Revealing the Homerun Nonfiction Title of the Spring:
Fail Better: Why Baseball Matters by Mark Kingwell

Look what arrived in our office last week! Brand new, hot off the presses copies of Mark Kingwell’s latest book, Fail Better: Why Baseball Matters. An excerpt from the book was published in The Walrus as “Philosopher up to Bat,” if you want a taste of the pleasures inside this amazing cover (designed by Gordon Robertson).

Taking seriously the idea that baseball is a study in failure—a very successful batter manages a base hit in just three of every ten attempts—Mark Kingwell argues that there is no better tutor of human failure’s enduring significance than this strange, crooked game of base, where geometry becomes poetry.

Weaving elements of memoir, philosophical reflection, sports writing, and humour, Fail Better is an intellectual love letter to baseball by one of North America’s most engaging philosophers. Kingwell illustrates complex concepts like theoretically infinite game-space, “time out of time,” and the rules of civility with accessible examples drawn from the game, its history, and his own halting efforts to hit ‘em where they ain’t. Beyond a “Beckett meets baseball” study in failure, Kingwell crafts a thoughtful appreciation of why sports matter, and how they change our vision of the world.

Never pretentious, always entertaining, Fail Better is set to be the homerun non-fiction title of the season.

If you can’t wait to get your hands on a copy, you can always place an order via our website—or visit our bookstore in Windsor! Fail Better goes on sale April 2017.

Meet the authors: Pearson and Hanna sign books across Windsor-Essex

WINDSOR, ON. NOVEMBER 10, 2016. -- Authors Craig Pearson and Sharon Hanna (right) sign copies of the latest From the Vault book during a book launch in the Windsor Star News Cafe in Windsor on Thursday, November 10, 2016. (TYLER BROWNBRIDGE / WINDSOR STAR)

WINDSOR, ON. NOVEMBER 10, 2016. — Authors Craig Pearson and Sharon Hanna (right) sign copies of the latest From the Vault book during a book launch in the Windsor Star News Cafe in Windsor on Thursday, November 10, 2016. (TYLER BROWNBRIDGE / WINDSOR STAR)

If you missed the exciting launch of From the Vault II: 1950-1980, but still want a book signed or inscribed, you’re in luck. Over the next six weeks, the book’s authors, Windsor Star reporter Craig Pearson and Biblioasis regional history editor Sharon Hanna, will appearing at a variety of free presentations and signings across Windsor-Essex. Look through the list below for an event near you:

Note: Books will be available for sale at all events listed below. Events are subject to change without notice.

Friday, November 18 @ 5:00—10:00 PM (approx.)
1520 Wyandotte Street East, Windsor
Signing with author Sharon Hanna
Saturday, November 19 @ 1:00—2:00 PM
Tecumseh Mall, 7672 Tecumseh Road East, Windsor
Signing with author Craig Pearson
Tuesday, November 22 @ 7:00—8:00 PM
850 Ouellette Ave., Windsor
Presentation and signing with Sharon Hanna
Saturday, November 26 @ 1:00—2:00 PM
Devonshire Mall, 3100 Howard Ave., Windsor
Signing with Craig Pearson
Sunday, November 27 @ 1:00—3:00 PM (approx.)
585 Seacliff Drive, Kingsville
Signings by Craig Pearson (1 – 2 PM) and Sharon Hanna (2 – 3 p.m.)
Wednesday, December 7 @ 7:00—8:00 PM
6305 Wyandotte Street East, Riverside
Presentation and signing with Sharon Hanna
Thursday, December 8 @ 12:00—2:00 PM
401 Sunset Ave, Windsor
Presentation and signing with Craig Pearson and Sharon Hanna
Saturday, December 10 @ 1:00—2:00 PM
194 Commercial Blvd., Lakeshore
Signing with Craig Pearson

DEADLINE EXTENDED: Call for Contract Employee — Local Interest Sales Coordinator


Please note that the application deadline for the following job posting has been extended to Wednesday, September 28th.

Biblioasis Press is looking to add a part-time contract worker to support with the distribution, sale, and promotion of our fall regional interest titles. For over twelve years, our publishing house has built a reputation for producing high quality books, maintaining excellent vendor relations, and proving authors with excellent publicity outreach. We are perhaps best known in Windsor-Essex for the national best-selling From the Vault: A Photo-History of Windsor by Craig Pearson and Daniel Wells, 50 Greatest Red Wings by Bob Duff, and The Rumrunners by Marty Gervais.

What We’re Looking For:

We’re looking for a self-motivated, outgoing, energetic, and extremely organized individual to assist with the work of selling, delivering, and publicizing our local interest titles over the fall 2016 season. The ideal candidate should be able to maintain excellent professional relationships with our network of independent vendors across the region, deliver all orders on a timely basis, maintain stock levels, excite local media about our titles, and assist with all other sales, distribution, and promotional aspects of our regional book program. Though access to a car or van is not mandatory, it is an asset.

What You’ll Be Responsible For:

  • Maintaining excellent relations with independent vendors in the Windsor-Essex region
  • Expanding our independent vendor network
  • Coordinating the sale of books to vendors
  • Distributing Biblioasis titles to all vendors in a timely, efficient manner
  • Effectively promoting our books and their authors to local print and broadcast media
  • Assisting with regional author touring, including but not limited to: soliciting and coordinating author events, updating author itineraries, and transporting books (and occasionally even their authors) to respective events
  • Keeping close and accurate record of stock levels, both internally and at vendors

What’s Mandatory for the Position:

  • A driver’s license
  • The ability to lift boxes, on a regular basis, that may be as heavy as 20 kg or more
  • A flexible work schedule, which allows for occasional work on nights and weekends
  • The ability to work and keep cool under occasional periods of high pressure

Term Limit:

This contract position will expire on or around December 31, 2016, though it may be extended beyond that date.

To apply for the position, please email your cover letter and resume to by September 28, 2016.

If contacted, you will be interviewed between October 3 – 7, and must be able to start the week of October 10th.

Call for Volunteers — Fall / Winter 2016


With a busy season approaching — perhaps the busiest in our history — Biblioasis is looking for a new group of enthusiastic volunteers. Our press office handles nearly every step a manuscript takes on its path to becoming a widely-read book, including acquisition, editing, typesetting, cover design, stock management, publicity, and bookstore sales. Authors published by Biblioasis regularly make news across North America: several have either won or been shortlisted for major awards; more have been featured and reviewed in the New York Times Book Review, New Yorker, Wall Street Journal, Globe & Mail, Toronto Star, Washington Post, The Walrus, and other outlets. Volunteering here offers an opportunity to gain experience at one of Canada’s most prestigious independent presses. Students interested in the publishing industry are strongly encouraged to apply.

Sound too good to be true? Here are some blurbs from previous volunteers on their experiences in the office:

“I’ve learned a lot about what small tasks make up the greater scheme of the publishing industry. It’s easy to see the process of making books as a linear production, but in reality it’s a division of hard work and dedication to the craft.  That’s what makes volunteering here so rewarding.” – Joan Gabriel

“It has been great to put what I have learned in theory into practice. Getting real world knowledge and experience has been invaluable during my time at Biblioasis. P.S. Must love dogs. Even if you don’t, when you meet Loki, you totally will. Samantha & Loki, Best Friends for Life.” – Samantha Alfini

What You’ll Be Responsible For:

  • Logging reviews, press, and other media hits.
  • Assisting with author event coordination, including travel arrangements.
  • Updating and maintaining the press website.
  • Bibliodata and stock level monitoring.
  • Assisting with local, national, and international market research.
  • Assisting with catalog and advanced review copy mailings.
  • Assisting with miscellaneous administrative tasks.

What Will Be Required Of You:

  • Excellent attention to detail.
  • Proficiency with social media.
  • Ability to work independently on a range of short, medium, and long-term tasks with minimal supervision.
  • Good verbal and written communications skills.
  • Knowledge of Microsoft Office, Excel, and PowerPoint.

What We Can Offer:

  • Travel and lunch stipend.
  • Employee discount on all books in the bookstore.

What We’d Ask of You:

  • A commitment of at least four hours each week.

Access to a car is preferred but not required.

To apply for the position, please email your cover letter and resume to by September 23, 2016.

If contacted, you will be interviewed between September 26 – 30, and must be able to start the week of October 3rd.

THE INTERVIEWER BECOMES THE INTERVIEWED: Wachtel in the hot seat at Blue Met

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Montreal’s Blue Metropolis Literary Festival, one of Canada’s premier literary festivals, is no stranger to Eleanor Wachtel: The thoughtful and intrepid host of CBC’s Writers & Company, who is celebrating 25 years hosting the national literary staple, has attended all but one Blue Metropolis since its inception in 1999. Wachtel loves the festival for its wide scope and its location, her hometown of Montreal, which she says has “tremendous joie de vivre and savoir faire and je ne sais quoi.”

Although she’s more than comfortable interviewing the big names who grace the Blue Met stage, Wachtel found herself the interview subject at this year’s event, as she thoughtfully engaged with interviewer and Montreal author Will Aitken’s questions on hosting the show, interviewing authors, and the launch of her new book, The Best of Writers & Company. Listen to the full interview, from April 15 2016, right here:

Call For Volunteers – Spring/Summer 2016



In addition to a much-appreciated provincial holiday on Monday, it’s been a quiet week at the press office. Here’s a quick look at what we’ve been up to (and what we’ve been listening to!) since last week.


Kevin Hardcastle (left) and Kathy Page (right).

One of our favourite places to read about music and literature on the internet is Largehearted Boy, a blog operated by the steadfast David Gutowski for fourteen years and counting. In addition to Gutowski’s keen eye for music and books, what makes Largehearted Boy special is the sheer breadth of its content. The site features free and legal music downloads; daily music, literature, and popular culture news; book reviews; mixtapes created by authors related to their latest books; reading lists by musicians; soundtrack discussions by directors and composers; and “The Largehearted Boy Cross-Cultural Media Exchange Program,” where authors interview musicians (and vice-versa).

We’re proud to share two playlists by Biblioasis authors featured this week, who are joining the ranks of Anakana Schofield, Bret Easton Ellis, Garth Risk Hallberg, and Eimear McBride. Kathy Page created a playlist for Frankie Styne & the Silver Man, a novel Gutowski called “imaginative and crisply written… one of the creepiest novels I have ever read.” You can stream Kathy’s playlist on Spotify. A few days later, Page’s Biblioasis peer Kevin Hardcastle created a playlist for his debut collection Debris, which Gutowski called “gritty and visceral.” You can stream Kevin’s playlist on Spotify as well.


Speaking of Frankie Styne & the Silver Man, which was recently published for the first time in the US and Canada, author Kathy Page took to her blog this week to answer questions about the book’s origin. Kathy posted a short essay describing the origin of the novel and its recent revision — which was quite substantial. We recommend it especially to those interested in how authors view (and revise) works written at an earlier stage in their careers.


Quill & Quire‘s review of Lives of the Poets (with Guitars), which features an early cover design.

The most recent edition of Quill & Quire arrived in the office this week with a huge review of Ray Robertson’s Lives of the Poets (with Guitars). Adam Nayman was somewhat critical of the selective appeal of the book (it focuses mostly on roots, blues, and gospel), but he concluded on a high note. “The achievement of [Robertson’s] book is that it directs fans and novices alike toward the myriad joys offered up by its subjects,” he wrote, “while also prodding us to think and feel more deeply about the other poets with guitars — or boom boxes or turntables — who lie beyond these pages, in our own personal pantheons.”


With the UK release of Martin John, we’re experiencing a pleasant bit of déjà vu as publications overseas rave about the novel as passionately as their North American counterparts did. This week, The Spectator called Martin John “a grown-up tale of how blighted lives carry on … fizzl[ing] with surface humour.” The same day, Eileen Battersby, the famed Irish Times literary correspondent and author who John Banville described as “the finest fiction critic we have,” raved about the novel, calling it “a comic tour de force … many writers have brazenly wandered into the minefield of mental illness, but few with Schofield’s peculiar decency and candour in not only depicting Martin John’s scheming turmoil, but also the bewildered righteousness of those surrounding him.”


February is a momentous month in the literary world. For literary presses, it signals the end of an extensive production process for spring titles. Covers are being finalized, manuscripts are being proofread for the last time, and advanced reviews are trickling in. Before you start catching up on that stack of books on your bedside table, play catch up with us and find out what went on this week at Biblioasis.


The Ancient Roman month Februarius was named for the Latin term februum, which means purging or purification (via the purification ritual of Februus). Although we could use a Latin refresher, we’re celebrating Februus in full force with our February Blowout sale! Biblioasis the bookstore, located in front of Biblioasis the press, is holding a 40% off sale on the entire used stock for the whole month. We’ve been posting photos of the strange and wonderful books our customers have been digging up during the sale all month on our Instagram (@biblioasis). Here’s one of our customers with his copy of a 6 LP set of audio recordings from the Apollo 11 moon mission. He spotted this interesting piece of moon shot ephemera and Americana, attractively slip-cased with a book by Time-Life, high atop the stacks in Used Science on an earlier visit to the store and picked it up during the first week of the sale.


A Martin John review in the UK’s Sunday Business Post featuring the book’s UK cover.

Although it comes strong and often, we at the press don’t ever tire of Martin John news. Whether it’s the Giller shortlist, a positive review from the New Yorker, or one of December’s near daily best-of-2015 nods, 2015 was undoubtedly the Year of Martin John. That momentum doesn’t seem to be slowing in 2016. This week, Martin John was published in the UK (by our friends at & Other Stories) to tremendous reviews from The Guardian, The Sunday Telegraph, and The Sunday Business Post. CBC Books listed Anakana’s novel as one of twenty future Canadian classics, along with Giller-winner André Alexis’ Fifteen Dogs and Jeff Lemire’s Essex County—already a classic in our opinion. As if all of that wasn’t enough, The Vancouver Sun is currently featuring the novel for their Van Sun Book Club. Tracy Grimmett Sherlock, arts editor of the paper, put together an all-star group for the discussion: novelist Ian Weir; YA author Melanie Jackson; Julia Denholm, dean of Capilano University; Daphne Wood, director of Greater Victoria Public Library; Monique Sherrett, principal at Boxcar Marketing; Trevor Battye, a partner in Clever Media; and Bev Wake, senior executive producer of sports for Postmedia.



As we mentioned in this post’s lede, February is the end of the production process for many spring releases. One of titles we’re most eager to let out of the Biblioasis stables is Haligonian Kris Bertin’s debut collection of short stories Bad Things Happen, edited by the inimitable Alexander MacLeod. The book arrived from the printers this week and we’ve begun shipping copies out to media outlets and booksellers in anticipation of its February 23rd publication date in Canada (and July 12th in the U.S.). The good folks at Quill & Quire were the first to review the collection, calling it “brash (in the best possible sense), intriguing, and consummate without being showy, these are terrific stories in a strong, diverse, and fascinating collection.” On top of that, The Toronto Star‘s Deborah Dundas chose Bertin as one of five up-and-coming writers to watch in 2016.


We’re proud to announce that Kevin Hardcastle’s debut short collection, Debris, which has garnered raves across the country & two best-of-2015 nods, was published in the U.S. on February 9th. The Winnipeg Free Press called the book “unflinching,” and “impressive for any writer, especially for a first collection… Hardcastle comes close to a masterpiece.” All you American-based fans: be sure to snag yourselves a copy. In the meantime, celebrate by reading “Montana Border” in The Walrus, an aptly themed tale of CAN-US border crossing and one of Debris‘ many gems.


In addition to great reviews for Martin John and Bad Things Happen, raves rolled in for Kathy Page’s Frankie Styne and the Silver Man, Marius Kociejowski’s Zoroaster’s Children, and Ray Robertson’s upcoming book of essays Lives of the Poets (with Guitars). Frankie Styne and the Silver Man was lauded by both the Vancouver Sun and Toronto Star. The Sun‘s reviewer wrote that it “offers a terrific showcase of Page’s singular style (with its attractive high-low mixture of genres), quirky unexpected invention, and attention to the nuances of psychology. Mere words on a page, her creations linger in the mind long after the reading’s done.” Heather Birrell, writing for the Toronto Star, called it “a fantastic novel. Character driven, claustrophobic, and deeply weird, it has a haunting, discomfiting quality that lingers with a reader.” We can’t help but agree!

The folks at the Library Journal gave a coveted starred review to Zoroaster’s Children, writing that “poet and travel writer Kociejowski journeys widely and writes to ‘describe the world’ and make deeper inquiries into human nature … [Zoroaster’s Children is] highly recommended for its poetic presentation of experiences in different locations, this account is inspired by the past and a plethora of emotions.”

One of the first advanced reviews for Ray Robertson’s spring 2016 title, Lives of the Poets (with Guitars), came in from Kirkus Reviews. The reviewer wrote that “[Robertson] brings a good ear and plenty of critical insight to essays aimed at helping readers discover new favorites or hear more familiar music from a fresh perspective … [A] solid … fresh collection.” We can’t wait to see what the rest of the critical world has to say about this tremendously fun book.