Little Store, Big Author Names! Looking Back at a Year of Author Visits

Little Store, Big Author Names! Looking Back at a Year of Author Visits

Author Visits Penguin Shop

With our birthday week coming to a close, we are looking back at all the authors who visited the Penguin Shop in the past year. We’re breaking down all of the exciting author visits in the shop, in case you didn’t have the chance to drop by. From taking selfies with Douglas Coupland to Chris Hadfield posing in his very own book-themed cardboard cut-out, the shop has had its share of special moments. Our shop allows us to get to know celebrity, local, international and award-winning authors of every kind of book and inspire our next reads.

Millennial Madness

Bawse Lilly Singh

The hilarious Lilly Singh came by in April to see the shop completely transformed to promote her book, How to Be a Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life. The Penguin Shop was completely redesigned, featuring the entrepreneurial Youtube comedian and her book. But she wasn’t the only Youtube star making a splash in our shop this year. The always charming, Estée Lalonde stopped by in October to promote her book, Bloom. Etalk Canada’s, Liz Trinnear interviewed Estée in our very own shop!


Mara Wilson

We couldn’t help but feel a little bit nostalgic when Matilda star, Mara Wilson came by to sign copies of her hilarious and candid book of essays, Where Am I Now? The nostalgia didn’t end either when the one and only, Kevin G of Mean Girls fame created a lovely chalk art design for our store, and even starred in this handy video on how to find our shop. But no celebrity visit to the shop had quite as much swagger than Robbie Robertson. The artist dropped by for the release of his memoir, Testimony, a book that leaves any music junkie satisfied. And who could forget multi-hyphenate creative and writer, Douglas Coupland? It was only fitting that the pop culture and technology concerned writer took a selfie with our staff when he dropped by to promote, Bit Rot.

Award Winners 

 Colson Whitehead

Some authors only dream of having award winning distinctions stuck on the cover of their books. Guess what? We were lucky enough to have some of these lucky few in our shop this past year. A handful of award-winning authors stopped by, including Mona Awad, Joseph Boyden and Yann Martel. Madeleine Thien, author of Do Not Say We Have Nothing, Gary Barwin of Yiddish for Pirates and Colson Whitehead author of the Pulitzer Prize winning, The Underground Railroad also came by to sign copies and say hello to our staff.

For the Young at Heart

Jon Klassen

Jon Klassen, author of the Hat Trilogy and illustrator for Sam and Dave Dig a Hole was kind enough to drop in and sign some books.  And yes, the We Found a Hat author and illustrator wore a hat...

Susan Juby also stopped by to sign copies of her books including The Truth Commission, a book that makes you wish you had something this sharp to read when you were a teen. Susin Nielsen and Jeff Zentner also stopped to say hello, sign some books and do a little shopping! We were lucky enough to have local author, Adrienne Kress stop by to chat about her new middle grade novel The Explorers: The Door in the Alley, look for book two in 2018!

And of course our very own Vikki Vansickle has graced us with her presence on multiple occasions, signing copies of her charming picture book If I Had a Gryphon. Chris Hadfield was able to put a smile on all the staff’s faces by posing with the cardboard cut-out designed specially for his book, The Darkest Dark only proving what we already knew - that he is maybe one of the most likable Canadians ever?

Local Authors

Elan Mastai 

There is nothing more satisfying than seeing Toronto-grown talent celebrate the release of their latest title in the shop located in the heart of the city. Screenwriter and author, Elan Mastai came by and signed copies of his new book, All Our Wrongs Today. We can’t WAIT until this one is made into a movie! University of Toronto alumni, Grace O’Connel and author of, Be Ready for the Lightning came by and struck a pose with our multi-coloured spines after signing a few books. Broadcasting afficianado and marketing guru, Terry O’Reilly also came by to promote his book, This I Know and picked his store favorites, including Stuart McLean’s Vinyl Cafe. Thriller author Shari Lapena was recently in to sign copies of her new book, A Stranger in the House, as well as copies of her best-selling book from 2016, The Couple Next Door.

Yummy Reads

Feast Cookbook

We worked up quite an appetite in the shop this year with all the cookbook authors who dropped by. Best friends and Canadian author duo, Dana VanVeller and Lindsay Anderson came by to sign copies of their road trip cookbook, Feast. Restaurateur and TV personality, Vikram Vij brought all his personality to the shop as well when he came to celebrate the launch of,  Vij's Indian: Our Stories, Spices and Cherished Recipes. Joy McCarthy brought all the joy with the release of her book, Joyous Detox that truly convinces us that maybe we’ll start eating healthier this year. We have been lucky enough to have Chef Michael Smith stop by twice this year, signing copies of his many (and delicious!) cookbooks. We also had a sweet visit with Anna Olson while she was in town for the release of her newest book, Bake with Anna Olson.

New Releases

Joanne Proux Bianca Marais

The visits haven’t slowed down yet. Just this month we had the South African-born and now Toronto resident,  Bianca Marais to sign copies of, Hum If You Don’t Know the Words, a moving book about family and loss in Apartheid-era South Africa. The lovely, Gail Honeyman and author of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine came and even shared her love for Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre. The charming Linden MacIntyre dropped by to sign copies of his latest, The Only Cafe (highly recommended by shop staff!) and just last week the charismatic, Joanne Proux of We All Love the Beautiful Girls dropped by and posed with our brand new Penguin wall.

Be sure to follow us on social media and sign up for our newsletter, we have some exciting news about all of these signed copies coming soon. And with fall just starting we already have visits lined up with many more authors! We can’t wait to see what the next year of author visits brings to our store. Visit us at the Penguin Shop, you never know when you might bump into an amazing author while you browse for books.