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49th Shelf members can enter to win a copy of any of the books listed here (please sign up here if you haven’t already). At the end of the giveaway period, we do a random draw, and the publishers ship copies directly to the winners. Only one entry per Canadian household, please. Good luck!


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Hour of the Crab

Hour of the Crab

edition:Paperback
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Patricia Robertson’s new collection of short fiction, Hour of the Crab, is a work of insight and mastery, each story demonstrating an original vision, intriguing characters, and sophisticated skill.

Readers will travel with Robertson’s vivid characters, sharing their journeys, their challenges, their complicated choices. They will also discover other worlds — from an eleventh-century monastery in France to a near-future British Columbia where apocalyptic wildfires seem to be never-ending.

A young woman discovers the corpse of a Moroccan teenager washed up on the beach in southern Spain and sets out to find his family in a gesture that destabilizes her own. An international aid worker shares her house with the very real ghost of a gardener’s boy. The last speaker of a dying Norse-like language carves the words he remembers into the stones of his house.

Book Description

Patricia Robertson’s new collection of short fiction, Hour of the Crab, is a work of insight and mastery, each story demonstrating an original vision, intriguing characters, and sophisticated skill.

Readers will travel with Robertson’s vivid characters, sharing their journeys, their challenges, their complicated choices. They will also discover other worlds — from an eleventh-century monastery in France to a near-future British Columbia where apocalyptic wildfires seem to be never-ending.

A young woman discovers the corpse of a Moroccan teenager washed up on the beach in southern Spain and sets out to find his family in a gesture that destabilizes her own. An international aid worker shares her house with the very real ghost of a gardener’s boy. The last speaker of a dying Norse-like language carves the words he remembers into the stones of his house.

Urgent and evocative, immersed in issues of our time, the stories of Hour of the Crab reveal Robertson’s ability to draw in her readers with the heightened realism of her imagined worlds.

I Am a Peaceful Goldfish

I Am a Peaceful Goldfish

edition:Hardcover
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Giveaway information

I Am a Peaceful Goldfish teaches kids and families about playful breathing techniques that we can use to overcome our anxiety and feel calm and grounded. 

When we are overcome with emotions, our breath—and a bit of imagination—can bring us back to a peaceful place. In this simple story, two children learn how to settle their feelings with imaginative breathing techniques, pretending they are elephants, flowers, even dragons! 

This charming book teaches even the youngest readers fun ways to be mindful, relieve anxiety, and regain control over their bodies and actions—an essential and easy-to-learn life skill.

Book Description

For kids ages 2-6, a gentle and fun introduction to mindfulness and breath awareness. 

When we are overcome with emotions, our breath—and a bit of imagination—can bring us back to a peaceful place. In I Am a Peaceful Goldfish, two children learn how to settle their difficult feelings with imaginative breathing techniques, pretending they are elephants, flowers, and even dragons! 

I Am a Peaceful Goldfish teaches kids essential and easy-to-learn life skills: 

  • It’s okay to feel overwhelmed or anxious!
  • Feeling calm and in control are just a couple of easy breaths away 
  • How to self-regulate and relieve anxiety 

A perfect book for readers of I Am Peace and I Am Yoga by Susan Verde.

This is How It is

This is How It Is

edition:Paperback
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Illuminating, poised, and wholly original, the poems of Sharon King-Campbell’s This Is How It Is range across the planet from New Zealand to Thailand to Newfoundland, gathering along the way voices both historical and mythological in a compelling display of dramatic empathy and poetic imagination. Subverting history and fable while always returning to vividly depicted images of our landscapes within the specter of environmental crisis, King-Campbell spans the far corners of the earth and the previously silent voices of our collective pasts to arrive here at our contemporary moment with poems of formal dexterity as prescient as they are captivating.

Book Description

Illuminating, poised, and wholly original, the poems of Sharon King-Campbell’s This Is How It Is range across the planet from New Zealand to Thailand to Newfoundland, gathering along the way voices both historical and mythological in a compelling display of dramatic empathy and poetic imagination. Subverting history and fable while always returning to vividly depicted images of our landscapes within the specter of environmental crisis, King-Campbell spans the far corners of the earth and the previously silent voices of our collective pasts to arrive here at our contemporary moment with poems of formal dexterity as prescient as they are captivating.

The Quest for a 'National' Nationalism

The Quest for a 'National' Nationalism

E.J. Pratt’s Epic Ambition, ‘Race’ Consciousness, and the Contradictions of Canadian Identity
edition:Paperback
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Giveaway information

In his 2018 Pratt Lecture, The Quest for a ‘National’ Nationalism, renowned author and critic George Elliott Clarke investigates E.J. Pratt’s poetic attempt to become the epic poet of Canada. And while Pratt’s epic poems, such as Brebeuf and His Brethren and Towards the Last Spike, stand as lofty poetic achievements, the poet is never able to escape his own identity and speak convincingly for all Canadians. Unable to speak for Francophones, Indigenous peoples, and People of Colour, Pratt becomes the epic poet of the establishment, but never truly of the people.

The Pratt Lectures were established in 1968 to commemorate the legacy of E.J. Pratt. Over the years, the series has hosted a litany of world-renowned authors and scholars, including Northrop Frye, Seamus Heaney, Helen Vendler, and Dionne Brand.

Book Description

In his 2018 Pratt Lecture, The Quest for a ‘National’ Nationalism, renowned author and critic George Elliott Clarke investigates E.J. Pratt’s poetic attempt to become the epic poet of Canada. And while Pratt’s epic poems, such as Brebeuf and His Brethren and Towards the Last Spike, stand as lofty poetic achievements, the poet is never able to escape his own identity and speak convincingly for all Canadians. Unable to speak for Francophones, Indigenous peoples, and People of Colour, Pratt becomes the epic poet of the establishment, but never truly of the people.
The PRATT LECTURES were established in 1968 to commemorate the legacy of E.J. Pratt. Over the years, the series has hosted a litany of world-renowned authors and scholars, including Northrop Frye, Seamus Heaney, Helen Vendler, and Dionne Brand.

Messenger 93

Messenger 93

edition:Paperback
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Giveaway information

“In seven days, she will fall,” say the crows. “As she falls, so do we all.” Who falls? wonders M. The ominous, supernatural message starts M on a quest that could save more than one life. But what if the person in danger happens to be her nemesis? Along the way, M meets up with Gray, a Cree boy with his own hopes of saving a runaway Indigenous girl. As they begin a wild journey through the city and into the bleak northern woods, M grasps for the true meaning behind the crows’ messages and pushes deeper and deeper into worlds she doesn’t know or understand, holding fast to a questionable dream that she might be a modern-day Joan of Arc.

Book Description

“She will fall in seven days,” say the crows. “As she falls, so do we all.” Who falls? wonders M. The ominous, supernatural message starts M on a quest that could save more than one life. But what if the person in danger happens to be her nemesis? Along the way, M meets up with Gray, a Cree boy with his own hopes of saving a runaway Indigenous girl. As they begin a wild journey through the city and into the bleak northern woods, M grasps for the true meaning behind the crows’ messages and pushes deeper and deeper into worlds she doesn’t know or understand, holding fast to a questionable dream that she might be a modern-day Joan of Arc.

Instructor

Instructor

edition:Paperback
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Giveaway information

In Instructor, Beth Follett magnificently follows the natural tendencies of the human mind to dart and drift, to leap and eddy, creating an utterly compelling narrative at once patient and enthralling. Through grief, wonder, and introspection, Instructor captures the fluidity of the self, carrying readers away in the current of Follett’s inescapable prose.

Book Description

When Ydessa Bloom’s husband dies in a Cessna crash in a mid-Ontario lake, she rents a cottage at that lake, without really comprehending why, and stays for three months. There she meets three people who will influence her life dramatically—her landlady, a yoga teacher, and a precocious eight-year-old boy named Henry Rattle.
Years later, at the age of twenty-five and reeling from personal tragedy, Henry seeks Ydessa out once again, and they find themselves alone on the day of the Northeast blackout, drawn into an encounter that will change them both.
In Instructor, Beth Follett magnificently follows the natural tendencies of the human mind to dart and drift, to leap and eddy, creating an utterly compelling narrative at once patient and enthralling. Through grief, wonder, and introspection, Instructor captures the fluidity of the self, carrying readers away in the current of Follett’s inescapable prose.

Constant Nobody

Constant Nobody

edition:Paperback
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Giveaway information

The time is 1937. The place: the Basque Country, embroiled in the Spanish Civil War. Polyglot and British intelligence agent Temerity West encounters Kostya Nikto, a Soviet secret police agent. Kostya has been dispatched to assassinate a doctor as part of the suppression of a rogue communist faction. When Kostya finds his victim in the company of Temerity, she expects Kostya to execute her—instead, he spares her....

Writing about violence with an unusual grace, Michelle Butler Hallett tells a story of complicity, love, tyranny, and identity. Constant Nobody is a thrilling novel that asks how far an individual will go to protect another—whether out of love or fear.

Book Description

For fans of Hilary Mantel’s The Mirror and the Light comes an historical espionage novel with a contemporary edge from Michelle Butler Hallett.

The time is 1937. The place: the Basque Country, embroiled in the Spanish Civil War. Polyglot and British intelligence agent Temerity West encounters Kostya Nikto, a Soviet secret police agent. Kostya has been dispatched to assassinate a doctor as part of the suppression of a rogue communist faction. When Kostya finds his victim in the company of Temerity, she expects Kostya to execute her -- instead, he spares her.

Several weeks later, Temerity is reassigned to Moscow. When she is arrested by the secret police, she once again encounters Kostya. His judgement impaired by pain, morphine, and alcohol, he extricates her from a dangerous situation and takes her to his flat. In the morning, they both awaken to the realities of what Kostya has done. Although Kostya wants to keep Temerity safe, the cost will be high. And Temerity must decide where her loyalties lie.

Writing about violence with an unusual grace, Michelle Butler Hallett tells a story of complicity, love, tyranny, and identity. Constant Nobody is a thrilling novel that asks how far an individual will go to protect another — whether out of love or fear.


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