While the seemingly never-ending roll-out of longlists and shortlists throughout the fall literary season can be exhausting, these lists really are a fantastic way to discover new books, and they've never been more various than they are this year. Want to know more about the books and authors making waves this season? Just dive in to this great selection from 49th Shelf's archives.
Waiting for the Man, by Arjun Basu, nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize
In December, Arjun Basu shared with us his Lit Wish List, which included, "some poetry, some imperfection, and some Coupland." Watch the video here.
Every Happy Family, by Dede Crane, nominated for a City of Victoria Book Award
"Once you are a mother, you are a mother for the rest of your life. A perpetual contract, there is no such thing as time off. Your heart has been peeled back, your instinct turned on...." Read the rest of Crane's beautiful essay on motherhood, which we featured on the blog in June 2013.
Sweetland, by Michael Crummey, nominated for a Governor-General's Award for Fiction
In September, Sean Cranbury featured Michael Crummey on "The Interruption," with Michael talking about productive and not so productive interruptions in his writing life (hint: doing nothing is sometimes essential), and also reading from Sweetland. Listen here.
Kicking the Sky, by Anthony De Sa, nominated for a City of Toronto Book Award
Last fall, Julie Wilson spoke to Anthony De Sa about dark places, revisiting the past, and the surprising opportunity to discuss liberation against a backdrop of tragedy. Watch the video here.
The Massey Murder, by Charlotte Gray, nominated for the City of Toronto Book Award and the Ottawa Book Awards
You get a real sense of how Charlotte Gray comes by her compelling narratives and eye for historical detail with her excellent recommended reading list, "History Across the Genres."
Where Do You Look?, by Marthe Jocelyn and Nell Jocelyn, nominated for a 2014 Canadian Children's Book Centre Award
In March, we were privy to a fantastic conversation between this book's creators "on monkeys, collaboration, and avoiding purple and pink." Check it out here!
In the Treehouse, by Andrew Larsen and Dušan Petričić, nominated for a 2014 Canadian Children's Book Centre Award
"The father is the sort of father I wish I had. He is the sort of father who is forever engaged with the dreams of his son. He is a written reminder of the father I try to be. He is a written reminder to keep telling stories." Read Andrew Larsen's post on literary dads in kids' books.
The Wondrous Woo, by Carriane Leung, nominated for a City of Toronto Book Award
We love that The Wondrous Woo was selected for The Recommend way back in March, chosen by Farzana Doctor who wrote, "Leung deftly blends magical realism, Kung Fu, and heartbreak in this endearing coming-of-age tale about finding love, family, and one's own extraordinary gifts."
Prologue for the Age of Consequence, by Garth Martens, nominated for the Governor-General's Award for Poetry
Not long after Martens won the Bronwen Wallace Award in 2010, we featured readings from two of his poems and a fantastic list, "Tired Masculinity," of books that "complicate the stereotype, the archetype, of the ordinary heterosexual man, whoever that is." Check it all out here.
Us Conductors, by Sean Michaels, nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize
In this guest post, Sean Michaels makes us nostalgic for 1920s–30s New York City—and for bars and clubs that took the idea of "entertaining" to a level rarely witnessed today. Read it here.
The Stop: How the Fight for Good Food Transformed a Community and Inspired a Movement, by Nick Saul and Andrea Curtis, nominated for a Taste Canada Award and a City of Toronto Book Award
Check out Nick Saul and Andrea Curtis's fantastic recommended reading list, The Politics of Food, a list of books that consider food "that not just as fuel for the body but a tool for building a more just and sustainable world."
Branded by the Pink Triangle, by Ken Setterington, nominated for a 2014 Canadian Children's Book Centre Award
For Freedom to Read Week in February, Ken Setterington answered our questions about about his own experiences with censorship, and the broader issues behind the Freedom to Read campaign: "We need to keep talking about our rights." Read it here.
Girl Runner, by Carrie Snyder, nominated for the Rogers' Writers' Trust Fiction Prize
We've loved Carrie Snyder's work for a long time, and back when she was promoting her last book, The Juliet Stories, we were pleased to feature her guest post on being a writer and a mother at the same time, and also her list, Books That Made Me Want to Write.
This Great Escape: The Case of Michael Paryla, by Andrew Steinmetz, nominated for the Ottawa Book Award
In a guest post from last September, Steinmetz explains how his book was born out of family lore, a movie clip, and a ten-year-long obsession. Read it here.
Boundless: Tracing Land and Dream Through a North West Passage, by Kathleen Winter
Long long ago, when 49th Shelf was barely born, we featured a wonderful list by Kathleen Winter called "Books That Made Me Laugh Out Loud in Public." It's a list that offers a glimpse into the Kathleen Winter's excellent mind, and the sense of humour that underlines so much of her work, including Boundless.
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