Off the Page

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

Latest Blog Posts
Three Mugs of Hot Chocolate on a Tray

Cozy Eats: Real Hot Chocolate from DUTCH FEAST

By [Kerry Clare]

If it's freezing where you are, this delectable hot chocolate will hit the spot. 

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The Chat with Kathy Page

The Chat with Kathy Page

By [Trevor Corkum]

The tender story of a decades-long marriage, Dear Evelyn explores how time transforms our most intimate relationships.

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Book Cover Neighbourhood

12 New Books on Community Connections

By [Kerry Clare]

Our focus on community connections continues with this cross-genre list of twelve recent books that delve into community …

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The Chat with Harold R. Johnson

The Chat with Harold R. Johnson

By [Trevor Corkum]

In our first conversation of 2019, we chat with acclaimed writer Harold Johnson, author of the genre-bending memoir Clif …

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Book Cover Bad Ideas

Most Anticipated: Our Spring 2019 Fiction Preview

By [Kerry Clare]

The first half of 2019 promises glorious literary delights.

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Shelf Talkers: Books for Christmas Eve Shoppers

Shelf Talkers: Books for Christmas Eve Shoppers

By [Rob Wiersema]

"You’re an indie bookseller, the best of the best.

You work before dawn, you work without rest.

You’ve read all the bo …

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Pile of Books Christmas Tree Ornament

Happy Holiday Reading from 49th Shelf

By [Kerry Clare]

Happy holidays, and we're looking forward to sharing all kinds of excellent books with you in 2019.

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Book Cover Deep Underwater

Picture Books are for Everyone: A Holiday List

By [Kerry Clare]

Not just for kids anymore. Readers of all ages will appreciate this selection of some of the most wonderful picture book …

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Book Cover Out of Old Ontario Kitchens

Books for the Holidays

By [Kerry Clare]

Cookbooks, art books, books on gardening, and flowers: gorgeous books make great gifts. 

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Cozy Eats: Real Hot Chocolate from DUTCH FEAST

Hot Chocolate Image

From Stock Photo

We're far enough into 2019 now that New Year's Resolutions can be safely abandoned for being unrealistic and sucking the sweetness out of life. In place of your juice cleanse, we bring you this incredible recipe for hot chocolate from Emily Wight's Dutch Feast (a finalist for last year's Taste Canada Awards). Even better: it serves six. Invite the neighbours over for a little warmth respite. 

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(Makes 6 servings.)
 

Book Cover Dutch Feast

Where we live, it rains a lot—all the time for some parts of the year—and so we make the best of it. Hunter watches for puddles forming on the sidewalk, and when they are deep enough, he grabs his rubber boots and raincoat and demands to go outside. Aside from puddle-jumping, one of Hunter’s great joys is warming up after playing in the rain with a mug of hot chocolate—there’s not really any other time when he asks for it, so I am fairly certain he has tied a mug of chocolate and whipped cream to a feeling. Puddles are gezellig. Hot chocolate is geze …

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The Chat with Kathy Page

Kathy Page high res credit Billie Woods

Last November, Kathy Page won the 2018 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Award for her compelling and thoroughly entertaining novel Dear Evelyn.

The tender story of a decades-long romance between Harry and Evelyn, the novel explores how time transforms our most intimate relationships. The Writers’ Trust jury writes, “By integrating themes that are universally understood by readers and skilfully crafting endearing characters that surprise and delight, Page has created a poignant literary work of art.”

Kathy Page is the author of ten previous books, two of which, Paradise & Elsewhere (2014) and The Two of Us (2016), were nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. Other works include Alphabet, a Governor General’s Award finalist in 2005, The Story of My Face, longlisted for the Orange Prize in 2002, and Frankie Styne and the Silver Man. Born in the UK, she moved to Salt Spring Island with her family in 2001, and now divides her time between writing and teaching at Vancouver Island University.

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THE CHAT WITH KATHY PAGE

Trevor Corkum: Dear Evelyn is a gorgeous, complicated portrayal of the 70-year relationship between Harry, a World War Two veteran, and his wife, Evelyn. Can you speak more about how these characters came to life for you?

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12 New Books on Community Connections

Our focus on community connections continues with this cross-genre list of twelve recent books that delve into community and community building in singular and fascinating ways.  

*****

Belong: Find Your People, Create Community, and Live a More Connected Life, by Radha Agrawal

About the book: How is it that the internet connects us to a world of people, yet so many of us feel more isolated than ever? That we have hundreds, even thousands of friends on social media, but not a single person to truly confide in? Radha Agrawal calls this “community confusion,” and in Belong she offers every reader a blueprint to find their people and build and nurture community, because connectedness—as more and more studies show—is our key to happiness, fulfillment, and success.
 
A book that’s equal parts inspiring and interactive, and packed with prompts, charts, quizzes, and full-color illustrations, Belong takes readers on a two-part journey. Part one is Going IN—a gentle but intentional process of self-discovery and finding out your true energy levels and VIA (values, interests, and abilities). Part two is Going OUT—building on all that you’ve learned about yourself to find those few special people who feed your soul, and discovering, or creating, the ever-widening …

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Kittens in the City

Book Cover Little Yellow House

This month we're looking at books about community and fostering connection, and Carissa Halton's Little Yellow House is a perfect title to start with. In this collection of candid and thoughtful essays inspired by life in Edmonton's inner-city Alberta Avenue neighbourhood, Halton writes about her friends and neighbours, the community institutions that support them, the challenges of city life, home ownership, raising kids, and the tensions of gentrification. It's an illuminating and hopeful book that asks readers to think again about what makes places liveable, and also provides a wonderful glimpse of Jane Jacobs' proverbial sidewalk ballet.

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The first set of kittens Bill ever took in was brought to his attention by a desperate mewing from the blackened garage that slumped behind his six-suite rooming house. The kittens followed Bill to the front of his home where he set them up comfortably under the wooden stairs.

These three kittens were the product of a union between two abandoned cats as they waited patiently for the return of their owners. Bill had noticed the cats’ human family packing up the moving truck and the next day drove away with everything they owned except for their four feline pets lounging on the front porch. They weren’t the only ones aband …

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The Chat with Harold R. Johnson

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TREVOR-CORKUM-cropped_small

In our first conversation of 2019, we chat with acclaimed writer Harold Johnson, author of the genre-bending memoir Clifford: A Memoir, A Fiction, A Fantasy, A Thought Experiment (House of Anansi).

Of the book, the Toronto Star says, “the story’s meditations on loss, family, and fateful actions prove absorbing from the opening page.”

Harold R. Johnson is the author of five works of fiction and two works of nonfiction. His most recent book, Firewater: How Alcohol Is Killing My People (and Yours), was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Nonfiction. Born and raised in northern Saskatchewan to a Swedish father and a Cree mother, he is a graduate of Harvard Law School and managed a private practice for several years before becoming a Crown prosecutor. Johnson is a member of the Montreal Lake Cree Nation and lives in the north end of Saskatchewan, with his wife, Joan.

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THE CHAT WITH HAROLD R. JOHNSON

Trevor Corkum: Clifford is a moving, deeply engaging memoir that explores your relationship with your older brother. Can you tell us abo …

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