Off the Page

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

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Book Cover Sidewalk Flowers

Notes from a Children's Librarian: Books on Kindness and Caring

By [Kerry Clare]

Picture books featuring traits from character-based education. 

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Book Cover Hunting Houses

Your CAN'T FAIL Summer Fiction List

By [Kerry Clare]

Smart, gripping, utterly absorbing fiction that is guaranteed to make a perfect summer's day, well, even more perfect.

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The Chat With Michael Harris

The Chat With Michael Harris

By [Trevor Corkum]

On the heels of Michael Harris’s Governor General's Award-winning The End of Absence comes Solitude, an exploration of …

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Quick Hits: Stunning Fiction and Poetry PLUS a Brilliant Cookbook

Quick Hits: Stunning Fiction and Poetry PLUS a Brilliant Cookbook

By [Kiley Turner]

In Quick Hits, we look through our stacks to bring you books that, when they were published, elicited a lot of reaction …

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Book Cover The Summer Book

"Love Song," by Theresa Kishkan

By [Kerry Clare]

"The table is set; time to come up from the lake." An excerpt from The Summer Book. 

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Book Cover Glory

Most Anticipated: Our Fall 2017 Fiction Preview

By [Kerry Clare]

The very best thing about post-summer since autumn leaves. 

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Shelf Talkers: July 1, 2017

Shelf Talkers: July 1, 2017

By [Rob Wiersema]

Most years, the significance of July 1 passes with little in the way of fanfare. Sure, there are festivals and fireworks …

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Book Cover Polly MacCauley

Illustrator's Gallery: Darka Erdelji

By [Kerry Clare]

Featuring work from her new book written by Sheree Fitch, Polly MacCauley's Finest Divinest Wooliest Gift of All

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Book Cover All the Sweet Things

Summer Eats: Strawberry Balsamic Ice Cream

By [Kerry Clare]

From Renée Kohlman's All the Sweet Things, a delicious recipe that will never taste as excellent as right now with stra …

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A Chat Roundtable With the Editors of  Any Other Way: How Toronto Got Queer

A Chat Roundtable With the Editors of Any Other Way: How Toronto Got Queer

By [Trevor Corkum]

Published by Coach House, Any Other Way draws on a range of voices to explore how the residents of queer Toronto have sh …

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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 Farzana D …

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Discovering Summer with The 49th Shelf

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In the seductive labyrinth that is The 49th Shelf, a chief delight is discovering books you didn’t even know you were looking for, and this is precisely what happens when you explore the site using “summer” as a title search term. The search reveals a wealth of literary treasures, including The Summer of Apartment X by Lesley Choyce, whose nostalgia is less sepia-toned than vivid 1970s’s orange, the story of three guys whose plans to take over a summer beach resort town don’t go remotely according to plan. Or Andrew Binks’ The Summer Between, a darker story which depicts a young boy struggling against homophobia and racism in contrast to its idyllic summer setting.

amazing

Miriam Toews’ acclaimed novel Summer of My Amazing Luck won the Governor General’s Award, and was shortlisted for the Stephen Leacock Award for Humour. This hilarious story of a single mother on welfare has all the humour, depth and emotion that fans of Toews’ writing have since come to expect (and, naturally, a road trip.). In Linda Hutsell-Manning’s That Summer in Franklin …

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In Conversation With: Suzanne Desrochers (Bride of New France, @penguincanada)

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I met Suzanne Desrochers (Bride of New France, Penguin Group Canada) in a carpool en route to an event in Uxbridge hosted by Blue Heron Books. Suzanne sat in the front. I sat in the back. Over the sweet music remix provided by publicist Barbara Bower, we shouted back and forth about a variety of topics: England. Agents. Babies. On the return trip, we sat together in back, talk turning to, well, England. Agents. Babies. Back in our usual corners, I asked Suzanne if she'd like to expand a bit on some of the comments from the evening's panel: traversing the divide between academic writing and fiction, unveiling previously hidden historical figures, and a day in the life of one writer with kid and another on the way. Hurrah for us, she agreed, and I think you'll enjoy the chat.

Julie Wilson: I recall reading somewhere something to the fact that the longer a scientist works in the field the more likely he or she is to ascribe to one faith or another because there comes a time when one simply cannot reason away every discovery. I recently had the pleasure of seeing you speak on a panel about memoir and family history and this sprang to mind again. All three authors on the panel—you, Camilla Gibb and Susanna Kearsley—come either out of an academic background, in which …

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The Personal Book Shopper Contest: June #mybookshopper

personal book shopper

Welcome to The Personal Book Shopper Contest!

To recap, we know word-of-mouth is the #1 one way readers find their way to their next book. And we know that if you're into social media, you're used to sending out the call for recommendations of one sort or another. So to hearken back to my earliest days as @BookMadam, I'm going to hook you up with some good books. It's the personal touch.

How does it work?

We're inviting readers to submit a few "choice words" to describe themselves. Have a deep think and get as creative as you'd like. Using those words, I, along with a rotating door of readers, publishers, booksellers, authors, bloggers, librarians—you name it—will attempt to come up with not one but three books we think you might like . . . and then we're gonna give 'em to you! We'll choose three winners per contest. Counting on my fingers, that's, yep, nine books given away each month. Even if you don't win, you'll still walk away with a new reading list!

And the first contest begins . . . now!

Enter in one of three ways:

1) Twitter: Follow @CdnBookshelf so you'll never miss our news and announcements. When each Personal Book Shopper Contest is announced, using the hashtag #mybookshopper, reply to @CdnBookshelf with a minimum of five choice words to describe …

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Accessing Poetry with Jacob McArthur Mooney

 
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Jacob McArthur Mooney's latest collection is Folk, follow-up to the much acclaimed The New Layman's Almanac. His work has also received the Banff Centre Bliss Carman Poetry Award. A respected poetry commentator and critic, Mooney writes the popular Vox Populism blog, and was a panelist for the National Post's Canada Also Reads competition. Here, he recommends some Canadian poetry:

Having been asked to get some poetry moving around 49th Shelf, I struggled to think of an angle of approach. Poetry suffers, some would say, from an over-analytic abundance of angles. It is something of a serial self-describer, and gets qualified with words ranging from the concrete and uninformative (“Canadian poetry”) to the abstract and euphemistic (“women's poetry”). I've opted to try and steer clear of all that. I'm writing this to you smart, literate, idea-lovin' people who, despite your bookshelves fat with assorted fiction, non-fiction, and other ephemera, have yet to test the waters or poetry. Consider this an early reading list, one that challenges, engages, and doesn't pander. One that covers a lot of bases. Not all of them, surely, but a lot.

I'm go …

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