Summer Reads Make You Feel Fine and Other News for June at the Porcupine’s Quill

What defines a summer read? The possibilities are as multitudinous and as diverse as the towels dotting the beach on a hot day. Some think of summer reads as having to be fluffy and fun, while others for look engrossing reads that put them in mind of summers of yesteryear. Some people want books that evoke that “Lake Life” while others are all about the road trip. Still others define a summer read as any book published during the summer months!

No matter your definition of summer read, we have some suggestions of great PQL books to help get you through to fall.


If you like nostalgic nods to coming-of-age in the summer, you might like…

  • Morse Code for Romantics—a collection of short stories about modern relationships, navigating loneliness and loss, and finding a way forward
  • Midland—a novel about a grieving young man who finds comfort and healing as a tree planter in Northern Ontario
  • The House on Major Street—a picaresque novel about that follows the consequences of a bicycle collision between a free-spirited teenager and her maybe-sort-of crush
Thoughts on Driving to Venus: Christopher Pratt's Car Books

If you like reading about travels to places near and far, you might like…

  • No Fixed Address—a chronicle of the author’s solo adventures through Africa, the Middle East, Europe, the Americas, Australasia and Asia
  • Mexican Journal—a peek inside the spiritual and artistic awakening of Canadian poet and visual artist P. K. Page as she immersed herself in the culture of  1960s Mexico as wife of the Canadian ambassador
  • Thoughts on Driving to Venus—the car books of painter Christopher Pratt, who road tripped through Newfoundland in search of artistic inspiration
Casting into Mystery

If you like reading about nature, the “Lake Life” and the mysteries of the natural world, you might like…

  • Casting into Mystery—a series of essays and engravings dedicated to the sport of fly fishing and the lifestyle surrounding it
  • Bite Me!—a collection of poems and drawings celebrating the ravenous creatures that populate the forests and oceans of the world—and a few that do not
  • The Mysterious Death of Tom Thomson—a wordless graphic novel hypothesizing on the circumstances surrounding the death of the famous painter in Algonquin Park
Bitter Lake

If you like sultry reads by and about women, you might like…

  • Sailor Girl—a coming-of-age story novel a young women who seeks to find herself amid the tough men and women who sail the Great Lakes
  • The Blue Moth of Morning—a witty collection of poetry that subverts clichés of female relationships, emotions and bodies
  • Bitter Lake—a novel about a woman’s passionate affair with a man from her past, and the family secrets and deep regrets their relationship exposes

We hope we’ve highlighted a few summer reads to keep you engrossed all summer long!

What’s happening this month…


It’s tipsheet time! Is it earlier every year, or is it just me? We’re starting to settle into a new schedule, so that means we’re looking at slotting in a new novel and a wordless novel to the list. Stay tuned to see what gets added to our roster.

Wellington County Writers' Festival Saturday, June 10, 2023, 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. at the Wellington County Museum and Archives

In Fergus.

The Porcupine’s Quill will be at the Wellington County Museum and Archives for the Wellington County Writers’ Festival on Saturday June 10, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. We’ll be exhibiting and selling a nice selection of new and backlist titles, and we’ll be pleased to see all manner of local readers and writers.

In Markdale.

C. I. Matthews will be reading from her book, Took You So Long, followed by a Q & A session. The event will be taking place at Speaking Volumes Books. Be sure to stop by to get a signed copy of the book, or to ask your burning questions.

In the world.

June 16th is Take a Road Trip Day, which seems very in keeping with some of this month’s recommended reads. Maybe take a book along with you to enjoy on your rest breaks.

June 21st is National Selfie Day, which of course would be best used to take a picture of you smiling in front of your impressive book collection.

June 27th is National Columnists Day, a great chance to show appreciation or all the hard work that newspaper columnists do to bring us information and entertainment on the regular.

From the porcupette’s corner…

display table of PQL books at Word on the Street Toronto
Take a gander at our Word on the Street display!

What a buzzing time of year! I feel like it’s just yesterday that I got back from Word on the Street Toronto. The two-day event was absolutely packed, despite the heat wave that had settled on the area. But we kept ourselves hydrated and as much as possible in the shade. Lots of attendees braved the weather and sales were pretty brisk. We even tried out some blind-date-with-a-book style surprise bags, which sold out quite quickly.


Our next book fair, coming up this weekend, is the Wellington County Writers’ Fest, and that particular event is indoors—and blessedly air-conditioned! Hope to see you there.



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The Porcupine's Quill would like to acknowledge the support of the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts for our publishing program. The financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund (CBF) is also gratefully acknowledged.