Off the Page

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

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COVID–19 Teacher Diary: A New Way to Celebrate the Forest of Reading

COVID–19 Teacher Diary: A New Way to Celebrate the Forest of Reading

By Jennifer Byrne

Forest of Reading is Canada’s largest recreational reading program, celebrating Canadian books and authors. In the eye …

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Covers of books celebrated this spring by regional awards

Big Fiction

By Kerry Clare

Fall book season is exciting with its televised ceremonies and fancy galas, but spring is just as interesting, with regi …

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Book Cover Sister Dear

10 Unapologetically Twisted Reads

By Hannah Mary McKinnon

Ten crime reads to help you discover why authors in Canada have their own hashtag (#ReadTheNorth), and deserve a place o …

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Book Cover Murmurations

Launchpad: Murmurations, by Annick MacAskill

By Kerry Clare

Populating her poems with birdsong and murmurings of the natural world, MacAskill highlights how poets and lovers share …

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COVID–19 Teacher Diary: Time to Slow Down, with Deborah Ellis & Richard Scrimger

COVID–19 Teacher Diary: Time to Slow Down, with Deborah Ellis & Richard Scrimger

By Erika MacNeil

This is the second pair in a series of interviews with a host of Forest of Reading authors interviewed by Erika MacNeil, …

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Book Cover One Earth

Launchpad: One Earth: People of Color Protecting Our Planet, by Anuradha Rao

By Kerry Clare

This is a book to be celebrated and shared!” —Elizabeth May

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Book Cover In Veritas

Launchpad: In Veritas, by C.J. Lavigne

By Kerry Clare

“The perfect mix of incandescent writing and enthralling storytelling. C.J. Lavigne has given us something we can beli …

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Book Cover See you On the Internet

Avery Swartz on How to Win with Digital Marketing

By Kerry Clare

Avery Swartz on why digital marketing matters now, what she's learned from her own missteps, and special advice for publ …

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Book Cover Grandmother School

Launchpad: Grandmother School, by Rina Singh and Ellen Rooney

By Kerry Clare

"How great a treat it will be to read this book in a grandmother’s lap."

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Book Cover Maknho and Memory

Launchpad: Makhno and Memory, by Sean Patterson

By Kerry Clare

The story of "the Ukrainian Robin Hood."

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Zoe Whittall's Contemporary Queer Fiction List

To celebrate Pride this week, we're pleased to feature Zoe Whittall's Contempory Queer Fiction List:

Skim: a graphic novel with words by Mariko Tamaki, illustrations by Jillian Tamaki: A story about a lesbian student-teacher affair at a thinly fictionalized Havergal College.

 

 


mosh_pit

Mosh Pit by Kristyn Dunnion: a YA novel about young punk rock queers.

 

 

 

 

 

Missed Her by Ivan Coyote: This is the most recent book I've read by Ivan and it had me weeping and I'm *really* not easily moved but actually I would urge you to buy all of Ivan's books of stories, or Bow Grip, Ivan's novel, which was excellent.

 

 

 


sixmetres

Six Metres of Pavement by F …

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Friend. Follow. Text: Shawn Syms on Stories From Living Online

cover friend follow text

Twitter lit? Facebook fiction? Here at 49th Shelf, we use the online realm to bring books and readers together. A new book, Friend. Follow. Text. #storiesFromLivingOnline, really takes this idea to heart. It consists of stories where the ways we connect online—chat sessions, Facebook status updates, website comment threads—are incorporated directly into the narrative. We asked editor Shawn Syms to talk about some of the stories in the book and the ways in which contemporary writing is being increasingly enhanced by the language and format of social media.

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How we meet each other, talk to one another, experience our lives together: it’s all changing. The possibility of being constantly online—while dancing in a big, sweaty crowd or standing alone on a quiet, snowy mountaintop—has started to permanently alter how we communicate as a culture. Whether we’re talking about sharing photos, trading tweets or texting exes, some find this delightful, others disconcerting.

This shift has affected us as readers. Curled up in bed reading 1984 on a tablet or getting breaking news while sitting on the bus, our eyes scan more information of myriad types in many different ways now. And it’s starting to affect how authors construct their works, too. Is there a plac …

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Shelf Talkers: Private Detectives, Secret Mommies, Suspicious Men, and More

Shhh...

Listen, do you hear that?

That’s the sound of hearts breaking across the country as another summer comes to a close. I know, you don’t want to talk about it, or acknowledge the reality of the situation, but it’s time. The leaves have already started to turn here in Victoria, and the nights are growing cool. There might be a renewed blast in September, but the truth is undeniable: the summer is on the wane. Fall is upon us, and winter (forgive me, Tyrion Lannister) is coming.

For some, though, the end of summer is a blessing. Yes, I’m talking about readers.

With the cooling of the year comes the fall book season, a treasure trove of new releases and prize shortlists, award ceremonies, and new favourites. But what are you to do? How will you possibly navigate the torrents of new releases flooding into the world?

Well, you should ask an expert. Perhaps one of our celebrated independent booksellers, custodians of the printed page. But why stop at one? Why not look to a number of these heroic readers from across the country?

Here, with their first recommendations of the fall, a selection of hot new reads for kids and adults (and those in between), along with a timely old favourite, are some of Canada’s finest booksellers. Spring, summer, fall, winter, they’re here for all of us, constantly reading, and eager to share what they’ve found.

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The Bookseller: Kim Ferguson, Kaleidescope Kids’ Books (Ottawa, ON)

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The Chat With 2016 Giller Finalist Zoe Whittall

Whittall_Zoe_portrait

Our next interview in this year’s Giller Prize special, generously sponsored by Publishing@SFU, is with Zoe Whittall, author of the shortlisted title The Best Kind of People. Her spellbinding novel bravely and lucidly explores the lives of the family members of a popular small-town teacher accused of sexual assault. 

Zoe Whittall's debut novel, Bottle Rocket Hearts, made the Globe and Mail Top 100 Books of the Year and CBC Canada Reads’ Top Ten Essential Novels of the Decade. Her second novel Holding Still for as Long as Possible won a Lambda Literary Award and was an American Library Association Stonewall Honor Book. She was awarded the K.M. Hunter Artist Award for Literature in 2016.

Author photo credit: Vivek Shraya

TheChat-Giller-2016

 

THE CHAT WITH ZOE WHITTALL

How was The Best Kind of People born?

I was trying to write another book and was having a hard time of it, and I was listening to The Current. It was around the time of the Russell Williams case. There was a lot of talk about his wife and how could she not have known. They were interviewing a therapist who …

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The Chat with Zoey Leigh Peterson

Peterson, Zoey Leigh -- credit Vivienne McMaster

TREVOR CORKUM cropped

It’s a pleasure to be in conversation this week with Vancouver writer Zoey Leigh Peterson. Her sublime first novel, Next Year, For Sure, is out this month with Doubleday Canada.

Kirkus Reviews calls the book “a crisp, exciting exploration of love, friendship, and everything in between” and says “Peterson’s one to watch”.

Zoey Leigh Peterson was born in England, grew up all over the United States, and now lives in Canada. Her fiction has appeared in The Walrus, EVENT, Grain, and PRISM international and has been anthologized in The Journey Prize Stories and Best Canadian Stories. She is the recipient of the Far Horizons Award for Short Fiction (The Malahat Review) and the Peter Hinchcliffe Fiction Award (The New Quarterly). Next Year, For Sure is her first novel.

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The CHAT WITH ZOEY LEIGH PETERSON

Trevor Corkum: Your novel Next …

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