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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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Most Anticipated: Our Spring 2017 Poetry Preview

In February it's necessary to be looking ahead toward brighter, sunnier things, and so we're dreaming of April, daffodils, and National Poetry Month. Spring heralds the arrival of so many fantastic poetry collections, and these are the ones we're most anticipating. 

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Book Cover No TV for Woodpeckers

The latest title in Wilfred Laurier University Press’s Poetry Series is Certain Details: The Poetry of Nelson Ball, selected by Stuart Ross. In the pages of Gary Barwin's latest collection, No TV for Woodpeckers (April), the lines between haunting and hilarious, wondrous and weird, beautiful and beastly, are blurred in the most satisfying ways. Linda Besner’s Feel Happier in Nine Seconds (April) is a collection of poems in pursuit of knowledge and joy. In her second collection of poetry, Passage (out now), Gwen Benaway examines what it means to experience violence and speaks to the burden of survival. Roo Borson’s Cardinal in the Eastern White Cedar (March) is the latest from this Griffin Prize winner, completing her triptych of recent books. Stephen Cain’s new collection is False Friends (March), in which he takes inspiration from the linguistic term “false friends”—two words from different languages that appear to be related, but have fundamentally different meanings. 

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Most Anticipated: Our Fall 2017 Poetry Preview

Our Fall Preview continues with poetry, and an exploration of the incredible array of books readers will fall in love with this year.

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Winner of the 2016 Short Grain poetry prize and the 2015 Vancouver Writers’ Festival Contest, Susan Alexander’s first collection is The Dance Floor Tilts (October), poems that offer the possibility of finding the beauty within the everyday resonance of our own existence. All Manner of Tackle (October) brings together a selection of Brian Bartlett's literary prose from the past three decades. Award-winner Chris Banks’ The Cloud Versus Grand Unification Theory (September) attempts to find poetry, or what Gwendolyn MacEwen once called “a single symmetry,” amid the chaos of 21st-century life. And the poems in Lesley Belleau’s debut, Indianland (October), are written from a female and Indigenous point of view and incorporate Anishinaabemowin throughout.

While in the world of politics there are still climate change deniers, the poets stand as close to the shore as possible and watch the slow turning tide in Re …

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