Off the Page

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

Latest Blog Posts
Book Cover the Queer Evangelist

On Telling the Truth in Politics

By Cheri Divnovo

An excerpt from new memoir The Queer Evangelist, Cheri DiNovo's story of her life as a queer minister, politician and st …

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 The Chat with GG's Literature Award Winners The Fan Brothers

The Chat with GG's Literature Award Winners The Fan Brothers

By Trevor Corkum

We continue our special coverage of this year’s Governor General's Literature Award winners in conversation with the a …

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Book Cover Oy Feh So

Notes from a Children's Librarian: Books on Jewish Heritage

By Julie Booker

Compelling stories showcasing Jewish Heritage to be enjoyed by readers of all ages.

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The Chat with GG's Literature Award Winner Madhur Anand

The Chat with GG's Literature Award Winner Madhur Anand

By Trevor Corkum

Check out our conversation with Madhur Anand, whose brilliant experimental memoir This Red Line Goes Straight to Your He …

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Me and Bridget Jones (20 Years Later)

Me and Bridget Jones (20 Years Later)

By Erika Thorkelson

Erika Thorkelson's "Me and Bridget Jones (20 Years Later)" is one of the essays in Midlife, a new essay collection explo …

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The Chat with GG's Literature Award Winner Michelle Good

The Chat with GG's Literature Award Winner Michelle Good

By Trevor Corkum

Today we are pleased to kick off our special coverage of the 2020 Governor General's Award winners (English-language) wi …

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Book Cover Cattail Skyline

The World Up Close

By Joanne Epp

A recommended reading list by author of new book CATTAIL SKYLINE on paying close attention to the small and particular.

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Book Cover What's In It For Me

The Keepers on My Bookshelf

By LS Stone

Depth and humour are themes in this great recommended reading list by the author of the new middle grade novel What's in …

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Book Cover the Girl from Dream City

How Does a Woman Become a Writer?

By Linda Leith

"The writers who interest me most, always, are women who write about themselves in ways that a male writer never could." …

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Book Cover Big Reader

11 Essay Collections to Revisit Now

By Susan Olding

"The bestselling novel of a decade ago will sometimes seem stale or irrelevant today, but that’s rarely true of an ess …

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Amanda Leduc on Voyages and Hidden Magic

Book Cover The Miracles of Ordinary Men

A guest post by the author of new novel The Miracles of Ordinary Men.

Confession: for most of my twenties, I wasn’t that much of an Atwood fan. Or, really, of Mordecai Richler. Or Rohinton Mistry. Or Michael Ondaatje. Nor was I, truth be told, all that much in love with Alice Munro, perfect storyteller though she might be. In my late teens and early twenties, I was all about the international read—I wanted books that were about far away. Books that would teach me about the Literature of the World. (Or something. It sounds silly now. It made perfect sense back then.) Books that would open me. Books that would make the world feel so much bigger than my tiny little one-intersection hometown.

Or so I told myself. What I really wanted, I think now, were books that would tell me about magic. Books like Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, or The Time Traveller’s Wife, or The God of Small Things—different magical books all, and none of them Canadian, but books that I loved so much I took them to the UK and back, multiple times, and who cared about that extra weight in the suitcase. Books like The Night Circus, which I discovered only last year, peeling open its pages with the wonderful thrill of the booklover: oh yes. You. I’ve been waiting forever for you.

I felt th …

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Can-Lit's Sexy Side

It's Valentine's Day, and we've been all about the bookish love over here at 49thShelf with our Feel the Love Valentine's Day Contest (whose deadline is February 14th at midnight). But we also wanted to take a moment to highlight the racier elements of romance, that sexier side of Can-Lit. Because it's true, (surely you knew?), that Can-Lit has a sexy side. We've put together this list of Canada's sexiest books with input from some of the nation's best readers. If you notice any glaring omissions, let us know in the comments below and we'll add them to the list.

Maidenhead by Tamara Faith Berger: In 2012, this was the book that everybody was talking about, and it was showing up everywhere on 2012 year-end best-of lists. As Stacey-May Fowles wrote in The National Post, ''For those of us who secretly read V.C. Andrews and The Story of O under the covers with flashlights in early adolescence, Tamara Faith Berger is our grown-up literary saint."

SECRET by L. Marie Adeline: Widely touted as "the Maidenhead of 2013," the pseudonymous Adeline was recently out …

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