Off the Page

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

Latest Blog Posts
Three Mugs of Hot Chocolate on a Tray

Cozy Eats: Real Hot Chocolate from DUTCH FEAST

By [Kerry Clare]

If it's freezing where you are, this delectable hot chocolate will hit the spot. 

read more >
The Chat with Kathy Page

The Chat with Kathy Page

By [Trevor Corkum]

The tender story of a decades-long marriage, Dear Evelyn explores how time transforms our most intimate relationships.

read more >
Book Cover Neighbourhood

12 New Books on Community Connections

By [Kerry Clare]

Our focus on community connections continues with this cross-genre list of twelve recent books that delve into community …

read more >
The Chat with Harold R. Johnson

The Chat with Harold R. Johnson

By [Trevor Corkum]

In our first conversation of 2019, we chat with acclaimed writer Harold Johnson, author of the genre-bending memoir Clif …

read more >
Book Cover Bad Ideas

Most Anticipated: Our Spring 2019 Fiction Preview

By [Kerry Clare]

The first half of 2019 promises glorious literary delights.

read more >
Shelf Talkers: Books for Christmas Eve Shoppers

Shelf Talkers: Books for Christmas Eve Shoppers

By [Rob Wiersema]

"You’re an indie bookseller, the best of the best.

You work before dawn, you work without rest.

You’ve read all the bo …

read more >
Pile of Books Christmas Tree Ornament

Happy Holiday Reading from 49th Shelf

By [Kerry Clare]

Happy holidays, and we're looking forward to sharing all kinds of excellent books with you in 2019.

read more >
Book Cover Deep Underwater

Picture Books are for Everyone: A Holiday List

By [Kerry Clare]

Not just for kids anymore. Readers of all ages will appreciate this selection of some of the most wonderful picture book …

read more >
Book Cover Out of Old Ontario Kitchens

Books for the Holidays

By [Kerry Clare]

Cookbooks, art books, books on gardening, and flowers: gorgeous books make great gifts. 

read more >

Discovering Summer with The 49th Shelf

tagged :

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.


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 …

Continue reading >

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


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 …

Continue reading >

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 …

Continue reading >

Books Your Dad Will Love

wild geese

What dad doesn’t like a bit of plot? For Father’s Day this year, may we suggest Martha Ostenso’s Wild Geese, which portrays the very worst father in all of CanLit? It’s a great read, but more than that, the tyrant Caleb Gare will make your own dad look really good in comparison. Another creepy dad reigns in Jonathan Bennett’s Entitlement, which is a fun, twistily-plotted novel that your dad might enjoy reading at the cottage this summer. (Or he might like any of the books recommended in Bennett's Power and Politics reading list).


So creepy, we’re glad he’s not anybody’s dad is the protagonist of Tony Burgess People Live Still in Cashton Corners, a perfect gift for the father who likes to blur the lines between true crime and disturbing fiction. And how about a couple of legal thrillers: Robert Rotenberg’s Old City Hall, and also his latest novel, The Guilty Plea? A father/son relationship is at the heart of Andrew Pyper’s terrifying novel The Killing Circle, and also in Thomas King’s just-as-mysterious Truth and Bright Water.

Continue reading >

Take the Cover Shuffle Challenge


Think you know Canadian books? Well then step right up for the Canadian Bookshelf Cover Shuffle Challenge!

Cover Shuffle asks you to supply the correct titles to match the covers of 24 great Canadian books. It’s fun, possibly even a little addictive, and a great way to start exploring Canadian Bookshelf.

How it works:

Players have six minutes to enter in the correct titles for 24 different Canadian book covers. If you get stuck, you can click on the clue link next to each book cover and also use the in-game search to scour the site for the correct answers. The game is over when a player answers all 24 questions or runs out of time.

The prize:

 Bragging rights!

Play as many times as you wish and share your scores on Twitter or Facebook. A random draw will award prizes among players who register to win.

Think you know Canadian books? Well then let's get started. And challenge your friends too by sharing your score on Facebook or Twitter.

Continue reading >

The Randomizer

Load New Book >
Contacting facebook
Please wait...