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

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The Interruption With John Vaillant

The Interruption With John Vaillant

[January 29, 2015] | By [Sean Cranbury]

This week Sean chats with John Vaillant, author of The Tiger and The Golden Spruce, and now, new fiction with tons of bu …

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Shelf Talkers, Robert J. Wiersema

Shelf Talkers: January 2015

[January 28, 2015] | By [Rob Wiersema]

Girls, gangs, murder, elephants, Billy the Kid, and environmental disaster feature in this month's Shelf Talkers from Ca …

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Book Cover Think Again

Family Literacy Day: 8 Great Books for Boys

[January 27, 2015] | By [Kerry Clare]

You don't have to settle for less in literary quality if you want to match a boy to a book.

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Book Cover Foreign Park

Most Anticipated: Spring 2015 Poetry Preview

[January 26, 2015] | By [Kerry Clare]

This spring, Canadian poets are better than ever. 

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Parenting Through the Storm: Book Cover

Ann Douglas: A Short History of Parental Guilt

[January 23, 2015] | By [Kerry Clare]

Today’s parenting experts are less likely to point the finger of blame than parenting pundits of yesteryear.

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Book Cover Owl and the Japanese Circus

Kristi Charish: Canadian Sci-Fi/Fantasy

[January 22, 2015] | By [Kerry Clare]

The author of Owl and the Japanese Circus on the Canadian sci-fi/fantasy scene. 

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Book Cover Duncan's Way

Notes From a Children's Librarian: Newfoundland Books

[January 20, 2015] | By [Kerry Clare]

Our Children's Librarian columnist, Julie Booker, brings us a new view from the stacks every month.

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Book Cover Beyond the Pale

Most Anticipated: 2015 Non-Fiction Spring Preview

[January 19, 2015] | By [Kerry Clare]

Some amazing non-fiction books are coming your way in Spring 2015. 

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Book Cover Blown Red

Susan Philpott: New Beginnings and Radical Change

[January 15, 2015] | By [Kerry Clare]

A list of harrowing and inspirational reads selected by the author of the new novel, Blown Red

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Quick Hits: Funny, Moving, and Everything In Between

Quick Hits: Funny, Moving, and Everything In Between

[January 14, 2015] | By [Kiley Turner]

In Quick Hits, a new 49th Shelf series, we look through our stacks to bring you books that, when they were published, el …

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The Interruption With John Vaillant

BOTR_MARCH_2014_SQUARE

Hi everyone! Welcome back 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 the masterful John Vaillant, author of the new novel The Jaguar’s Children, out now from Knopf Canada. John is a hugely talented writer who has won almost every prize available including The Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction, the Pearson’s Writers’ Trust Non-Fiction Prize, the CBA Ex Libris for Non-Fiction Book of the Year and many more. His work has been translated in 15 languages around the world.  He lives in Vancouver and you can find him online at www.johnvaillant.com and on the twitter at @johnvaillant.

The Interruption always features two podcast selections for your listening enjoyment: the first podcast features my interview with John. The second podcast features a really great reading from The Jaguar’s Children.

Thank you for listening.

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Shelf Talkers: January 2015

It’s a brand new year which means that booksellers across this fine nation are picking themselves up and dusting themselves off after the blur and chaos of December. They’re both looking back and looking ahead, giving a sense and perspective to the year and the books just past, and gazing hopefully, always hopefully, at the year and books just ahead.

Here are five of our finest booksellers, ready again to help you fill your shelves with the best books this country—and its bookstores—have to offer.

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The Bookseller: Mary-Ann Yazedjian, Book Warehouse Main Street (Vancouver, BC)

The Pick: Anatomy of a Girl Gang, by Ashley Little

"This is a dark and gritty story of a girl gang in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. It is told from five points of view, and Little has managed to give each character a unique voice. This is the perfect book for girls aged 15 and older who are tired of reading teen fluff books and want to read something real and important."

 

The Bookseller:  Heather Kuipers, Ella Minnow Children’s Bookstore (Toronto, Ontario)

The Pick: Na …

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Family Literacy Day: 8 Great Books for Boys

Boy Reading

This year for Family Literacy Day, we're turning things over to an expert. Nathalie Foy, of the 4 Mothers Blog, knows books and she knows boys, and her life is rich with both of them. In this list, she recommends great reads for boys of a wide range of ages. And even better: there's no reason a boy's sister won't love these books too. Which is perfect when the very point is families reading together.  

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One of my greatest joys as a parent is to see my boys with their noses deep into a book or to hear them plead for time to read just one more chapter, one more page, one more word. We are a family of bibliophiles, and I cultivate the love of books in every way that I can. I do not take it as a foregone conclusion that boys would almost always rather do anything but read, or that books are made for boys or girls, or that boys only want to read about boys, or that you have to bribe a boy to sit down with a book, or that you have to settle for less in the literary quality department if you want to match a boy to a book. I refuse to read aloud a book that I will not enjoy myself, and I will not buy books that do not have lasting value. What the boys borrow from the library is entirely up to them, as is what they read in class at school. Between us, we manage to cover …

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Most Anticipated: Spring 2015 Poetry Preview

Best Canadian Poetry 2014

Okay, it's January, and it's freezing (at least where I am), but we're looking ahead and we're calling it spring. All month long, we've been highlighting the books we're excited about that are coming out this spring: see our kids' books, fiction and non-fiction previews so far. Last, and far from least, is our poetry list, which gives us so much to look forward to. 

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It's a new year, but let's not forget the old one yet. The Best Canadian Poetry in English 2014, edited by Molly Peacock and Sonnet L'Abbé, is out now, and it's beautiful. Un/inhabited (January), by Jordan Abel, who won last year's Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize for The Place of Scraps, questions the use of politically or racially charged language in 91 pulp western novels found on Project GutenbergThe Tongues of Earth (April) brings together the best of Mark Abley's poems from the 1980s to the present and includes about 20 new poems. In Madhur Anand's debut collection, A New Index for Predicting Catastrophes (April), the poet illuminates and celebrates the intersection of poetry and science and the ways they can mediate our discovery of the world and our place in it. And Limbinal (April) is a new collection by Oana Avasilichioaei, where "linguistic limbs fold and migrate, a distant border politick …

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Ann Douglas: A Short History of Parental Guilt

Book Cover Parenting Through the Storm

"Talking History" is a biweekly series made possible through a special funding grant from the Department of Canadian Heritage. The series focuses on a wide range of topics in Canadian history, exploring the notion of history as a compelling form of storytelling of interest to large audiences. These articles by Canada's foremost historians and history experts use the power of narrative to bring the past to life, drawing connections between then and now to show how these stories are not just relevant, but essential to our understanding of Canada and the world today.

Ann Douglas is the author of a number of bestselling books about pregnancy and parenting (including The Mother of All Pregnancy Books and The Mother of All Baby Books) and a magazine writer who specializes in writing about parenting and health. This month, HarperCollins publishes her new book, Parenting Through the Storm: Handling the Highs, the Lows, and Everything In-Between, a guide to parenting a child who is struggling with a mental, neurodevelopmental, or behavioural challenge.

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If you’ve got kids, you’ve got guilt—parental guilt, that is. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing, you’re doing it wrong—or at least that’s how it can feel.

But here’s a bit of good news for the guilt-rack …

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