Off the Page

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

Latest Blog Posts
Book Cover Hope Matters

Hope Matters: Turning Toward Solutions and Away From Doom

By Elin Kelsey

The tired old narrative of doom and gloom can no longer capture the changing global dynamics of life on planet Earth. Th …

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Book Cover Instructor

9 Canadian Writers Who Run with the Night

By Beth Follett

A recommended reading list by the founder and publisher of Pedlar Press, whose new novel is Instructor.

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Book Cover Trip of the Dead

Apocalypses, Quests, and Survival

By Angela Misri

A great list of books for middle-grade readers by author of new novel Trip of the Dead.

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The Chat with Eva Crocker

The Chat with Eva Crocker

By Trevor Corkum

This week we’re in conversation with author Eva Crocker. Her debut novel, All I Ask, (House of Anansi Press) was publi …

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Book Cover A Town Called Solace

Mary Lawson: A Sense of Place

By Mary Lawson

"I don’t know if it’s a Canadian thing, or if people the world over are similarly drawn to the landscape they know w …

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Book Cover: Elvis Me and the Lemonade Summer

Most Anticipated: Our Books for Young Readers Preview

By 49thShelf Staff

Looking forward to some of the books for young readers (and readers of all ages) that we're going to be falling in love …

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I Read Canadian Day is back!

I Read Canadian Day is back!

By Geoffrey Ruggero

It’s back! After a very successful first year where authors, students, educators, librarians, parents and many other C …

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Book Cover The Adventures of Miss Petitfour

Notes From a Children's Librarian: Scrumptious Stories

By Julie Booker

DELICIOUS books about food and eating.

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Book Cover Firefly

The Kids: Are They Alright?

By Philippa Dowding

What is it like for a child who lives with a parent or who knows an adult struggling with a crisis of mental health, add …

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Where It All Happened: A List of Propulsive Settings

Where It All Happened: A List of Propulsive Settings

By Kiley Turner

Anyone who's read Emma Donoghue's The Pull of the Stars knows just how much the confines of that understaffed maternity …

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Most Anticipated: Our 2021 Spring Poetry Preview

Our Spring Preview continues with an amazing selection of new and forthcoming poetry.

*****

The Montreal Prize Anthology 2020 (April), by Jordan Abel, Kaveh Akbar and Wendy Cope, explodes with talent, combining radiant vision with striking invention in form. Andrea Actis's Grey All Over (April) not only celebrates a rare, close, complicated father-daughter bond, it also boldly expands the empathetic and critical capacities of poetry itself. Make the World New (April) brings together in a single volume some of the highlights of work by Lillian Allen, one of the leading creative Black feminist voices in Canada, and is the first book of her poems to be published in over 20 years. Selina Boan’s debut poetry collection, Undoing Hours (March), considers the various ways we undo, inherit, reclaim and (re)learn. And Shane Book, the author of the acclaimed 2014 collection Congotronic, returns with All Black Everything (June), a collection of urgent, forceful, and energetic new poems.

Set in a small-town, sub-Arctic dive bar, Tara Borin’s debut collection The …

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Most Anticipated: Our Books for Young Readers Preview

Looking forward to some of the books for young readers (and readers of all ages) that we're going to be falling in love with in the first half of 2021.

*****

Picture Books

Seeing Stars (April), by Denise Adams, is a quirky, fun book exploring the secret underwater life of starfish, in the style of The Secret Life of Squirrels. Told half in French and half in English, Pierre and Paul: Dragon (April), by Caroline Adderson and Alice Carter, the second book in the Pierre & Paul series, uses simple phrases and clues in the illustrations to make the story accessible to readers in both languages. The Covid-19 pandemic, which seems to be taking some time to go away, has meant big changes for one little girl’s family in When Mom’s Away, (April), by Layla Ahmad and Farida Zaman. Outside, You Notice (April), by Erin Alladin, illustrated by Andrea Blinick, is a lyrical celebration of the outdoors pairing childlike observation with facts about the natural world. Maya’s imagination sets the stage for her friends to act out her feminist play. Can she make room in her queendom for the will of the people? Maya's Big Scene (February), by Isabelle Arsenault, is a funny picture book about leadership and fair play for fans of King Baby and Olivia. And a young boy discovers strang …

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Most Anticipated: Our 2021 Spring Fiction Preview

Our Spring Preview begins with the fiction you're going to be falling in love with in 2021.

****

Caught between cultures and identities, immigrant families from a Bengali neighbourhood in Toronto strive to navigate their home, relationships, and happiness in Silmy Abdullah’s debut, Home of the Floating Lily (June). Pyromaniacs, vigilantes, mysterious phenomena, prehistoric beasts, cryptid species, grave robbers and ghosts... the stories of Nathan Adler's Ghost Lake (December) feature a cast of interrelated characters and their brushes with the supernatural, creatures of Ojibwe cosmology, the Spirit World, and with monsters, both human and otherwise. Four writers and four different perspectives on the problematic notion of purity in Disintegration in Four Parts (June), a collection of novellas by Jean-Marc Ah-Sen, Emily Anglin, Devon Code, and Lee Henderson. And Sergeant Roxanne Calloway of the RCMP finds herself investigating the death of the Artistic Director of a prairie theatre company about to put on Macbeth (of course!) in And Then is Heart No More (April), by Raye Anderson.

Continue reading >

Most Anticipated: Our 2021 Spring Fiction Preview

Our Spring Preview begins with the fiction you're going to be falling in love with in 2021.

****

Caught between cultures and identities, immigrant families from a Bengali neighbourhood in Toronto strive to navigate their home, relationships, and happiness in Silmy Abdullah’s debut, Home of the Floating Lily (June). Pyromaniacs, vigilantes, mysterious phenomena, prehistoric beasts, cryptid species, grave robbers and ghosts... the stories of Nathan Adler's Ghost Lake (December) feature a cast of interrelated characters and their brushes with the supernatural, creatures of Ojibwe cosmology, the Spirit World, and with monsters, both human and otherwise. Four writers and four different perspectives on the problematic notion of purity in Disintegration in Four Parts (June), a collection of novellas by Jean-Marc Ah-Sen, Emily Anglin, Devon Code, and Lee Henderson. And Sergeant Roxanne Calloway of the RCMP finds herself investigating the death of the Artistic Director of a prairie theatre company about to put on Macbeth (of course!) in And Then is Heart No More (April), by Raye Anderson.

Continue reading >

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