Off the Page

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

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Sparking Conversation in the Classroom: The Big Dig by Lisa Harrington

Sparking Conversation in the Classroom: The Big Dig by Lisa Harrington

By Geoffrey Ruggero

The Big Dig by Lisa Harrington is the perfect book to spark meaningful discussions on a variety of topics. Teachers are …

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The Chat with Kelly S. Thompson

The Chat with Kelly S. Thompson

By Trevor Corkum

Kelly S. Thompson served as a captain in the Canadian Armed Forces and writes about her experiences as a female soldier …

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Book Cover What is Long Past Occurs in Full Light


By Marilyn Bowering

“Bowering is one of our essential poets...."

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Book Cover Moles

Wild Books About the Natural World

By Rachel Poliquin

Seriously fun non-fiction for middle-grade readers.

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Books for Summer Adventures

Books for Summer Adventures

By Sarah Campbell

Summer is a time for adventures! When you’re a kid anything can be magical when school is out — whether it’s campi …

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Book Cover One Piece of String

Notes from a Children's Librarian: Drawing the Line

By Julie Booker

Our Children's Librarian columnist, Julie Booker, brings us a new view from the stacks every month.

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Book Cover Float and Scurry

Most Anticipated: 2019 Fall Poetry Preview

By 49th Shelf Staff

The poetry releases that are going to be making waves this autumn.

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The Chat with Derek Mascarenhas

The Chat with Derek Mascarenhas

By Trevor Corkum

Derek Mascarenhas' debut collection of short fiction, Coconut Dreams (Book*hug), explores the lives of Aiden and Ally Pi …

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Book Cover Crow

A Whisper to a Scream: Books with Compelling Narrative Voices

By Amy Spurway

"It is not just what is being said, but how."

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Book Cover Tiny Lights for Travellers

9 Great Memoirs by Women

By Naomi K. Lewis

A recommended reading list by the author of Tiny Lights for Travellers

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In Conversation With: Bookseller, Sarah Ramsey, on Amazon, cliche book club picks and the power of the handsell.

tagged :
sarah ramsey

Book Fairy (Sarah Ramsey) meets Book Madam (Julie Wilson) at Tango Palace in Toronto, ON.

Sarah Ramsey is a long-time bookseller in Toronto and currently works as manager at TYPE Books in Forest Hill Village. When not with a good book, she crafts with her favourite materials: butter, sugar, flour and eggs.

In the heart of Leslieville, Toronto sits Tango Palace Coffee Co., home to lone souls plugged into headphones and coffee klatches alike, the music ranging from slow jams to show tunes. Here, I've enjoyed chatting with Michelle Walker and her husband George Walker of George Walker Books and Art. An industry (and life) matchmaker, Michelle's particular strength is hooking people up with their next great conversation, which is how I tumbled face first into a lively debate with "book fairy" Sarah Ramsey, manager of the Forest Hill TYPE Books. (Michelle captured the accompanying picture of me and Sarah, rosy-cheeked from a fierce debate.)

What follows is what I'd consider a pretty accurate description of what it's like to work among the often under-utilized and under-appreciated ranks of the front line bookseller in an industry that needs the in person handsell just as much as the next online clickthrough.

J …

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What The Stock Market Can Learn from the NFL: An Excerpt from Roger Martin's Fixing the Game

Book Cover Fixing the Game

The last decade has seen unprecedented upheaval in our capital markets, marked by two massive crashes that destroyed billions of dollars in value: the dot-com crash of 2000-2 and the financial market crash of 2008. After 2002, a whole series of regulatory changes were adopted to prevent a future crash. Yet the next crash still came. And as it did, one might have expected that observers would ask: what did we do wrong the last time? Why didn’t our fixes do what they were intended to do? One might have expected that we would ask these hard questions. Yet we haven’t. And as long as we fail to understand the real, fundamental reasons behind these crashes, and the bubbles that preceded them, it is only a matter of time until the next crisis.

The mayhem in our capital markets is ultimately the unfortunate effect of tightly tying together two different markets: the real market and the expectations market. The real market is the world in which factories are built, products are designed and produced, real products and services are bought and sold, revenues are earned, expenses are paid and real dollars of profit show up on the bottom line. That is the world that business executives control—at least to some extent.

The real market has been utterly overtaken in emphasis …

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Winter/Spring 2012: Most Anticipated Books of the Season

We've taken a good look into our crystal ball to find out which books you're going to be falling in love with over the next few months.

Book Cover the WInter Palace

January: There’s a lot of buzz already about Eva Stachniak’s third novel The Winter Palace: A Novel of Catherine The Great. Check out the fantastic trailer, and also Stachniak’s essay “On the Insidious Absence of Stories and Bridging Solitudes” which she contributed to Canadian Bookshelf last summer. In Erin Moure’s book-length poem The Unmemntionable, the children of immigrants must come to understand the experiences their parents were never able to speak of. Book blogger Kerri Cull releases her first book, the poetry collection Soak. Caroline Adderson’s latest novel for young people is Middle of Nowhere, the story of a boy on his own who’s cared for by a neighbour whose intentions may not be as good as they seem. Novelist Donna Morrissey’s first book for children is Cross Katie Kross, illustrated by her daughter Bridgette Morrissey. And George Elliott Clark’s Directions Home provides what promises to be the most comprehensive analysis of African-Canadian writing to date.

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In Conversation With: @ChatelaineBooks Editor, Laurie Grassi

Laurie Grassi, Chatelaine's books editor.

Laurie Grassi is the books editor of Chatelaine and will never have enough books. You can follow her on Twitter @ChatelaineBooks and on the Chatelaine Book Club blog.

Julie Wilson: Prior to joining Chatelaine, you were editor of special issues at Canadian House & Home and the executive editor of Style at Home magazine. What elements of these past roles have you carried forward into your current role as Chatelaine's books editor?

Laurie Grassi: Content management and the packaging of that content. Whatever magazine you work for, whatever the subject matter, deciding what content you’re going to include and pulling that together in an interesting way for your readers is key.

Having an interest in the subject helps, obviously, and I’ve always been passionate about books. I have a degree in English literature from the University of Toronto and have been a life-long reader. I think that comes partially from my mother: she loves to read and we always had lots of books in the house when I was growing up. Even as a kid, I couldn’t get enough from her or the school library and was thrilled when the Bookmobile pulled into the school parking lot—the more books I could access, the better. I still think that one of my best teachers was my Grade 6 teacher, Mr. Bramanis, bec …

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Year-end Lists: Related Reading (cc: @time, @guardian, @BuzzFeed, @OttawaCitizen) #GiveCDN

Julie Wilson among her favourite friends. (photo credit: Jeff Kelly)

There are no shortage of year-end "Best Of" books lists. Yet, as bookish people, what are we best at but recommending other books to read?

"Oh, if you like [insert here], you'll probably love [insert here]."

"I don't suppose you've ever heard of [insert here]? Have a feeling you might appreciate [insert here]."

"You know, I found that my experience of [insert here] was enriched after reading [insert here]."

"Don't worry! I didn't get [insert here] either until someone suggested I check out [insert here]."

And, of course, how often do we come to a book simply because it's akin to something we want to know more about? In fact, how many books do we read solely because we came to them through a secondary channel?

With this in mind, I thought I'd challenge myself to create a series of related reading lists to accompany some of my favourite year-end lists. If this, then that. You get the point.

Person of the Year—The Protestor (TIME)

  1. Whose Streets: The Toronto G20 and the Challenges of Summit Protest by Tom Malleson (with foreword by Naomi Klein)
  2. A Call to Account by Criss Hajek
  3. Citizen Politics: Research and Theory in Canadian Political Behaviour by Joanna Everitt and Brenda O'Neill
  4. America Through Foreign Eyes: Classic Interpretations of American Political Life by Step …
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