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. 

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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.

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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 …

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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 …

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Book Cover Bad Ideas

Most Anticipated: Our Spring 2019 Fiction Preview

By [Kerry Clare]

The first half of 2019 promises glorious literary delights.

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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 …

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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.

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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 …

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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. 

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"I’ll take the long road and a ballpoint any day": Guest Post by Anne Perdue

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This week's guest post is by Anne Perdue who writes about the promotional book tour as a voyage of self-discovery. Anne Perdue is author of I'm a Registered Nurse Not a Whore, and you can read more about her book tour on the Let's See How Far This Car Can Go Blog.

When Insomniac Press offered to publish I’m a Registered Nurse Not a Whore, I was ecstatic. But it was also a time of profound sorrow and loss, as my mom had passed away in Vancouver four days prior. Amidst the bitter sweetness an idea came to me. I would celebrate my book and share it with my mom by driving her ’89 Mustang across the country. On an old-fashioned road trip book tour. And if the old car broke down on the Coquihalla, well that’d be as far as the tour would go. It seemed like a great idea until I realized I had no concept of how to venture forth on a book tour.

I decided to begin with something concrete, or rather asphaltic, namely roads. Using CAA triptiks I determined routes and travel times. Using the Canadian Booksellers Association website I researched bookstores. I placed calls, sent emails, wrote press releases, made more phone calls and plotted my trip, all the while imagining the stunning drive and the interesting conversations I’d have with readers, writers, strangers … And …

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In Conversation With: Tony Burgess

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A few weeks ago, I was sitting on a patio when a gentleman, back lit by an early-summer sun, approached my table to boast that he recognized me from the back of my head. I shaded my eyes, Tony Burgess coming into view. "I recognize you from the front of your head," I (may have) replied, and he settled in with us for the duration of our stay. I quite liked his company. My only other dealings with Tony have come in late hours in the form of Facebook messages that read like non sequiturs. He's a prolific creator across genre and form, a master at drawing discomfort from the reader and one of the more truly interesting characters you'll have the pleasure to meet.

For my first interview as Host of Canadian Bookshelf, I hope you'll enjoy our get-to-know-you banter. I guess it's true that books really are the social object around which readers converse.

Julie Wilson: A friend recently told me of a dating site in which members are asked, alongside other questions, how they feel about horror films. Seems this is a huge signifier in terms of compatibility between prospective mates. Come to think of it, the first time I saw you from afar you were covered in fake blood at the opening party for The Scream in High Park. What's your relationship to violence and gore? Are you less …

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The Personal Book Shopper Contest #mybookshopper

personal book shopper

We know word-of-mouth is the #1 one way readers find their way to their next book. If you're on Twitter or Facebook, you've at one time asked for a recommendation, whether for yourself or as a gift. Your local bookseller can certainly help you come to a conclusion, as well as one of your library's reading advisers. You can even go direct to a host of social media savvy publishers who have people available to help you make a choice from their own list. But we also know that in many cases that decision is influenced by a person close to each reader, often someone with whom the reader keeps intimate company. To that end, we'd like to introduce you to a veritable book brothel of advisers lead by Canadian Bookshelf Host, Julie Wilson, a.k.a. @BookMadam, and her rotating cast of booksellers, librarians, authors, publishers and bloggers. (Those who have been following Julie for some time will know this is how she got the moniker "Book Madam," after a series of online contests with Indigo and McNally Robinson booksellers.)

How does it work?

Think, what if you could submit a few "choice words" to a personal book shopper—#mybookshopper—someone who wanders off into the bookish wild armed with only those words, to return sweatier and disheveled, hoisting a book over her h …

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What is a Canadian Bookshelf?

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Whether a tower of milk-crates, a high-end built-in unit, or a couple of two-by-fours propped up with bricks, the Canadian bookshelf is a various thing. It contains all the CanLit you studied in school, Fifth Business and The Stone Angel. Or else it’s stocked by nonfiction fiends who can’t get enough of Malcolm Gladwell, the Franklin Expedition, or Peter C. Newman political biographies. It holds innovative and challenging works by independent presses like Coach House, Gaspereau or Biblioasis, as well as novels written by women called Margaret, or by Pierre Berton or Farley Mowat.

There is young adult fiction with adult appeal, from Anne of Green Gables to Susan Juby. Or children’s books written by Robert Munsch, Sheree Fitch, Marie-Louise Gay and Marthe Jocelyn. Short story collections by Mavis Gallant, Alice Munro, Alexander MacLeod, Zsuzsi Gartner and Sarah Selecky. Cookbooks, craft books and books about Canadian wine. It’s got graphic novels by Mariko and Jillian Tamaki, or anything by Drawn & Quarterly. Not to mention Margaret Atwood’s Survival and Noah Richler’s This is My Country, What is Yours? Marshall McLuhan and Northrop Frye. Or Joy Fielding and Kelley Armstrong.

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Books to discover: The 2011 Atlantic Book Awards

tagged : features
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Atlantic Canada shone a light on itself in 2010, with a great many acclaimed Canadian books coming from the region. These successes and others were recognized on May 19 at the 2011 Atlantic Book Awards in Dartmouth NS, where Kathleen Winter won the prestigious Thomas Head Raddall Atlantic Fiction Prize for her novel Annabel.

Winter’s fellow Giller nominees Alexander MacLeod and Johanna Skibsrud were also recognized, MacLeod receiving the Margaret John Savage First Book Award for Light Lifting and Skibsrud taking the Atlantic Independent Booksellers Choice Award for The Sentimentalists.

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In addition to these well-known works is a whole host of new books for Canadian readers to discover from a wide range of genres including historical writing (Rusty Bittermann for Sailor’s Hope: The Life and Times of William Cooper, Agrarian Radical in an Age of Revolution) and crime fiction (Anne Emery taking the Jim Connors Dartmouth Book Award for Fiction for Children in the Morning). Non-fiction prizes were awarded to Jerry Lockett (writer and sailor!) for Captain J …

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The Randomizer

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