Shelf Talkers

Shelf Talkers is a monthly series where independent booksellers across Canada tell us about a book they would put (and are putting!) in everyone's hands, it is that good.

Shelf Talkers: Books to Carry You Through November

There’s something about November that puts me in a contemplative state of mind.

Perhaps it’s the presence of Remembrance Day, an ongoing reminder of heroism, sacrifice, and loss.

Perhaps it’s a vague sense of an ending, the end of the year in sight.

Perhaps it’s the world around me, the days growing shorter, the leaves in the gutters, the darkness seemingly all around.

Or perhaps it’s just a sugar hangover from those little tiny Halloween chocolate bars.

I’m really not sure of the cause, but it happens every year at around this time. I find myself thinking about the past, about my place in the world, about the people around me, the stories they’re carrying. And it’s not just me: pretty much everyone I’ve spoken with reports much the same mindset as the evenings begin to encroach on the day.

It’s not a bad thing at all. A period of reflection, of examination, of contemplation, is necessary, and in many ways a balm.

This month, the independent booksellers of the Shelf Talkers panel have some thoughtful choices for you, companions for your own hours of contemplation.

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Shelf Talkers: May 2015

Hark!

What is that, in the sky? Is it spring, unfolding all around us, after what was, for much of the country, a long and brutal winter?

Is that the scent of flowers on the breeze?

May is upon us, and in the wake of the amazing experience of Authors for Indies Day, we have a selection of recommendations from a handful of Canada’s foremost independent booksellers. Fiction and poetry, adult books and a kids book, this installment of Shelf Talkers is a veritable bouquet of spring blooms. And what b …


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Shelf Talkers Special Edition: Authors for Indies

Oh, my, what a month! April marks the first anniversary of this column, which offers monthly recommendations from independent booksellers across the country—the books you need to read, from people who know reading best.

(Waiting a moment, looking around ... Where’s the balloon drop?)

To celebrate, we have something even better than a balloon drop. We have an entire national movement! This month we have an extra-special, jumbo-sized edition of Shelf Talkers, wherein some of Canada’s finest …


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Shelf Talkers: March 2015

Drip, drip, drip ... Canada is beginning to thaw, and with a new season bursting out, we need new books to celebrate. Thankfully, independent bookstores across the country are here to help. This month, we have five booksellers (including a new addition to the Shelf Talkers’ roster!) with five personal recommendations.

*****


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Shelf Talkers: January 2015

It’s a brand new year which means that booksellers across this fine nation are picking themselves up and dusting themselves off after the blur and chaos of December. They’re both looking back and looking ahead, giving a sense and perspective to the year and the books just past, and gazing hopefully, always hopefully, at the year and books just ahead.

Here are five of our finest booksellers, ready again to help you fill your shelves with the best books this country—and its bookstores—have …


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Shelf Talkers for December

“Ho-ho-holy cow,” booksellers across the country are saying. “It can’t possibly be December already!”

Brace yourselves, all: yes, it is.

The most wonderful time of the year.

The shelves are crammed and sagging under the weight of lovely new books. The aisles are crammed and bulging with readers, eager to find that perfect book. And through it all, the brave and intrepid booksellers of this nation, making the perfect bookish matches for the holiday season.

Yes, it’s the busiest time of th …


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Shelf Talkers for November

The beginning of November always feels like a moment of transition, that sudden shift of time making the autumn nights come earlier, that charge to the air that brings your scarf up over your mouth, the seemingly overnight switch between pumpkin spice and eggnog ...

It’s many booksellers' favourite time of year, a thrilling month of new books read, prizes awarded, and an ever-increasing number of readers coming in to the store. Yes, the countdown to the festive season is upon us, but bookseller …


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Shelf Talkers: October 2014

We’re in the heart of it now—the fall new release season is upon us, new books swirling all around like leaves in a gale. Only the bravest can weather such times, the courageous independent booksellers who stand fast, ardently reading, as the autumn rages around them. Here are a few of their personal recommendations.

*****

The Bookseller: Sue Saunderson, Blue Heron Books, Uxbridge, ON


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Shelf Talkers for September

With September comes back-to-school reading lists (well, except in BC, where the main texts seem to be Supreme Court rulings, political skullduggery, and opinion pieces), new books to delight and illuminate readers. Booksellers across the country are in the same boat, poring over new releases and advance copies to keep abreast of all that is new as the busy fall season kicks into gear. This month's Shelf Talkers is chock-a-block with new books just waiting to meet you.

*****


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Shelf Talkers for August

It’s time for the languorous days of August, those days of carefully conserved motion, constant hydration, and the gradual ebbing away of cares on waves of summer’s bliss ...
That’s the theory, anyway. As we all know, sometimes it doesn’t quite work out as planned.
For Canada’s independent booksellers, August marks the start of the fall book season, which this year looks more impressive than ever. But that’s all still to come. Here’s what our hardy booksellers have been reading and …


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Shelf Talkers Shopping List

49th Shelf is all about making it easy to find your next great Canadian read, and over the past year, we've introduced several series with that goal in mind. One of these is Shelf Talkers, which has author and former bookseller Robert J. Wiersema asking independent booksellers from across Canada what books in particular they're thrusting into the hands of customers. Today's post is a one-stop access point for all our Shelf Talkers so far.

*****


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Shelf Talkers for July

With the echoes of fireworks still ringing in our ears and sunburns still making it hard to find even a remotely comfortable outfit, what better way to celebrate this country than with a selection of Canadian books, recommended by our tireless Canadian independent booksellers (and readers).
This month’s list is as delicious as a fresh strawberry, as memorable as campfire smoke, as invigorating as a cold drink on a hot afternoon ... Yes, the first books of summer are upon us—enjoy!

*****


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Shelf Talkers for June

It’s not just that booksellers sell books (well, hopefully...), it’s that they read. They read not only with a voraciousness and attention unrivalled in the trade, but with a passion and a hope that remains, for the best of them, undiminished, despite years, sometimes decades, of season after season of new books, and new favourites.

The best of those books are the ones they share with their fellow readers in-store, and here, on Shelf Talkers. Here are some bookseller favourites for June.

***** …


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Shelf Talkers for May 2014

When you’re considering adjectives to describe Canada’s independent booksellers, “eclectic” has to be near the top of the list. And this month’s installment of Shelf Talkers reflects that, with cookbooks, kids books, fiction and fantasy and more from booksellers from across the country.

*****

uofm

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Shelf Talkers for April 2014: A New Series by Robert J. Wiersema

shelftalkerslessonphoto

To paraphrase an old cliché: you can find any book online; you need a bookseller to find the right one.

One of the great joys of life as a bookseller is the relationships you build with readers in your community. These people are more than customers, something different from friends . …


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