Off the Page

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

Latest Blog Posts
Book Cover Hour of the Crab

Other Beings, Other Minds

By Patricia Robertson

A recommended reading list by author of the new book Hour of the Crab.

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Book Cover WANTED! Criminals of the Animal Kingdom

Notes from a Children's Librarian: Life Sciences

By Julie Booker

Celebrate Earth Day with these fun and inspiring picture books.

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Book Cover Constant Nobody

Courage from the Outliers

By Michelle Butler Hallett

A recommended reading list by the author of new novel Constant Nobody.

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The Chat with Krista Foss

The Chat with Krista Foss

By Trevor Corkum

With Half Life (McClelland & Stewart), Krista Foss has delivered a spectacular sophomore novel, one that entangles compl …

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Book Cover The Memory Collectors

8 Books for Fans of Fabulism

By Kim Neville

A recommended reading list by Kim Neville, whose debut novel is The Memory Collectors.

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Book Cover The Octopus Has Three Hearts

Exciting Fiction to Read This Spring

By Kerry Clare

New books by Camilla Gibb, Marissa Stapley, Wayne Grady, Uzma Jalaluddin, and more! Sme of the novels and short fiction …

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Book Cover Outside You Notice

New Picture Books for Spring

By Kerry Clare

A selection of gorgeous new picture books celebrating new life, hope, nature, and mindfulness.

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Book Cover Half Life

She Blinded Me With Science

By Krista Foss

When wonder and inquiry are subverted and held up to the light by these writers, the results are often uncomfortable, al …

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Book Cover Fairy Science

Notes from a Children's Librarian: Celebrating STEM

By Julie Booker

This list includes all kinds of STEM’ers—science enthusiasts, builders, inventors, real life engineers—in both fic …

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Book Cover The Hill

Pairs Well: Ali Bryan's Awesome YA Reading List

By Ali Bryan

Celebrated novelist Bryan shares great titles to complement her latest book.

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Can-Lit's Sexy Side

It's Valentine's Day, and we've been all about the bookish love over here at 49thShelf with our Feel the Love Valentine's Day Contest (whose deadline is February 14th at midnight). But we also wanted to take a moment to highlight the racier elements of romance, that sexier side of Can-Lit. Because it's true, (surely you knew?), that Can-Lit has a sexy side. We've put together this list of Canada's sexiest books with input from some of the nation's best readers. If you notice any glaring omissions, let us know in the comments below and we'll add them to the list.

Maidenhead by Tamara Faith Berger: In 2012, this was the book that everybody was talking about, and it was showing up everywhere on 2012 year-end best-of lists. As Stacey-May Fowles wrote in The National Post, ''For those of us who secretly read V.C. Andrews and The Story of O under the covers with flashlights in early adolescence, Tamara Faith Berger is our grown-up literary saint."

SECRET by L. Marie Adeline: Widely touted as "the Maidenhead of 2013," the pseudonymous Adeline was recently out …

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Feel the Love Valentine's Day Contest

Valentines Book

Photo Credit: Eric M. Martin

Whether or not you’ve found your one true love, you’ve read enough to know what it should feel like—and it ain’t all pretty. For Valentine’s Day, help us create a list of Canadian books with powerful love stories in them. The love can end well, it can end tragically, but it must have made your heart beat harder or broken it at least a little.

We've started off the Feel the Love list, so add your book(s) by:

By adding a book to our list in any of these three ways, you get entered automatically into our contest to win a $150 gift certificate for books at the bookstore of your choice. You can also enter by sharing the list on Twitter or by sharing one of our FB posts about the contest (for both options add #cdnbooklove).

Contest ends at midnight on February 14, 2013. We will announce the winner February 15!

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P.K. Page: I could do with the good solid reality of you

Book Cover Where the Nights Are Twice As Long

Under the covers of Where the Nights Are Twice as Long: Love Letters of Canadian Poets, David Eso and Jeanette Lynes collect letters and epistolary poems from more than 120 Canadian poets, including Pauline Johnson, Malcolm Lowry, Louis Riel, Alden Nowlan, Anne Szumigalski , Leonard Cohen, John Barton, and Di Brandt, and many others, encompassing the breadth of this country's English literary history.

We are pleased to feature this excerpt, a love letter from P.K. Page to F.R. Scott, a letter full of longing and love from one poet to another. And learn more about the anthology at http://wherethenights.tumblr.com. 

*****

P.K. Page to F.R. Scott Friday, June 30, 1944

Friday

I’m sorry to write rot.

1x1 has just arrived. Lambie-pie how swell of you. I have been gobbling it up & not understanding but getting the feeling & going back & regobbling & understanding better & all in all feeling it’s my birth day or yours or something. Cummings seems to be a sort of carrier pigeon flying back & forth between us.

I have decided to leave here on the 14th & that is definite. Will arrive at New River the same day — or night rather — if I can connect with a bus. I’m quite excited about it. From now on I’m going to try to work like stink on the histories to make enough money …

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Who Wrote the Book of Love?

Whether yours is a happy Valentines, or an unhappy Valentines (sob), there's a book on love on our list that will suit you perfectly. 

*****

F*ck Love: One Shrink's Sensible Advice for Finding a Lasting Relationship, by Michael Bennett, MD, and Sarah Bennett

About the book: From the New York Times bestselling authors of the “refreshingly blunt” (Harper’s Bazaar) F*ck Feelings—this seriously irreverent roadmap reveals the essentials to look for when you're done being suckered by the promise of true love and want help seeking a real, lasting relationship. 

Many people have opinions on the subject of romantic relationships—why they’re so hard to find, so difficult to maintain, so easily analogized to planets and pets—but the real source of trouble isn’t too complicated: it’s that we are choosing our partners based on love, excitement, lust, attraction, neediness…on feelings.

Instead of helping readers find true love (also known as “total bullshit”), Dr. Michael Bennett and his comedy-writing daughter Sarah reveal the practical, commonsense criteria for good partnerships that will allow real love to develop, even after the romance has died down or been buried completely. Finding a good partner involves losing preconceived notions about who your dre …

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What Is Love: A Romancelandia Roundtable

Romancelandia. It's a sprawling and fascinating place, and some of its most exciting authors are here together (virtually) to talk about the genre, its challenges, and the very best parts of writing happily-ever-after.

*****

49th Shelf: Imagine you were welcoming a new reader to Romancelandia—can you provide a brief description of the lay of the land and its regions? Where in its world do you live?

Barb Curtis: Romancelandia is a world where lovers of the romance genre (both readers and writers) can connect over all things romance. If you follow the hashtag on Twitter, you’ll discover industry news and discussions, book recommendations based on your favourite authors or tropes, and reviews. It’s also a place where important conversations are happening about politics, women’s rights, and representation. It’s a community that comes together and stands up for all that romance is and can evolve into.

Romancelandia is just a click away and all you need to fit in is a love for any genre of happily-ever-afters—from historical romance to paranormal romance to romantic suspense.

Kelly Bowen: What a fun question! Here goes, according to my handy guidebook interpretation (which, of course, is not the only one!):

Romancelandia is a huge, fabulous world that welcomes a …

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