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2016 ReLit Shortlists
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2016 ReLit Shortlists

By 49thShelf
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Congratulations to all the nominees in each of the three categories, which are Novel, Poetry and Short Fiction
Capacity for Infinite Happiness, The

Capacity for Infinite Happiness, The

edition:eBook
also available: Paperback
tagged : historical

How do you piece together love?

Mathematician Emily Kogan needs to finish her thesis, and her secretive family may be just the inspiration she’s looking for. When she returns to her family’s vacation lodge she decides to conduct research into the influence of personal relationships, using her family tree as an original social network. Tracing the spiderwebs of these connections, she learns far more than she bargained for.

In the 1930s, Harpo Marx joins his brothers at the Kogan’s Jewish reso …

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Excerpt

Emily crept to the kitchen, then up the stairs and through the hallway, then down again toward registration. There must be a vault somewhere with all the family documents. The registration area was too wide open. Nobody would leave birth certificates here. She moved on. The first visit to the lodge that she remembered had been when she was six years old, when she’d visited with her parents. She remembered dragging a towel down this narrow stairway. Corners had been difficult. But still. The lodge had been fun.

She stopped at the shut office door.

On that same trip, she'd visited her grandfather, Papa Moshe, in his office. Every time he'd moved toward her, she'd cried, and her father had had to pick her up. All the adults minus Moshe had laughed. Jonah had been there too, of course, a little boy hovering in the doorway. The door was locked. That boded well. The filing cabinets were locked too, from what she remembered. That was also a good sign, but hard to work around. She'd never figured out how to pick the locks. There might be other hiding places around, however.

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Foreign Park

Foreign Park

edition:Paperback
tagged : canadian

Foreign Park situates itself in an epoch where prior assurances of the natural world's solidity begin to slip. Poisons enter the Fraser River Basin. An oil slick approaches by night engulfing a fishing vessel, leaving its captain in open waters. Page after page, Foreign Park makes strange with its inhabitants. As it unfolds, it plots itself along the Fraser River overlaying myth and historicity with present day. These calm poems detail the effects of destruction on land and simultaneously explor …

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Gentle Habit, A

Gentle Habit, A

edition:Paperback

The inspiration for the collection comes from American Poet Charles Bukowski who wrote "In between the punctuating agonies, life is such a gentle habit." Following this theme of extraordinary ordinariness, A Gentle Habit is a collection of six new short stories focusing on the addictions of a diverse group of characters attempting normalcy in an unnatural world.

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All-Day Breakfast

All-Day Breakfast

edition:Paperback
tagged : literary

When widowed father and substitute teacher Peter Giller leads an eleventh-grade class on a field trip to a plastics factory, he thinks the worst that could happen is that the parent volunteers wonít show up (they donít), the kids will be rude (they are) or the free lunch will be terrible (it is).

Then a leaking pipe sprays Peter and the students with a mysterious pink goo and 'the worst that could happen' spikes from inconvenient to catastrophic. At first, the goo's side effects are mild: short …

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Asbestos Heights

Asbestos Heights

edition:Paperback
also available: eBook
tagged : canadian

Winner of the 2015 Quebec Writers' Federation's A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry

If you tore off the tops of canola --
yellow canola flowers -- would you
jump in a tub of canola margarine
just to make the best of despair?

Implored by concerned readers to be 'classy' and 'real' for once, David McGimpsey has composed a sequence of canonical note­books on all things 'poetic' and 'poetical.' Birds! Flowers! History! Sad leaders! The word 'aubade'! They're all here, in a serial, State Fair-bound collecti …

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Pauls

Pauls

edition:Paperback
also available: eBook

National Post "NP99" Best Book of 2015

Paul, who is not always the same Paul, but could very well be a similar Paul, another Paul in a long line of Pauls. Paul runs through forests, drinks in student housing, flirts with girls, at times is a girl, loves men, makes friends, jumps from buildings, hurts people, gets hurt, climbs up towards the sky, waits for a sunrise, and all those human things.

Pauls, the debut short-story collection by the exciting young writer Jess Taylor, is about people: the th …

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One Hit Wonders

One Hit Wonders

edition:eBook
also available: Paperback
tagged : black humor, crime

LIla is dead. And the likely suspects are all men: her flash-in-the-pan literary husband, a washed up golf pro turned criminal with a cocaine habit, and two small-time thugs looking for the perfect score. As a crime novel for a new age, this is sex, drugs, and a story that unfolds as a map of bad intentions. In One Hit Wonders, Patrick Warner weaves an energetic tale that is part caper and partmurdermystery—relentlessly satiric, brutally funny, and obsessively readable

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Dear Leader

Dear Leader

edition:Paperback
also available: eBook
tagged : canadian

I'm ill-equipped
for this. I sit
by a fake fireplace

that frames a real flame.
I've been crossed
by two crows today.

'Multi-vectored, Rogers's poems hum with life and tension, their speaker poised as mother, seer, reporter and daughter. They speak of loss and cold realities (misplaced charms of luck, a tour of an assisted-living facility, coins thrown into Niagara Falls). They also interweave dreams and visions: “O Lion, I am / an old handmaiden; I will not lay the pretty baby in the lap / o …

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