Off the Page

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

Latest Blog Posts
Book Cover A Russian Sister

Sibling Connections

By Caroline Adderson

Stories about romantic love and sexual passion abound (there’s plenty of that A Russian Sister too!), but the particul …

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Image Book Auction to Support Prisoners

The Book Auction to Support Prisoners

By 49th Shelf Staff

"This year has marked a sea change in how we perceive racism and our justice system, and we hope this event will further …

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Book Cover The Barren Grounds

Launchpad: THE BARREN GROUNDS, by David A. Robertson

By Kerry Clare

"David A. Robertson has written such a fine, beautiful novel. He manages to combine hard truths about our history with a …

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Book Cover TreeTalk

TreeTalk-ing or, "How I Became a Serial Poetry Monogamist"

By Ariel Gordon

"I knew I wanted to do more than just sit in a booth, eating chicken and waffles, and writing. It had to do something th …

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Book Cover The Orange Shirt Story

Books for Orange Shirt Day

By Julie Booker

Books to connect younger readers with the tragic legacy of Canada's residential schools.

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The Chat with Emily Urquhart

The Chat with Emily Urquhart

By Trevor Corkum

In The Age of Creativity (House of Anansi Press), Emily Urquhart challenges us to reconsider our thinking around artisti …

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Book Cover Noopiming

Launchpad: NOOPIMING, by Leanne Betasamosake Simpson

By Kerry Clare

"This is bold storytelling drawing upon a rich history to present a possible future. Simpson is generously gifting reade …

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Book Cover Brighten the Corner Where You ARe

Fiction We Can't Wait to Read This Fall

By Kerry Clare

29 books that should be on your radar.

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Super September Giveaway!

Super September Giveaway!

By Kiley Turner

Did we call it this because of the alliteration? Maybe, but more because the books up for grabs here are SO GOOD. Enter …

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Book Cover Crosshairs

Launchpad: CROSSHAIRS, by Catherine Hernandez

By Kerry Clare

"Crosshairs asks us what we will do to resist and build a better future when faced with such momentous and dangerous tim …

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Shelf Talkers: The Best New Book I've Read

Bookstores can be daunting experiences.

Walking into a good bookstore can be almost overwhelming: all these books! Where does one begin?

That’s where the bookseller comes in. A good bookseller can guide a reader through the impossibilities of selection in search of that perfect read. They know the sections intimately; after all, they’re responsible for every one of those spines being on the shelf. They’re the ones who spend hours every week selecting books, conscientiously and deliberately building a collection which they know will appeal to the readers in their communities. They’re responsible for keeping on-hand books they love, knowing that they will be able to match them with the perfect reader.

But what of new books? What of debut authors? What of the great unknown? How does a reader sift through the deluge of new titles being published every week?

This is where booksellers truly shine, spending the hours they’re not in the store reading ahead, perusing Advance Reading Copies and galleys, open to that electrical charge one feels when finding the next great book.

For this month’s Shelf Talkers column, we’ve set our panel of erstwhile indie booksellers a single question: what’s the best new book you’ve read? All of these recommendations are hot off the presses (one of them, in fact, is still on the presses, and won’t be on the shelf until next month!). These are the cream of this year’s crop, and they all come with the Shelf Talkers’ seal of approval.

*** …

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The Chat With Elan Mastai

mastai_elan Credit David Leyes_1


This week we’re in conversation with Elan Mastai, author of the much-buzzed about debut novel All Our Wrong Todays. The novel follows a time-travelling hero, Tom Barren, as he journeys back to a pivotal moment in the planet’s history, all the while contending with a complicated love affair.

The Vancouver Sun calls All Our Wrong Todays “an incredibly creative work... the science is as engaging as the romance. Mastai has mastered the art of endearing himself to an audience through both knowledge and entertainment.”

Elan Mastai was born in Vancouver and lives in Toronto with his wife and children. He is an award-winning screenwriter whose writing credits include The F Word. This is his first novel.



Trevor Corkum: This is your first novel, Elan. After a successful career writing films, how does it feel adding novelist to your CV?


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The Randomizer

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