Off the Page

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

Latest Blog Posts
Book Cover Glorious and Free

Books for the Holidays

By [Kerry Clare]

Still haven't finished your shopping? Here are a few suggestions to help you cross out a couple more items on your list. …

read more >
The Chat with Tanya Talaga

The Chat with Tanya Talaga

By [Trevor Corkum]

Today we are in conversation with Tanya Talaga. Her hard-hitting and important Seven Fallen Feathers tells the story of …

read more >
Book Cover A Bird on Every Tree

Top Fiction of 2017

By [Kerry Clare]

With our Top Fiction of 2017, the 49thShelf.com team looks back on the highlights and the books we were most excited to …

read more >
Book Cover As a Dog Thinketh

Books for the Holidays

By [Kerry Clare]

The holidays are coming, but we've got you covered with amazing book suggestions for all the types on your list.

read more >
Shelf Talkers: Ideas for Christmas 2017!

Shelf Talkers: Ideas for Christmas 2017!

By [Rob Wiersema]

From brunch ideas to books for kids and teens, Canada's indie booksellers have you covered.

read more >
Book Cover On Mockingbird Hills

Mary Theresa Kelly: Madcap Women in the Wild

By [Kerry Clare]

Wilderness stories, especially fire lookouts, have traditionally been dominating by male writers, but there are accounts …

read more >
The Chat with Governor General's Award Winners David Alexander Robertson & Julie Flett

The Chat with Governor General's Award Winners David Alexander Robertson & Julie Flett

By [Trevor Corkum]

In the final installment in in our Governor General Award special edition of The Chat, we speak to David Alexander Rober …

read more >
The Chat with 2017 Governor General's Award Winner (for Translation) Oana Avasilichioaei

The Chat with 2017 Governor General's Award Winner (for Translation) Oana Avasilichioaei

By [Trevor Corkum]

Today we’re in conversation with Oana Avasilichioaei, translator of Bertrand Laverdure’s novel Lectodôme. Her Engli …

read more >
Book Cover Ira Crumb

Fabulous, Funny Picture Books: A List by Naseem Hrab

By [Kerry Clare]

"An exceptional horse, a dead rabbit and a big hat walk into a bookstore...."

read more >

Mary Theresa Kelly: Madcap Women in the Wild

Mary Theresa Kelly's first book is the memoir On Mockingbird Hill, which subverts over the over-romanticized lifestyle of fire lookout observers made popular by Jack Kerouac in The Dharma Bums and shows us how lonely freedom really is. In this list, she celebrates madcap women in the wild, whose stories disrupt the wilderness narratives readers have become accustomed to. 

*****

Growing up in the Toronto suburbs, I dreamed about living in the country and yearned for the backwoods, as though the West had already been inscribed on me. When I left Ontario and moved to Alberta synchronicity flowed; I hooked up with new friends who drifted between the city and the wilderness, embracing a gypsy lifestyle. This tension between the excitement of cities and the reflective silence of nature has been an ongoing theme in my life. Even though I have never been much of a homesteader, tree-planter, fire observer, or long distance hiker, I have entered those worlds and subcultures, and I understand the desire to be off the grid, free of the hum of sprawling urban development. Wilderness stories, especially fire lookouts, have traditionally been dominating by male writers, but there are accounts by women—and they are different indeed.    

*

Continue reading >

The Chat with Governor General's Award Winners David Alexander Robertson & Julie Flett

In the final installment in in our Governor General Award special edition of The Chat, we speak to David Alexander Robertson and Julie Flett. Their book, When We Were Alone, won the 2017 Governor General's Award for Young People’s Literature (Illustration).

David Alexander Robertson

From the Peer Assessment Committee: “When We Were Alone is a poignant story of a dark and unforgettable part of Canadian history. David A. Robertson gently links the residential school experiences to a new generation with an enduring example of healing, love and understanding. Julie Flett’s simple but profound illustrations expertly complement the text and elevate this important story.”

David A. Robertson is an award-winning writer. His books include When We Were Alone (TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award nominee, Governor General’s Award for Children’s Literature winner), Will I See? (winner of the Manuela Dias Book Design and Illustration Award Graphic Novel Category), and the YA novel Strangers. David educates as well as entertains through his writings about Canada’s Indigenous Peoples, reflecting their cultures, histories, communities, as well as illuminating many contemporary issues. David is a member of Norway House Cree Nation. He lives in Winnipeg.
 

Continue reading >

The Chat with 2017 Governor General's Award Winner (for Translation) Oana Avasilichioaei

Oana Avasilichioaei_Author Photo_Credit Pam Dick

Today we’re in conversation with Oana Avasilichioaei, translator of Bertrand Laverdure’s novel Lectodôme. Her English translation, Readopolis (BookThug) is the winner of this year’s Governor General’s Literary Award for Translation (French to English).

The jury citation reads: "In Readopolis, Oana Avasilichioaei has risen to and matched the stylistic acrobatics of Bertrand Laverdure’s Lectodôme. The many voices of Quebecois writing sing through in this intelligent translation – a vertiginous ode to the pure, if rarely rewarded, pursuit of literature."

Montreal-based writer, translator, and editor Oana Avasilichioaei has published five poetry collections, including Expeditions of a Chimæra (with Erín Moure; 2009), We, Beasts (2012; winner of the A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry from the Quebec Writers’ Federation) and Limbinal (2015). Previous translations include Bertrand Laverdure’s Universal Bureau of Copyrights (2014; shortlisted for the 2015 ReLit Awards), Suzanne Leblanc’s The Thought House of Philippa (co-translated with Ingrid Pam Dick; 2015), and Daniel Canty’s Wigrum (2013).

Continue reading >

Enter for a Chance to Win the Governor General's Literary Awards Winners!

There are seven categories in the Governor General's English-language Literary Awards: fiction, poetry, drama, nonfiction, kids' illustrated, kids' text, and translation ... and you could win the winning book in all seven categories! Contest closes November 30, 2017.

What's in the Prize Pack?

Fiction: We'll All Be Burnt in Our Beds Some Night, by Joel Thomas Hynes 

onnotlosing

Poetry: On Not Losing My Fathers Ashes in the Flood, by Richard Harrison

Children's Text: The Marrow Thieves, by Cherie Dimaline

Children's Illustrated: When We Were Alone, by David Alexander Robertson and Julie Flett

Nonfiction: The Way of the Strangers, by Graeme Wood

Indian Arm
Continue reading >

Fabulous, Funny Picture Books: A List by Naseem Hrab

Ira Crumb Makes a Pretty Good Friend is the debut picture book by Naseem Hrab, illustrated by Josh Holinaty. And amidst all the great reviews the book has been receiving, consensus seems to be this: the book is funny. And the only thing we like better than a funny picture is...five picture books? In this list, Naseem Hrab recommends some of her favourites. 

*****

I love funny. Funny people, funny shows, funny movies. And I especially love funny picture books. Funny picture books can be the most rewarding type of book to read aloud because it can only take a handful of words and a single expressive illustration to make a child laugh hysterically. I’m not a fan of pandering to kids—I’m a fan of sharing more sophisticated forms of humour with kids. And what’s better than sharing a laugh? Lots of things! Like sharing your cheesy sandwich with your old friend Naseem. What do you mean you already ate the whole thing? Sigh. It’s not like I was about to share a whole list of my favorite funny picture books with you or anything … It’s not like I’m really hungry. No, don’t worry about me … I’ll just eat one of these books.  

*

Continue reading >

The Randomizer

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