the inclusion of some of her favourite titles in our 'Staff Recommends' display.
Would you like to share what’s in your bag? Email for more information!
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