Off the Page

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

Latest Blog Posts
Book Cover Up Home

Picture Books for Black History Month

By [Kerry Clare]

A perfect opportunity to highlight these excellent books which celebrate Black heroes and Black culture. 

read more >
Book Cover I Am Josephine

Notes From a Children's Librarian: Animal Books

By [Kerry Clare]

Great nonfiction titles to introduce "Animal Classifications," the Grade 2 science unit. 

read more >
Book Cover Love Me True

Lesley Buxton: "Are You Still Married?"

By [Kerry Clare]

An excerpt from a new book of essays, Love Me True, which delves deep into the mysteries of long-term bonds. 

read more >
Logo Growing Room Festival

Your 2018 Spring Literary Festival Guide

By [Kerry Clare]

Mark your calendars, everybody! Across the country, incredible festival volunteers have been conspiring to pull off amaz …

read more >
The Chat with Canisia Lubrin

The Chat with Canisia Lubrin

By [Trevor Corkum]

Today on The Chat, a conversation with Canisia Lubrin, author of the superb debut collection of poems, Voodoo Hypothesis …

read more >
Book Cover Happinesswise

Most Anticipated: Our 2018 Spring Poetry Preview

By [Kerry Clare]

Our Spring Preview continues with poetry, exciting debuts, new books by award-winners, and books by your favourites. 

read more >
The Chat with Jordan Tannahill

The Chat with Jordan Tannahill

By [Trevor Corkum]

This week on The Chat, we speak to Jordan Tannahill, interdisciplinary artist and author of the much-anticipated debut n …

read more >
Book Cover The Red Word

A #MeToo Reading List

By [Kerry Clare]

15 books to make you think more deeply about the #MeToo movement.

read more >
The Recommend: February 2018

The Recommend: February 2018

By [Kiley Turner]

This week we're pleased to present the picks of Carrianne Leung (That Time I Loved You), Sharon Butala (Zara's Dead), Di …

read more >
Shelf Talkers: White Magic in the 1800s, Rock in the 90s, and the World in 1979

Shelf Talkers: White Magic in the 1800s, Rock in the 90s, and the World in 1979

By [Rob Wiersema]

Think about it: curled up under a fluffy duvet, a steaming beverage close to hand, maybe some music playing, a bit of su …

read more >

In Conversation With: Book Maven Vicki Ziegler (@bookgaga) on How to Make the Most of The 49th Shelf

Canadian Bookshelf member Vicki Ziegler.

Vicki Ziegler.

Vicki Ziegler is an early adopter. From the moment 49thShelf.com went into public beta, Vicki was building lists, rating reads and carving out a presence for her publishing client, the Griffin Trust For Excellence In Poetry. On Twitter, she also has one of the most public online personas in Canadian publishing, tweeting as @bookgaga and on behalf of one of this country's most distinguished (and lucrative) awards—@griffinpoetry.

I caught up with Vicki to ask about her thoughts on the appeal of online reader communities and how she's helping shape our community right here at The 49th Shelf.

Enjoy!

Julie Wilson: When I visit The 49th Shelf to check out member activity, you're always in the mix. What is it about the site that appeals to you?

Vicki Ziegler: I come at something like The 49th Shelf from multiple angles that all intersect at the point of loving books, loving fellow book lovers and wanting to share, both as an outlet for my own enthusiasms and for the opportunity to learn from others' enthusiasms.

  • I'm a book lover who loves to record what I'm reading, review books and share my thoughts about/reviews of books.
  • I have a personal book blog and Twitter feed and I like to share (aka c …
Continue reading >

The Literary Garden: A Book List by Merilyn Simonds

Merilyn Simonds' most recent book is A New Leaf: Growing With My Garden. Her other books include The Holding (2004), the internationally acclaimed short story collection The Lion in the Room Next Door (1999) and The Convict Lover (Non-Fiction, 1996), which was a finalist for the Governor General’s Award, the Arthur Ellis Award, and won the TORGI Award. She is also author of the Frugalista Gardener Blog. Here she shares with us a list of essential Canadian literary books about gardens and gardening, which, for very good reason, includes two books of her own.

Tottering in my Garden by Midge Ellis Keeble, originally published by Camden House Books in 1989. Reprinted 1994.

I can always find the spine of Midge Keeble’s book on my gardening shelf: it is pale pink, the colour of apple blossoms, and stands out among its green-backed fellows that scream, rather than whisper garden. Midge was a writer of extraordinary grace, and she was a lifelong gardener who started digging in the dirt as a young hoursewife just after the Second World War. When she was 76, she published one of my favourite garden memoirs, Tottering in my Garden, which I love for its humour, its honesty, its unabashed love of growing things. “Gardening is an adventure, liberally laced with misadventur …

Continue reading >

The Canadian Children's Book Centre

CCBC Logo

The Canadian Children's Book Centre caters to an enormous demographic:"If you love children's books, you've come to the right place!" announces the tagline on their website. The non-profit organization has been long beloved for establishing connections between teachers and librarians, authors and illustrators, and publishers, and providing these groups with valuable resources.They're the force behind TD Canadian Children's Book Week, and several notable children's book awards. Lesser-known, however, is the support CCBC offers parents and other caregivers in connecting children with books and literacy activities that will awaken them to the joys of reading.

According to the CCBC, "The recipe for creating a life-long reader is wonderfully simple." That recipe involves the following four steps for parents: "Read-- Make books and reading a part of your children’s lives right from the start. And set aside regular time to read to your children from infancy to adolescence. Lead the Way-- Make regular visits to your local library and bookstore to help your children find the best books available. And Set an Example-- When children see adults enjoying a good book, they get a very important message – you never outgrow books!"

Continue reading >

In Conversation With: Sachiko Murakami on Community Poetry Renos and ProjectRebuild.ca.

tagged :
Project-Rebuild-Sachiko-Murakami

One day, my inbox went *DING* *DONG* and this showed up:

"YOUR INVITATION TO MOVE INTO PROJECT REBUILD

Move in and renovate the poems of Fred Wah, Darren Werschler, Larissa Lai, a.rawlings, Ray Hsu and over a hundred more in this collaborative poetry project initiated by Sachiko Murakami.

What is a poem but a rental unit of language?
Project Rebuild allows visitors to move in to any poem/house in the neighbourhood. On the page of any poem, click on “renovate” and the poem becomes editable in a text box. Change the nouns. Throw out the verbs. Bring in the big delete-button bulldozer and start fresh. Your poem will become a new house in the neighbourhood. And you can follow a poem's evolution by clicking on the "previous tenants" and "renovations" houses on each poem's page."

I immediately went to the site, clicked on the first house closest to my cursor . . . and froze.

"I can't mess with someone else's writing!" I exclaimed. (That's the G-rated version.) I tried again, highlighting a word, then two, then clicking outside the box and closing the tab.

Later that day, I sat in the corner of the room, knees to my chin, peeking out only occasionally to see if The Poem was still intact. I became defensive of The Poem, worried someone less reasoned would stumble in, like …

Continue reading >

Pop Culture, the Literary Gateway: Guest Post by Crissy Calhoun

Crissy Calhoun is the author of Love You to Death: The Unofficial Companion to the Vampire Diaries series (season 2's guide comes out in September) as well as books on Gossip Girl and one in the works on Pretty Little Liars with the genius Jen Knoch. By day, under the moniker Crissy Boylan, she works at as managing editor at ECW Press, and she generally confuses people by having two last names.

I found myself at San Diego Comic-Con last week, officially there for ECW Press to have a look around and see if we would fit in as an exhibitor. Unofficially, however, I was there to gawk at costumes, attend a few panels, and generally try not to be overwhelmed by the sheer number of attendees (125,000) or the absurdly handsome faces usually seen exclusively on my TV set. Though ECW has a strong history of publishing Canadian writing (and work on Canadian writing, which is how the company got its start), we also have a thriving pop culture list with a ton of titles on TV shows. I happily work on that list in my capacity as managing editor, and I moonlight as an author of companion guides, most recently on the second season of The Vampire Diaries.

If you’re unfamiliar with the genesis of The Vampire Diaries— which airs on MuchMusic here in Canada — it was born of Alloy …

Continue reading >

The Randomizer

Load New Book >
X
Contacting facebook
Please wait...