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

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book cover eat salt/gaze at the ocean

Most Anticipated: Our 2020 Fall Poetry Preview

By 49th Shelf Staff

Our Fall Preview continues with poetry, an intriguing selection of debuts, collected works, and excellent new releases.

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Shelf Talkers: Books for Summer 2020

Shelf Talkers: Books for Summer 2020

By Robert J Wiersema

Here are our booksellers’ picks for your endless summer days. And if you exhaust this list, remember, more recommendat …

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The Chat with Madhur Anand

The Chat with Madhur Anand

By Trevor Corkum

Our first conversation this month is with writer Madhur Anand, whose brilliant experimental memoir This Red Line Goes St …

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Awesome August Giveaway

Awesome August Giveaway

By Kiley Turner

We hope you've had some wonderful summer escapes by now – we all deserve some magic this season! Today, we're highligh …

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Book Cover Blue Sky Kingdom

Let's Get Out of This Town: Literary Travel

By Kerry Clare

Journey through place and time with this collection of new and forthcoming travel books, spotlighting some of the best t …

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Book Cover Bird's Eye View

Ann Eriksson Launches BIRD'S EYE VIEW

By Kerry Care

"Anyone, young or old, who wants to learn more about the birds that live in their neighbourhood or on the other side of …

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The Chat with John Elizabeth Stintzi

The Chat with John Elizabeth Stintzi

By Trevor Corkum

Writer John Elizabeth Stinzi has the distinction of publishing two fabulous debuts a week apart this past spring. On The …

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Robert Bateman

Notes from a Children's Librarian: Bird Books

By Julie Booker

A flock of tales to get young readers into birding.

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Book Cover Hope Matters

Most Anticipated: Our 2020 Fall Nonfiction Preview

By 49th Shelf Staff

We're looking forward to books about history, true crime, memoir, nature, music, dance, food, and so much more. There's …

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Book Cover The Woman Before Wallis

Exploring Sister Bonds

By Bryn Turnbull

One of our most anticipated debuts of the season, Bryn Turnbull's The Woman Before Wallis, tells the true story of the A …

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A Sense of Place: THE BIRTH YARD Book List

The Birth Yard embodies a sense of place that I, as a woman, have always felt inside. I tried to recreate that sense—the internal anxious pang of walking home alone at night with keys between my knuckles, or that feeling of fearfulness when I turned on the news and was told my body was not mine by white right-wing politicians, etc.—into an external reality, "the Den," a cult that controls women’s bodies, fertility, their social and intellectual lives.

In the book, The Den is a dark place, under the guise of pleasantries—isolation from the hustle and bustle of the mainstream world. Sable knows it like the back of her hand. During the writing process, I even drew out a map of her home and of Ceres, her designated Birth Yard, to envision how I could interact with a setting that doesn’t actually exist.

Each of the selected books on my reading list similarly captures a sense of place, and these are places that have touched me as a reader, from childhood to present time. I tried to list them in the order I remember reading them.

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Anne of Green Gable …

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