Off the Page

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

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Earth Hour: Books & Activities to Spark Discussion and Environmental Action

Earth Hour: Books & Activities to Spark Discussion and Environmental Action

By Allison Hall

On Saturday March 28th millions of people around the globe will turn off their lights and spend an hour without the use …

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Book Cover Sputnik's Children

The Books I Want to Read Again

By Kerry Clare

Rereading is comfort, and indulgence. It's a voyage back to the familiar, but one that's still rich with discovery, and …

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Neon BOOKS sign

How Do We Read When Words Fail Us?

By Kerry Clare

On the value of books and reading in a dangerous time.

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Book Cover Lost in the Backyard

Notes from a Children's Librarian: Catchy Beginnings

By Julie Booker

Great books with great starts.

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Books to Keep Young People Learning During Covid-19

Books to Keep Young People Learning During Covid-19

By Kiley Turner

There's never been a better time to highlight some great posts from our resident children's librarian, Julie Booker.

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Book Cover The Birth Yard

A Sense of Place: THE BIRTH YARD Book List

By Mallory Tater

"The Birth Yard embodies a sense of place that I, as a woman, have always felt inside."

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Book Cover Last Impressions

"All of us are better when we're loved."

By Joseph Kertes

"Last Impressions will make you laugh out loud and cry out loud. What more could be asked of a book?" —Miriam Toews

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The Chat with Eufemia Fantetti

The Chat with Eufemia Fantetti

By Trevor Corkum

Today's chat is with Eufemia Fantetti, author of the brand-new memoir My Father, Fortune-Tellers, & Me, out now with Mot …

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1000 Islands Writers Festival Logo

Your 2020 Spring Festival Guide

By Kerry Clare

A round-up of literary festivals taking place this spring near you and across the country.

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Book Cover No More Nice Girls

Lives of Girls and Women

By Kerry Clare

22 books to celebrate for International Women's Day.

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The Recommend: February 2014 #1

Research shows that most of the books we read are the result of one thing: someone we know, trust, and/or admire tells us it's great. That's why we're starting our new series, The Recommend. Every two weeks, we'll reach out to people—readers, writers, reviewers, bloggers, and others—whose taste we respect and ask them to tell us about a book they'd recommend to a good friend ... and why.

This week we're pleased to present the picks of Trena White, co-founder of Page Two and former publisher of Douglas & McIntyre; Missy Marston, author of the Ottawa Book-award winning The Love Monster; Trevor Corkum, contributing author to the very apropos short story collection, Friend. Follow. Text.; Alexis Kienlen, poet and agricultural journalist; and JC Sutcliffe, writer, editor, and translator.

*****

Trena White picks The Golden Spruce, by John Vaillant: "The Golden Spruce creates a riveting mystery out of a little-known event, outdoorsman Grant Hadwin’s massacre in the late 90s of a revered tree on Haida Gwaii. From that story, Vaillant jumps off into a wide-ranging, evocative history of the West Coast: the devastation European contact wrought among coastal First Nations, the rough-and-tumble logging camps, the dangers of felling coastal giants. He packs a phenomenal amo …

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The Recommend: February 2014 #2

Research shows that most of the books we read are the result of one thing: someone we know, trust, and/or admire tells us it's great. That's why we're starting our new series, The Recommend. Every two weeks, we'll reach out to people—readers, writers, reviewers, bloggers, and others—whose taste we respect and ask them to tell us about a book they'd recommend to a good friend ... and why.

This week we're pleased to present the picks of Ali Bryan, author of Roost; Steven Galloway, author of The Cellist of Sarajevo; Eliza Robertson, author of the Journey-Prize nominated short story, "My Sister Sang"; Jowita Bydlowska, author of Drunk Mom; and Cathy Marie Buchanan, author of The Painted Girls.

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Ali Bryan picks Nicole Dixon’s High-Water Mark: "This short story collection is a quick, sensuous read that will simultaneously stroke your hair and slap you in the face. Dixon’s female characters, much like her writing style, are stripped down, raw, and real. She writes with a refreshing feminist bent and has a knack for capturing the raunchy and intimate with an honesty and grit reminiscent of Lena Dunham’s Girls. I was left with a hot face on more than one occasion, yet her stories are also infused with moments of tenderness, grief, and conflict that are palpa …

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The Recommend: March 2014 #1

tagged : the recommend

Research shows that most of the books we read are the result of one thing: someone we know, trust, and/or admire tells us it's great. That's why we're starting our new series, The Recommend. Every two weeks, we'll reach out to people—readers, writers, reviewers, bloggers, and others—whose taste we respect and ask them to tell us about a book they'd recommend to a good friend ... and why.

This week we're pleased to present the picks of Trevor Cole, author of Practical Jean; Farzana Doctor, author of Six Metres of Pavement; Cory Doctorow, author of Little Brother; Rolli, cartoonist and author of God's Autobio; and Mark Leslie Lefebvre, bookseller and author of Spooky Sudbury.

*****

Trevor Cole picks The Golden Mean, by Annabel Lyon: "Perhaps the most remarkable thing about this novel is the audacity and self-confidence Lyon displayed in even attempting it. Imagine daring to represent the mind of one of civilization’s greatest thinkers, as he writes about its greatest warrior. I shake my head in awe at that, and at her success. Her Aristotle is entirely believable, grounded by her obviously vast research, but also her understanding of human nature. He is immensely wise, yes, but also at times rash or prone to hubris. And Lyon manages to bring alive the intimate a …

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The Recommend: Picks By MadeleineThien, Karen Connelly, Katherine Govier, Gillian Gerome

Research shows that most of the books we read are the result of one thing: someone we know, trust, and/or admire tells us it's great. That's why we're starting our new series, The Recommend. Every two weeks, we'll reach out to people—readers, writers, reviewers, bloggers, and others—whose taste we respect and ask them to tell us about a book they'd recommend to a good friend ... and why.

This week we're pleased to present the picks of Karen Connelly, author of The Lizard Cage; Katherine Govier, author of The Ghost Brush; Madeleine Thien, author of Dogs at the Perimeter; and Gillian Jerome, author of the poetry collection Red Nest. See our recommenders' bios below their picks for more of their books.

*****

Karen Connelly picks Nicholas Pengelley's Traitor’s Gate: "This is Quattro Books' first mystery, and the first book by Nicholas Pengelley. While I am not a dedicated reader of mysteries, this novel sucked me in immediately because of the wonderful story. Ayesha Ryder, Middle East specialist with a secret past, is called in by Scotland Yard to assess the scene of the grisly 'terrorist' murder of the renowned Jewish professor who mentored her. The murder threatens to derail historic peace talks between Israel and Palestine, but Ayesha sees through the ‘terror …

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The Recommend: April 2014

tagged : The Recommend

Research shows that most of the books we read are the result of one thing: someone we know, trust, and/or admire tells us it's great. That's why we run this series, The Recommend, where readers, writers, reviewers, bloggers, and others tell us about a book they'd recommend to a good friend ... and why.

This week we're pleased to present the picks of multimedia artist and author Vivek Shraya; Vancouver librarian and lit fest organizer, Heidi Schiller; Laurie Grassi, Books Editor at Chatelaine; Dee Hopkins, editor and lit blogger extraordinaire; and Carrie Snyder, author and finalist for the 2012 Governor General's Award for Fiction. See our recommenders' bios below their picks for more of their books.

*****

allmyfriendsoriginal

Vivek Shraya picks Andrew Kaufman's All My Friends Are Superheroes: "This is a truly special book, a treasure in Canadian literature. A love story with a fantastical spirit, it features characters with whimsical names such as 'The Perfectionist,' 'Hypno,' and 'TV Girl.' In a culture that often glorifies length, All My Friends Are Superheroes serves as …

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