New Books and Featured Reading Lists

Each week on the 49th Shelf homepage, we highlight new releases. We also make theme-based lists and showcase lists from guest contributors and 49th Shelf members. This page archives these selections so they are always available to our members.

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New Non-Fiction for the week of December 10th : New Books: Geeks and Games
Getting a Life

Getting a Life

The Social Worlds of Geek Culture
edition:eBook
also available: Hardcover
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Generation Robot

Generation Robot

A Century of Science Fiction, Fact, and Speculation
edition:Hardcover
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In Real Life

In Real Life

by Cory Doctorow
illustrated by Jen Wang
edition:Paperback
also available: Paperback
tagged : coming of age
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Holiday Cookbooks

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Museum Books

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HGD Spring 2019

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New Non-Fiction for the week of December 3rd : New Art Books
See What I'm Saying?
Excerpt

Pig-Headed



A person who is called 'pig-headed' is stubborn and contrary, doesn't co-operate, is inflexible and won't listen to reason. A bull-headed person and a pig-headed person, together, would make for a very entertaining barnyard.

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A Not-So-Savage Land

A Not-So-Savage Land

The Art and Times of Frederick Whymper, 1838–1901
edition:eBook
also available: Paperback
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Out of the Woods

Out of the Woods

Woodworkers along the Salish Sea
edition:Paperback
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Northern Light

Northern Light

The Arctic and Subarctic Photography of Dave Brosha
photographs by Dave Brosha
contributions by Martin Hartley & Paul Zizka
edition:Hardcover
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Read Local BC 2018

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#CephalopodCanLit

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New Non-Fiction for the week of November 26th : New Nonfiction
Little Yellow House

Little Yellow House

Finding Community in a Changing Neighbourhood
edition:Paperback
also available: eBook
tagged : essays, urban, canadian
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All Our Relations

All Our Relations

Finding the Path Forward
edition:eBook
also available: Paperback
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Hungover

Hungover

The Morning After and One Man's Quest for a Cure
edition:eBook
also available: Hardcover Paperback
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Trust

Trust

Twenty Ways to Build a Better Country
edition:Hardcover
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Watch Your Tongue

Watch Your Tongue

What Our Everyday Sayings and Idioms Figuratively Mean
edition:Hardcover
also available: eBook
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Hater

Hater

On the Virtues of Utter Disagreeability
edition:Hardcover
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Knock on Wood

Knock on Wood

Luck, Chance, and the Meaning of Everything
edition:Hardcover
also available: eBook
tagged : applied
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Oil and World Politics

Oil and World Politics

The real story of today's conflict zones: Iraq, Afghanistan, Venezuela, Ukraine and more
edition:eBook
also available: Paperback
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Flax Americana

Flax Americana

A History of the Fibre and Oil That Covered a Continent
edition:eBook
also available: Paperback Hardcover
tagged : north america
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Be With

Be With

Letters to a Caregiver
edition:Paperback
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Read Local BC 2018

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Tree Books

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New Non-Fiction for the week of November 19th : New Life Stories
The Woo-Woo

The Woo-Woo

How I Survived Ice Hockey, Drug Raids, Demons, and My Crazy Chinese Family
edition:Paperback
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The Codfish Dream

The Codfish Dream

Chronicles of a West Coast Fishing Guide
edition:eBook
also available: Paperback
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A Secret Sisterhood

A Secret Sisterhood

The Literary Friendships of Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, George Eliot, and Virginia Woolf
edition:Paperback
tagged : literary
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For Joshua

For Joshua

An Ojibway Father Teaches His Son
edition:Paperback
also available: Paperback
tagged :
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Excerpt

I was created to be Anishanabe-niini -- Indian Man. Thus, I was born Ojibway. I emerged onto Mother Earth as a human being gifted with this identity -- male Ojibway human being. Since 1955, learning to be who I was created to be has been my journey, my trial, my ongoing process of creation.

This thing we call Native, Indian, First Nations, Aboriginal, Indigenous, or Original Peoples cannot be found in any one place. It is a cosmology, a belief, a way of being, unconstrained by geography, politics or even time itself. It is too immense to be contained in one simple definition. Only with the utmost simplification can one say, “This is what it means to be Indian.”

The lives of Native people in Canada are ones of endless toil, frustration and heartache. This they have borne with great good humour, grace, and dignity. To say that I am one of them is my greatest pride.

But I am only one -- and this is but the story of one Native life, as experienced against the flux and flow of Canada over forty-six years. If it teaches, that is grace. If it evokes empathy, that is blessing. Should it enable one person, Native or not, to step forward towards who they were created to be, that would be reward enough for one Native life.

R.W.

for Joshua

Once there was a lonely little boy. He had no idea where he belonged in the world. The boy had no knowledge about where his family was or where he’d come from. So he began to dream. He imagined a glorious life with a mother and father, sisters and brothers, grandfathers and grandmothers. He put his dreams down on paper and filled the pages with drawings, stories, poems, and songs of the people he missed so much but could not remember. But he always awoke, the stories and poems always ended, and the songs faded off into the night.

As he grew, the boy carried this emptiness around inside him. Everywhere he went, it was his constant companion. Many people took turns caring for the boy, and many people tried to fill that hole, but no one ever could. Through all the homes he drifted the boy began to realize that all that ever really changed about him were his clothes.

One day, the people around him said that he was old enough to go and find there. It was a magical place, this place called there, because everyone got to choose where there would be for them.

But finding there was difficult. The boy took many roads, many turns, many long lonely journeys trying to find it. He grew older. He lived in many places and with many different people. But inside himself he was still a lonely little boy who could only ever dream dreams, create stories and poems and songs about the kingdom of there.

Then one day he met a kind, gentle old man on one of the twisted, narrow roads he was travelling. This old man had been everywhere and seen many things. He was wise and liked the young man very much. As they sat together by the side of that long, narrow road, the old
man began to tell him stories about all of his travels, and especially about how good it felt to return from those journeys.

“What is return?” the young man asked.

“Why, it’s to get back to where you started, where you belong,” the old man said.

“What does it mean to belong?”

The old man smiled kindly and said, “To belong is to feel right. It’s a place where everything fits.”

“How do you get there?” the young man asked.

“Well, getting anywhere means you have to make a journey. But on this journey, to find where you belong, you really only have to travel one direction,” the old man said.

“What direction is that?”

“The toughest direction of all,” the old man said. “You have to travel inside yourself, not down long, narrow roads like this one.”

“Does it hurt?” the young man asked.

“Sometimes. But anyone who makes that journey finds out that no matter how hard the journey is, getting there is the biggest comfort of all.”

The young man thought about the old man’s words. They were mysterious and strange. In fact, they weren’t answers to his questions at all, just more and more questions lined up one behind the other as far as he allowed his mind to wander. But there was something in the gentle way the old man had of talking that made him feel safe -- a trust that everything he said was true. Even if he couldn’t understand it all.

“Can I get there from here?” he asked finally.

The old man smiled at him and patted him on the shoulder. “Here is the only place you can start from.”

I was that lonely little boy, Joshua, and I was the lonely young man who tried so hard to belong. Like him, I have travelled a lot of hard roads searching for the one thing that would allow me to feel safe, secure, and welcome. Some of them led to prison, poverty, drunkenness, drugs, depression, isolation, and thoughts of suicide. But many were glorious roads to travel -- the ones that led to sobriety, friendship, music, writing, and the empowering traditional ways of the Ojibway people to whom you and I belong.

There were many teachers on those roads. Always there was someone somewhere who offered things meant to teach me how to see the world and my place in it. But like most of us, I only ever trusted my mind-- and my mind always needed proof. The sad thing is that when you spend all your time in a search for proof, you miss the magic of the journey, and I was on those roads a long, long time before I learned the most important lesson of all: that the journey is the teaching, and the proof of the truthfulness of all things comes secretly, mysteriously, when you find yourself smiling when you used to cry, and staying staunchly in place when you used to run away.

I spent many years afraid of the questions. I was afraid of the questions because I was afraid of the answers, and that fear kept me on narrow, twisted roads deep into my life. My greatest fear was that after the search, after the most arduous of journeys, I would discover, at the end, a me I didn’t like, the me that I was always convinced I was: an unlovable, inadequate, weak, unworthy human being. And at that point of discovery I would be alone. Alone with myself. Alone with my fears. Alone with the one person I had spent so much time and energy trying to run away from.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Sam Steele

Sam Steele

A Biography
edition:Paperback
also available: eBook
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Krambambuli

Krambambuli

edition:Paperback
also available: eBook
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This week's recommended reading lists

White Pine 2019

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