Off the Page

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

Latest Blog Posts
The Chat with Richard Van Camp

The Chat with Richard Van Camp

By Trevor Corkum

Author Richard Van Camp is a celebrated and beloved storyteller who has worked across many genres. His latest offering, …

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Book Cover In Praise of Retreat

Why We All Need Breathing Space

By Kirsteen MacLeod

"Retreat is an adventure, and it involves uncertainty. Whether we go to the quiet woods to rest or make art, walk a pilg …

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Book Cover What the Kite Saw

What the Kite Saw: Stories of Children and Crisis

By Anne Laurel Carter

"Children have their own unique ways of facing a crisis. Yes, they need protecting, but they are also resilient. They ha …

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Shelf Talkers: Spring 2021

Shelf Talkers: Spring 2021

By Robert J. Wiersema

One of the best pieces of news in an otherwise dark year was the word that, despite the growth of online giants during t …

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Book Cover The Shadow Life

My Drifter Reading List

By Jen Sookfong Lee

A poetry list by the author of new book The Shadow List.

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Book Cover Fuse

Persian-Canadian Writers You've Got to Read

By Hollay Ghadery

So, where were all the Persian Canadian writers? It turns out, here all along, but not as represented as one might hope; …

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Tough Like Mum: An Essential Picture Book for Kids *and* Adults

Tough Like Mum: An Essential Picture Book for Kids *and* Adults

By Geoffrey Ruggero

Picture books are often written with young children as their intended audience. In Tough Like Mum, Lana Button provides …

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Book Cover We Jane

Aimee Wall on The Great Canadian Abortion Novel

By Kerry Clare

"I didn’t want the plot to turn on an abortion or the decision to have one. Any conflict or tension is rooted elsewher …

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Book Cover Because the Sun

Poetry That's Going to Grab You

By 49thShelf Staff

Great books to read before for National Poetry Month is out.

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The Chat with Christopher DiRaddo

The Chat with Christopher DiRaddo

By Trevor Corkum

Christopher DiRaddo’s sophomore novel, The Family Way, is a dynamic and rich exploration of queer family, parenthood, …

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Quick Hits: Strange and Otherworldly

In Quick Hits, we look through our stacks to bring you books that, when they were published, elicited a lot of reaction and praise. Our selections will include books published this year, last year, or any year. They will be from any genre. The best books are timeless, and they deserve to find readers whenever and wherever.

*****

fionavar

The Fionavar Tapestry Omnibus, by Guy Gavriel Kay

Genre: Fantasy

Publisher: HarperCollins

In the three novels that make up the Fionavar Tapestry trilogy (The Summer Tree, The Wandering Fire, and The Darkest Road), five University of Toronto students find themselves transported to a magical land to do battle with the forces of evil. At a Celtic conference, Kimberley, Kevin, Jennifer, Dave, and Paul meet wizard Loren Silvercloak. Returning with him to the magical kingdom of Fionavar to attend a festival, they soon discover that they are being drawn into the conflict between the dark and the light as Unraveller Rakoth Maugrim breaks free of his mountain prison and threatens the continued existence of Fionavar. They join mages, elves, dwarves, and the forces of the High King of Brennin to do battle with Maugrim, where Kay's imaginative powers as a world-builder come to the fore. He stunningly weaves Arthurian legends into the fluid mix of Celtic, …

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How to Kill a Vampire: Crucifixes, Holy Water and Other Sacred Objects

Book Cover How to Kill a Vampire

Happy Halloween! Though on the off chance your spooky night goes slightly wrong, we're bringing you an excerpt from the new book How to Kill a Vampire: Fangs in Folklore, Film and Fiction by Liisa Ladouceur. Part culture guide and all practical guide, Ladouceur lays out the rules of vampire engagement. Here, she outlines the uses of crucifixes, holy water and other sacred objects, dispelling myths and establishing facts citing sources from Bram Stroker to Buffy. 

*****

Vampire: “Ha ha! Garlic don’t work, boys!”

Edgar Frog: “Try the holy water, death breath!”

The Lost Boys

Traditionally, vampires fear religious symbols. The sacred objects most commonly used for protection are Christian: water blessed by a priest, the cross or crucifix and the holy Eucharist or “Host,”—a consecrated unleavened bread or wafer meant to represent the body of Jesus Christ. These are key items in any vampire killing kit and have been used to great effect by many a fictional slayer, sometimes to kill but mostly to repel or maim.

In Stoker’s Dracula, the crucifix plays a significant role in helping the characters evade vampire attacks. Early in the story, a superstitious gypsy forces a rosary on businessman Jonathan Harker for protection after hearing he is en route to visi …

Continue reading >

How to Kill a Vampire: Crucifixes, Holy Water and Other Sacred Objects

Book Cover How to Kill a Vampire

Happy Halloween! Though on the off chance your spooky night goes slightly wrong, we're bringing you an excerpt from the new book How to Kill a Vampire: Fangs in Folklore, Film and Fiction by Liisa Ladouceur. Part culture guide and all practical guide, Ladouceur lays out the rules of vampire engagement. Here, she outlines the uses of crucifixes, holy water and other sacred objects, dispelling myths and establishing facts citing sources from Bram Stroker to Buffy. 

*****

Vampire: “Ha ha! Garlic don’t work, boys!”

Edgar Frog: “Try the holy water, death breath!”

The Lost Boys

Traditionally, vampires fear religious symbols. The sacred objects most commonly used for protection are Christian: water blessed by a priest, the cross or crucifix and the holy Eucharist or “Host,”—a consecrated unleavened bread or wafer meant to represent the body of Jesus Christ. These are key items in any vampire killing kit and have been used to great effect by many a fictional slayer, sometimes to kill but mostly to repel or maim.

In Stoker’s Dracula, the crucifix plays a significant role in helping the characters evade vampire attacks. Early in the story, a superstitious gypsy forces a rosary on businessman Jonathan Harker for protection after hearing he is en route to visi …

Continue reading >

How to Kill a Vampire: Crucifixes, Holy Water and Other Sacred Objects

Book Cover How to Kill a Vampire

Happy Halloween! Though on the off chance your spooky night goes slightly wrong, we're bringing you an excerpt from the new book How to Kill a Vampire: Fangs in Folklore, Film and Fiction by Liisa Ladouceur. Part culture guide and all practical guide, Ladouceur lays out the rules of vampire engagement. Here, she outlines the uses of crucifixes, holy water and other sacred objects, dispelling myths and establishing facts citing sources from Bram Stroker to Buffy. 

*****

Vampire: “Ha ha! Garlic don’t work, boys!”

Edgar Frog: “Try the holy water, death breath!”

The Lost Boys

Traditionally, vampires fear religious symbols. The sacred objects most commonly used for protection are Christian: water blessed by a priest, the cross or crucifix and the holy Eucharist or “Host,”—a consecrated unleavened bread or wafer meant to represent the body of Jesus Christ. These are key items in any vampire killing kit and have been used to great effect by many a fictional slayer, sometimes to kill but mostly to repel or maim.

In Stoker’s Dracula, the crucifix plays a significant role in helping the characters evade vampire attacks. Early in the story, a superstitious gypsy forces a rosary on businessman Jonathan Harker for protection after hearing he is en route to visi …

Continue reading >

How to Kill a Vampire: Crucifixes, Holy Water and Other Sacred Objects

Book Cover How to Kill a Vampire

Happy Halloween! Though on the off chance your spooky night goes slightly wrong, we're bringing you an excerpt from the new book How to Kill a Vampire: Fangs in Folklore, Film and Fiction by Liisa Ladouceur. Part culture guide and all practical guide, Ladouceur lays out the rules of vampire engagement. Here, she outlines the uses of crucifixes, holy water and other sacred objects, dispelling myths and establishing facts citing sources from Bram Stroker to Buffy. 

*****

Vampire: “Ha ha! Garlic don’t work, boys!”

Edgar Frog: “Try the holy water, death breath!”

The Lost Boys

Traditionally, vampires fear religious symbols. The sacred objects most commonly used for protection are Christian: water blessed by a priest, the cross or crucifix and the holy Eucharist or “Host,”—a consecrated unleavened bread or wafer meant to represent the body of Jesus Christ. These are key items in any vampire killing kit and have been used to great effect by many a fictional slayer, sometimes to kill but mostly to repel or maim.

In Stoker’s Dracula, the crucifix plays a significant role in helping the characters evade vampire attacks. Early in the story, a superstitious gypsy forces a rosary on businessman Jonathan Harker for protection after hearing he is en route to visi …

Continue reading >

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