Alberta Reads Provincial Book Club

About

The BPAA is pleased to announce the Alberta Reads Provincial Book Club, endorsed by the Ministry of Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women!

All of the winning and shortlisted titles are available digitally at Alberta public libraries through the Read Alberta eBooks and Prairie Indigenous eBook Collections. They are also available through local bookstores across Canada.

June 2020 Book Club Title

Minister of Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women, Leela Aheer, chose the June 2020 Alberta Reads Provincial Book Club Pick in a video announcement.

Pass Me By: Gone Fishin by Kyle Simmers & Ryan Danny Owen
Published by Renegade Arts Entertainment

A touching and tender graphic novel following Ed, a reserved man dealing with dementia in a small, northern-Canadian town. As Ed’s memory declines he loses touch with the present and revisits a past he chose to forget. As he loses more of his present, he finds himself lost more in the 1970s when he toured rural Canada in a glam rock band. A queer, romantic-tragedy.

About Kyle Simmers

Kyle Simmers is a Canadian artist and illustrator born and raised in a special kind of nowhere known as Bashaw, Alberta. As a freelance illustrator, Kyle has worked on everything from theatrical productions and product design to editorial illustration and large-scale mural projects. Their work explores identity and relationships in the context of gender, queerness, and subjectivity.

About Ryan Danny Owen

Ryan Danny Owen is a Canadian visual artist, writer, and queer historian currently living and working in Calgary, Alberta. His work responds to questions of identity, love, loss, desire, and emotion. Acting as a love letter and protest sign, he examines his body existing in the context of queer genealogy and challenges the concept of coming after.

About Renegade Arts Entertainment

Our mission is to bring stories to life that we are passionate about and believe others will be too. Currently, we are publishing comic books, graphic novels and audio books. Our stories are from new voices as well as the very best of Canadian and international storytellers.

We operate from the Rocky Mountains in Canada, though members of the team are working from many different countries.

Materials

Book Club Questions

BPAA Media Release

Government of Alberta Media Release

Giveaway!

Send us an answer to the weekly book club question for a chance to win a $20 gift card to the Renegade Arts Entertainment webstore! Answers can be submitted by responding to the posts on Facebook and Twitter, or through the following form.

Questions will be updated weekly. The deadline to respond to the current question is Tuesday, August 11 at 2:30PM MDT.

All form submissions will be kept anonymous and confidential.

Shortlist

Watershed by Doreen Vanderstoop
Published by Freehand Books

It is 2058, and the glaciers are gone. A catastrophic drought has hit the prairies. Willa Van Bruggen is desperately trying to keep her family goat farm afloat, hoping against hope that the new water pipeline arrives before the bill collectors do.

Willa’s son, Daniel, goes to work for the pipeline corporation instead of returning to help the family business. When Daniel reveals long-concealed secrets about his grandfather’s death, Willa’s world truly shatters. She’s losing everything she values most: her farm, her son, her understanding of the past — and even her grip on reality itself. Vividly illustrating the human cost of climate change, Watershed is a page-turner of a novel about forgiveness, adaptation, and family bonds.

Book Club Questions

About Doreen Vanderstoop

Doreen Vanderstoop is a Calgary-based writer, storyteller and musician. Her short fiction has been published by Loft on Eighth and Prairie Fire and has appeared online at Montreal Serai, Prairie Journal, Epiphany Magazine and others. As a storyteller/musician, she intersperses songs among tales of all genres, including her own original stories. Doreen performs for audiences of all ages at schools, libraries, festivals, conferences and more. She leads workshops to ignite in others a passion for the power of story —oral and written. Watershed is Doreen’s debut novel.

About Freehand Books

Freehand Books has a very simple mandate: to publish excellent Canadian literature. Our list is an aesthetically diverse, award-winning collection of fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction by both established authors and exciting new voices.

The Red Chesterfield by Wayne Arthurson
Published by University of Calgary Press

Gangsters. Yard sales. Politics. A severed foot. Family. How far is one person willing to go to issue a bylaw ticket?

M is a bylaw officer, living with two brothers, in their parents’ old house. While investigating a suspicious yard sale, M discovers a red chesterfield sitting in a ditch. Looking closer, M finds a running shoe—and a severed foot.

Now M is involved in a murder investigation. Meanwhile, older brother K’s work for a new political party begins to seem suspicious, while younger brother J navigates the complicated world of young-adulthood, and boss Rhonda demands more and more attention, M must navigate a world of Russian gangsters and neglected wives, biker gangs and suspicious coincidences. On top of everything else, M is determined to track down the owner of that red chesterfield and make sure they get a ticket.

The Red Chesterfield is a delightful, unusual novella that upends the tropes and traditions of crime fiction while asking how far one person is willing to go to solve a crime, be it murder or the abandonment of a piece of furniture.

About Wayne Arthurson

Wayne Arthurson is a writer of Cree and French Canadian descent. He is the author of five novels, including Fall From Grace, winner of the Alberta Reader’s Choice Award, and Traitors of Camp 113, a finalist for the High Plains Book Award for Best Indigenous Novel.

About University of Calgary Press

At the University of Calgary Press we publish peer-reviewed books that connect local experience to the global community, helping to create a deeper understanding of human dynamics in a changing world. Through open access publishing, we make our authors’ works freely accessible globally.

Advice for Taxidermists and Amateur Beekeepers by Erin Emily Ann Vance
Published by Stonehouse Publishing

The sudden death of Margot Morris and her two young daughters in a house fire sends shock-waves through a small rural community. The Morrises are a close-knit family, long associated with the mysterious arts of taxidermy and bee-keeping. Margot’s three surviving siblings, Teddy, Agatha and Sylvia are left to wonder if Margot’s death was an accident or murder, while the town is enveloped by speculation about this eccentric family whose close bonds are now being tested by tragedy.

About Erin Emily Ann Vance

Erin Emily Ann Vance is an alumna of the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity and the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry. She holds an MA in English and Creative Writing from the University of Calgary and studies Irish Folklore and Ethnology at University College Dublin. She is the author of three poetry chapbooks, most recently The Sorceress Who Left too Soon: Poems After Remedios Varo from Coven Editions. Erin was a recipient of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts Young Artist Prize in 2017, nominated by Aritha van Herk, and was a finalist for the 2018 Alberta Magazine Showcase Awards for fiction for her short story, All the Pretty Bones, which appeared in filling station magazine. Her writing has appeared in the Literary Review of Canada, ARC Poetry Magazine, Grain Magazine, Contemporary Verse 2, EVENT Magazine, and more.

About Stonehouse Publishing

Founded in 2014, Stonehouse Publishing publishes literary and trade fiction, with a special focus on historical fiction. Our list includes a diverse selection of titles and authors. Our Stonehouse ‘Originals’ imprint publishes the best of Canadian literature by new and established authors, while our ‘Classics’ line aims to introduce you to your favourite new classic novel, which you may not have heard of before. Our latest ‘Gothic’ imprint releases classic or modern titles every Fall. What do they have in common? Why, they are gothic, of course.

Bursts of Fire by Susan Forest
Published by Laksa Media Groups

Bursts of Fire begins an epic political fantasy of revenge, addictions, and redemption. In an empire where magic has become suspect, love and loyalty—for one’s lover, one’s family, one’s country—are tested. If Heaven desires the very earth be burned, what place can those below hope for, when the flames come for them?

The Falkyn sisters bear a burden and a legacy. Their mother, the imperial magiel of the kingdom of Orumon, protects her people from the horrors of the afterlife by calling upon the Gods with a precious Prayer Stone. But war among the kingdoms has brought fire and destruction to their sheltered world. When a mad king’s desire to destroy the Prayer Stones shatters their family, the three girls are scattered to the wilderness, relying on their wits and powers they haven’t yet mastered.

Assassin. Battle tactician. Magic wielder. Driven by different ambitions, Meg, Janat, and Rennika are destined to become all these and more. To reclaim their birth right, they must overcome doubtful loyalties within a rising rebellion; more, they must challenge a dogma-driven chancellor’s influence on the prince raised to inherit his father’s war: a prince struggling to unravel the mystery of his brother’s addiction to Heaven.

Book Club Questions

About Susan Forest

Susan Forest writes science fiction, fantasy and horror, and is an Aurora-winning editor for Laksa Media Groups.

Bursts of Fire, the first in a seven-volume YA epic fantasy series, the Addicted to Heaven series, came out August 6, 2019 from Laksa Media, to be followed by Flights of Marigold (2020).

Susan served two terms as Secretary for the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (2012-2016). She has judged the Endeavor and Sunburst Awards, teaches creative writing in Calgary, and presents at international writing conventions several times each year.

Susan is a painter and visual artist whose landscapes have been displayed as part of the Stampede Western Showcase in Calgary, Alberta.

About Laksa Media Groups

Laksa Media Groups Inc. publishes issue-related general audience and literary experimental fiction and narrative non-fiction books.  Our mission is to create opportunities to ‘pay forward’ and ‘give back’ through our publishing program. Our tag line is Read for a Cause, Write for a Cause, Help a Cause.

A portion of our net revenue from each book project goes to support a charitable organization, project or event. We do not deal with any charity that promotes politics, religions, discrimination, crime, hate and inequality.

Molly of the Mall by Heidi L.M. Jacobs
Published by NeWest Press

Aspiring novelist Molly MacGregor’s life is strikingly different from a literary heroine’s. Named for one of literature’s least romantic protagonists, Moll Flanders, Molly lives in Edmonton, a city she finds irredeemably unromantic, where she writes university term papers instead of novels, and sells shoes in the Largest Mall on Earth. There she seeks the other half of her young life’s own matched pair. Delightfully whimsical, Heidi L.M. Jacobs’ Molly of the Mall: Literary Lass and Purveyor of Fine Footwear explores its namesake’s love for the written word, love for the wrong men (and the right one), and her complicated love for her city.

Book Club Questions

About Heidi L.M. Jacobs

Heidi L.M. Jacobs was born and raised in Edmonton. While attending the University of Alberta, she worked in a wide variety of retail jobs, including selling shoes. She is currently the English and History Librarian at the University of Windsor.

About NeWest Press

Founded in 1977, NeWest Press is one of Canada’s first independent literary publishing houses. NeWest publishes literary fiction, literary nonfiction, poetry, and drama, as well as a line of mystery novels, with a particular interest in books by Western Canadian authors. Its Nunatak imprint is the longest-running first-fiction series in Canada.

NeWest Press books have won or been shortlisted for numerous national and international awards, including the Governor General’s Literary Awards, the Giller Prize, the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, the Canada-Japan Book Award, the Leacock Memorial Medal, the Kobo Emerging Writer Prize, the Danuta Gleed, the Lambda Literary Awards, the Arthur Ellis Awards, the Alcuin Society Awards, the Sunburst Award, the ReLit Awards, as well as being featured on Canada Reads.

Materials

Events

Schedule of events TBA.