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Interviews, Recommendations, and More

On Our Radar

Books with buzz worth sharing. 

"On Our Radar" is a monthly 49th Shelf series featuring books with buzz worth sharing. We bring you links to features and reviews about great new books in a multitude of genres from all around the Internet and elsewhere. 


Book Cover Glass Beads

Glass Beads, by Dawn Dumont

Reviewed by J.S. Sutcliffe at Quill and Quire

Although Glass Beads is billed as a collection of short stories, it works excellently as a panoramic, polyphonic Bildungsroman, following the lives of four Indigenous friends from the early 1990s to the late 2000s... Dumont’s talent for comedy shines in a great deal of snappy, wry wit. She uses this both for universal concerns like interpersonal interactions (“Their relationship was a broken vase that Nellie kept gluing together. And then once she got it to stand, she would proclaim, ‘Look at it! It’s beautiful’ while everyone else knew it was a fragile piece of shit”), but also more politically. Discussing the situation of native people in Canada, Nellie keeps “wanting to make it sound better than it was but failing as the night went on.”


Book Cover Raising Royalty

Raising Royalty, by Carolyn Harris

Featured on CTV's The Social: 

Prince William and Kate Middleton have committed to providing their kids with a normal childhood, in part, by being hands-on parents. Who can forget new father Will wrestling with George’s car seat as they tried to leave the hospital, only to have critics point out that he did it incorrectly?
That’s just one of the stories in the new book, Raising Royalty: One Thousand Years of Royal Parenting
Royal historian and author of Raising Royalty, Carolyn Harris, joined the hosts to talk about the book and how royal parenting has evolved over the centuries. You can watch her appearance in the video clip.


Book Cover Yes or Nope

Yes Or Nope, by Meaghan Strimas

Nominated for the Trillium Book Award for Poetry

Funny and frank, playful and unpredictable, frequently outrageous and undeniably smart—Meaghan Strimas’s poems explore the lives of girls, women, and a few bad men who maybe wish they were a little better. Strimas tackles the darkest and most disturbing subjects with a sense of humour that never fails to find evidence of a grand, cosmic joke. Bad relationships, unhealthy friendships, and creepy neighbours abound in this lively collection, which is as compulsively readable as it is emotionally unsettling. Oh, and there’s a poem about hog-farming, too.


Book Cover PRide

Pride, by Robin Stevenson

For LGBTQ people and their supporters, Pride events are an opportunity to honor the past, protest injustice, and celebrate a diverse and vibrant community. The high point of Pride, the Pride Parade, is spectacular and colorful. But there is a whole lot more to Pride than rainbow flags and amazing outfits. How did Pride come to be? And what does Pride mean to the people who celebrate it?


Book Cover By the Time You Read This

By the Time You Read This, by Jennifer Lanthier and Patricia Storms

Reviewed by Helen Kubiw at CanLit for Little Canadians

Patricia Storms, who can illustrate both tender books like Never Let You Go and playful picture books like The Ghosts Go Spooking, lends an energetic atmosphere to By the Time You Read This, portraying the spirit of children in her boldly-coloured cartoons and in the little details in signage (e.g., "Oscar + Sam ONLY, No Parents Allowed, No Brothers Either") and toys. Kids will laugh themselves silly over the creatures in the Magical Zoo of Mystical Creatures, like the Farting Fur-Tail and Lionisaurus Rex, and probably recognize a few of their own toys. They’ll definitely see themselves in the book. This is a important as young readers need to know that friendships sometimes fall apart but can be reconstructed, sometimes with just a little bandage of kind words. And even though By the Time You Read This ends with Oscar and Sam reconciled, back at play in their Planetary Pirate Ship, they might still have another falling out. Such are the nature of friendships when you’re close to someone and care about what they feel and do. But, with a smile and a little play (perhaps the board game on the inside of By the Time You Read This' s cover), all might be forgiven.

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