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

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Book Cover Big Reader

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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Mystery Minute: A New 49th Shelf Series

There are 20 mysteries here, and every one of them has great reviews. We have the utmost confidence that some of you can make your way through at least half of them by the end of June. Or sooner?

Mystery Minute is a new 49th Shelf series that will run four times a year in the spring, summer, fall, and winter.

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The Finger's Twist, by Lee Lamothe (Turnstone Press)

Charlie Tate and Elodie Gray make a striking couple. Charlie is a shaven-headed weightlifter who has worked as a seaman, carnival huckster and hustler and now earns his keep as an unlicensed private investigator specializing in extricating clients’ money from thieves. Elodie Gray comes from money—lots of money. An accident when she was a teen confined her to a wheelchair, so she does the inside work—using her computer knowledge to find people who want to remain hidden.

In The Finger’s Twist, Charles and Elodie are hired to investigate a bombing attempt at the Ontario legislature, purportedly committed by an anarchist group called The Black Bloc. While the city drops into paranoia fuelled by the police and the mayor, Charlie and Elodie try to keep the black sheep daughter of a prominent family from a certain prison sentence.

The Finger’s Twist is more than a whodunit—it’s the story of a romanti …

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The Chat with Jessica Westhead

JWesthead-photo-49thShelfTheChat

Jessica Westhead’s work is well known to fans across Canada. She returns to The Chat this month to talk about latest novel, the psychological thriller Worry.

Taking place over 48 hours in remote cottage country, it explores the complex relationship between best friends Ruth and Stef.

Quill & Quire says “Westhead is a concise wordsmith; Worry is a quick and engrossing read."
 
Jessica Westhead’s fiction has been shortlisted for the CBC Literary Awards, selected for the Journey Prize anthology, and nominated for a National Magazine Award. Her short stories have appeared in major literary journals in Canada, the US and the UK, including Hazlitt, Maisonneuve, Indiana Review and Hamish Hamilton’s Five Dials. She is the author of the novel Pulpy & Midge and the critically acclaimed short story collections Things Not to Do and And Also Sharks, which was a Globe and Mail Top 100 Book, a Kobo’s Best eBook of the Year and a finalist for the Danuta Gleed Literary Award. Westhead is a creative writing instructor at the Chang School of Continuing Education at Ryerson University.

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Trevor Corkum: Worry is such a fraught novel, tense in so many ways. What made you want to write this kind of psychological thriller? In what ways would you say this is a

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