News from the Bookshop

Hello book friend,


We've been talking about the need for a newsletter for quite some time, so here we are, after many meetings, false starts and procrastination (on my part), finally sending out our first newsletter. We know that most people don’t need another email in their inbox so we are working hard to make ours one that you actually look forward to receiving and reading. We love books and reading and we hope that you will see this passion coming through in every newsletter that we deliver to you.


Our newsletter will feature the voices of our team of knowledgeable and enthusiastic booksellers. You will hear shop news, what they are reading, what's coming soon that they are excited about, and more. We hope you'll find something here that you absolutely have to add to your TBR stack. We welcome feedback and suggestions for future content.


One bit of big news that you will find in this edition, assuming you haven’t already heard, is that Bookmark Charlottetown will be celebrating its 50th anniversary later in 2022. Read on for more details.


See you in the bookshop soon!

Dan MacDonald, Owner

On the Night Table
Welcome to the first instalment of 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!
Mike - Buyer, Manager - Halifax
Michael grew up in Sambro, NS with a book always at his side. Michael began working at Bookmark on Spring Garden Road in 1998 and has been happily ensconced there ever since. His personal reading passions range from classic and contemporary literature in translation to biographies of David Lynch and Kids in the Hall.

As this is one of my most cherished authors with a highly anticipated book arriving soon, I want to go back and read those amazing works I have yet to experience, especially this novel which won McEwan the 1998 Booker Prize.


It’s called Island. A Danish woman examines her family’s past and the geographic wonder that is The Faroes. Case closed!

The day we received this book, the minute I picked it up, I wanted to take it home with me. Its production, the illustrations, the cover, the subject, even the quality of the paper is gorgeous. The epitome of the book as objet d’art.


Aaron works with us and it is high time I enjoy his sense of adventure and the power of his writing. The topic remains unfortunately relevant as this summer’s scorching temperatures have reshaped our small, beautiful planet into a tinderbox.

Olivia - Bookseller/Manager Trainee - Charlottetown
Olivia is a bookseller and author who loves talking about books just as much as she enjoys reading them! Originally from the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, Olivia now lives in Charlottetown, PEI with her dapper tuxedo cat, Puss. In October, 2021, Olivia’s first novel, The Blue Moth Motel, was published by Breakwater Books.  She especially loves books featuring LGBTQ+ stories, cats, and seaside settings (not necessarily all at once!).

I’ve read this novel twice so far, once last year and again this year, and I’ve been hand-selling it to everyone! It spans from WWII to the 1980s and follows an unforgettable cast of characters (including a parrot!) from a London pub to the Florence piazzas and Tuscan countryside. It made me laugh and cry, which is the hallmark of a great read in my opinion.

I read everything Lisa Moore writes, so I was very excited when she released her latest novel. The stunning painting on the cover was done by Moore herself! Set during the snowstorm of the century in St. John’s, Newfoundland, the novel follows the story of Xavier, Jules, and Trinity as they deal with the aftermath of a horrific event. Moore’s writing is lyrical and full of tension. One of my top reads of the year.

With an introduction by Alison Bechdel, this collection is a dream come true for me. These letters are funny, amorous, and beautiful. When two talented writers put pen to paper and write about love and life, there’s nothing better. I love how this collection gives a wonderful insight into both sides of their correspondence and really paints a portrait of what these two incredible women were like.
A claustrophobic, eerie, magically written novel about Miri and Leah, a writer and marine biologist, who have to deal with the aftermath when Leah returns from a submarine expedition months later than planned with no explanation. As Leah develops strange symptoms, like the insatiable desire to be submerged in water, their relationship becomes strained. This novel is a beautiful portrayal of the lengths people will go to for love.With hints of magical realism, this novel is unexpected and beautiful.  
Caitlin - Assistant Manager - Halifax
Caitlin has had the pleasure of being a bookseller at Bookmark Halifax for six years. Her passion is for small press books and translations. She spends the majority of her spare time reading and has been known to wake up at the crack of dawn to get a chunk of reading in before work, where she loves to recommend books from around the world.

This is a new release from Charco Press. A failing artist turned forger, an architectural masterpiece hidden behind high walls, an impish vagabond, and some very resourceful, very intimidating twins, this book has it all. I will buy everything Charco Press publishes, so I’m very excited for this one.


I will read anything he writes. This book is a collection of articles from The New Yorker.  
As Keefe says in his preface, "They reflect on some of my abiding preoccupations: crime and corruption, secrets and lies, the permeable membrane separating licit and illicit worlds, the bonds of family, the power of denial."

This novel was nominated for this year's Booker prize. From the list, this was the book that really caught my attention.

At the end of summer I always want to read something spooky, so this is my choice for this year. Part fairytale, part myth, this is a thriller you won’t want to miss.

Dan - Owner
Dan believes working in a bookstore is the best job! He enjoys reading poetry, books on political science, theology, social justice, gardening and the occasional good novel. He is a big fan of Wendel Berry, collects books about books, and has a growing number of tree books.

I am re-reading this incredible novel as a treat this summer. It’s a great introduction to Wendell Berry for anyone who is interested in reading his work. This is a beautifully written, inspiring story of one man’s love for his community. Incidentally, Berry has two new books coming out this fall : How it Went: Thirteen More Stories of the Port William Membership and The Need to be Whole.

Dyer is described “as possibly the best living writer living in Britain”. Why haven’t I read anything of his? I decided to start with Out of Sheer Rage in anticipation of his well reviewed newest book, The Last Days of Roger Federer.

In June, 1846, London was sweltering in a heat wave. Seems appropriate for much of this summer in Atlantic Canada. This book, which is my current read is, loosely connected to a favourite genre of mine: books about books. (We have a whole section in the store featuring this genre!)

It’s important and rewarding to read Canadian authors, so my latest is Alexander MacLeod. Short stories are great summer time reads, and this collection is filled with engaging, memorable stories.

“Books are the mirror of the soul.” - Virginia Woolf
A Fun Conversation

Me: Good grief, it’s just one thing after another.


T: No kidding. Today the plumber spills toxic chemicals all over our kitchen floor, yesterday it was the sound on the TV going wonky.


Me: Before that my Iphone died.


T: Before that the ice maker in our fridge died.


Me: Before that our internet ran at a glacial pace for several days.


T: And it’s searing hot. And there’s no rain.


Me: I got a new vinyl record and it keeps sticking. CDs eventually wear out. Also, the drawer of my CD player keeps sticking.


T: Your life is suffering. But you know, everything wears out.


Me: Nothing works. [pause] Well, there’s one thing I can count on.


T: What’s that?


Me: Books. They always work. No internet, they still work. No electricity, they still work. Drop them in the bathtub and they get a little wonky, but you can still read them. The books on my shelf — in a hundred years, in two hundred years, they’ll still be readable. The only thing you can really count on in this vale of tears is books.


T: Truth.

Bookmarks & Dog-Ears

Whether you use a traditional bookmark or choose to dog-ear your pages, this section is for you! Compiled by our booksellers, this is a collection of interesting articles, fun facts, and lists related to books, reading, and bookstores!


What We Gain From a Good Bookstore

This is a great article about the power of books, reading, and local bookstores! We stock two of the titles mentioned, A Factotum in the Book Trade by Marius Kociejowski and In Praise of Good Bookstores by Jeff Deutsch.

Green Bookselling

Did you know that both Bookmark locations now use 100% LED lighting? These conversions are part of our effort to operate more sustainably and reduce the impact of bookselling on the environment. Next up in our effort is HVAC systems.

Going on Vacation?

Have you ever gone on a literary inspired vacation? Here’s a great article in which some writers describe their literary vacations!


Two-player board games

Do you like board games? Here are some of the best two-player board games!

Author Visit!

Author Nathan Fairbairn paid us a visit from Vancouver and signed copies of his middle-grade graphic novel, Paws: Gabby Gets it Together. Inspired by, and dedicated to his daughter, Lily, this is the first of a planned five-volume series. Nathan is looking forward to the publication of the second volume of this series in November, Paws: Mindy Makes Some Space.
The Rest of the Story

This is kind of like that old radio program, And now you know the rest of the story by Paul Harvey. You may have noticed our Ten Poems Series in the shop, which are an alternative to traditional greeting cards. With poetry on a diverse range of topics from birds, to sheep, sheds, and grandparents, we currently carry 40 different types of these poetry pamphlets. Each pamphlet is gorgeous inside and out, with covers created by leading contemporary artists and poems hand-picked to speak to every kind of reader. Each title offers a richly rewarding and thoughtful gift alternative. Pamphlets are supplied with an envelope for posting and a bookmark for a special message.


And now, the rest of the story! These pamphlets are not distributed in North America. Our Charlottetown store manager, Lori Cheverie, was on vacation in Ireland a couple of years ago and brought one back from a bookshop there thinking they would be a good item for us to sell. Lucky for us, they are available through a UK book wholesaler we buy from and we decided to order some. Since then, we have sold over 900 pamphlets! 


Thanks for the tip, Lori! Check them out online or in-store. And now you know the rest of the story!
September New Releases Sneak Peek
Here are some new Canadian titles being released in September. We love reading and supporting Canadian authors! All of these titles are available for preorder on our website.
Dates, times and locations are current as of publication date. Please refer to for updates or changes.

September 15th at 7:30 pm - Peter Mansbridge in Conversation with Louise Martin, Florence Simmons Performance Hall, 140 Weymouth Street, Charlottetown.


Bookmark is pleased to present an evening with the distinguished journalist, Peter Mansbridge in conversation with CBC Compass host, Louise Martin discussing his bestselling book, Off the Record.


After years of interviewing others, Peter turns the lens on himself and takes us behind the scenes of his life on the frontlines of journalism as he reflects on the toll of being in the spotlight, the importance of diversity in the newsroom, the role of the media then and now, and the responsibilities we all bear as citizens in an increasingly global world.


From the first (and only) time he was late to broadcast to his poignant interview with the late Gord Downie, these are the moments that have stuck with him.

September 20th 7 pm - An evening with military historian Ted Barris, Charlottetown Library Learning Centre, 97 Queen Street, Charlottetown.

Bookmark is pleased to present an evening with Canadian military historian, Ted Barris discussing his new book, Battle of the Atlantic: Gauntlet to Victory. Come enjoy an interesting and dynamic presentation from this very personable and knowledgeable author.


The Battle of the Atlantic, Canada’s longest continuous military engagement of the Second World War, lasted 2,074 days, claiming the lives of more than 4,000 men and women in the Royal Canadian Navy, the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Canadian merchant navy The years 2019 to 2025 mark the eightieth anniversary of the longest battle of the Second World War, the Battle of the Atlantic. 


While Canadians think of the Great War battle of Vimy Ridge as the country’s coming of age, it was the Battle of the Atlantic that proved Canada’s gauntlet to victory and a nation-building milestone.

Also check out the authors appearing at these

wonderful literary festivals:

Wild Threads Literary Festival - Charlottetown, September 15-18

Afterwords Literary Festival - Halifax Saturday, September 24 — Sunday, October 2
Charlottetown Bestsellers
August 2022
“Reading is an act of civilization; it’s one of the greatest acts of civilization because it takes the free raw material of the mind and builds castles of possibilities.” -Ben Okri
50th Anniversary

Bookmark will celebrate its 50th anniversary beginning in late 2022 and running into early 2023. Bookmark opened in Charlottetown in December, 1972 and over the past 50 years has established itself as a local institution noted for its curation of PEI books, friendly and knowledgeable staff, author events, and a commitment to the Island literary community.

This is a celebration of not just a local institution but, more especially, the community of readers who have supported and sustained Bookmark over the past 50 years through good times, dark times, slow times, successful times; through location changes, staff changes, ownership changes, industry changes, and more. It takes a community that knows the value of books and reading in order to support an independent bookshop. Over the years when many communities lost their bookstore, the Island community has supported Bookmark and helped it survive and thrive. 


Plans for the celebration are still developing. More details will be published in our October newsletter. Additionally, you can stay tuned to our events page.
If You Loved This, Read This
If you loved this...
Read this!
Themes - Sweeping Family Dramas, Literary Historical Fiction

Sprawling family stories and exquisite narratives are part of what made Pachinko an instant hit. This intergenerational novel follows a Korean family that moves to Japan during a time of political unrest. Lee’s dialogue between the family members is superb, and the characters are multi-dimensional.

If you loved Pachinko’s family sagas and sharp prose, you’ll enjoy this book about the family of John Wilkes Booth. It is told mostly through his siblings and highlights their rural (and hidden) upbringing as part of a rather famous family. It is wonderfully researched and uniquely organized.
Themes - altered humanity, tech gone wrong, corporate greed
A few years after a global plague, Snowman may be the last human left on Earth. Interwoven with stories of Oryx and Crake, he tells of the lead up to the apocalypse and bemoans the human causes that set it in motion, namely genetic engineering and corporate greed.
We see genetic engineering and corporate greed in The Candy House as well, but Egan's world is different. Here, people are opting to have their minds uploaded, radically altering what it means to be human. Rather than warning of a potential apocalypse, Egan suggests the outcome could be an end to humanity as we know it.
Themes - London, class, experimental style
The chaotic structure of the text mirrors the chaos of the setting in NW, one of Zadie Smith's most celebrated titles. This experimental novel is written from multiple perspectives and in differing styles. Smith weaves the four narratives together to tell the story of four friends living in a place that is both vibrant and oppresive, namely because of divisions of class.
If you liked the atmosphere and innovative narration of NW, you'll love Open Water. It is set in the opposite corner of London, and is the reverse of Smith's novel in several ways. It's a love story to the city, the arts, culture and Nelson's generation. The second person narration makes you feel like part of the story, rather than an outsider.
Local Book Spotlight

This coming-of-age story follows eighteen-year-old Adrian Carter as he graduates from high school and confronts difficult decisions about his future, all while dealing with the stress and pressure he feels to please those closest to him. Dealing with important themes (a desire for independence, identity, first love, familial tensions) from the nuanced perspective of a biracial teen, this story tackles key contemporary social issues. Class differences, colourism in the Black community and the structural barriers limiting access to post-secondary education for Black youth are all embedded in Andre Fenton’s readable narrative.

When Steven Laffoley first arrived on the rocky shores of Nova Scotia, he discovered some rather exotic food fare: deep-fried seafoods, oiled crustaceans, and an otherworldly, post-beer, Middle Eastern fusion food called The Donair. They all stimulated the appetite and captured his attention. Determined to improve his food knowledge and cooking skills, Steven chopped, diced, sautéed, and fried his way to meals fit to consume, though, sadly, his culinary expertise remained (spectacularly) limited. However, his interest in how food shaped the people and culture of Nova Scotia only grew. So, no longer wanting to harm sentient life with his cooking, he set off with a notebook and pen to discover the real story of food in Nova Scotia. What he found was a 10,000-year-old tale in turns fascinating, funny, and just downright strange.

Caught in a Changing Society chronicles the golden years of expansion at an esteemed Catholic university. With Prince of Wales College becoming a university, the province faced the daunting prospect of supporting two post-secondary institutions. To solve the financial crisis, Premier Alex Campbell mandated the creation of the University of Prince Edward Island. Caught in a Changing Society captures the ensuing debate that led to the closure of the 114-year-old St. Dunstan's University and the resolve that allowed the institution to evolve into a charitable foundation that has invested more than 32 million dollars into education, infrastructure, and the diocese.

Tourism has been a central part of Prince Edward Island’s identity for more than a century. What began as a seasonal sideline in the nineteenth century evolved into an economic powerhouse that now attracts over 1.5 million visitors each year, employs one in ten Islanders, and is the province’s second leading industry. Spanning from the Victorian era to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Summer Trade presents the first comprehensive history of tourism in any Canadian province. Over time the Island has marketed a remarkably durable set of tourism tropes – seaside refuge from urban industrial angst, return to innocence, literary shrine to L.M. Montgomery, cradle of Confederation, garden of the Gulf.
Staff News
Congratulations to PEI bookseller and manager trainee, Olivia Robinson, on the publication of her first novel, The Blue Moth Motel, which recently won the 2022 Prince Edward Island Fiction Book Award.
Olivia has worked at Bookmark off and on for the past nine years and is now back on a permanent, full-time basis. In addition to the novel, Olivia has a short story forthcoming in an anthology called Hard Ticket: New Writing Made in Newfoundland, edited by Lisa Moore. 
Please join us in welcoming our newest bookseller in Halifax, Rebecca Falvey. Rebecca is a voracious reader within a wide range of topics, enjoying the latest novel in translation from tiny presses to tomes on CIA ops from major journalists. Away from the bookshop, she works on cultural festivals in Halifax, acts, writes, and has even directed music videos. She has wanted to work at Bookmark since she was 15!
What's In Your Bag?

Every month, we will ask one of our customers to share what’s in their bag! As booksellers, we love when customers recommend books to us. For the inaugural issue of the newsletter, we asked Charlottetown customer Peter Rukavina.


Peter Rukavina is a printer, developer and writer who operates Reinvented Inc., a Charlottetown consultancy. He is a board member of Stars for Life Foundation for Autism, a member of Bike Friendly Communities, former president of the L.M. Montgomery Land Trust, former president of the PEI Home and School Federation, and former member of the Prince Edward Island Learning Partners Advisory Council. He lives in Charlottetown with his daughter, Olivia.
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