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Off the Page

A blog on Canadian writing, reading, and everything in between

Latest Blog Posts
The Interruption: Sean Cranbury Interviews Nancy Lee

The Interruption: Sean Cranbury Interviews Nancy Lee

[April 16, 2014] | By [Sean Cranbury]

In today's The Interruption podcast, Sean Cranbury interviews Nancy Lee, and Lee reads from her much-buzzed-about new no …

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Shelf Talkers for April 2014: A New Series by Robert J. Wiersema

Shelf Talkers for April 2014: A New Series by Robert J. Wiersema

[April 15, 2014] | By [Rob Wiersema]

Today—in the first installment of a new monthly series Robert J. Wiersema is doing for 49th Shelf, called Shelf Talker …

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Book Cover Well Heeled

Lesley-Anne Scorgie Takes the Pain Out of Tax Season

[April 14, 2014] | By [Kerry Clare]

April doesn't have to be the cruellest month when it comes to filing your taxes.

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The Recommend: Books From Andrew Kaufman, Dina Del Bucchia, Helen Humphreys, Joan Thomas, and Susin Nielsen

The Recommend: Books From Andrew Kaufman, Dina Del Bucchia, Helen Humphreys, Joan Thomas, and Susin Nielsen

[April 9, 2014] | By [Kiley Turner]

We're pleased to present the picks of multimedia artist and author Vivek Shraya; Vancouver librarian and lit fest organi …

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Don Draper Inferno

The Canadian Mad Men Reading List

[April 9, 2014] | By [Kerry Clare]

Because Megan Calvet isn't Mad Men's only Canadian connection...

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Book Cover Half For You and Half for Me

Katherine Govier: On Mother Goose and Reading With Mum

[April 7, 2014] | By [Kerry Clare]

What is the magic and what is the meaning of the nursery rhymes that stay in our heads for a lifetime? 

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Light

Behind the Poem: "When You Learn to Swim" by Souvankham Thammavongsa

[April 3, 2014] | By [Kerry Clare]

In which "one of the most interesting younger poets at work in this country" tells the story behind a poem. 

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Elaine Lui on the Big Love Driving Listen to the Squawking Chicken

Elaine Lui on the Big Love Driving Listen to the Squawking Chicken

[March 31, 2014] | By [Kiley Turner]

As a years-long devotee of Elaine Lui's world-famous gossip and entertainment blog, Lainey Gossip, I read Lui's debut bo …

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Sean Michaels on NYC Nightlife in the 1920s–30s

Sean Michaels on NYC Nightlife in the 1920s–30s

[March 31, 2014] | By [Kiley Turner]

In this guest post for 49th Shelf, Sean Michaels, author of Us Conductors, makes us nostalgic for 1920s–30s New York C …

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Afflictions and Departures

Happy Anniversary: A 49th Shelf Retrospective

[March 31, 2014] | By [Kerry Clare]

To mark three years of 49th Shelf, let's take a look back at some of our favourite posts. 

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The Interruption: Sean Cranbury Interviews Nancy Lee

BOTR_MARCH_2014_SQUARE

Welcome to The Interruption, a 49th Shelf–Books on the Radio collaboration in which I interview Canadian writers about the surprising things that inform, inspire, and even interrupt their creative process.

Today, I chat with Nancy Lee, author of the new novel, The Age. Of The Age, Annabel Lyon says:

"Nancy Lee has created a world of contradictions for our times: thoughtful terrorists, naive cynics, children as parents, girls who dream as boys. In sharply poetic prose, she delineates a world of gorgeous horrors and eerie loves.”

Nancy Lee lived her early years in England before immigrating to Canada. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia. She has taught at the Simon Fraser University Writing and Publishing Program, and is the former Associate Director of the Booming Ground Writers Community.

Lee’s first book of fiction, Dead Girls, was named Book of the Year by NOW Magazine, and was a finalist for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize and the Danuta Gleed Literary Award. Her work has appeared in numerous literary jo …

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Shelf Talkers for April 2014: A New Series by Robert J. Wiersema

shelftalkerslessonphoto

To paraphrase an old cliché: you can find any book online; you need a bookseller to find the right one.

One of the great joys of life as a bookseller is the relationships you build with readers in your community. These people are more than customers, something different from friends ... you share with them the intimate bond that develops between fellow travellers: you are readers, together.

And there are no more devoted readers than booksellers.

Every hour of every day in bookstores across this fine land, booksellers are handing their fellow readers new books with the simple, trusted entreaty: “Read this.”

And today—in the first installment of a new monthly series I'm doing for 49th Shelf, Shelf Talkers—we have five of this country’s finest booksellers pressing their picks on you.

Please follow the links through to explore some of your favourite independent booksellers, local and nationwide. And if you’re an independent bookseller with a book to recommend, please email me: rjwiersema at gmail dot com.

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galianoislandbooks

The Bookseller: Lindsay Williams from Gal …

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Lesley-Anne Scorgie Takes the Pain Out of Tax Season

April doesn't have to be the cruellest month when it comes to filing your taxes. Financial consultant and bestselling author Lesley-Anne Scorgie (Well-Heeled: The Smart Girl's Guide for Getting Rich) breaks down the process and shares tips for making tax season less dreadful. 

*****

So the piles of tax receipts have arrived. They may be littered on your kitchen table, still enclosed in envelopes or stuffed in a drawer. As dreadful as tax season may seem, it’s manageable. To successfully navigate your tax filing in 2014, start by taking a bit of time to organize your 2013 receipts for things like home office expenses or transit passes, forms, and other relevant information. A good-old-fashioned file folder usually does the trick.

Armed with an element of organization, next you’ll need to decide on your approach to filing—specifically whether to go at it alone or hire a professional.

The pros of do-it-yourself tax filing are that you’ll save money by not having to pay an accountant or tax filing service. Throughout the process, you’ll also have the opportunity to learn more about your taxes and further opportunities to save money. The cons are that you could miss credits and benefits that may be relevant to you or file incorrect information, which typically lea …

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The Recommend: Books From Andrew Kaufman, Dina Del Bucchia, Helen Humphreys, Joan Thomas, and Susin Nielsen

tagged : The Recommend

Research shows that most of the books we read are the result of one thing: someone we know, trust, and/or admire tells us it's great. That's why we run this series, The Recommend, where readers, writers, reviewers, bloggers, and others tell us about a book they'd recommend to a good friend ... and why.

This week we're pleased to present the picks of multimedia artist and author Vivek Shraya; Vancouver librarian and lit fest organizer, Heidi Schiller; Laurie Grassi, Books Editor at Chatelaine; Dee Hopkins, editor and lit blogger extraordinaire; and Carrie Snyder, author and finalist for the 2012 Governor General's Award for Fiction. See our recommenders' bios below their picks for more of their books.

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allmyfriendsoriginal

Vivek Shraya picks Andrew Kaufman's All My Friends Are Superheroes: "This is a truly special book, a treasure in Canadian literature. A love story with a fantastical spirit, it features characters with whimsical names such as 'The Perfectionist,' 'Hypno,' and 'TV Girl.' In a culture that often glorifies length, All My Friends Are Superheroes serves as rem …

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The Canadian Mad Men Reading List

Don Draper Reading

The seventh and final season of Mad Men premieres on Sunday and, as ever, viewers have no idea what to expect. Except that books and reading will probably be integral to the plot line. Remember how last season began with Don reading Dante's Inferno on a beach in Hawaii? Or the Frank O'Hara poems he mailed to Anna in Season 2? Rona Jaffe's The Best of Everything? Betty reading The Diamond as Big as the Ritz? Not to mention creator Matthew Weiner's noted influence by John Cheever. Books have been a huge part of Mad Men since the very beginning, as attested to by The Mad Men Reading List, which has been compiled on an ongoing basis by a librarian at the New York Public Library since 2010. 

Mad Men Logo

But what's missing from that list is CanLit. It's true! Megan Calvet isn't Mad Men's only Canadian connection. And to prove it, we've put together a list of Canadian reads for the Mad Men fan, books to read in order to become fully steeped in the atmosphere of Mad Men's world. 

 

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