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

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A Taster: Spring 2021 Nonfiction Preview

By 49th Shelf Staff

Life stories, family, baseball, and retreat. These highlight the nonfiction we're most looking forward to this spring. 

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ICYMI: Don't Miss These Beauties

ICYMI: Don't Miss These Beauties

By Kiley Turner

The pandemic has wreaked havoc on our attention spans, making it possible to miss really great fiction. These books caug …

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Book Cover Small Courage

Small Courage: Parenting Memoirs

By Jane Byers

A recommended reading list by Jane Byers, whose new queer parenting memoir is out now.

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The Chat with Kimiko Tobimatsu

The Chat with Kimiko Tobimatsu

By Trevor Corkum

Author Kimiko Tobimatsu and illustrator Keet Geniza have teamed up to create Kimiko Does Cancer, a timely graphic memoir …

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Book Cover Best Canadian Poetry 2020

A Record of Literary History: Best Canadian Poetry 2020

By Marilyn Dumont

An excerpt from Marilyn Dumont's introduction to BEST CANADIAN POETRY 2020.

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Book Cover Book of Donair

The Donair: Canada's Official Food?

By Lindsay Wickstrom

Excerpt from BOOK OF DONAIR explores how a bitter rivalry between Halifax and Edmonton helped propel the donair to be de …

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Book Cover My Ocean is Blue

Notes From a Children's Librarian: Questions, Questions

By Julie Booker

Great picture books that engage with questions and encourage readers to think about answers.

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Book Cover Gutter Child

Most Anticipated: Our 2021 Spring Fiction Preview

By 49thShelf Staff

Exciting debuts, and new releases by Christy Ann Conlin, Pasha Malla, Eva Stachniak, Jael Richardson, and more.

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Book Cover Better Luck Next Time

Patriarchy Lies: Women Are Funny

By Kate Hilton

A funny woman reading list by the author of new novel Better Luck Next Time.

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 The Chat with Eve Lazarus

The Chat with Eve Lazarus

By Trevor Corkum

Eve Lazarus has drawn back the curtain on some of Vancouver’s secret places. Vancouver Exposed: Searching for the City …

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Launchpad: ALL I ASK, by Eva Crocker

49thShelf Launchpad Logo

Last spring—as launches, festivals and other events were cancelled across the country—49th Shelf helped Canadian authors launch more than 50 new books with LAUNCHPAD. And now we're back this fall, but with a twist.

LAUNCHPAD 2.0 features new releases selected by great Canadian writers who've chosen books that absolutely deserve to find their way into the hands of readers.

We're kicking off with Zoe Whittall, who is championing Eva Crocker's debut novel, All I Ask.

Whittall writes, "All I Ask is a debut novel from celebrated Newfoundland short story writer Eva Crocker. It starts out with a bang—Stacey, our 26-year-old narrator, wakes up to the cops barging into her house and confiscating all computers and phones from the premises for potential illegal material, and the book follows Stacey's life in the aftermath of that confusing violation. An often funny, beautifully written novel that often reminded me of a play, set in the arts community in St. John's as Stacey hustles for acting work, falls in love and figures out who she is.

****

49th Shelf: W …

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Launchpad: TIFF: A LIFE OF TIMOTHY FINDLEY, by Sherrill Grace

Launchpad Logo

Last spring—as launches, festivals and other events were cancelled across the country—49th Shelf helped Canadian authors launch more than 50 new books with LAUNCHPAD. And now we're back this fall, but with a twist.

LAUNCHPAD 2.0 features new releases selected by great Canadian writers who've chosen books that absolutely deserve to find their way into the hands of readers.

Today Andrew Pyper is recommending new biography Tiff: A Life of Timothy Findley, by Sherrill Grace.

Pyper writes: “Tiff is a biography of becoming. Timothy Findley was a writer, but one who arrived at the vocation by way of the stage, a storyteller who shifted from the speaking of others’ words to the crafting of his own. Sherrill Grace brings thoughtful attention to both the man and the work, the latter of which notably marked the national literature by its particular obsessions and inventions.”

*****

Book Cover Tiff

49th Shelf: What particular thing have you achieved with this book of which you are especially proud? 

Sherrill Grace: I believe I have brought Timothy Findley to public atten …

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Launchpad: THE GHOST IN THE HOUSE, by Sara O'Leary

Launchpad Logo

Last spring—as launches, festivals and other events were cancelled across the country—49th Shelf helped Canadian authors launch more than 50 new books with LAUNCHPAD. And now we're back this fall, but with a twist.

LAUNCHPAD 2.0 features new releases selected by great Canadian writers who've chosen books that absolutely deserve to find their way into the hands of readers.

Today, Christy-Ann Conlin is championing The Ghost in the House, by Sara O'Leary.

Conlin writes, "This beguiling page turner of a novel is a story for all seasons—the seasons of the year, and yes, the seasons of our lives. Fans of Virginia Woolf, Henry James, and Emily Dickinson will love this tale of Fay, told in a seamless cresting wave of a narrative which breaks in an unexpected ending. The book opens with Fay at home, but nothing is quite right, not what she’s wearing, or that she’s lying on top of the piano. I don’t want to give away the surprising plot and its twists, so trust me when I say that Fay is not quite at home in this world, and not quite sure who has invited her back.

Book Cover The Ghost in the House

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Launchpad: ANGEL WING SPLASH PATTERN, by Richard Van Camp

Launchpad Logo

Last spring—as launches, festivals and other events were cancelled across the country—49th Shelf helped Canadian authors launch more than 50 new books with LAUNCHPAD. And now we're back this fall, but with a twist.

LAUNCHPAD 2.0 features new releases selected by great Canadian writers who've chosen books that absolutely deserve to find their way into the hands of readers.

Today, award-winning storyteller Richard Van Camp is championing the first book by young emerging author...Richard Van Camp. That's right! Van Camp's first book Angel Wing Splash Pattern has been reissued in a Special 20th Anniversary Edition.

Van Camp writes in the new introduction to his book:

"Angel Wing Splash Pattern, looking back now, was me using the short story as a celebration of being Tłįchϙ Dene and being raised in Fort Smith, NWT. Our home growing up was filled with music, books, stories, visiting, laughter, and a fun sense of community… I’ve braided the best of the ’80s with the best of the North in Angel Wing Splash Pattern, and, typing here in our home wit …

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Launchpad: CROSSHAIRS, by Catherine Hernandez

Launchpad Logo

Last spring—as launches, festivals and other events were cancelled across the country—49th Shelf helped Canadian authors launch more than 50 new books with LAUNCHPAD. And now we're back this fall, but with a twist.

LAUNCHPAD 2.0 features new releases selected by great Canadian writers who've chosen books that absolutely deserve to find their way into the hands of readers.

Today, Carrianne Leung is championing Catherine Hernandez's much anticipated second novel, Crosshairs.

Leung writes, "Crosshairs is a blistering page-turner. One can describe it as dystopic fiction, but Catherine Hernadez is presenting us with something much more prescient to consider. Through the richly drawn characters of Kay, Liz, Bahadur and others, the novel acts as a provocation and a challenge for readers to locate ourselves. Crosshairs offers a glance into a world that is possible if we continue on a trajectory that is frightfully present. Most importantly, Crosshairs asks us what we will do to resist and build a better future when faced with such momentous and dangerous times."

******

Book Cover Crosshairs

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