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

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Book Cover bread and water

Most Anticipated: Our Fall 2021 Nonfiction Preview

By 49thShelf Staff

New books about everything, including food, beauty, art, travel, singing, healing, grieving, shopping, aging, and so muc …

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Book Cover Unlocking

CanLit Yearning

By Amy LeBlanc

"At the heart of my novella and in each book on this CanLit list is a sense of desire or a yearning (for belonging, iden …

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The Chat with Rev. Dr. Cheri DiNovo

The Chat with Rev. Dr. Cheri DiNovo

By Trevor Corkum

This week we’re in conversation with political trailblazer Rev. Dr. Cheri DiNovo, whose memoir, The Queer Evangelist, …

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Book Cover The Prairie Chicken Dance Tour

Most Anticipated: Our 2021 Fall Fiction Preview

By 49th Shelf Staff

With new books by Miriam Toews, Dawn Dumont, Douglas Coupland, Marie-Renee Lavoie, Omar El Akkad, Zoe Whittall, Trudy Mo …

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Book Cover The Quiet is Loud

Speculative Fiction: Vast and Thrilling

By Samantha Garner

"As a reader and a lightly superstitious human, I can’t deny the pull of the unusual, the not-quite-real. I love books …

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Book Cover Travels in Cuba

Writing with Four Hands

By Marie-Louise Gay and David Homel

"That’s what the Travels series is all about: sending a resourceful, observant, unafraid (well, sometimes a little afr …

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The Chat with GG's Literature Award Winner Anne Carson

The Chat with GG's Literature Award Winner Anne Carson

By Trevor Corkum

“Norma Jeane Baker of Troy leverages a millennia-old story of beauty and war to animate a history of the male gaze and …

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Book Cover The Hunted

The Places We'll Go

By Roz Nay

Pack your fictional bags at your peril! A recommended reading list by Roz Nay, whose latest thriller is The Hunted.

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Book Cover Ontario Picnics

Ontario Picnics

By Lindy Mechefske

A celebration of dining in the outdoors from new book ONTARIO PICNICS.

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Most Anticipated: Our Spring 2019 Nonfiction Preview

Our 2019 Spring Preview continues with nonfiction, featuring books on infertility and parenting, trans experience, island life, creativity, grief and art, nature, Chinese restaurants, menstruation, microbes, poetry and cod. And (obviously!) so much more. 

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Through Not Around (January), edited by Allison McDonald Ace, Ariel Ng Bourbonnais, and Caroline Starr, offers personal stories about what it's like to go through the emotional and physical facets of infertility, miscarriage, and pregnancy loss. Constance Backhouse tells the story of Canada’s first two female Supreme Court judges in Two Firsts: Bertha Wilson and Claire L'Heureux-Dubé at the Supreme Court of Canada (March). With seven kids between them and millions of fans on social media, Catherine Belknap and Nathalie Telfer get real about the parts of parenting that somehow don’t make the Instagram feed in Cat and Nat’s Mom Truths (April). Joan Boxall’s DrawBridge (May) is a sister’s discovery of the healing power of art as she searches for connection with her schizophrenic brother. And Most of What Follows Is True (February), by Michael Crummey, is an examination of the complex relationship between fact and fiction, between the “real world” and the stories we tell to explain the world to ou …

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Most Anticipated: Our 2019 Spring Poetry Preview

Post-Groundhog Day, we're looking forward to spring with our Poetry Preview, featuring new books by established poets and exciting debuts. 

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Set against a backdrop of political turmoil in the United States, James Arthur’s The Suicide's Son (April) is about the complicated personal histories that parents inherit, add to, and pass on to their children. Gathering narratives that feel both ancient and modern, John Wall Barger forges an apocalyptic vision without sacrificing poetry's underlying sense of joy, humour, and revelation in The Mean Game (April). Mike Barnes' Braille Rainbow (April) is about perception across the sensory spectrum and the arc of learning about the world and about oneself. And breth (April) presents both new and selected poems from legendary Canadian sound, visual, and performance poet bill bissett. 

Cass Blanchard’s Fresh Pack of Smokes (April) is a collection of direct and honest first-person narrative poems about the author’s experiences living homeless in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Award-winner Ali Blythe’s secon …

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Most Anticipated: Our 2019 Books for Young Readers Spring Preview

Last but certainly not least in our 2019 Spring Preview is our Books for Young Readers list, featuring books that are sure to delight readers of all ages. 

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Picture Books

A little girl growing up on the prairies stands at the window and waves to the train engineer going by in A Little House in a Big Place, by Alison Acheson, illustrated by Valériane LeBlond, a book that explores the magic of a connection made between strangers while also pondering the idea of growing up. Albert just wants to read his book in peace—why won't his friends give him some quiet? Isabelle Arsenault's latest is Albert's Quiet Quest (May), and it  explores the importance of finding alone time. Cale Atkinson's Where Oliver Fits (April) looks at the highs and lows of learning to be yourself and shows that fitting in isn't always the best fit. Based on author Susan Avingaq’s childhood memories of growing up in an iglu,The Pencil introduces young readers to the idea of using things wisely. Saumiya Balasubramaniam’s When I Found Grandma (March), illustrated by Qin Leng, is an insightful and endearing portrayal of a cross-cultural grandparent-grandchild relationship that is evolving and deeply loving. Summer North Coming-Winter North Coming (March), by Doris Bentley and Jessica Bromley …

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