Off the Page

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

Latest Blog Posts
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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Book Cover Night Watch

Seeking Certainty in Uncertain Worlds

By Gillian Wigmore

A fascinating recommended reading list by the author of new book Night Watch.

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Great Books for the Moment

There's always something to be excited about in the world of Canadian books—the literary festival circuit, hot spring releases, summer reads, fall books, awards season, holiday reading, and so much more. Literally, it is our job to be enthusing about books all year round and to bring you a taste of everything that's happening across the country in literary fare. It's always the most incredible whirlwind and it almost never stops. 

Except right now.

Mid-January, and it's cold outside. Over the last week, we've been snowed in from coast-to-coast (although most particularly in Newfoundland. Wow!). We're in that sweet spot between the Best Books of 2019 lists and the Most Anticipated Books of 2020, which is possibly the closest we'll ever get to living in the moment. So why not stay here for a while? And to keep you company, we're recommending a handful of 2019 books you'd be lucky not to miss.

*****

A Dark House and Other Stories, by Ian Colford

About the book: In Ian Colford's latest collection, people get themselves and those they love into situations awkward and sometimes dangerous, doing what they think is best for all. A man kidnaps his young son from his ex-wife and the road trip west quickly spirals out of control; a destitute mother makes a risky alliance wit …

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5 Debut Authors in Search of a Book Launch

Book Cover The Jane Austen Society

Natalie Jenner's debut novel, The Jane Austen Society, will be released on May 26.

******

Seeing one’s novel on a bookstore shelf for the very first time is so often the dream and the work of a lifetime. Sadly, debut authors have been hit particularly hard by the publishing industry repercussions from the current virus outbreak. New writers lack established audiences for their work, which makes it that much harder to see their release dates, marketing initiatives and in-person events postponed or even cancelled. The necessary news focus on the pandemic gripping our world also means, unfortunately, even less opportunity for book reviews and media interviews, a key component of increasing awareness of new authors and their books.

The following five Canadian authors (Anita Kushwaha, Ava Homa, Deborah Hemming, Erin Ruddy and Eddy Boudel Tan) have seen the cancellation of most if not all of the marketing events planned for their debut books and are trying to launch their books and their careers amidst tremendous uncertainty and stress. From wondering if physical copies of books will even get made or official release dates will hold firm, to seeing the cancellation of first-time speaking appearances at such noted industry events as the LA Times Book Festival, the Ottawa …

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