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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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love, life

love, life

edition:eBook
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In this hilarious frolic through the hills of Italy, our heroine discovers the past is never really gone: it runs beside us our entire lives, just waiting to bite us in the arse. love, life is a made-up true fable about coming out, going back in, getting fat, Italian food, and stalking the Piazzo Bernardini. A Newfoundlander in Italy offers the humour, optimism, and romantic yearning the world needs now.

Book Description

A hilarious romp through love, food, and Italy.

Do you love life? In this hilarious frolic through the hills of Italy, our heroine discovers the past is never really gone: it runs beside us our entire lives, just waiting to bite us in the arse. love, life is a made-up true fable about coming out, going back in, getting fat, Italian food, and stalking the Piazzo Bernardini. It’s a haunting love story, transcending decades, countries, and heartbreak. A Newfoundlander in Italy offers the humour, optimism, and romantic yearning the world needs now.

Unatoned

Unatoned

A Memoir
edition:Paperback
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For readers of Alan Cumming’s Not My Father’s Son comes a heart-wrenching memoir that interrogates an abusive father and his dark legacy.

In his new memoir, Brent LaPorte asks his dead father questions that will never be answered. Unatoned not only explores the dark nature of LaPorte’s father, but the darkness that has, at times, enveloped him, too. In confronting life choices that have hurt those around him, he asks: is it possible to break the cycle of a violent, alcoholic family history and live a life that is productive, loving and, above all, happy?

Book Description

 

For readers of Alan Cumming’s Not My Father’s Son comes a heart-wrenching memoir that interrogates an abusive father and his dark legacy.

Children who experience physical, mental, and emotional trauma at the hands of a parent often grow into adults who suffer from mental illness and find it difficult to build lasting, healthy relationships. Some find it impossible to integrate into society and are constantly searching for the love and approval that they never received as a child. The abuse impacts all aspects of the survivor’s life.

In his new memoir, Brent LaPorte asks his dead father questions that will never be answered. Unatoned not only explores the dark nature of LaPorte’s father, but the darkness that has, at times, enveloped him, too. In confronting life choices that have hurt those around him, he asks: is it possible to break the cycle of a violent, alcoholic family history and live a life that is productive, loving and, above all, happy?

In exploring the challenges of his youth, married life, and careers, LaPorte lays bare failings and triumphs, sharing pain and struggle to ultimately tell readers: none of us are alone. This is not a “self-help” book, rather the story of a man’s request for atonement for sins past. His father’s — and his own.

 

mitoni niya nêhiyaw / Cree is Who I Truly Am

mitoni niya nêhiyaw / Cree is Who I Truly Am

nêhiyaw-iskwêw mitoni niya / Me, I am Truly a Cree Woman
as told by Sarah Whitecalf
edited and translated by H.C. Wolfart & Freda Ahenakew
preface by Ted Whitecalf
edition:Paperback
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In presenting a Cree woman’s view of her world, the texts in this volume directly reflect the spoken word: Sarah Whitecalf’s memoirs are here printed in Cree exactly as she recorded them, with a close English translation on the facing page. They constitute an autobiography of great personal authority and rare authenticity.

Book Description

Strong women dominate these reminiscences: the grandmother taught the girl whose mother refused to let her go to school, and the life-changing events they witnessed range from the ravages of the influenza epidemic of 1918–20 and murder committed in a jealous rage to the abduction of a young woman by underground spirits who on her release grant her healing powers.

A highly personal document, these memoirs are altogether exceptional in recounting the thoughts and feelings of a Cree woman as she copes with the challenges of reserve life but also, in a key chapter, with her loneliness while tending a relative’s children in a place far away from home – and, apparently just as debilitating, away from the company of other women. Her experiences and reactions throw fresh light on the lives lived by Plains Cree women on the Canadian prairies over much of the twentieth century.

The late Sarah Whitecalf (1919–1991) spoke Cree exclusively, spending most of her life at Nakiwacîhk / Sweetgrass Reserve on the North Saskatchewan River. This is where Leonard Bloomfield was told his Sacred Stories of the Sweet Grass Cree in 1925 and where a decade later David Mandelbaum apprenticed himself to Kâ-miyokîsihkwêw / Fineday, the step-grandfather in whose family Sarah Whitecalf grew up.

In presenting a Cree woman’s view of her world, the texts in this volume directly reflect the spoken word: Sarah Whitecalf’s memoirs are here printed in Cree exactly as she recorded them, with a close English translation on the facing page. They constitute an autobiography of great personal authority and rare authenticity.

Midlife

Midlife

edition:Hardcover
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Written and published during COVID quarantine, Midlife features the collected works of former members of the Gateway, the student newspaper at the University of Alberta. This crew of 27 writers and creators from the late 1990s/early 2000s now find themselves navigating midlife, and it turns out adulting isn’t necessarily as straightforward as anyone imagined.

Book Description

Written and published during COVID quarantine, Midlife features the collected works of former members of the Gateway, the student newspaper at the University of Alberta. This crew of 27 writers and creators from the late 1990s/early 2000s now find themselves navigating midlife, and it turns out adulting isn’t necessarily as straightforward as anyone imagined.

Midlife will take you through personal reflections from the word-nerds. Topics range from paths not taken, self-discovery, growth, ambition, infertility, family illness, parenthood, and health. Like the Gateway of the past, you will find a variety of sharp formats and takes offering a diverse Canadian perspective on midlife.

First and foremost, Midlife is a passion project fuelled by the desire to reclaim our creativity, particularly in a time when our lives feel like they are narrowing. It’s a labour of love via reunion of friends from a student newspaper, and a gift to each other and the community, during a time when connection is more important than ever.

I will be more myself in the next world

I will be more myself in the next world

edition:Paperback
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In Matsuki Masutani’s debut book of poetry, his clear minimalist poems embrace with gentle and perceptive wit; aging, family, dreams, his Japanese roots, self-acceptance and island life.

Book Description

Minimalist poems with perceptive wit, refreshing work from a new BC poet.

In Masutani’s debut book of poetry, his clear minimalist poems embrace with gentle and perceptive wit; aging, family, dreams, his Japanese roots, self-acceptance and island life. Some poems rise tall like sunflowers in an understated garden, untangled and reflective, addressing marriage, Parkinson’s, Chemo and impermanence. You will know exactly where you are when you read “I will be more myself in the next world.” Refreshing work from a new BC poet. Includes translations of many of the poems into Japanese.

Cattail Skylines

Cattail Skylines

edition:Paperback
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In her second poetry collection, Joanne Epp ventures from open prairie roads into little creek beds, down onto the warm earth of strawberry patches and far afield to the busy markets of Cambodia to examine the intimate ways we come to know and experience place.

Book Description

In her second poetry collection, Joanne Epp ventures from open prairie roads into little creek beds, down onto the warm earth of strawberry patches and far afield to the busy markets of Cambodia to examine the intimate ways we come to know and experience place. With vivid detail and a sense of quiet reverence, Cattail Skyline captures a myriad of landscapes where every change of season and slant of light reveals something previously unnoticed, and where even the most well- trodden paths hold the potential for new discovery.

Black Bears in the Carrot Field

Black Bears in the Carrot Field

edition:Paperback
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Finally, a Canadian poet that writes characters better than a novelist. Bold, humourous, and with the twang of a hurting song.

Book Description

Finally, a Canadian poet that writes characters better than a novelist. Bold, humourous, and with the twang of a hurting song.

Linda K. Thompson’s debut book of poetry, is loaded with personalities from small towns and long ago days. Growing up in the isolated Pemberton Valley in BC her characters are full of imperfection and humour. Verna, who sneaks back from the dead, Gloria, who whacks down walls, Kirk, who buys a house on Visa, and old Pete, who never loved the moon. Thompson deftly combines the twang of a hurting song with something dark, lyrical and very witty. Peppered with farm life, cows, horses and old cars, the reader enters each poem and doesn’t want to leave. There’s Eddie who rolled his skidder in ’68. Dominion Day on the verandah. Juicy Fruit and Sen Sens. Dreaming about black bears in the carrot field. Ethyl Peach hammering out tunes on a mildewed piano. And then there is Jesus, come to town, driving a Chevy Chevelle or was it a Dodge Dart, mid-blue, hardtop with a 273, spotted later at the Stawamus Chief looking way up. Finally, a Canadian poet that writes characters better than a novelist.

What's in it for Me?

What's In It For Me?

edition:Paperback
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With themes of: elephants, global activism, animal rights and welfare, social activism, volunteering, feminism and female empowerment, coming of age, and the complex and controversial topic of elephant captivity, What's in it for Me? is an excellent middle-grade novel to spark classroom discussions.

Book Description

What's in it for Me? - Summer is only a month away, but things aren't going according to plan for fifteen-year-old Nick Bannerman. Nick dreams of making it big in music, and summer means scoring a deal for his band, mega parties, surfing in Tofino--and not much else. His best friend, Trevor, wants him to spend the summer with him in Africa building a school with a changemaker organization, but Nick isn't at all interested. Unlike Trevor, Nick has no interest in global activism, volunteering, or physical labour. So how does a teen like Nick, intent on being a famous rock star, end up in Thailand volunteering at an elephant refuge?

Meanwhile, in glimpses from Africa, Trevor learns about Kenyan culture and language from twelve-year-old local boy, Kito, and encounters child soldiers who threaten the young boy's family.

Back at the refuge, Nick meets sixteen-year-old Camila, an intimidating and self-assured local girl who wants to be a mahout, even though local tradition won't allow it. When Nick encounters an extreme animal rights activist, drugged tigers, and rampaging elephants, will he have the courage to act and care about more than just himself?

With themes of: elephants, global activism, animal rights and welfare, social activism, volunteering, feminism and female empowerment, coming of age, and the complex and controversial topic of elephant captivity, What's in it for Me? is an excellent middle-grade novel to spark classroom discussions.

Once Upon an Iceberg

Once Upon an Iceberg

Errol's Twillingate Adventure
edition:Paperback
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When the dog’s away, the mice go on an adventure! Errol is off on another adventure! With his new-found friend Gus, Errol travels to Twillingate to help search for Gus’s father. In the course of his search, he finds treasures on the beach, almost floats away with the icebergs, and visits the Long Point Lighthouse.

Book Description

When the dog’s away, the mice go on an adventure!
Errol is off on another adventure! With his new-found friend Gus, Errol travels to Twillingate to help search for Gus’s father. In the course of his search, he finds treasures on the beach, almost floats away with the icebergs, and visits the Long Point Lighthouse. There he meets Olivia and her family, who help him on his quest, showing him around and hunting for clues. But time is running out; they have to head home to Beachy Cove—and there’s still no sign of Gus’s dad!


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