Off the Page

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

Latest Blog Posts
Book Cover Indians on Vacation

Most Anticipated: Our 2020 Fall Fiction Preview

By 49th Shelf Staff

New books by old favourites, sparkling debuts, and more than a few timely books about pandemics are among the titles tha …

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Book Cover County Heirlooms

Summer Eats: Kohlrabi Slaw, from COUNTY HEIRLOOMS

By Natalie Wollenberg and Leigh Nash

"I’ve always been impressed that seeds will produce all the food you need to live. It’s miraculous."

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Book Cover Cedar and Salt

3 Great Recipes from the 2020 Taste Canada Awards Shortlist

By Kerry Clare

Foodies, take note! Great recipes from celebrated cookbooks.

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Book Cover On Nostalgia

Launchpad: On Nostalgia, by David Berry

By Kerry Clare

"Berry’s subject is a wide-ranging one, but he pulls off the impressive feat of covering plenty of ground in a concise …

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Literatures, Communities and Learnings

Literatures, Communities, and Learning

By Kerry Clare

9 conversations with Indigenous writers about the relationship between Indigenous literatures and learning, and how thei …

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The Chat with Faye Guenther

The Chat with Faye Guenther

By Trevor Corkum

Swimmers in Winter (Invisible Publishing) is Faye Guenther’s debut collection of short fiction. These six stories expl …

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Book Cover Little Secrets

Summer Reading Starts Here

By Kerry Clare

Summer is not cancelled, and summer reading isn't either. We've got thrillers, epics, drama, historical fiction, and so …

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Cover Summer Feet

Picture Book Sneak Peek: Summer Feet, by Sheree Fitch and Carolyn Fisher

By Kerry Clare

Summer starts HERE with this glorious celebration of childhood...and filthy feet.

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On Our Radar

tagged : on our radar

"On Our Radar" is a monthly 49th Shelf series featuring books with buzz worth sharing. We bring you links to features and reviews about great new books in a multitude of genres from all around the Internet.

*****

I Was There the Night He Died by Ray Robertson

From David Worsley's review in Cord Community: "I Was There The Night He Died doesn’t read like a lot of Canadian fiction. It’s urban, has a lot of alt-country and obscure rock and roll in it, and it’s not trying to turn anyone into a better human being. It’s just a great story populated by some very real, very flawed characters.

Granted, no one who works for the Chatham Chamber of Commerce will be too thrilled, but I think many of the rest of us will remember fondly a life not too far removed from our own, and have a laugh on the way."

****

Grayling by Gillian Wigmore

From Caroline Woodward's review in BC Booklook: "Grayling is a page-turner that wears its dense layers lightly. Wigmore’s pitch-perfect language and brilliantly-paced unspooling of the plot (think fishing line, dancing here and …

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On Our Radar: Morissette, Nakamura, Shin, Freedman, and Burrows

"On Our Radar" is a monthly 49th Shelf series featuring books with buzz worth sharing. We bring you links to features and reviews about great new books in a multitude of genres from all around the Internet.

*****

New Tab by Guillaume Morissette 

From Vicki Ziegler's review at Bookgaga:

"Morissette’s quietly witty novel is set in up to the moment Montreal and traces a year in the life of 27-year-old Thomas, a disaffected video game designer looking languidly and yearningly, but not without an undercurrent of genuine determination, to change career and personal directions. Against a blurred-around-the-edges backdrop of dodgy accommodations, fleeting and vague relationships, substance over-consumption (it’d be harsh to call it abuse because it seems so tinged with a kind of innocence), Thomas makes his way. The reader peeks over Thomas’ shoulder at email and Facebook chat clues as to how he progresses, professionally and emotionally."

*****

Peach Girl by Raymond Nakamura and Rebecca Bender

From Charis Cotter's review at the National Reading Campaign:

"Nak …

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On Our Radar

"On Our Radar" is a monthly 49th Shelf series featuring books with buzz worth sharing. We bring you links to features and reviews about great new books in a multitude of genres from all around the Internet.

*****

How Does a Single Blade of Grass Thank the Sun? by Doretta Lau

From Mark Sampson's review at Free Range Reading

"While the marketing bumpf promises a 'whimsical new take on what it means to be Canadian,' what we actually get is a wild, smash-mouth array of wholly original pieces, a deliberate hodgepodge that puts us an entire galaxy away from the staid 'immigrant-as-nationalism' narrative that is so overdone in our country’s literature. Lau’s pieces run the gamut from the violent and vulgar to the tender and touching. Yes, most of her characters are Asian Canadians struggling to find their way in the world, but each tale stands on its own as a singular thing, carefully wrought with an eye toward pristine originality."

*****

Yaw, by Dani Couture

From Maisonneuve's "Two Poets Discuss" feature

"YAW, as a title, isn’t just appropriate because …

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On Our Radar

tagged : on our radar

"On Our Radar" is a monthly 49th Shelf series featuring books with buzz worth sharing. We bring you links to features and reviews about great new books in a multitude of genres from all around the Internet.

*****

Interference, by Michelle Berry

From Julianne Isaacs' review at The Winnipeg Review

"My friend, this is the book for you. Ominous as its themes may be, Interference is tightly plotted and neatly executed, very nearly perfectly paced, and satisfyingly complex—but it is also escapism in its purest form, and a sheer delight to read.

The inhabitants of Parkville’s Edgewood Drive are normal, familiar. Ralph and Claire are coping with the demands of chemotherapy on Claire’s cancer-stricken body; their teenage children are attempting to cope. Tom and Maria are occupied with worry over their obsessive-compulsive daughter, Becky, and ignoring the problems in their marriage. Across the street, Trish, a busy mother and small-business owner, cleans up after her kids and screens all her calls when she’s finally alone in the house. Next door to Trish lives Dayton, fresh off the plane from California with a new baby—and no sign of a husband. A few streets away live peripheral characters—Michael, a disfigured car-wash employee, and Leah, the mother of a disable …

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On Our Radar

"On Our Radar" is a monthly 49th Shelf series featuring books with buzz worth sharing. We bring you links to features and reviews about great new books in a multitude of genres from all around the Internet.

*****

Not the First Thing I've Missed, by Fionncara MacEoin

Reviewed by Emily Davidson at ARC Poetry Magazine

"Not the First Thing I’ve Missed, Saskatoon poet Fionncara MacEoin’s debut collection, anthologizes the break and swell of the everyday. The book indexes shortcomings, poverty, addiction, the transience of home, and the promising breadth of nature. Despite the book’s title, it is hard to imagine, with her spare, merciless, fearless verse, that MacEoin misses much of anything at all."

*****

Will Starling, by Ian Weir

Reviewed by Steven Brown in the Vancouver Sun:

"So what exactly is the story about? That would be telling. It’s a rollicking good yarn with many twists and turns. It’s a mystery solved. It’s moonlit graveyards and surgeon’s tables, primitive instruments and strange experiments. It’s dastardly doings too ’orrible to …

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