Off the Page

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

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The Chat with Richard Van Camp

The Chat with Richard Van Camp

By Trevor Corkum

Author Richard Van Camp is a celebrated and beloved storyteller who has worked across many genres. His latest offering, …

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Book Cover In Praise of Retreat

Why We All Need Breathing Space

By Kirsteen MacLeod

"Retreat is an adventure, and it involves uncertainty. Whether we go to the quiet woods to rest or make art, walk a pilg …

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Book Cover What the Kite Saw

What the Kite Saw: Stories of Children and Crisis

By Anne Laurel Carter

"Children have their own unique ways of facing a crisis. Yes, they need protecting, but they are also resilient. They ha …

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Shelf Talkers: Spring 2021

Shelf Talkers: Spring 2021

By Robert J. Wiersema

One of the best pieces of news in an otherwise dark year was the word that, despite the growth of online giants during t …

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Book Cover The Shadow Life

My Drifter Reading List

By Jen Sookfong Lee

A poetry list by the author of new book The Shadow List.

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Book Cover Fuse

Persian-Canadian Writers You've Got to Read

By Hollay Ghadery

So, where were all the Persian Canadian writers? It turns out, here all along, but not as represented as one might hope; …

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Tough Like Mum: An Essential Picture Book for Kids *and* Adults

Tough Like Mum: An Essential Picture Book for Kids *and* Adults

By Geoffrey Ruggero

Picture books are often written with young children as their intended audience. In Tough Like Mum, Lana Button provides …

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Book Cover We Jane

Aimee Wall on The Great Canadian Abortion Novel

By Kerry Clare

"I didn’t want the plot to turn on an abortion or the decision to have one. Any conflict or tension is rooted elsewher …

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Book Cover Because the Sun

Poetry That's Going to Grab You

By 49thShelf Staff

Great books to read before for National Poetry Month is out.

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The Chat with Christopher DiRaddo

The Chat with Christopher DiRaddo

By Trevor Corkum

Christopher DiRaddo’s sophomore novel, The Family Way, is a dynamic and rich exploration of queer family, parenthood, …

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Shelf Talkers for May 2014

When you’re considering adjectives to describe Canada’s independent booksellers, “eclectic” has to be near the top of the list. And this month’s installment of Shelf Talkers reflects that, with cookbooks, kids books, fiction and fantasy and more from booksellers from across the country.

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The Bookseller: Chadwick Ginther from University of Manitoba Bookstore, Winnipeg, Manitoba

The Pick: This Strange Way of Dying, by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

"There is plenty to enjoy in This Strange Way of Dying, not just for the gourmet of death, but for anyone who loves a good story, even for those ready to dismiss horror fiction as 'butcher’s work.' If you hunger as Moreno-Garcia’s 'Death Collector' does 'for the delicious, the delicate, the more refined crimes rather than clumsy trails of corpses,' then you will devour them in each wonderful story."

 

kaleidescope

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Shelf Talkers for June

It’s not just that booksellers sell books (well, hopefully...), it’s that they read. They read not only with a voraciousness and attention unrivalled in the trade, but with a passion and a hope that remains, for the best of them, undiminished, despite years, sometimes decades, of season after season of new books, and new favourites.

The best of those books are the ones they share with their fellow readers in-store, and here, on Shelf Talkers. Here are some bookseller favourites for June.

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wordsworthbooks

The Bookseller: David Worsley, Words Worth Books, Waterloo, Ontario

The Pick: Infidelity, by Stacey May Fowles

"Infidelity is emblematic of a new and entirely welcome breed of Canadian fiction. It's a deceptively simple story of an affair between a working-class woman and a tweedy professor in present-day Toronto. Ronnie and Charlie are very different people, but both are in rather prosaic relationships. A meeting at a faculty party results in a goodly number of trysts and the pressure of balancing their secrets with the increasing weight of both of their daily …

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Shelf Talkers for November

The beginning of November always feels like a moment of transition, that sudden shift of time making the autumn nights come earlier, that charge to the air that brings your scarf up over your mouth, the seemingly overnight switch between pumpkin spice and eggnog ...

It’s many booksellers' favourite time of year, a thrilling month of new books read, prizes awarded, and an ever-increasing number of readers coming in to the store. Yes, the countdown to the festive season is upon us, but booksellers, no matter how busy, always have time to read. Here are a few of their recommendations for November.

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The Bookseller: Lee Trentadue, Galiano Island Books, (Galiano Island, BC)
The Pick: The Girl Who Was Saturday Night, by Heather O’Neill

"I just read The Girl Who Was Saturday Night by the author of Lullabies For Little Criminals and I will be immediately re-reading it! Yes, it was that good! Heather astonishes with her grasp of language and her ability to allow her shady characters to soar above adversity and yes, also crash as reality hits them.

I gobbled this one down with greedy delight. Nicolas and Nouschka Tremblay are trying to escape the chaos of their lives with Etienne their father, a notorious Quebecois folksinger, and they land themselves in messes of their …

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Shelf Talkers: January 2015

It’s a brand new year which means that booksellers across this fine nation are picking themselves up and dusting themselves off after the blur and chaos of December. They’re both looking back and looking ahead, giving a sense and perspective to the year and the books just past, and gazing hopefully, always hopefully, at the year and books just ahead.

Here are five of our finest booksellers, ready again to help you fill your shelves with the best books this country—and its bookstores—have to offer.

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The Bookseller: Mary-Ann Yazedjian, Book Warehouse Main Street (Vancouver, BC)

The Pick: Anatomy of a Girl Gang, by Ashley Little

"This is a dark and gritty story of a girl gang in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. It is told from five points of view, and Little has managed to give each character a unique voice. This is the perfect book for girls aged 15 and older who are tired of reading teen fluff books and want to read something real and important."

 

The Bookseller:  Heather Kuipers, Ella Minnow Children’s Bookstore (Toronto, Ontario)

The Pick …

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Shelf Talkers Special Edition: Authors for Indies

Oh, my, what a month! April marks the first anniversary of this column, which offers monthly recommendations from independent booksellers across the country—the books you need to read, from people who know reading best.

(Waiting a moment, looking around ... Where’s the balloon drop?)

To celebrate, we have something even better than a balloon drop. We have an entire national movement! This month we have an extra-special, jumbo-sized edition of Shelf Talkers, wherein some of Canada’s finest authors weigh in with their recommendations. We’re not only celebrating the anniversary of this column, we’re pitching in and helping out with the Authors for Indies program.

On May 2, under the auspices of the Authors for Indies program, writers from across the country will be serving as volunteer booksellers at their local independent bookstore, helping out customers with their picks, throwing their support behind Canada’s independent booksellers.

In this month’s column, we’ve asked some of those volunteer, one-day booksellers for their picks, a sneak preview of what you can expect next month.

May 2: Mark that date on your calendar, and make a point of visiting your favourite authors at your favourite indie.

Until then, enjoy these picks, and thank you for reading this year. We’re just getting started.

 

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