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Shelf Talkers: Private Detectives, Secret Mommies, Suspicious Men, and More


Listen, do you hear that?

That’s the sound of hearts breaking across the country as another summer comes to a close. I know, you don’t want to talk about it, or acknowledge the reality of the situation, but it’s time. The leaves have already started to turn here in Victoria, and the nights are growing cool. There might be a renewed blast in September, but the truth is undeniable: the summer is on the wane. Fall is upon us, and winter (forgive me, Tyrion Lannister) is coming.

For some, though, the end of summer is a blessing. Yes, I’m talking about readers.

With the cooling of the year comes the fall book season, a treasure trove of new releases and prize shortlists, award ceremonies, and new favourites. But what are you to do? How will you possibly navigate the torrents of new releases flooding into the world?

Well, you should ask an expert. Perhaps one of our celebrated independent booksellers, custodians of the printed page. But why stop at one? Why not look to a number of these heroic readers from across the country?

Here, with their first recommendations of the fall, a selection of hot new reads for kids and adults (and those in between), along with a timely old favourite, are some of Canada’s finest booksellers. Spring, summer, fall, winter, they’re here for all of us, constantly reading, and eager to share what they’ve found.

The Bookseller: Kim Ferguson, Kaleidescope Kids’ Books (Ottawa, ON)

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Shelf Talkers: September 2015

You would think that school would be paradise for a bookish, nerdy kid, like I was. But as any former bookish, nerdy kid will tell you, that was hardly the case. Sure, there was always lots to read, new books to discover, stories to talk about (and sometimes even write!). But there was a downside as well. So often, the books we had to read were old hat, or overly familiar. Things I’d read long before, or things I had no interest in reading.

I lost track, early on, of the number of times I got caught reading the books I had chosen, not the ones assigned in class. I thought I had it all worked out: keep the book in your lap, and glance down to read when the teacher’s not looking. Keep the book you want to read underneath the book you’re supposed to be reading, with only a few lines visible at a time. It seemed like it should work, but I got caught almost every time.

That didn’t stop me, though. I don’t think it stopped any bookish, nerdy kid.

And we never forget it. We never quite grow up.

Even now, decades later, I’m still that kid close to the back of the room, sneaking Tom Swift or Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators or John Bellairs, when I’m supposed to be reading ... Funny. I can’t even remember what I was supposed to be reading, but those books I snuck? Those books I loved enough to risk the ire of the teachers, and the threats of the hallway or principal’s office? Those books became a part of me.

In celebration of September, this is a special editi …

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