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Launchpad: REVERY, by Jenna Butler

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Last spring—as launches, festivals and other events were cancelled across the country—49th Shelf helped Canadian authors launch more than 50 new books with LAUNCHPAD. And now we're back this fall, but with a twist.
LAUNCHPAD 2.0 features new releases selected by great Canadian writers who've chosen books that absolutely deserve to find their way into the hands of readers.

Today, Ariel Gordon is championing Revery, by Jenna Butler. Gordon writes, "Books are built on the backs and shoulders of other books. I wouldn’t have written my book Treed: Walking in Canada’s Urban Forests, if I hadn’t read Jenna Butler’s A Profession of Hope: Farming on the Edge of the Grizzly Trail back in 2015. Back then, I loved Jenna’s stories about building an off-grid farm an hour and a half north of Edmonton. But I needed to read about Jenna’s commitment to her land in an era when the effects of climate change were beginning to make themselves felt in Alberta, where she is, and in Manitoba, where I am.

Five years later, Jenna and her husband Thomas are still on the land, but everything has changed. They’ve moved the farm to higher ground after five years of flooding and are having to re-build their market gardens from scratch, both in terms of plants and the soil bene …

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Launchpad: SONGS FOR THE END OF THE WORLD, by Saleema Nawaz

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Last spring—as launches, festivals and other events were cancelled across the country—49th Shelf helped Canadian authors launch more than 50 new books with LAUNCHPAD. And now we're back this fall, but with a twist.

LAUNCHPAD 2.0 features new releases selected by great Canadian writers who've chosen books that absolutely deserve to find their way into the hands of readers.

Today we're launching the latest novel by Saleema Nawaz, championed by Jael Richardson, who writes, "I could not stop reading Songs for the End of the World. I felt a mixture of shock and delight as I read it because it captured the experience of a novel coronavirus pandemic so well. Even though Saleema started this book seven years ago, there were portions of the story that felt so true to now that I gasped out loud. And isn’t that the best kind of read—the kind that shocks you while also remaining familiar? I have had such a hard time reading books during quarantine, but this one brought me back to the beauty of the written word by reminding me of the unique perspective and the critical importance of stories and storytellers. This book simultaneously reminded me why I read AND why I write."

*****

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Launchpad: knot body, by Eli Tareq El Bechelany-Lynch

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Last spring—as launches, festivals and other events were cancelled across the country—49th Shelf helped Canadian authors launch more than 50 new books with LAUNCHPAD. And now we're back this fall, but with a twist.

LAUNCHPAD 2.0 features new releases selected by great Canadian writers who've chosen books that absolutely deserve to find their way into the hands of readers.

Today Amber Dawn is championing knot body, by Eli Tareq El Bechelany-Lynch, writing, "In this moment, when trans, racialized and disabled bodies are met with voyeuristic and polarizing commentary within the public sphere, Eli Tareq El Bechelany-Lynch offers legitimate intimacy in their debut collection knot body. As self-communional as Kiese Laymon’s Heavy and Terese Marie Mailhot’s Heart Berries,  they amplify the epistolary memoir. Each of their letters are emotionally and thematically complete and, yet, each letter decidedly speaks to the next. Readers may sit and ruminate on the sharp and sensual inquiry offered by each individual letter, or read cover-to-cover and be present to the gorgeously-engaged, call-and-response quality of knot body as a whole.

*****

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Launchpad: LOSS LAKE, by Amber Cowie

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Last spring—as launches, festivals and other events were cancelled across the country—49th Shelf helped Canadian authors launch more than 50 new books with LAUNCHPAD. And now we're back this fall, but with a twist.

LAUNCHPAD 2.0 features new releases selected by great Canadian writers who've chosen books that absolutely deserve to find their way into the hands of readers.

Samantha Bailey, bestselling author of Women on the Edge, is recommending Loss Lake, by Amber Cowie. She write, "Amber Cowie is a gifted storyteller. In Loss Lake she creates a stunning suspense about dangerous small-town secrets that threaten the lives of its residents, and its latest newcomer. Sentence by gorgeous sentence, Cowie reveals an intricately woven, powerful plot, unveiling the depths of the characters and their lies. A magnificent read crackling with tension."

*****

49th Shelf: What particular something have you managed to achieve with this book that you’re especially proud of?

Amber Cowie: Loss Lake is a creepy cabin-in-the-woods story that was a true labour of lov …

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Launchpad: YOU ARE EATING AN ORANGE. YOU ARE NAKED. by Sheung-King

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Last spring—as launches, festivals and other events were cancelled across the country—49th Shelf helped Canadian authors launch more than 50 new books with LAUNCHPAD. And now we're back this fall, but with a twist.

LAUNCHPAD 2.0 features new releases selected by great Canadian writers who've chosen books that absolutely deserve to find their way into the hands of readers.

Today Thea Lim, author of An Ocean of Minutes, recommends the debut novel by Sheung-King. "You are Eating an Orange. You are Naked. is a tale of two rich and rootless people that oozes the horror and confusion of love, while staying somehow still desperately romantic, and so gloriously sad. This novel is also about something else: it gives the cold shoulder to the dominant gaze and its demands to control the Asian body, carving out a thrilling space beyond whiteness. I didn't want it to end."

******

49th Shelf: What particular something have you managed to achieve with this book that you're especially proud of?

Sheung-King: You are Eating an Orange. You are Naked. is not an immigra …

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Launchpad: FOUR UMBRELLAS, by June Hutton and Tony Wanless

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Last spring—as launches, festivals and other events were cancelled across the country—49th Shelf helped Canadian authors launch more than 50 new books with LAUNCHPAD. And now we're back this fall, but with a twist.

LAUNCHPAD 2.0 features new releases selected by great Canadian writers who've chosen books that absolutely deserve to find their way into the hands of readers.

Today Janie Chang is recommending the new memoir from Jane Hutton and Tony Wanless, Four Umbrellas: A Couple's Journey Into Young-Onset Alzheimer's. Chang writes, "June Hutton and her husband Tony Wanless have written Four Umbrellas which is about their experience with Tony’s early-onset Alzheimer's. It’s unusual in that generally such memoirs are by the caregiver. In this case, because Tony is a journalist, they made the decision to document their journey together, so you also get first-person accounts from Tony about how it feels, what it’s like, as well as the challenges of working with a healthcare system that doesn’t assume Alzheimer's for younger patients. I feel this is a valuable memoir because the demographics of our aging population will make this a familiar story to many."

******

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Launchpad: WHY BIRDS SING, by Nina Berkhout

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Last spring—as launches, festivals and other events were cancelled across the country—49th Shelf helped Canadian authors launch more than 50 new books with LAUNCHPAD. And now we're back this fall, but with a twist.

LAUNCHPAD 2.0 features new releases selected by great Canadian writers who've chosen books that absolutely deserve to find their way into the hands of readers.

Today, Amy Jones recommends Why Birds Sing, by Nina Berkhout, writing, “A bratty parrot, a group of whistlers, an opera singer who doesn’t sing—it’s impossible not to be charmed by the characters who inhabit Nina Berkhout’s Why Birds Sing. But this novel offers so much more than just a loveable, quirky cast of misfits, and Berkhout writes with an uncommon compassion and an uncanny understanding of what it means to be human. Why Birds Sing is an ode to the families we choose, and the love that chooses us (whether we want it to or not.) This is a beautiful novel full of humour, warmth, sorrow, and above all, music.”

****

49th Shelf: What particular something have you ma …

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Launchpad: AFTER ELIAS, by Eddy Boudel Tan

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Last spring—as launches, festivals and other events were cancelled across the country—49th Shelf helped Canadian authors launch more than 50 new books with LAUNCHPAD. And now we're back this fall, but with a twist.

LAUNCHPAD 2.0 features new releases selected by great Canadian writers who've chosen books that absolutely deserve to find their way into the hands of readers.

Today, bestseller Natalie Jenner, author of The Jane Austen Society, is championing After Elias, by Eddy Boudel Tan.

She writes, "After Elias, by Canadian debut author Eddy Boudel Tan, promises from the start to be a puzzle: an airline pilot about to be married is killed in a crash and immediately pegged as the main suspect in the disaster. But this is no simple mystery, and the layered psychological struggles and revelations of Elias's grief-stricken fiance kept me furiously turning pages until the very end. With chapters that shift through time along with the narrator's emotions, a cast of very real but relatable secondary characters, and a haunting sense of the past, After Elias gifts the reader with gorgeous, economic prose and the pace of a thriller. I couldn't put it down."

*****

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Launchpad: HOW TO LOSE EVERYTHING, by Christa Couture

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Last spring—as launches, festivals and other events were cancelled across the country—49th Shelf helped Canadian authors launch more than 50 new books with LAUNCHPAD. And now we're back this fall, but with a twist.

LAUNCHPAD 2.0 features new releases selected by great Canadian writers who've chosen books that absolutely deserve to find their way into the hands of readers.

Today we're launching Christa Couture's memoir, How to Lose Everything, which is being championed by... me, Kerry Clare, author and editor at 49thShelf.com. Last spring, I had the opportunity to read this book by Couture, who is an award-winning singer-songwriter, as well as a radio host and writer, and I devoured it in two days. On my phone. And I have a really crummy phone. I have almost never managed to read an entire book on a screen, let alone in two days, so voraciously. But this is a pretty special book. A book you might think would be a bit of a downer, this story that catalogues the monumental losses experienced by Couture throughout her life—she had cancer as a child; she lost her leg in curing that cancer; her first two children died; she got divorced; she got cancer again. And yet. This is a book that sparkles and sings, a memoir as rich with joy as it is with sadness, a story …

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Launchpad: HAPPY HOUR, by Marlowe Granados

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Last spring—as launches, festivals and other events were cancelled across the country—49th Shelf helped Canadian authors launch more than 50 new books with LAUNCHPAD. And now we're back this fall, but with a twist.

LAUNCHPAD 2.0 features new releases selected by great Canadian writers who've chosen books that absolutely deserve to find their way into the hands of readers.

Today we're launching Marlowe Granados' debut novel Happy Hour, which is being championed by Jen Sookfong Lee, who writes, "In Happy Hour, Isa, a young woman whose future is stretching out in front of her, moves to New York City, where every chance meeting is an opportunity to start fresh. Funny and complex, Happy Hour is not just a coming-of-age romp, but a loving exploration of young womanhood, of the ways we carry our pasts and identities with us wherever we go, and the deep friendships we accumulate and lose along the way. So often, women, and especially women of colour, in their 20s are dismissed in popular culture, and Granados provides us with the exact opposite experience. Isa is authentic, wry, sad, thoughtful, and joyful, as full a human as a reader could ever want."

*****

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Launchpad: THE BARREN GROUNDS, by David A. Robertson

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Last spring—as launches, festivals and other events were cancelled across the country—49th Shelf helped Canadian authors launch more than 50 new books with LAUNCHPAD. And now we're back this fall, but with a twist.

LAUNCHPAD 2.0 features new releases selected by great Canadian writers who've chosen books that absolutely deserve to find their way into the hands of readers.

Today we're launching David A. Robertson's The Barren Grounds, the first instalment in an an epic middle grade fantasy series  where Narnia meets traditional Indigenous stories of the sky and constellations.

The book is being championed by Susin Nielsen, who tells us, "David A. Robertson has written such a fine, beautiful novel. He manages to combine hard truths about our history with a Narnia-like fantasy, sweeping us into the world of the story while opening our hearts as well."

*****

49th Shelf: What particular something have you managed to achieve with this book that you’re especially proud of?

David A. Robertson: It was a difficult task to draw inspiration from a classic bo …

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Launchpad: NOOPIMING, by Leanne Betasamosake Simpson

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Last spring—as launches, festivals and other events were cancelled across the country—49th Shelf helped Canadian authors launch more than 50 new books with LAUNCHPAD. And now we're back this fall, but with a twist.

LAUNCHPAD 2.0 features new releases selected by great Canadian writers who've chosen books that absolutely deserve to find their way into the hands of readers.

Today we're launching Noopiming: The Cure For White Ladies, by Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, which is being championed by Megan Gail Coles, who writes: 

"Noopiming: The Cure for White Ladies is likely the most admirably audacious novel of the year. With each publication, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson re-establishes herself as a revolutionary writer willing to take innovative risks in order to communicate bold intentions that challenge damaging colonial narratives.

"In her most recent book, she centres relationality so thoroughly as to destabilize even the reader's limiting preconception of how words must be laid out upon the page. This is bold storytelling drawing upon a rich history to present a possible future. Simpson is generously gifting readers, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, with an opportunity to engage in the necessary difficult work of further decolonizing our minds.

"I have decided t …

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