Thousands of Canadian-authored kids and YA books


Launchpad: FOUR UMBRELLAS, by June Hutton and Tony Wanless

Book Cover Launchpad Logo

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."


Continue reading »

Launchpad: the broken boat, by Daniela Elza

Launchpad Logo

This spring we've made it our mission (even more than usual) to celebrate new releases in the wake of cancelled launch parties, book festivals, and reading series. With 49th Shelf Launchpad, we're holding virtual launch parties here on our platform complete with witty banter and great insight to give you a taste of the books on offer. You can request these books from your local library, get them as e-books or audio books, order them from your local indie bookseller if they're delivering, buy them direct from the publisher or from online retailers.

Today we're launching the broken boat, by Daniela Elza, described by Miranda Pearson as "both lament and praise for the ending of a marriage. The poems, fractured and musical on the page, are at once stark and complex, surreal and familiar. There is a vertiginous sense of unsteady balance, of climbing, rung to rung. And yet, a delicate strength is here—a learning how to move through grief.”


The Elevator Pitch. Tell us about your book in a sentence.

This book is all about asking questions to stay aflo …

Continue reading »

The Chat with Kathy Page

Kathy Page high res credit Billie Woods

Last November, Kathy Page won the 2018 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Award for her compelling and thoroughly entertaining novel Dear Evelyn.

The tender story of a decades-long romance between Harry and Evelyn, the novel explores how time transforms our most intimate relationships. The Writers’ Trust jury writes, “By integrating themes that are universally understood by readers and skilfully crafting endearing characters that surprise and delight, Page has created a poignant literary work of art.”

Kathy Page is the author of ten previous books, two of which, Paradise & Elsewhere (2014) and The Two of Us (2016), were nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. Other works include Alphabet, a Governor General’s Award finalist in 2005, The Story of My Face, longlisted for the Orange Prize in 2002, and Frankie Styne and the Silver Man. Born in the UK, she moved to Salt Spring Island with her family in 2001, and now divides her time between writing and teaching at Vancouver Island University.



Trevor Corkum: Dear Evelyn is a gorgeous, complicated portrayal of the 70-year relationship between Harry, a World War Two veteran, and his wife, Evelyn. Can you speak more about how these characters came to life for you?

Continue reading »

Lesley Buxton: "Are You Still Married?"

Book Cover Love Me True

Love is hearts and roses, but life is complicated, and to share a life with someone else requires a bond and commitment far stronger than any verse ever penned on a Valentine. In the new anthology Love Me True, edited by Fiona Tinwei Lam and Jane Silcott, 27 creative nonfiction writers and 16 poets explore how marriage and committed relationships have challenged, shaped, supported and changed them, delving deep into the mysteries of long-term bonds. 

Lesley Buxton's essay from the collection, "Are You Still Married?" is devastating, sad, glorious and beautiful, and we're so glad to be able to share it with you. 

Please note that Love Me True is on our giveaways page until February 18.


“Are you still married?” the customer asks.

I look up from her bill and glance towards my section on the patio, hoping to find an excuse to leave. Nobody needs me. I’m stuck.

This customer and I share an unwanted and one-sided intimacy. For the last months of my sixteen-year-old daughter India’s life, this customer was our social worker. Her job was to navigate us through the medical system. She was neither exceptionally good at her job nor bad. This is the first time I’ve seen her since my daughter died ten months ago and I can’t remember her name.

Finally I say, “Yes, …

Continue reading »