Off the Page

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

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Book Cover Rooster Town

Rooster Town: The History of an Urban Métis Community

By [Kerry Clare]

Evelyn Peters shares other work that explore the important colonial history of First Nations and Métis communities with …

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Giller Prize 2018 Special Series: The Chat with Sheila Heti

Giller Prize 2018 Special Series: The Chat with Sheila Heti

By [Trevor Corkum]

We kick off our annual Scotiabank Giller Prize edition of The Chat in conversation with Sheila Heti, author of the novel …

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Book Cover Be a Pond Detective

Notes From a Children's Librarian: Books on Biodiversity

By [Kerry Clare]

Books complementing the Grade 6 Biodiversity unit. 

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Book Cover Emperor's Orphans

Sally Ito on The Emperor's Orphans and Family History

By [Kerry Clare]

Sally Ito on the family histories that inspired her as she wrote her new book of creative nonfiction. 

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Book Cover Parallel Prairies

Parallel Prairies: Good Monster Stories Aren’t Really About the Monsters...

By [Kerry Clare]

"A dragon is a visual feast, with its hard scales, fearsome talons and steel-melting breath. But it’s the knights in t …

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Book Cover Some Good

Some Good: Healthy Roast Chicken and Vegetables

By [Kerry Clare]

A healthy roast chicken dinner? Just the thing for autumn nights, and for those of us who are still nursing Thanksgiving …

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Book Cover Pinny in Fall

Five Perfect Picture Books for October

By [Kerry Clare]

The days are growing shorter, but the books have never better. These titles will bring you a bit of spooky, some autumn …

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Shelf Talkers: Read Your Way to a Relaxed Thanksgiving

Shelf Talkers: Read Your Way to a Relaxed Thanksgiving

By [Rob Wiersema]

This Thanksgiving, why not plan a family trip to a local independent bookstore, followed by an afternoon of quiet readin …

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The Chat with Rawi Hage

The Chat with Rawi Hage

By [Trevor Corkum]

Rawi Hage’s latest—the 2018 Scotiabank Giller Prize-longlisted Beirut Hellfire Society—follows the story of an und …

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Book Cover A Sorrowful Sanctuary

Iona Whishaw: Out of Place

By [Kerry Clare]

"The trauma of war bifurcates the lives of many into branches of what existed before and what remains after; so too can …

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Some Good: Healthy Roast Chicken and Vegetables

Some Good reimagines Newfoundland cuisine, with Jessica Mitton fusing traditional fare with healthy eating practices. Her roast chicken and vegetable recipes are just the thing for cool autumn nights, and might seem especially tempting for those still nursing Thanksgiving food hangovers. 

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Some Good Roast Chicken

Garlic Savoury Roast Chicken 

Roast chicken or turkey is always a hit in Newfoundland homes and is generally the star dish in what we call a ‘Sunday Dinner.’ The downside, for anyone trying to eliminate gluten, is that the bird is often filled with a dressing made with bread. To get away from the gluten, but maintain that amazing flavour, stuff your chicken or turkey with just the herbs and spices, and hold off on the bread. Served with roast veggies, the succulent taste and texture will be so satisfying, you won’t miss that inflammatory dressing.

Yields: 1 roast chicken (4 servings)

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour and 30 minutes

 

Ingredients

1 (2½ -3 lbs) whole chicken

½ tsp sea salt

2 tsp dried savoury

1 bulb of garlic, peel removed

1 small onion, diced

water …

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Five Perfect Picture Books for October

The days are growing shorter, but the books have never better. These titles will bring you a bit of spooky, some autumn leaves, a zombie prince, and other great ideas about how to find a place for yourself in the world. 

*****

Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein, by Linda Bailey and Julia Sarda

About the book: The inspiring story of the girl behind one of the greatest novels—and monsters—ever, perfectly timed for the 200th anniversary of the publication of Frankenstein. For fans for picture book biographies such as I Dissent or She Persisted.

How does a story begin? Sometimes it begins with a dream, and a dreamer. Mary is one such dreamer, a little girl who learns to read by tracing the letters on the tombstone of her famous feminist mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, and whose only escape from her strict father and overbearing stepmother is through the stories she reads and imagines. Unhappy at home, she seeks independence, and at the age of 16 runs away with poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, another dreamer. Two years later, they travel to Switzerland where they meet a famous poet, Lord Byron. On a stormy summer evening, with five young people gathered around a fire, Byron suggests a contest to see who can create the best ghost story. Mary has a waking dream about a monster come to l …

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Shelf Talkers: Read Your Way to a Relaxed Thanksgiving

There’s a hard truth that people are, rightly, reluctant to discuss: Thanksgiving can be something of a mixed bag.
Sure, it’s a long weekend, right when we need it most. With summer but a distant memory and the routines of the fall starting to weigh heavily upon us a three-day weekend, with its promise of a good dinner and some relaxed time with those closest to us, seems like the answer to the early autumn ennui.
But those three days can quickly turn from warm and relaxed to intense and overscheduled. Juggling timelines, fretting over details, sweating over an unexpected intensity...and that’s just cooking your turkey dinner!

To counter this, it’s important to remember the meaning of the day: this is an opportunity to slow down and consider the blessings in our lives. To be, well, thankful.

This weekend, take some time for yourself. Take some time for self-care. Take some time to unplug, to unplan, to sequester yourself away. A few hours can make a world of difference, not just to the day, but to the coming weeks as well. Take a holiday from your holiday.

And why not plan a family trip to a local independent bookstore, followed by an afternoon of quiet reading? No screens, no pressure, just a good book, for everyone.

Canada's independent booksellers have a few recommendations to help with your holiday within your holiday. And if you want more suggestions, just ask: there’s nothing a bookseller likes more than recommending a beloved book.

Except maybe turkey. Though that …

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The Chat with Rawi Hage

Hage, Rawi -- credit Babak Salari
TREVOR CORKUM cropped

Rawi Hage’s latest—the 2018 Scotiabank Giller Prize-longlisted Beirut Hellfire Society—follows the story of an undertaker’s son during Lebanon’s Civil War.

Quill & Quire calls Beirut Hellfire Society “a novel of tragic beauty and dark humour that is comfortable with contradiction and charged with probing philosophical insights and the luminosity of Arabic poetry. It’s a timeless story of the outcast whose act of witness chronicles the world he observes.”

Rawi Hage was born in Beirut, Lebanon. He immigrated to Canada in 1992 and now lives in Montreal. His first novel, De Niro’s Game, won the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Governor General’s Literary Award. Cockroach was the winner of the Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction and a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award. It was also shortlisted for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Award and the Scotiabank Giller Prize. His third novel, Carnival, was a finalist for the Writers’ Trust Award and won the Parag …

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Iona Whishaw: Out of Place

Book Cover A Sorrowful Sanctuary

A Sorrowful Sanctuary, the fifth book in Iona Whishaw's Lane Winslow Mystery Series, is finally here! Whishaw is currently touring the country with dates in Quebec City, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, and Hamilton from October 10 to 14. In the meantime, enjoy her recommended reading list of books in which characters—like her own Lane Winslow—find their stories in being out of place. 

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I’m fascinated by the misplaced, and I’m drawn to the stories of people who must act in places that are unfamiliar, especially when these people are affected, knowingly or unknowingly, by the influence of the past. As I selected the following books, I realized that they reflect the displacement I felt growing up in four distinct cultures and moving from place to place. My own books mirror the life of someone who has moved several times, someone who has not quite succeeded in putting down roots—mainly from a lack of practice. The trauma of war bifurcates the lives of many into branches of what existed before and what remains after; so too can the past feel like an alternate plane of existence, leaving survivors feeling fragmented as they are grafted into the circumstances of their new lives. Many of my characters have come from various sorts of wars, both personal and geopoliti …

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