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

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Book Cover In Search of the Perfect Singing Flamingo

Get Out Of Town: 11 Literary Getaways

By [Kerry Clare]

Books that take you places. 

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The Chat with Pamela Mulloy

The Chat with Pamela Mulloy

By [Trevor Corkum]

What happens when a soldier goes AWOL and ends up meeting a lonely gardener at an isolated farm in small-town New Brunsw …

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Shelf Talkers: Mid-Summer 2018

Shelf Talkers: Mid-Summer 2018

By [Rob Wiersema]

For readers, the summer months have a special connotation. We remember not family trips, per se, but those books we read …

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Book Cover Bec and Call

Most Anticipated: Our Fall 2018 Poetry Preview

By [Kerry Clare]

All the new poetry coming on the scene.

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Book Cover Zolitude

8 Short Story Collections To Put on Your Summer Reading List

By [Kerry Clare]

There's still plenty of summer left, and it's not too late to add these story collections to your reading lists.

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Mystery Minute: August 2018

Mystery Minute: August 2018

By [Kiley Turner]

Our Mystery Minute series brings you acclaimed mysteries that just beg to be added to your already towering TBR pile.

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Book Cover Anna Like Thunder

Reimagining West Coast History

By [Kerry Clare]

A recommended reading list from Peggy Herring, whose new book is Anna, Like Thunder

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Book Cover The Tiny Kite of Eddie Wing

Notes from a Children's Librarian: Books on Flight

By [Kerry Clare]

Great books to complement the Grade 6 Science and Technology Unit. 

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Book Cover All the Sweet Things

Summer Eats: Our Taste Canada Shortlist Extravaganza

By [Kerry Clare]

Try these delicious recipes excerpted from cookbooks nominated for 2018 Taste Canada Awards. 

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Book Cover This is Not A Hoax

Most Anticipated: Our 2018 Fall Nonfiction Preview

By [Kerry Clare]

Books about literary hoaxes, family life, weather, bathrooms, music, parasites, recipes, true crime, and more. 

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Get Out Of Town: 11 Literary Getaways

Last summer we brought you The 13 Worst Holidays in Canadian Literature, and let me tell you, they were pretty traumatic—children drowned, parents were eaten by bears, another kid threw up in a box of comic books. This year, however, we're going for a more feel-good vibe, or at least aiming for none of our literary journeys to be compared with Lord of the Flies—which we totally failed at by the way, see Kim Fu's novel below for a case in point.

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Atomic Road, by Grant Buday

Where to? An artists' colony in Emma Lake, Saskatchewan. 

About the book: Art critic Clement Greenberg, champion of abstract expressionism, is more interested in silencing his rival Harold Rosenberg than with the threat of nuclear destruction.

Greenberg is driving from New York to the Emma Lake artist colony in Saskatchewan, where he intends to silence Rosenberg once and for all. With him is infamous Marxist Louis Althusser, who escaped prosecution for strangling his wife in France on an insanity plea. Althusser is heading to a Saskatchewan hospital for LSD therapy.

Pursuing them is Jean Claude Piche, a veteran of the conflicts in Indochina and Algeria, contracted to execute Althusser for the unpunished murder.

The 1950s were Greenberg's decade. Yet by 1962, everywhere Greenberg looks he is bed …

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The Chat with Pamela Mulloy

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TREVOR CORKUM cropped

What happens when a soldier goes AWOL and ends up meeting a lonely gardener at an isolated farm in small-town New Brunswick? That’s the premise of Pamela Mulloy’s gripping debut novel, The Deserters (Esplanade/Vehicule).

The Montreal Review of Books says “The Deserters feels sturdy, the narrative evenly paced with no sharp turns. It is a novel about a failing marriage, an affair, war, and complicated family dynamics, but it’s more about lonely people who choose to weather their sufferings solo instead of developing sustained closeness.”

Pamela Mulloy is the editor of The New Quarterly and the creative director of the Wild Writers Literary Festival. She is also a writer with short fiction published in the UK and Canada. She lives in Kitchener, Ontario, with her husband and daughter.

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THE CHAT WITH PAMELA MULLOY

Trevor Corkum: The Deserters is set largely in a remote, rural area of New Brunswick. The descriptions of this setting are both strangely expansive and incredibly claustrophobic at the same time. Did you have a particular location in mind a …

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Shelf Talkers: Mid-Summer 2018

Summer.

The very word sends a shiver down the spine, carrying with it memories and echoes of those glorious months from our younger days when the world seemed limitless, and full of potential.

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For readers, the summer months have a special connotation. We remember not family trips, per se, but those books we read wedged in the back seat. We remember not pick-up games in the yard, but library reading programs and the stacks of books we devoured, heedless of the outside world. (Did you cross an ocean, measuring the nautical miles in page counts? Or did your reading stats take you on an epic walk? Did you get stickers, or bookmarks, or was the reading simply for its own sake, with no thought of prizes?) We remember all that time we had to read what we wanted, not what we had to read for school. Summer is when we made some of the reading discoveries that have lasted for a lifetime, books and authors who would shape us, in ways we may not even really understand.

As exciting as summer is for adults, it’s never quite so wondrous as those we remember.

But as readers, we can recapture a bit of that magic, whether we’re travelling the world, or sipping coffee on our tiny deck.

This month, the booksellers of the Shelf Talkers column pull back the curtain a little to describe no …

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Most Anticipated: Our Fall 2018 Poetry Preview

Welcome to the third instalment of our 2018 Fall Preview, in which we tell you what the poets are doing.

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Book Cover Bec and Call

The poems in Jenna Lyn Albert’s Bec and Call (September) refuse to be silent or subtle, instead delving into the explicit, the audacious, and the boldy personal. Award-winner Chris Bailey’s debut collection is What Your Hands Have Done Lately (September), which looks at how growing up in a PEI fishing community can mark a person’s life. Intimately inhabited and passionately shared, Nova Scotia's farms, woods, and shores reveal themselves to be our Earth in microcosm in Janet Barkhouse’s collection, Salt Fires (August). And Gwen Benaway’s third collection of poetry is Holy Wild (September), exploring the complexities of being an Indigenous trans woman in expansive lyric poems.

Dominique Bernier-Cormier’s debut collection is Correspondent (September), an on-the-scene report of a childhood abroad. Dionne Brand, author of the Griffin Poetry Prize-winning collection Ossuaries, returns with The Blue Clerk (September), a startlingly original w …

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8 Short Story Collections To Put on Your Summer Reading List

There's still plenty of summer left, and it's not too late to add these story collections to your reading lists. 

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Zolitude, by Paige Cooper 

About the book: Fantastical, magnetic, and harsh—these are the women in Paige Cooper’s debut short story collection Zolitude. They are women who built time machines when they were nine, who buy plane tickets for lovers who won’t arrive. They are sisters writhing with dreams, blasé about sex but beggared by love—while the police horses have talons and vengeance is wrought by eagles the size of airplanes. Broken-down motorbikes and housebroken tyrannosaurs, cheap cigarettes and mail bombs—Cooper finds the beautiful and the disturbing in both the surreal and the everyday.

Troubling, carnal, and haunting, these stories are otherworldly travelogues through banal, eco-fabulist dystopias. Zolitude is a gorgeous, sad, and sexy work of slipstream and an atlas of fantastic isolation. The monstrous is human here, and tender.

Why we're taking notice: From The Toronto Star, "...across fourteen stories Cooper builds strange, genre-defying, sci-fi- and fantasy-infused realities that are distinctly her own. Truly, they’re like nothing else you’ve read lately. Whether funny, erotic, puzzling, Mirror Universe-y, or claustrophobi …

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