Off the Page

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

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The Chat: Trevor Corkum Interviews Betsy Warland

The Chat: Trevor Corkum Interviews Betsy Warland

By [Trevor Corkum]

I’m thrilled to be in conversation with Betsy Warland, author of Oscar of Between: A Memoir of Identity and Ideas, pub …

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Book Cover Crazy Dead

Get Gripped: Mystery, Thriller and Crime Novels to Read This Spring

By [Kerry Clare]

These are the kind of books they had to make up the word "unputdownable" for. 

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Shelf Talkers: April 2016

Shelf Talkers: April 2016

By [Rob Wiersema]

Happy Authors for Indies Day, everyone. And please join me in raising a glass for our independent booksellers, every day …

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The Chat: Trevor Corkum Interviews Kris Bertin

The Chat: Trevor Corkum Interviews Kris Bertin

By [Trevor Corkum]

I’m thrilled to be in conversation with Halifax writer Kris Bertin, author of the acclaimed debut short story collecti …

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Book Cover House of Mystery

Poetry Collections to Read This Spring

By [Kerry Clare]

National Poetry Month is, well, just one month long, but luckily poetry is for always. Here are some titles for reading …

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Book Cover The Heaviness of Things That Float

Jennifer Manuel: Books for Decolonizing

By [Kerry Clare]

The Heaviness of Things That Float is, at its heart, a novel about decolonization and the moral obligation of non-Indige …

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Book Cover Picture a Tree

Notes from a Children's Librarian: Spring Books

By [Kerry Clare]

Dirt, butterflies, flora, and native stories make this spring book list.

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Quick Hits: Laugh-Out-Loud Titles

Quick Hits: Laugh-Out-Loud Titles

By [Kiley Turner]

In Quick Hits, we look through our stacks to bring you books that, when they were published, elicited a lot of reaction …

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National Poetry Month 2016 League of Canadian Poets

On the Road With the League of Canadian Poets

By [Kerry Clare]

The LCP creates a list for us along their National Poetry Month theme. 

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Book Cover Tokyo Digs a Garden

Five Perfect Picture Books for Spring

By [Kerry Clare]

Here comes the sun, along with an excellent crop of new picture books to read in the warmth of its rays. 

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The Chat: Trevor Corkum Interviews Betsy Warland

Betsy Warland
TREVOR CORKUM cropped

I’m thrilled to be in conversation with Betsy Warland, author of Oscar of Between: A Memoir of Identity and Ideas, published by Dagger Editions, an imprint of Caitlin Press. This genre-bending book explores questions of who we are in the spaces between—in the gaps and pauses between relationships, physical spaces, creative projects, world events, and the very ideas and constructed narratives of who we are.

The Lambda Literary Review calls the book “... an achievement. It reminds readers of the vitality of Warland’s creative vision. Rigorously inquisitive, always probing the boundaries of language and identity, and centrally concerned with questions of beauty and transcendence in all forms, Oscar of Between straddles multiple poetry traditions and challenges the boundaries of poetry and prose.”

Betsy Warland is the author of 12 books of poetry and creative nonfiction including her bestselling 2010 book of essays on writing, Breathing the Page—Reading the Act of Writing. In March of 2016, Oscar of Between—A Memoir of Identity and Ideas was on …

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Get Gripped: Mystery, Thriller and Crime Novels to Read This Spring

These are the kind of books they had to make up the word "unputdownable" for. 

*****

Far From True, by Linwood Barclay

About the book: After the screen of a run-down drive-in movie theater collapses and kills four people, the daughter of one of the victims asks private investigator Cal Weaver to look into a break-in at her father's house. Cal discovers a hidden room where salacious activities have taken place—as well as evidence of missing DVDs. But it may not be the discs the thief was interested in.

Meanwhile, Detective Barry Duckworth is still trying to solve two murders he believes are connected, since each featured a similar distinctive wound. And when yet another murder happens, Cal and Barry are both driven to pursue their investigations, no matter where they lead. But where they lead may be more horrific than either man can imagine.

Why we're taking notice: This is the second title in the bestselling Barclay's Promise Falls trilogy. Readers will want to know what happens next. 

** 

What's Left Behind, by Gail Bowen

About the book: The latest novel in t …

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Shelf Talkers: April 2016

With any luck (and owing entirely to the incredible effort put in by the organizers), the end of April will become known as well for books as it is for being the early days of spring. Authors for Indies, now in its second year, draws attention to Canada’s independent booksellers with the best of Canada’s writers working shifts on the country’s independent sales floors, meeting customers and making recommendations. It’s a beautiful synergy, a living representation of the ecosystem that underlies Canada’s book trade.

If I had my way, it would be a national holiday.

Canada’s independent booksellers aren’t just retailers; they’re cultural resources, the face of our rich literary heritage. For Canada’s indies, it’s less a job than it is a calling: the hours are long, the financial rewards limited, the stress sometimes overwhelming. And yet, every day of the year, they’re there, critical parts of their communities, literally spreading the word.

When this column started, two years ago, our intent was to give voice to those booksellers, a platform for them to do what they do best: to recommend books they love to readers who will love them. And don’t they do a fine job?

Happy Authors for Indies Day, everyone. And please join me in raising a glass for our independent booksellers, every day.

**

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The Chat: Trevor Corkum Interviews Kris Bertin

Kris Bertin
TREVOR CORKUM cropped

In this week’s The Chat, I’m thrilled to be in conversation with Halifax writer Kris Bertin, author of the acclaimed debut short story collection Bad Things Happen (Biblioasis). With humour and dignity, and an exceptional eye for detail, these are stories that explore the stubborn, subterranean wounds that animate the private mystery of our lives.   

Writing in Quill and Quire, Brett Josef Grubisic called Bad Things Happen “Brash (in the best possible sense), intriguing, and consummate without being showy, these are terrific stories in a strong, diverse, and fascinating collection.” Shawn Syms, reviewing the collection in The Winnipeg Review says “Bertin finds within perversity a welcome sense of hope.”

Kris Bertin’s work has been featured in The Walrus, The Malahat Review, TNQ, and PRISM International, among other magazines. He is a two-time winner of the Jack Hodgins' Founders' Award for Fiction and has had his work anthologized in The Journey Prize Anthology, Oberon's Coming Attractions and EXILE's CVC Anthology. He currently works as a b …

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Poetry Collections to Read This Spring

tagged :

National Poetry Month is, well, just one month long, but luckily poetry is for always. Here are some titles for reading all year 'round. 

*****

House of Mystery, by Courtney Bates-Hardy

About the book: House of Mystery is a beautifully dark and vivid collection of poems that tears down our familiar ideas about fairy tales. These are not poems about privileged princesses who live happily ever after; these are poems about monsters, mothers, witches and mermaids. They explore the pain of change and womanhood, and transform the way we think about fairy tales. Bates-Hardy moves through the childhood stories and delves into the violent and problematic origins of Cinderella, Snow White, and many other favourites. Lyrical and haunting, her poems will follow you long after you find your way through the forest.

Why we're taking notice: Any recipes that includes reimagined fairy tales, poetry, and the excellent ChiZine Publications (whose tagline is "Embrace the Odd") is bound to bake up something most intriguing. 

**

100 Days, by  Juliane Okot Bitek

About the book: 100 d …

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